December 14, 2018

How does adultery happen? It begins in a variety of places—at church or at work, with a neighbor or with a friend— but it always starts with walls and windows. This is what I mean: Anytime you are talking with a person of the opposite sex, and you start to veer into inappropriate conversational territory, what happens is that you open up a window with them. And every time you open up a window with someone of the opposite sex,… Read more

December 13, 2018

(Adapted from Jimmy’s newest book, When Life Hurts) When I speak to married couples, I often ask two rhetorical questions. The first is this: “How many of you have spent your adult lives struggling to overcome the problems of your past?” Most people nod in agreement. We can all relate. Then I ask the second question. “How many of you would like your children and grandchildren to grow up without having to deal with those problems?” This is when everyone… Read more

December 12, 2018

In previous weeks we have discussed negative and destructive communication traits. Once those have been identified and removed from a marriage and family environment, it’s important to replace them with something positive. A positive atmosphere is one of the foundations of a healthy family. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” This scripture reveals that the secret to entering God’s presence is praise and… Read more

December 11, 2018

The Bible says that bad company corrupts good character (1 Cor. 15:33), but the opposite is also true: Good company strengthens character. When you see a great marriage, you can be assured that there are other great marriages around it. Scripture has quite a lot to say about how powerful community can be in influencing us in positive ways. The author of Hebrews writes, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,… Read more

December 10, 2018

Let’s be honest: raising great children while simultaneously building a great marriage can be tricky. Some couples bring up great kids, but their marriage suffers in the process. Others have a great marriage but their kids aren’t doing so well. The key is to do both at the same time. How do you do it? One major thing to remember is that success—in both of these endeavors, marriage and kids—requires unity. In Mark 3:25, Jesus said, “If a house is… Read more

December 7, 2018

John Gottman is an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington, and he has done some fascinating research into the factors that lead to divorce. Through four main predictors of divorce, he can predict whether or not a couple will divorce with ninety-three percent accuracy. (Talk about an intimidating person to invite over for dinner!) According to Dr. Gottman, the number-one predictor of divorce is a critical tone, directed from one spouse to another. It’s not the occasional… Read more

December 6, 2018

(Adapted from Jimmy’s newest book, When Life Hurts) To the people of Israel, God once promised to show love to “a thousand generations” of those who love Him and keep His commandments, but to punish children for the sin of their parents “to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Deut. 5:9–10). The word we translate as sin in this passage is a Hebrew word that means “to bend or twist.” I grew up in the Texas… Read more

December 5, 2018

When our son, Brent (now the President of MarriageToday) was five years old, he asked me one evening during dinner the meaning of a vulgar word he’d heard a friend use. It was the word you don’t want to hear come out of your child’s mouth. Inwardly, I was shocked. Karen certainly was. But I kept my cool and told Brent, in terms he could understand, that it was a word the devil made up to try to make a… Read more

December 4, 2018

If you want to see a person’s future, just look at their friends. You become whom you hang out with. Allow immoral friends into your life, and you are likely to find yourself sliding into immoral behavior. Surround yourself with kind, compassionate, and loving people, and you are likely to find yourself becoming kinder, more compassionate, and more loving. Peer pressure can be negative or positive, but there’s no overstating the power it plays in a person’s life. We know… Read more

December 3, 2018

We men don’t realize often enough that women are complicated when it comes to sexual expression. We can’t just walk up to our wives and say, “Let’s have sex!” As suave and debonair as we might think ourselves to be, that’s not going to cut it. For women, the desire for sex isn’t something that just turns on like a microwave. She has to warm to it, and one way that happens is through affection. Especially non-sexual affection. This seems… Read more

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