More thankful kids in 2 minutes

girl praying

Below is a two-minute, daily dinnertime tradition that has done more than any other single thing to teach our kids a habit of gratitude (which doesn’t come naturally for ANY of us). For additional tools to help you build a stronger family, you can download a FREE chapter from my brand new book by clicking here.

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25 quick tips to instantly improve your marriage

couple silhouette

Here’s a quick list of twenty-five simple ways to improve your marriage. For additional tips and tools to build a rock-solid relationship, download this FREE chapter on Marriage and Parenting from my new book.

1. Have more SEX, but make sure you’re ONLY having it with each other!

2. Don’t keep secrets from each other. COMMUNICATE about everything.

3. Argue less. Cuddle more.

4. Don’t get deep in debt and if you’re already there, work together to get out of it!

5. Pray together, find a healthy church and make FAITH a foundation for your life together.

6. Turn off your phones. Talking with each other is better than texting with someone else!

7. Pull the car over and make out more often.

8. Leave LOVE NOTES for each other.

9. Send flowers on unexpected days, not just holidays.

10. Don’t ignore problems in your relationship. Deal with them quickly and aggressively.

11. Be quick to remember each other’s positive traits and quick to forget each other’s flaws.

12. Don’t hold grudges. Forgive and seek FORGIVENESS when you’ve wronged each other.

13. Don’t waste time or energy comparing your lives to anyone else’s. God’s plan for you is masterfully unique.

14. Go on long walks and HOLD HANDS.

15. Make “DATE NIGHT” a priority! Time alone together is vital for your continued growth and health.

16. Give COMPLIMENTS constantly, and never give insults.

17. When you’re happy, laugh together. When you’re sad, cry together. Whatever you do, do it together!

18. Show LOVE and RESPECT to each other even in those moments when you don’t feel like it.

19. Keep dreaming new dreams and making big plans together. Don’t get stuck in a predictable rut.

20. ENCOURAGE each other. Build each other up so much that nothing in the world can tear you down.

21. ALWAYS try to answer your phone when your spouse is calling.

22. Plan a ROADTRIP together. Try to experience someplace new at least once a year.

23. Say, “THANK YOU” and “I LOVE YOU” as often as you can.

24. Make sure you’re communicating your love by your words AND your actions.

25. NEVER give up on each other!

For more ways to build a stronger bond with your spouse, check out my brand new book “The 7 Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships” and you’ll receive instant access to FREE bonus content when you preorder the book.


How to know when someone really loves you

couple holding hands beach

Have you ever wondered if someone really loves you? I think we’ve all been there. As kids, you can pass notes that ask the question bluntly: “Do you love me? Check yes or no.” As adults, it gets a little more complicated. We long for the security of knowing your friends are true friends and your family has your back and your spouse (or fiancee or boyfriend/girlfriend) truly adores you.

So, how do we know? And, how do we communicate that WE really love our own loved ones. Below, I’ll explain the simplest “Litmus test of Love.” In my new book The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships there’s a FREE bonus chapter called “How to Know When Someone Really Loves You” which you can download instantly when you preorder the book. This chapter is available exclusively for those who preorder the book The process of researching and writing this book was a life-changing experience for me, and I hope and pray that reading it is a life-changing experience for you as well!

So, how do we know when someone really loves you? Here how:

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The truth about “submission” in marriage

couple silhouette

One of the most misunderstood, debated and controversial parts of marriage outlined in the Bible is the concept of “submission.” Just to clarify, some people use the word “submission” to refer to sexual acts that involve bondage, but that is NOT what this blog post is about (sorry to disappoint you). It’s important to tackle this issue of Biblical submission in a straightforward way, because too many people have avoided the issue altogether in an attempt to avoid controversy, but by avoiding, we miss out on a beautiful and powerful picture of what God intended marriage to be.

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3 words that can lead to divorce

wedding cake divorce

When a bride and groom walk down the aisle on their wedding day, they’re so full of promise and potential, and they never dream that the happiness of that moment could one day be shattered by divorce. Nobody plans for it, and yet, it’s a reality in too many marriages, but it doesn’t have to be a reality in yours! The steps to building a strong marriage and safeguarding your relationship for divorce is more complex than can be covered in a single blog post, but as a quick tool, removing these three words from your vocabulary could make an instant impact in your relationship and help you build a divorce-proof marriage.

If you want to protect your marriage, the follow are words NOT to say (or to say sparingly). In no particular order…

1. “Someday”

The is the procrastinator’s FAVORITE word. It allows him/her to hit the snooze button on dreams, responsibilities, goals and tasks that should be addressed right away. Couples who say, “Someday, we’ll take that trip together. Someday, after the kids are grown, we’ll do date nights. Someday, we’ll work on our marriage,” are setting themselves up for disaster. Not everything can be done today, but anything worth doing should be either done immediately or put on the calendar for a specific time when you’ll do it. Otherwise, “someday” turns into “never,” and we can go through our whole life putting the things that matter most on hold. Don’t wait for “someday” to invest in your marriage. Start now, or else “someday” might be too late.

2. “But” (when placed after the phrase “I’m sorry.“)

Wise and responsible people are quick to admit fault and offer sincere apologies. Immature people, when forced to apologize, will usually add an excuse to the end: “I’m sorry I hurt you, BUT if you hadn’t...” They’re always trying to deflect blame away, and so they never experience the power of grace and healing that comes through a sincere apology. When you’ve blown it, humbly admit and seek your spouse’s forgiveness. When he/she has blown it, be willing to offer grace. Don’t reassign blame or point fingers. I love the quote from Ben Franklin that says, “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”

3. ANY word spoken with a disrespectful tone in your voice.

Your words matter, but your tone matters just as much. When your words are laced with a condescending tone of disrespect or sarcasm, no matter what your actual words may be, all your spouse is hearing is the negativity behind them. Make it your mission to speak with a tone of warmth, respect, tenderness and compassion. It will make your words have a much more positive impact. The tone of your words will shape the tone of your marriage.

For more tools to help build a rock-solid marriage, check out our book Marriage Minute: Quick & Simple Ways to Build a Divorce-Proof Relationship.


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An Open Letter to Single Parents

familiy on beach sunset

Dear Single Parent, I’m usually writing on issues related to marriage and/or parenting in a two-parent home, but I want to write something specifically for YOU.

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7 things your kids will never forget about you

familiy on beach sunset

Last week, TIME republished my article on The 5 things your kids will remember about you and then a few days later, the TODAY show discussed the article live on air. The response has been tremendous to those five simple points showing how much all of us as parents want to get this parenting thing right! A lot of conversations have been happening about these issues, because we all want to cultivate the right impressions and memories for our children.

Watch my short video on The 5 things your kids will remember about you (by clicking here).

As a followup to that popular piece, I want to focus in on a few unforgettable parts of growing up that I didn’t mention in the first post.

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3 things to do immediately if you feel burned out


Have you ever felt stressed out? Burned out? Exhausted? Frazzled? Anxious? Or, any other of 1000 worrisome feelings? Has there ever been something unhealthy in your life and you know you need to let go of it, but you find yourself feeling afraid to do it? We have ALL been there and many of us are there right now, but we don’t have to live in a constant state of negativity or frustration. We were created for more. I love the way The Message translation of the Bible paraphrases these beautiful words from Jesus…

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

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3 ways to improve your marriage this weekend

couple driving

A lot of our weekends start out with a trip to a home improvement store to purchase something that will make the house or yard a little better. The store is always crowded, so it seems like a lot of people have the same idea…“The weekend is a good time to do some home improvement.” But, what would happen if we used our weekend to not just improve the house, but the relationships that make a place “home.” Here are a few quick ways to improve your marriage this weekend (without having to fight the crowds at Home Depot):

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5 ways to be an “attractive” husband

couple holding hands beach

Below are 5 keys to becoming a better husband. For more tools to help you build a rock-solid marriage and family, download a FREE chapter from my new book “The 7 Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships and you can also start reading the book instantly as an ebook when you Preorder the book here.

Men, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…Your level of “attractiveness” to your wife doesn’t have all that much to do with your physical appearance. Sure, she would appreciate it if you took care of yourself and made some effort to look (and smell) nice, but those are probably not the most important factors to her. You don’t have to look like one of the guys from Magic Mike or have six-pack abs to be the man of her dreams. You just need to do these five things…

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