April 30, 2019

Freedom in Christ is a huge deal for followers of Jesus. Because of his grace, mercy, and the work of Christ on the cross, we are no longer bound to the Law. We are free in Christ! Freedom also plays a significant role in our finances. We’ve been discussing the danger that financial issues present to marriages. In the U.S. today, more marriages end because of financial strife than any other problem. How can we avoid these monetary pitfalls? One… Read more

April 29, 2019

Every time a new year comes around, I usually start it with money on my mind. It’s a time to set budgets, plan for vacations, and start thinking about tax returns. The vacation planning is fun, but it’s not always enjoyable to take a hard look at your finances. Yuck. Year in and year out, the statistics show that financial disagreements are the most frequent types of arguments that married couples have, and financial problems is the most-stated cause of… Read more

April 26, 2019

Throughout our ministry, Karen and I have met people from many walks of life. People with white-collar jobs and blue-collar jobs. People who live in the city and in small towns. People from the United States and people from around the world. Rich people and poor people. And among all these different types of people, we’ve seen one vivid truth time and again: The amount of money people have is not what makes them happy. If you ask most married… Read more

April 25, 2019

Early in our marriage, Karen asked if she could give $40 to our church. At the time, I was making less than $800 a month to provide for us. She wasn’t working. We were barely getting by. I broke into a cold sweat just thinking about giving that money away. It was bad enough that I had to go to church, I remember thinking. Having to pay for it sounded like something a fanatic would do. But I allowed Karen… Read more

April 23, 2019

I’ll never forget how shocked I was when I first heard that half of the couples filing for divorce will list financial problems as a significant cause. I can’t vouch for the current accuracy of that statistic—I first ran across it several years ago—but it certainly seems right. From my own experience as a pastor and counselor, I know that a great number of marriages fail due to financial pressures…and the challenges that result from that kind of stress. God… Read more

April 22, 2019

We talked about confronting our spouses with a balance of kindness and love, and doing so in a timely manner. Another important thing to remember when addressing problems with your spouse is the power of affirmation. Karen and I have found it very helpful to start any confrontation with words of praise. Here’s an example: “Honey, I really love you, and I am glad we’re married. I’m more committed today to our relationship than ever before. I see so many… Read more

April 19, 2019

In marriage, there will be many occasions when we must confront our spouses about something they’ve done that we don’t like. It might be a slight concern or annoyance. It could be a larger, more serious offense. Whatever the problem, we need to be able to challenge our spouses in a healthy, healing manner. This is a skill that can be learned and practiced, and it is very important. Some of the greatest damage to marriages occurs when a couple… Read more

April 18, 2019

Have you ever been talking to your spouse only to get the impression that he or she is hearing the words you’re saying…but nothing’s really “landing”? That’s because it’s possible to hear something without really listening to it. There is a difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a physical function of the body. It’s something God designed the ear to do. Listening is an intellectual devotion to the auditory signals the ear is picking up. We hear things all… Read more

April 16, 2019

“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: ‘He is good; his love to Israel endures forever’” (Ezra 3:11). “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30). “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4, NIV). Praise and thanksgiving were central to the ancient Israelites’ worship. They understood that words of affirmation and praise usher us into the presence of God…. Read more

April 15, 2019

Have you ever talked to someone who wouldn’t look you in the eye? Have you ever tried to carry on a conversation with someone who was clearly distracted? It’s frustrating. Their body language makes it clear they don’t care about you. When the uncaring person is a stranger—someone you’ve just met, like checker at the grocery store—then uncaring communication is only a minor annoyance. But what if the lack of caring comes from your spouse? That’s when it becomes painful…. Read more

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