7 Reasons Why Your Marriage is Struggling

Don’t feel bad that you clicked on this post. It’s not a sign of failure in your marriage. It’s simply a sign that you’re married. All marriages struggle to one degree or another. If you find a marriage that has no struggles, then either one of the partners is dead or has given up a long time ago.I’m by no means an expert, but I’m still happily married after thirteen years, which means (according the Washington Post http://wapo.st/LiFXHX) that I’ve beat at least a third of the marriages i … [Read more...]

7 Things You Can Do to Start Divorce-Proofing Your Marriage

Apparently a lot of people are interested in what can wreck a marriage. Yesterday's post had almost 1000 views in less than 24 hours. Because I'm all about hope, I want to give you seven tangible steps you can take to start divorce-proofing your marriage. These are things I've shared with three couples I've done marriage counseling with this week. If you've hit a few bumps along the way, here are some things you need to start doing:1. Ask for help. You can't do this alone. If you and … [Read more...]

4 Things That Will Wreck Your Marriage If You're Not Careful

No one intentionally sets out to wreck a marriage. Everyone wants your marriage to work, at least at first. That's why weddings are beautiful and divorce proceedings aren't. When counseling couples about to get married, I share with them four things that can wreck their marriage if they're not careful. 1. Family of Origin - How you saw your parents interact is going to be the default mode for how you treat your spouse. If your home was broken or dysfunctional, then that is a hu … [Read more...]

1 Worldwide Epidemic You Might Not Expect

Over the past month I've seen a worldwide epidemic rear its ugly head three different times. The first was at our graduate recognition service at Mt Vernon. The graduating seniors had an opportunity to thank their parents, and a good number of them said something to the effect of, "I'd like to thank my mom for always being there for me. I knew it was tough raising me on your own . . ."The following week I spent a week in the Dominican Republic where we've helped start a school and church … [Read more...]

Story of Hope: Jennifer

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.—Isaiah 43:18-19Jennifer grew up in nearby Sturgis—in a middle class, safe, whole family unit, complete with a dad, mom, and younger sister. So how was it that in 2012, as a young 30-something, she was facing her third divorce? She couldn’t believe or understand it.Family life wasn’t exactly ide … [Read more...]

A Cynical View of Why the World Wants You To Get Divorced

Your wedding day is a beautiful, emotional, magnificent promise of what you want your marriage to be. We love weddings. We celebrate weddings. In 2012, the median cost of a wedding was $18,000. That’s a nice wedding! Little girls dream about this day for years! To help you plan this incredible day, there’s an entire wedding industry designed to help you have an incredible experience (and make some serious cash on the side). Walk into a bookstore and there are entire sections of wedding mag … [Read more...]

"He's So Lucky He Has a Stepdad!"

It's eye opening to experience first hand the innocence of youth. Recently a new family moved into our neighborhood. They have boys. That's a good thing. There are currently 10 boys (now 12) in our neighborhood that play together, roaming around like Hell's Angels on their Huffys and Schwinns. My oldest, Zeke (7), befriended one of the new boys and came home one day and told me, "[My friend] is so lucky, he has a stepdad!" Record scratch, head jerked sideways, "What you talkin' about … [Read more...]

The Phone Call I Hope I Never Have to Make About Your Marriage

Recently I had to make a phone call that broke my heart. It's a phone call that I hope I never have to make again. A few years ago a couple came to me for marriage counseling. They had been struggling with issues for years but hadn't talked to anyone about them. We met several times and made a little bit of progress but no breakthroughs. They couldn't meet in the middle. Counseling kind of petered out and they eventually moved to a different state.As life goes we lost track of each other … [Read more...]

Why Pastors Like to Stay Indoors

Yesterday was ministry in a nutshell, a microcosm of what many pastors face week in and week out. The first half of the day was idyllic. I cocooned myself inside my office, spread out my Bible, commentaries, online tools and a pen and paper, and went to town. I brainstormed, researched, read, prayed, and planned. I created sermon series ideas for the next school year, dug into some of my favorite biblical texts, and imagined how successful all these upcoming sermons were sure to be. It was a … [Read more...]

Five for Friday (5.23.14)

Who's ready for Memorial Day Weekend? Here's some interesting articles to keep you reading through the holiday. Enjoy!Kirsten Powers: Liberal's Dark Ages - Must Read! Great article that captures the hypocrisy of the 'tolerance' movement.Author Debunks Myths About Divorce Rates, Including of Churchgoers -  Great news for married people!What is the Link Between Pornography and Sex Trafficking? - Insightful article from my buddy Tony Merida.Do We Do Discipleship Wrong? - Derwin Gray asks a … [Read more...]