Make the Covid-19 Pandemic a Defining Time in Your Marriage - Part 2

April 16, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

Following up on my dear friend, Stephanie Weiss’ blog last week on marriage in the pandemic, here are some practical suggestions to make it through this social distancing and sheltering in place era and come out stronger. 

Focus on the positives in your partner and affirm them daily

This practice can reap huge benefits because what we focus on, grows bigger. So if we are focusing on our mate’s positive qualities, they’ll be more attractive to us, and as we affirm them, they’ll respond by doing more positive actions. This is a win/win situation as it also models for our partner how to view and treat us in return. 

Move towards your mate with loving actions 

It’s easy to take our ......
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Make the Covid-19 Pandemic a Defining Time in Your Marriage - Part 1

April 14, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

Stephanie Weiss, a dear friend of mine wrote this beautiful piece on marriage in the pandemic and I’d love to share it with you.

The headline read “Divorce rate spikes across China after couples spend too much time together during coronavirus home quarantine,” claim Chinese officials. 
Ron, a neighbor of mine, walked by our driveway this morning walking his dog. I shouted “how are you and Lisa? “We’re not divorced yet,” was his response.  
I believe he was joking, because he went on to share the article he read about the current high rates of divorce in China. There is a part of me who knows that social isolation can either pull people together or tear them apart, especially in a marriage situation. 
And yet think back to the time you were dating and knew he or she was the one. The one you wanted to marry and be connected to for life.  The one you couldn’t wait to see, hanging on their every word, sharing physical closeness of hugs, handholding and beyond. Then sharing your marriage vows that may have included the words “’til death do us part.” Or in modern day terms “we are in this thing together baby, now and forever.”     
Having been married for 47 years, I believe it’s time to invest in renewing our marriages especially while sheltering in place.  

Previous to sheltering in place, do you know how much time the average couple spends together each day? 

Take a guess, 4 minutes, 12 minutes, 27 minutes, 1 hour and 8 minutes?
If you guessed 4 minutes per day, you are right. 
It has often been said that “familiarity breeds discontent.”  But that’s not true. I believe relationships must be fed and nurtured and demand time.  Guess what, now you have the time.  
Observation, it seems as if business has become a national pastime, especially for those of us with kids. If we're not stuck in twelve hour work days, on the highway, or shuttling children to a multitude of activities, we're engulfed in chores, errands, homework, or... you fill in the gaps. Sometimes we don't even know where there time goes. All we know is that we're at the end of the day and frazzled with no time left to even sit for five minutes with our partner. We settle into a routine where we live like roommates or "like two ships passing in the night."

Now you have time. 

The pattern does not have to continue! We can be deliberate about building strong marriages that last the test of time, that are intimate, fun-filled, with great communication and deep friendship. And this starts with being intentional about making time for each other. 
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What to do in this Covid-19 Pandemic: A Christ-Centered Perspective

April 12, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

I’ve been wanting to write this blog for the past few weeks. And you would’ve thought that with more time on my hands due to the shelter in-place order, I’d be typing non-stop. Nope. Writer’s block? “What do I say?” I wondered. How do I encourage others in a way that doesn’t sound super-spiritual or trite?

So I woke up this Easter morning and asked God for help. Go figure. Why hadn’t I done that before? And then I felt His Presence confirm that today was the day to put fingers to the keyboard.

The day began in darkness and rain and I thought, “What a solemn Easter.” But as the morning progressed, the clouds quickly moved and revealed the brightest blue sky. I could feel my .........

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Defensiveness: Are You At War?

December 1, 2018 @ 10:00 AM


The third horseman in our marriage killer series is defensiveness. What does this look like? It looks like me protecting myself AGAINST my spouse. It looks like me in battle mode ready to defend myself against the enemy and his name is Steve. Can you see me dressed up in my armor parading around the living room, wielding my shield in his direction. Silly, huh? But sadly that’s what it’s like. Defensiveness is divisive and does nothing to build healthy communication or intimacy. It shows up as each person trying to get their side across, defending themselves and justifying why they are right. The end-goal is to win the battle, but what happens is that the war is lost…or the partner is lost, or the marriage is lost..........

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Contempt: Another Marriage Killer

November 1, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

Last week I posted about John Gottman's Four Horsemen of the Apocalapse. And I shared on the deadly number one: criticism. Well, the second horseman is contempt. What is it? Let me illustrate.

"You’re ‘tired?' Cry me a river. I've been with the kids all day, running around like mad to keep this house going and all you do when you come home from work is flop down on that sofa like a child and play those idiotic computer games. I don’t have time to deal with another kid - try to be more pathetic…" 

Contempt is …evil. There, I said it. I can’t even think of a word to describe the depth of pain and death that contempt can inflict on a person. If criticism is the butter knife, .........

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Four Deadly Horsemen

October 1, 2018 @ 10:00 AM


John Gottman is a world renowned couple’s therapist and author. In his book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” he states that in any marriage, there are four key predictors of divorce. He calls them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,a metaphor depicting the end of times in the New Testament. These words describe war, conquest, and death. Dr. Gottman uses this metaphor to describe communication styles that can predict the end of a relationship.

The first horseman of the apocalypse is criticism. Criticism is destructive. Its unstated goal is to dismantle your partner’s entire being, and I’m not exaggerating. No one wants to hear how despicable they are. I don’t. Do you? Do we.........

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God Wants Us Dead

September 1, 2018 @ 10:00 AM


It is always amazing to me how God works. He allows us to experience dark trials, often in our marriages to test our hearts, but also that we can come to the end of ourselves. That’s just how He works because He does not look at the temporal inconveniences that we experience in the same way we do. Don’t get me wrong, He definitely cares about our pain, but He allows it for a higher purpose, because it’s often, only at the end of ourselves, in the depth of our pain that we turn to Him. You know it. How often do we spend time basking in His presence when things are great? It’s often only at the end of ourselves, in our pain and desperation that we take the time to look within to Him and it is there we find Him,............

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Let's Get Real

August 1, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

So imagine this scene with me: It’s Sunday morning and you’re getting dressed for church, you take a shower, put on your favorite outfit and shoes, favorite perfume, best cologne and off you and the family go, heading up highway 71 to church. On the way your husband says something to you about the back door lock being broken and without even thinking about it you start telling him he needs to fix it this time because he never gets around to taking care of household chores anymore. And before you even know it, you’re hurling insults of an intense magnitude at each other, with the kids huddled together in the backseat, on highway 71, on the way to church. As you screech into the parking lot you wave religiously at the self.........

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The Family that Prays Together Stays Together

July 1, 2018 @ 10:00 AM


Recently, our pastor preached a sermon entitled, “The Family that Prays Together Stays Together.” It was a great reminder of the power of prayer and how important it is in building a strong family. In our home, we have Sunday evening Bible Studies and it’s such a special time of spiritual bonding! Both our children (thirteen and eighteen) are very comfortable praying aloud, and Steve and I have seen tremendous growth in the depth of their prayers since beginning this practice.

As we reflected on the message later in the week, my husband noted that he felt we should start praying together daily as a couple, as we did in the early days of our marriage before we had children. I immediately agreed. I knew this message.........

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God Loves Weak People

June 1, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

In my work as a therapist, I see clients who come in with all sorts of complex issues. Most are out of coping skills, exhausted from trying, at the end of themselves. You might even call them broken. God, on the other hand, is jumping up and down (figuratively of course!).  He’s saying, “This is awesome! This is exactly what I wanted to happen! Hallelujah!” Yep. At least that’s what I think He would say. You see, God loves weak people. He was the one who said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Do you remember this verse? Last month’s post ended with it. God loves broken people because then He can work unimpeded, with explosive power in their lives. We.........

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