Please don’t do it…

The Affair Illusion

Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. Additionally, Janel’s husband serves on the Board of Marriage Revolution. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

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Last Friday, Fox news reported that Ashley Madison—the self-proclaimed “original extramarital affairs site”—anticipated a 500% increase in applicants following Mother’s Day.

There are so many aspects of this statistic that baffle the mind. I suppose—or rather earnestly hope—that there are enough blog posts out there about the mere idea of a site dedicating itself to (how to put this politely?) willful marital annihilation. But in an effort to step beyond preaching and into understanding, there are a few observations that beg unpacking.

Finally Free (Zondervan)

Porn sucks.  I hate it.  I hate everything about it.

I hate what it does to men.  I hate what it does to women.  I hate what it does to marriages.  I hate how it affects kids.

Unfortunately, a lot of my clients struggle with porn.  I wish they didn’t.  But, they do.

But, there is HOPE!!!

If you’re struggling with porn, the Gospel is the answer.  How?  Read this book by Heath Lambert for starters:

Heath beautifully articulates the Gospel in a way that not only applies to someone’s struggle with porn, but in a way that deals with any type of habitual struggle with sin.

I highly recommend this book.

Submission isn’t Silent

The Submissive Wife—and Finding Your Voice

Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. Additionally, Janel’s husband serves on the Board of Marriage Revolution. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

Submission is not silent

A friend and I were out for a rare breakfast, our hands curled around ceramic mugs of decaf. “What’s the best way to pray for you and your husband?” I’d asked quietly. But it was her answer that surprised me—and the liquid I saw collecting around the rims of her eyes.

“Pray for me”—she paused here—“to find my voice.”

What To Do When Your Spouse Wants Out

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I’ll never forget that day.

I had been out of town for about a week and I couldn’t wait to be home to see my wife and 2 year old daughter.

Things had been rough in our marriage, but while I was out of town I felt like my love for her was renewed. I was going to be different when I got home: more patient, more gentle, less angry. Our marriage was going to be different.

My excitement to share my fresh start with Star quickly turned to confusion as I pulled into the driveway to her standing outside and holding hands with our innocent, red haired, pig tailed, daughter by her side.  Next to them were two suitcases.

I got out of the car and asked what was going on.

She was noticeably distant and silent for a few moments, then she looked up and said with a cold determination, “Hans, I’m leaving”.

“What?!”

“I said, I’m leaving.”

“Why?”

“Are you kidding me? Why?”

I was in unbelief.  I felt like I was hit by a truck.  I didn’t even argue with her I was so shocked. She had begged me to go to counseling for some of our problems for months, but now I was ready. And now this?! I didn’t fully understand what was happening until she was already driving away.

It was the start of our six month separation where I fought for our marriage. Alone.

The most heartbreaking calls and emails that come into my counseling office resemble stories like this. One spouse wants out. The other doesn’t. The spouse that wants out is confused. Hopeless. Desperately searching for anything – anything – that will save the marriage.

What do you do in a situation like this or how do you help a friend walk through a situation like this?

How to Forgive After an Affair

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When I discovered Star was having an affair just 18 months into our marriage I was distraught. I could barely contain the rage and anger.  The thought of my wife being with another man made me want to vomit, scream, crawl in a hole, and lash out in anger….all at the same time.

I didn’t think I, much less my marriage, would ever recover.

But, not only did God restore me, he restored my marriage as well. And, “restore” is an understatement. God made my marriage stronger than it ever was before and the intimacy and closeness my wife and I now share is almost unbelievable given what we went through.

How did this happen?  Forgiveness was a key ingredient.

Regardless of what you’ve been through in your marriage, you’ve undoubtedly been put in a position of extending forgiveness to your spouse.

Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not. For the times it’s not, here are 10 thoughts to consider:

4 Keys to Finishing Strong in Your Marriage

Finish Strong

I recently heard the story of a Godly leader I respected that fell into sexual immorality.

When I first heard the story I couldn’t believe it.  I didn’t think there was any way THIS guy would have fallen. He was a rock. He loved God. He taught God’s word.

But unfortunately I learned it was true. And the effects this event had on his wife and kids were devastating.

20 Ways To Protect Your Marriage

Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. Additionally, Janel’s husband serves on the Board of Marriage Revolution. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

20 Ways to Protect

You’ve probably got insurance on your car—which you lock pretty much everywhere, maybe with the addition of a swanky alarm.

And let’s think about it. You’ve got safeguards, insurance, and forward-thinking measures for your health. Your house. Your mortgage. Your cash. Your kids (carseats, seatbelts, bike helmets, savings accounts…).

We protect what’s valuable.

But ADT’s got nothing for affairs, broken hearts, or lonely marriages…

Let’s Talk About Sex

This post was written as a Date Night Guide for Church Project’s Valentines Day Date Night on February 13, 2015

Adam and Eve

Sex in the Garden of Eden…can you imagine?

Adam and Eve were in a lush garden with flowers and vegetation not yet marred by the presence of sin. They likely heard running water in the nearby river and animals were walking around freely. And maybe most significantly, Adam and Eve, “…felt no shame.”

“…and they become one flesh. The man and his wife were naked, and they felt no shame.”
Genesis 2:24-25

Make no mistake, Adam and Eve had great sex. What was the key ingredient?

Once a Year

We don’t do it often, but we do ask once a year.

Marriage Revolution is a donation based ministry that significantly relies on donations to meet our operating expenses.  And, our most significant operating expense is helping hurting couples through marriage coaching.

Learn how you can be a part of helping us help more couples in 2015.

 

Should you renew your wedding vows?

Guest Post: George Booth is a married father of 3 and serves on the Board of Marriage Revolution.

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I recently had the privilege of attending a Marriage Vows Renewal Ceremony in Jerusalem, Israel. As we stood on a plaza overlooking this ancient city, the small party of assembled guests were struck by the beauty and simplicity of the occasion as we thanked God for 25 years of His love and faithfulness towards the happier than ever couple.

For this couple, the renewal ceremony had extra poignancy.  When they first took their marriage vows, they neither believed in or followed God.  But here they were, 25 years later, united in a common bond of love for each other, for Christ and for his church.

But I couldn’t help but ask myself, does a wedding vow ever need renewing?