Is this standing in the way of your dream 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. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

Maybe you already know what it is. You know: that one thing. It’s one thing that, like an arm in a cast, its layered hardness immobilizing you from totally embracing your spouse.

Maybe you’re like me; I didn’t even realize it was there. But still, it was a silent, mildly bitter seed I’d unwittingly nurtured when it niggled at me. Sometimes it was watered by a bad day that couldn’t keep pace with my vision of what life could be like if only.

How to Respect a Husband Who Isn’t Respectable

RESPECT – Valuing and regarding another highly. Treating someone as important or with honor. Communicating or demonstrating that someone has worth. Synonyms: appreciation, awe, admiration, consideration, deference, dignity, esteem, honor, recognition, regard, reverence, or tribute

Let’s be honest. It’s easy to show your husband respect if his behavior is respectable. But what about when it isn’t?

How you can respect your husband if he isn’t respectable?

25 Questions to Spark Authentic Communication

When was the last time you had meaningful conversation with your spouse?

Not just cliche conversation talking about the weather or the logistics of who’s going to take or pick up the kids from football and dance, but REAL conversation.

You know, the type of conversation that you used to have in the early days of your relationship. Conversation where hours seemed like minutes. Conversation that left you feeling known, heard, and secure. Conversation that led to sparks flying…in a good way!

Let’s face it. These types of conversations “just happened” and were the norm in the early days of your relationship. But as time went on, hours of long free-flowing conversations became shorter and fewer and far between.

Every Marriage Needs CPR

How to identify and revive the vital signs of your marriage

My first job at 16 was a lifeguard at a local waterpark. I thought it would be the perfect summer job. I mean, what could be better than spending my summer days sitting on a lifeguard stand getting paid to look cool and get a killer tan?

Oakley mirrored sunglasses…check.

Red Swim trunks…check.

Whistle to blow at little kids being punks…check

Training to actually know what to do in the event of someone drowning and not having a pulse…what?! Didn’t anticipate that one.

Insert CPR training.

CPR is a lifesaving technique designed to revive vital signs that have ceased to function. If you need to give someone CPR, you know the situation is dire. Something needs to be done quick or the person will die.

I want to suggest that your marriage has some vital signs as well. If any of these vital signs are absent from your marriage, the situation is dire. Something needs to be done quickly or your marriage will die.

Don’t wait for your marriage to “stop breathing” to start checking its vital signs. Regardless of whether your marriage is on its death bed or just needs a tune up, the place to start working is on its vitals:

Announcing John Shaw

Immediately Available for Pre-Marital and Individual Men's Counseling

Since Marriage Revolution started in 2006, we’ve spent a majority of our time developing tools to help hurting couples that were in need of RESTORATION.

But as God brought these hurting couples our way, we found ourselves saying more and more, “If I would have just been able to see them earlier, things wouldn’t be so bad.”

That’s why we started to be committed to proactively ENRICHING marriages through our blog and marriage events.

As we became more committed to RESTORING and ENRICHING marriages, we realized we were still falling short in focusing on what might be the most important part of any marriage ministry: PREPARATION.

We’ve done a fair amount of pre-marital counseling in the past and we’ve done it well. But, we’ve lacked a person to champion this effort and make sure we’re continually offering the best, most relevant, and biblical preparation process possible for engaged couples. We needed someone passionate, experienced, and trustworthy.

I’m excited to announce that John Shaw has joined the Marriage Revolution team to offer Pre-Marital counseling effective immediately.

John has been doing pre-marital counseling for years through his time as serving as a full time pastor. He loves it. He’s good at it. And, I’m super excited about the impact he’s going to have on engaged couples in our community.

John has been a personal friend of mine for about 3 years. Star and I trust him, and you can too.

Please check out John’s Bio and also some of what our preparation for marriage process looks like.

Feel free to reach out to myself or John directly if you have any questions or if you’d like to book an appointment.

Help Us Help Others In 2017

shutterstock_3338447151 word best sums up the ministry of Marriage Revolution in 2016…GROWTH.

Last year my board and I decided it was time to make Marriage Revolution less about a MAN and more about a MINISTRY. After almost a year of pursuing that direction, I’d say we’re off to a great start.

Check out some of the growth that has occurred over the past 12 months. And remember, each of these activities represents countless marriages and families that have been reached with the life changing (and marriage changing) message of Jesus Christ:

  • We gave away almost $22,000 in counseling scholarships to couples in need
  • We now have 4 Biblical Counselors available in our Woodlands Office
  • We opened an office in Little Rock, AR
  • We started to speak around the country at FamilyLife’s Weekend To Remember
  • We made our 2nd trip to Cambodia expanding our influence internationally
  • We are starting to partner with local churches to help them start marriage ministries

Simply put, these activities WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE without our faithful donors giving to Marriage Revolution over the past 12 months.

Although our monthly donations are the financial backbone of this ministry, year-end donations typically make up about 25% of our total annual donation revenue.

We believe we have all the pieces in place for 2017 to be our most significant year of ministry yet, but we need your financial help to pull it off.

Would you consider making a special year-end financial gift to help us continue to fulfill our mission in 2017?

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Our mission has been and always will be…to provide help and hope to hurting couples without ever letting money stand in the way.

Thanks for considering helping us fulfill our mission more than ever in 2017!!

How to see your spouse with new eyes

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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. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

Remember the ’99 Julia Roberts flick, Runaway Bride?

Roberts’ character has a bad reputation for landing at the altar and, well, taking off. (Spoiler alert, here–) Turns out she’s been a chameleon of sorts, being “supportive” to the point of wholly adopting her not-so-future mate’s preferences, hobbies, and lifestyle: She likes her eggs the same way. She dons a large (fake) tattoo. She prepares to climb Everest for one of her (not-gonna-happen) honeymoons.

The fiancés are left clueless and bewildered as she turns from each of them, minutes from matrimony. I adored her! And yet, apparently none understood how little they’d actually sought out her soul, or cherished her uniqueness apart from what she contributed to their own interests.

At one point, the movie finds Richard Gere’s character, a reporter getting the scoop on her follies, tinkering at a piano with his ex-wife.

“Is that what happened?” he asks her. “Did I just…not see you?”

“No,” she responds quietly. “No, you didn’t.”

It’s easy enough, I think. To not really see this person we’re married to.

25 Easy Ideas To Add A Little Romance

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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. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

Romance (n): 1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.[1]

  1. Scent your bed sheets. Scatter a few flower petals over them in the evening…and suggest flipping off the TV for some “alternate entertainment.”
  2. If you’re not the normal dish-doer between the two of you, wash them.
  3. Set a “touch goal”: How many times can your fingers linger on his back, or rest on her knee? Can you rub her shoulders when you walk in the door? Run your fingers through his hair?
  4. Make your marriage a budget item. Start planning for a getaway, however small. Sparing the cost of a cup of good coffee for each of you once a week might make a good start for a decent vacation in a year!
  5. Ask God for romance in your marriage—and that He’d open your eyes to practical solutions…maybe even change your heart. He set aside a whole book of the Bible for it. It’s a priority for Him, too.
  6. Create a CD of songs that communicate the depth of your affection.
  7. Rub your mate’s feet after a long day.
  8. Make or buy chocolate covered strawberries, and a glass of something bubbly to go with it. Set it on a table in the bedroom as a surprise.
  9. Perfect the art of the massage with each other. This takes a lot of honest communication, and a genuine desire to learn. (Er, not unlike other elements of romance.)
  10. Raid your pantry, and transfer a few key items (chocolate sauce, perhaps?) to the bedroom.
  11. Write a love letter, address it to your spouse, and stick it in the mail.
  12. Take a walk together.
  13. On a night when the kids are out—or when you’ve hired a babysitter—make your spouse’s favorite dishes (or order them in!), add some candles, and perfect the classic candlelight dinner. Don’t forget dessert (ahem).
  14. On your way home, stop the car and pick a bouquet of flowers.
  15. Comb your wife’s hair.
  16. Identify what steals the romance in your marriage, and pray about their remedy. Then talk—and act—about what you can do to protect your relationship.
  17. Start a conversation with, “Remember when we…?”
  18. Are your underwear, or your spouse’s, in worse condition than your car? Consider a sexy replacement. For the underwear.
  19. Paint your wife’s toenails. Even if you aren’t an expert, there’s a chance that the fun may be worth it. (You shouldn’t need a dropcloth.)
  20. Remove your undergarments. ‘Nuff said.
  21. Grab your spouse’s favorite snack or drink on your trip to the store.
  22. Cuddle
  23. Make love in a different room.
  24. Dim the lights, plug in “your song”, and dance a little in the dark.
  25. Leave that text, e-mail, sticky note, or voicemail that shows how much you respect your partner for life—and how glad you are that they’re yours.

6 Secrets To Building a Marriage That Lasts

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The following post was written by Glen Solberg. Glen is a marriage counselor in our Little Rock, Arkansas office.

72 years. No way!

I had to re-read the number.

But my eyes were not faulty. The couple my wife and I were reading about had indeed been married 72 years. That’s not something you hear about every day, especially in today’s world.

As I have pondered the story of Bruce and Esther Huffman since then, I have thought about Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4 that speak of “finishing the race”.  The Lord had given me a picture of what it means to finish well in marriage in Bruce and Esther.

I want to finish well, like Bruce and Esther.

I know if you are married and reading this, you may be thinking the same thing. You may even be asking yourself the question I had to ask myself:

“What do I need to do today and tomorrow and next week to be intentional about “finishing well” in my marriage?”

As my wife, Shawn, and I pondered that question, here are some suggestions for ways you can work today to have a “Bruce and Esther” kind of marriage: