To celebrate National Marriage Week, the ebook version of my book "You Can Have a Happy Family: Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children" will be FREE on Amazon. This giveaway will run from Monday (2/11) - Thursday (2/14).
"You Can Have A Happy Family, is an emergency rescue manual for ANY relationship, no matter how far down your situation has sunk." ~ Pastor Chuck Balsamo, Author of Make Me A Legend
I don't have time to reread books in my busy life, but I am in the process of reading her book - again. ~CandidKerry
I loved reading Amanda Beth's book. It's a blessing and I plan on reading it again. ~LuvMyKindle
This powerful faith-based book is a must read for every family. It grabbed me on the first page and didn't let go till I had turned the last page. I wish this book were required reading for every couple about to be married. As the back cover says, GOD CAN...a thought to carry with you every day. ~Author Jo Huddleston
Our Marriage Testimony
By: Amanda Beth
I knew I was going to marry Jason the moment I met him eighteen years ago. He walked into my friend’s restaurant. I took one look at him and said to my friend, “That’s the man I’m going to marry.” Even though I was half joking, our meeting was definitely God ordained.
We started dating a year later. We were engaged within six months and married one day before our one year anniversary. I often say God led us to get married quickly because He knew we wouldn’t have made it past a year.
The first five years of our marriage were rough. We both accepted Christ at Vacation Bible camps when we were young (I was too young to remember). However, we weren’t taught to grow in our relationships with Christ. As a result, we both came into our marriage with a lot of baggage (mine was heavier than his).
Most of our fights were caused by his past and my insecurities. I was hurt by his past relationships and I didn’t know how to cope with it. That hurt turned into obsessive jealousy. My husband couldn’t walk in a store without me accusing him of looking at another woman, even though he had no idea who I was talking about half the time. He told me he was scared to look in any direction out of fear I would start a fight.
Because I didn’t know Christ and my worth in Him, I didn’t know how to love my husband nor accept his love. I started working at a restaurant/bar early in our marriage. I was young and constantly surrounded by attention from other men. Their attention seemed to take away my hurt and give me confidence. But it didn’t take long to learn you can only play with fire for so long before you get burned.
I was out one night with my co-workers and got into a situation I didn’t want to be in. That moment was a wake-up call for me. I saw that if I didn’t change direction I could lose my marriage. Soon after, I started listening to preachers on Christian radio and started reading the Bible. I gave my heart to Christ, quit my job, left the partying lifestyle and started having children. My husband also followed, and started reading the Bible and going to church with me.
All our problems didn’t get resolved instantly, but God worked many miracles in our marriage that first year. One miracle was God completely took away my jealously and insecurity. My husband and I used to have knock-down, drag-out fights. Walls would get punched out, things would get broken, sentimental items would get destroyed. My husband even ended up in the hospital once because he cut himself breaking something during one of our fights. Those types of fights ceased completely when God took away my jealousy. It’s been twelve years since I gave my heart to Christ. We still have arguments at times, but they are miniscule compared to those early days in our marriage.
One of the most valuable lessons God’s taught us in our marriage is to be completely honest with each other. My husband wasn’t able to be honest with me in the past out of fear of my reaction. I also wasn’t honest with him out of guilt. Once God got ahold of our hearts, He led us to be honest with everything. Just recently my husband and I shared some things that we have struggled with in the past year.
Our honesty helped us see that we haven’t been giving each other what we needed. As a result, our hearts were being led astray and it was opening the door to temptations. The devil is sly. He knows when we are most vulnerable. By being open with our struggles, it keeps us one step ahead of the devil. The devil has nothing to work with when we have nothing to hide.
James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
We want to encourage every couple to be completely honest with God and your spouse. When you are open and honest with one another, God can work with you and heal your marriage.
Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Ephesians 4:15, AMP*You can read more about our testimony in my book "You Can Have a Happy Family."
Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage
This is the third and final message in my "Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage" series. Follow the links if you missed the last two messages: Honest Communication, What Men Need
This week, we move on to women’s needs, according to the Bible and a survey I did for my book.
WHAT WOMEN NEED
“…husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
—Romans 12:10, NLT
One woman said all she needs from her husband is love. She expressed, “With that, everything else falls into place.” Love your wife as Jesus loves you, by laying down your needs for hers. Jesus humbled Himself, denied Himself, and gave His life for us. We should do the same for our spouses.
Romans 15:1-3 says, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please Himself….”
One man explained how he contributes to the success of his marriage: “Chiefly it is by living a life that is obedient to God. Thinking of how God would treat His bride when I look at how I treat my wife.” We should regularly ask ourselves, “Would I like it if God treated me the same as I treat my spouse?”
Another man shared, “I have tried very hard to love my wife as Christ loved the church. Of course, I fail at this often!” Keeping the love burning in your marriage takes effort, not perfection. We all fail at loving our spouses often. We're not perfect. My husband doesn’t do everything right, but I know he tries and that’s enough for me. I know I don’t do everything right. And I know I don’t meet my husband’s needs all the time. But he knows I make an effort and that’s all that matters to him.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
You love your wife by being the Spiritual leader of your home. Your wife needs you to have a daily relationship with Jesus. She needs you to pray with her. She needs you to be the one who makes God the center of your marriage. He needs to be your priority each day.
Be the one who says, “We’re going to church together each week.” Be the one who leads your family devotionals and Bible studies. Christ needs to be your foundation to securely hold up the walls of your marriage.
One man explained how Christ is the center of his marriage, “Our marriage is a three person covenant…husband, wife and Jesus. We promised each other to always love God more than we would ever love each other. If we do that, our marriage will be successful. The purpose of our marriage is to demonstrate that relationship between God Almighty (husband) and His church (bride). If our marriage does not Glorify God then we are failing.”
Understanding and Empathy
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”
When I share a concern with my husband, he instantly wants to fix it by giving me a solution. I don’t want him to fix everything. Most of the time, I just want him to listen to me. I’m not expecting him to understand what I’m feeling. I only want him to understand that it’s important to me. I want him to listen to how I feel.
Women are more emotional than men. We tend to take things personally and get offended more easily than men. Knowing you are made differently, so you think differently, will help you understand your wife better. It may seem to you that your wife overreacts, but maybe she just sees things differently. She won’t see something the way you do because she is different. It may be nothing to you, but it might be something to her.
One man explained how he shows understanding to his wife: “I do not take any issues too seriously regardless of the way my wife overreacts to small situations.”
In general, women are more expressive and men are more direct. We want to get to the root of the problem and men want to solve it and move on. If you are patient with your wife and remain calm, regardless of her reaction, the problem will get resolved quicker than if you keep escalating it by getting angry. She may only want to express how she feels. By being caring and understanding, you can work together to solve the situation.
“It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”
“In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]”
—1 Peter 3:7, AMP
Women said they needed their husbands to support them. One area women wrote about was supporting each other in decision making. This is one of the most important needs I have in my marriage. I need my husband to support my decisions.
Supporting me doesn’t mean my husband needs to agree with me about everything. I just want my husband to trust me that I will make right decisions. There have been times my husband supported me even though he disagreed. The times when I was right, God eventually brought my husband into agreement with me. The times when I was wrong, God eventually opened my eyes and showed me my mistake.
Support your wife in her decisions. It’s okay to let her know you disagree. But if she insists, support her anyway. Be open to God's will, and trust Him to bring you and your wife into agreement.
Attention and Affection
“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.”
Many women said they needed their husbands’ attention. One woman said she needed: “Eyes, when we talk, and for him to be engaged and not while watching T.V. or on the computer. I don’t want to talk to the side of his face.”
We want our husbands to be interested in us. Listening to your wife and giving her your undivided attention tells her she is important to you. You can also find out what your wife needs by listening to what she talks about. If she often complains about something, or frequently mentions a certain thing, that is what she needs.
Women also said they needed time alone with their husbands. Plan a getaway or a date night and surprise your wife. Keep romancing your wife as you did when you were dating. One woman said one of the things she needs from her husband is to keep things new and exciting.
When couples date they do everything they can to impress each other. Then they get married and it’s not a priority anymore. One woman advised, “There was an attraction that brought you together and there was something about the other that caused them to fall in love with each other. During times of tribulation, it is important to look back and search for those things and feelings that brought the couples together in the first place.” One man explained how he contributed to the restoration of his marriage. He said he took the time to understand what his wife needed and fell in love with her all over again. Strive to please your wife. Strive to impress her. Make her feel like she’s the world to you just like you did when you were dating. Try to remember those feelings you had for her when you first met, and rekindle those feelings. Re-ignite the passion in your marriage.*If you would like more teachings to keep the fire burning in your marriage, follow this link to my series “Developing the Fruit of the Spirit In Your Marriage.” Or you can purchase my book "You Can Have a Happy Family."
Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage
This is the second message in my "Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage" series. Follow this link if you missed the first message.
Last week, I talked about the importance of communicating our needs with our spouses and being honest with our feelings. For the next two posts, I'll be sharing what men and women need, according to the Bible and a survey I posted for my book: "You Can Have a Happy Family."
WHAT MEN NEED
"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." —Proverbs 14:1
Our husbands need to know that we respect them and are proud of them. Ephesians 5:33 says that a husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband.
My husband and I attended a Bible study on this verse years ago. I have heard women misinterpret this verse and become defensive and say, "Well, a man should respect his wife too." My husband and I learned through this study that men and women see things differently.
For instance, when I build my husband up, by letting him know how much I appreciate him for being our provider, I am showing him respect, which he views as me showing love toward him.
This is how our husbands want us to show them love, by respecting them. I, however, see my husband show me love in more physical ways, like going out of his way to romance me, helping me with the housework and kids, and listening to me. His acts of love show me that he respects me. We are both showing love and respect, but just in different ways.
One woman in my survey shared how she shows her husband respect, "I try to make sure he knows that I appreciate all that he does to take care of me, not just monetarily, but with the remodeling of our home and even car repairs."
Just a little "I appreciate all that you do" is what our husbands want. It will motivate them to be better husbands, better fathers, and better providers if they have us cheering them on through life.
"Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun...."
My husband is my best friend. We have a lot of fun together and we miss each other when we are apart. I've learned, as with all friendships, to have a friend you have to be a friend. This especially applies to marriage. To be a good friend to our husbands we have to be considerate with their interests and not selfish with our own interests.
Warren Baldwin wrote a great post about men, and understanding their interests. He wrote:
"If a husband invites his wife to a ball game, a day hike or even a deer hunt, that is his way of saying, "I love you and want to be close to you." It may not have quite the romantic appeal to many wives that a movie and dinner out does, but realizing the husband's intent may help make the invitation a little more desirable (or at least bearable)."
I see too many married couples living separate lives, doing their own things. This only pulls couples further apart. I don't exactly enjoy watching football or hockey, but I enjoy spending time with my husband. We should enjoy being with our spouses, no matter what we do with them. I've found the more I spend time doing what my husband enjoys, the more he spends time with me doing things that I enjoy.
"Dear Children, we must show love through actions that are sincere..."
1 John 3:18, GW
Love is a need we value most in our marriages. But as Romans 12:9 tells us, love must be sincere. Everything we do for our spouses has to come from a sincere heart of unconditional love.
My husband can tell when I am doing something for him out of obligation instead of love. I can tell as well, because I don't feel fulfilled; I feel resentful. But when I meet his needs out of sincere heart of love, I enjoy it and desire to do more things for him.
Love isn't based on feelings. True love is based on knowing God unconditionally loves us and He is able to supply our needs. God meeting our needs means that our satisfaction and expectations should be in Him alone, not in what our spouses do or don't do for us.
A woman struggling in her marriage said, "I need to work daily to release my husband from having to fulfill me where only God can."
When our spouses aren't meeting our needs, we can still find fulfillment in knowing God loves us and meets our needs (Phil. 4:9). This will help us love our spouses freely without demanding anything in return.
To Be Pursued
"The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."
—1 Corinthians 7:4-5
Another need men shared was affection and intimacy with their wives. One man in my survey expressed, "I need my wife to still pursue me."
My husband expresses his love for me by being affectionate. Many times his complaint is that I'm always running around taking care of the kids that I don't stop and show him affection. I notice when I purposely show him affection, it draws him closer to me.
We should make an effort to spend time pursuing our husbands, being intimate, and showing we are still crazy about them. It will only draw us closer to them.
"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."
Another need men shared was for their wives to be more understanding, to not hold grudges, and not be quick to argue. Many arguments in marriages start simply because men and women perceive things differently.
I am still amazed how different my husband and I see things. We could be at the same place, at the same time, see the same thing happen, and yet see something completely different. Sometimes I'm dumbfounded to the point that I think one of us has to have lost our mind.
I can be positively sure I am right about something, and my husband's positively sure he's right. If we don't drop it, it almost always causes an argument and turns into a big brawl.
"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels."
--2 Timothy 2:23
Reverence For The Lord
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
The greatest thing we can do for our spouses is live in reverence to Christ. Women often view the Proverbs 31 wife as impossible to measure up to. Some see the focus as having to accomplish everything and be a perfect wife.
The kind of wife Proverbs is talking about is a wife whose total dependence is on God. Her whole being, her mind, her heart, her actions are aimed in one direction, God's. As a result, she is able to do it all. Not by her strength and might, but by God's power and strength. The proverbs 31 wife's heart is undivided toward God. That is the reason her household is blessed.
When I asked women in my survey what plays a major role in the success of their families, a majority attributed their success to putting God at the center of their families. One woman wrote, "Without having God in my life, my marriage would not have lasted this long. Without having the forgiveness and loving spirit that God has given me, I don't know if we would still be married."
We can't love our spouses and our families without God's help. Jesus said that apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). I've noticed in my marriage that my heart is on fire for my husband only when my heart is on fire for the Lord. When I neglect my relationship with the Lord, I start neglecting my relationship with my husband.
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."
*Come back NEXT WEDNESDAY as this series continues with: "What Women Need"
I started this series at Titus 2 In Action, but I was unable to finish it due to the website closing down. I am re-posting it here on my website. I will be posting a new message from this series every Wednesday. If you would like to follow this series be sure to sign up at the right sidebar to receive email reminders of new posts.
Ignite The Fire In Your Marriage
After returning from our honeymoons, the blazing hearts we have for our spouses start to simmer down as daily life, and raising children, start to take precedence over our relationships with our spouses.
But with God's help, we can re-ignite that fire in our marriages and set our hearts blazing once again for our spouses!
Being on fire for our spouses doesn't mean having romantic feelings toward them 24/7. My husband and I have four children, ages two to ten. With all the commotion in our house, we don't exactly have a lot of time for romance. Our kids are very active. They keep us running from the moment they get up until they go to bed.
At the end of the day, my husband and I don't break out the candles and wine and gaze into each others eyes. Rather, we nuzzle up together and gaze at the inside of our eyelids while passing out in exhaustion.
Our passion for each other is that we enjoy being together, even during the chaotic moments. Our passion is having a marriage filled with unconditional love. Our passion is trusting that no matter what happens, we will stand beside each other until death separates us.
I believe this is the type of passion God desires for us—marriages that will continue blazing through the storms in life.
In order to ignite the fire in our marriages, we must pursue our spouses' hearts by making an effort to meet their needs.
My husband and I have had many rough patches in our marriage. There were times in the past when I honestly didn't want to pursue his heart. If your marriage is at this point, don't give up hope. God can re-ignite a fire in your heart and change your desire for your spouse. Pray and ask God. He is faithful to change your heart.
In the meantime, do it on purpose, even though you don't feel like it. My husband once told a female co-worker some of nice things I do for him. His co-worker retorted, "I wouldn't do that for my husband! I'm not his servant!" My husband responded that I enjoy doing those things for him, and he enjoys doing things for me as well.
Meeting our spouses' needs doesn't mean we become their slaves, giving them everything they want. Marriage is about giving and receiving. It's like with financial giving, we have to sow in order to reap.
To meet our spouses' needs we need to communicate with them. "Honest" communication is vital for a healthy marriage. I emphasize the word "honest" because it won't do our marriages any good if we are communicating with our spouses, but not being completely honest with them.
Awhile back, my husband and I had a long, meaningful talk together. With having four children, it's often hard to find time alone to talk to each other. We hadn't had a long talk in awhile, and I felt a little wall slowly building up between us.
During our talk, we shared some things we had been holding in, that concerned us about our relationship. We were able to talk about our needs and be honest with our feelings. As we were honest, we felt the wall come down that was hindering our hearts from drawing closer together.
My husband expressed how nice it was to be able to be honest with his feelings and struggles. In the past, he wasn't able to be honest with me, because I wasn't understanding. I would get angry when he shared anything that hurt or offended me, or that I didn't agree with.
It's important to allow your spouse to be honest without judging them or taking offense. Give your spouse the freedom to be open with his or her struggles, needs, and desires. Pray and ask God to help you be compassionate. God was able to change me and give me an sympathetic heart. I know He can do the same for you.
Sometimes our spouses' needs may not be what we want to give them, but as long as their needs are fitting in the Lord, we should pursue to meet them.
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." --Romans 12:10, KJV
Remember to come back next Wednesday as the series continues with "What Men Need."
*In celebration of Easter, you can download "You Can Have a Happy Family" for FREE on Kindle TODAY (4/4) at Amazon! If God raised Jesus from the dead and restored us, He can raise your marriage from the dead and restore it!!
My husband taught my son another lesson today on the power of prayer. My son is a daddy's boy. He loves to follow my husband and help him with whatever he's doing. Our water heater broke today, and we thought we would have to call someone to fix it. My husband decided to try something he read online first to see if he could fix it himself. A few minutes later my son comes running up the stairs to tell me God fixed our water heater.
Before my husband did anything to our heater, he told my son they should pray about it first. After they prayed, my husband tried what he read online, and it worked! This was a great opportunity to show our children to rely on God for everything, even something as small as fixing a broken water heater.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
National Marriage Week has been a wonderful success! Over 7,000 copies of "You Can Have a Happy Family" were downloaded through my free kindle promotion. During the promotion, the book made it to #1 in the category of marriage, #1 in parenting and #44 in all kindles on Amazon. What a wonderful way to share God's Word and His plan for marriage!
To continue National Marriage Week (2/7-2/14), I want to share some messages on marriage.
Earlier this week I had Dr. Ann as a guest on my blog. She is a Christian M.D., wife and mom of three, and author at The Marriage Checklist. She has some wonderful posts on marriage.
Here are some of my favorites:
How To Create An Upward Spiral In Your Marriage
How To Learn Free, Do-It-Yourself Marriage TherapyWhy Long Walks Make Me A Better Wife And Person
Last year I did a series for SRL Ministries on "Developing the Fruit of the Spirit In Your Marriage." The series is now on my website. You can follow this link to the series.
I am currently doing a series at Titus 2 In Action on "Igniting the Fire In Your Marriage."Click on the tabs below to view the series:
I also have some helpful marriage excerpts from my book.
Follow the links on the tabs below:
Posted at Gathering Together: Excerpt taken from the chapter "What Men Need."
Posted at Early Bird Counseling: Excerpt on "Take the High Road - Commitment."
Posted at Living Better at 50+ Magazine: Excerpt on "Forgiving Adultery."
Posted at God Mission Possible: Post on "Flee From Adultery."
Posted at SRL Ministries: Excerpt on "Fighting Temptation."
My book "You Can Have a Happy Family - Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children" is also available for a low price of $8.04 for paperback and $4.99 for kindle on Amazon.
Here are also two great books I read recently on marriage:
Deborah McCarragher's "Mission Possible"
This book is a powerful tool for any woman who is married to a man who does not share her passion for Jesus. Everyone has at least ONE friend who needs this book! In Mission Possible you will:
-- Discover how to believe with radical faith for your spouse’s salvation.
-- Learn the secret to “staying the course” while you wait for your promise.
-- Find out why many women don’t like to share their “secret sorrow”.
-- Overcome your own fears and doubts about your husband’s future with God.
-- Join other women in the knowledge that God has a perfect plan of unity for you and your spouse.
Dr. Gary & Norma Smalley's "4 Days to a Forever Marriage"
This unique book provides the guidance and perspective you need from marriage coaches Gary & Norma Smalley. They can help you begin living a more intimate and loving relationship that honors God and each other. Invest a little time over just four days to help get your relationship in balance and start reaping emotional and spiritual benefits.
We shouldn't help strengthen marriages only one week out of the year. God calls us to fight for our families every single day. The devil has been attacking the institution of marriage since the beginning of time. We need to stand together against his tactics and fight for our marriages!!
"..Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."
My ebook version of "You Can Have a Happy Family" is FREE to download Today and Thursday (2/8-2/9) on Amazon to celebrate National Marriage Week. To also celebrate National Marriage Week, I'll be featuring messages on marriage and family this week. Today's message is by Dr. Ann, author of the popular blog: The Marriage Checklist - Dr. Ann's guide to growing a great marriageI have been following her blog for a few months now. Ann has a wonderful heart for the Lord and her family. Her messages are both heartfelt and relevant to what families are experiencing today. If this message blesses you, be sure to leave Ann an encouraging comment below.
What Everyone Should Tell Their Kids About Hooking-Up
Does the hook-up culture surprise you?
It doesn’t surprise me.
As a culture, we prize independence and choice. This trend applies to everything: from how we decide what stuff to buy, to how we approach our relationships.
Case in point: one of the biggest trends in marriage today is, well, marriage not.
The University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project, has identified a growing group of “non-married adults cohabiting.” (The old term: shacking up.) Many don’t feel that the benefits of marriage are worth the price of commitment.
This trickles down into the young adult world, and feeds the hook-up culture.
Here’s what I think we should tell our kids about it:
God’s design for marriage isn’t about you getting what you want. It’s about giving. Committed and full life giving to one other person: emotionally, physically, fiscally, legally, socially. A whole bunch of -ally’s.
Through giving, we grow. We are changed. That’s the plan God has for our hearts.
There is really no other relationship like marriage.
It’s not an easy plan, though, and I can understand trying to get around it. There are many ways to do so. And hooking-up is one of them.
In hooking-up, sex gets separated from full life commitment. This unbundles the design that God created for sex. Hooking-up really shouts: “What can I get out of you without having to completely give to you?”
Our kids need us to help them stop and pause over that one: “Is that what makes a good friend? A good spouse?”
There are lots of resources out there for how to introduce the topic of sex to kids of various ages. But this is a different and equally crucial conversation.
This conversation is about the Godly intertwining of love, sex, and commitment.
It should match what your kids can understand. Start low and go slow, is the old dictum in medicine.
But start! Now is better than never.
Start the conversation.
Question: Do you talk to your kids about the meaning of sex in love and marriage? About the hook up culture? What do you say?
Dr. Ann is a Christian M.D., wife to a fantastic husband, and mom to a lively gang of three. At The Marriage Checklist Ann blogs about marriage, motherhood, and more! She helps women build better life balance and grow great marriages. Ann will soon be a Crosswalk.com blogger, and has been featured on BlogHer, Fox news, and Good Morning America. She loves that every day we can choose to take our best steps forward – for God, for the people in our lives, and for ourselves. Are you ready then? Let’s go!
You can read more from Dr. Ann at TheMarriageChecklist.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
For the easiest way to get her latest posts, sign-up here and get them sent directly to your mailbox.
Sometimes I feel like I'm running a hundred miles an hour in fifty different directions, but not getting anywhere. Do you ever feel that way?
Since having my fourth child two years ago, I've been worn down. It's almost impossible to do anything without having to constantly stop and take care of something. Even when I started typing this post, I had to stop and break up two fights, put one kid in time out TWICE, fix a broken toy, and clean up not one spill, but THREE spills (not joking!). A five minute post has now taken me two hours to type.
I often question why God would call me to the writing ministry when half the time I can't think clear enough to call my children by their right names.
I laughed as a mom of three toddlers told me she’s so mentally and physically exhausted when her kids go to bed that she turns on the television so she doesn't have to use her brain.
Through the exhaustion and craziness, God has been reminding me this is just a phase, and it won’t last forever. My kids will grow and then I'll miss these days, so I might as well enjoy them now.
Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Stepping away for a few minutes to be with God each day helps me re-energize. My husband's walked into our closet or our bathroom and found me hiding out for a moment to catch my breath. I often drive to the stores that are further away so I can have a few more minutes of peace and quiet to be alone with God.
I believe God has given mothers special grace to raise their children with joy in the midst of chaos. So when your kids are wearing you down, know that you’re not alone. Slip away for a moment and receive the grace God has available for you.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Today I spent 15 minutes and $5.00, and made a world of difference in two darling girl's lives.
When my daughter and her friend get together they are so creative. They usually plan for days what they are going to do before their play dates. Today, they created a gift shop and beauty salon. They've been planning this one for weeks, making signs, jewelry, hair accessories, and craft items to be ready for their shop. They were so excited when I accepted their invitation to browse their store, and even more excited when I purchased several of their adorable "handcrafted" items.
Soon after, my husband and sons followed me, bringing their wallets, mostly buying the delicious treats (Kool-Aid and Jello) the girls were selling.
After the boys left, I got my nails done at their salon while watching them design and make my beautiful feathered headband, that I will definitely wear! :)
After I checked out and paid for my items, my daughter and her friend expressed how nice it was that we came to their shop. They spend a lot of time preparing for these kind of things, so they were glad we weren't too busy to take the time to come.
I never want to miss an opportunity to do as Jesus did and take the time to make a child feel important. I believe my daughter and her friend will always remember that my husband and I took that time to invest in their interests. And hopefully it will have a positive impact on their lives.
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”