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VIDEO Disrespect For Marriage Act passes Senate – What Christianity Today got wrong about the Respect for Marriage Act

By Michael Brown, CP Op-Ed Contributor| Tuesday, November 22, 2022

In an op-ed for Christianity Today, Carl H. Esbeck, R. B. Price Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Missouri, offers a positive assessment of the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA). He writes, “All in all, RMA is a modest but good day’s work. It shows that religious liberty champions and LGBT advocates can work together for the common good.”

With due respect to Prof. Esbeck’s legal knowledge, I categorically differ from his assessment.

I have already challenged the Republican senators who voted to advance the bill this week. Here, I want to focus on Prof. Esbeck’s reasoning.

He writes, “Some conservatives will undoubtedly treat the act as a loss. But others will take the view that, in a morally pluralistic society, a few concessions yield a win for the common good. I’m one of them.”

Specifically, he notes that under the final version of the bill, “religious nonprofits and their personnel have a statutory right to decline any involvement with a marriage solemnization or celebration — including a same-sex one. This federal right would preempt any state or local law to the contrary. It means clergy can refuse to officiate a gay wedding. A church can decline to be the venue for these unions. A Christian college can deny use of its chapel for the same reason, and a Christian summer camp can refuse use of its lake and nearby pavilion, as well.”

But he acknowledges that the bill “doesn’t address ongoing litigation over for-profit Christian wedding vendors — photographers, bakers, florists, dressmakers, and others. However, RMA doesn’t harm wedding vendors. It’s simply silent and leaves the matter for resolution in the courts” (his emphasis).

And for this reason, he, as a Christian conservative, thinks the bill is a good idea? The fact that it doesn’t do further harm to individuals who, in conscience, cannot affirm same-sex “marriage” is a positive?

To paraphrase, “Hey, you’re already in a heap of trouble, but this bill doesn’t pile any more rubble on you!”

The national climate is already hostile to such individuals, who at best, end up spending years in costly legal battles where the charges against them are finally dismissed. At worst, they lose their businesses, their reputations get soiled, and they are even found guilty by the courts.

Yet this bill doesn’t explicitly protect them. Why not? And why would any Christian conservative say, “Well, that works for me!”

As for the idea that this would not further harm such people, that, too, is questionable. After all, it is not just the Supreme Court that affirmed same-sex unions but Congress itself, with the signature of the president.

November 15 article in The Daily Signal quotes a wide range of religious leaders, all of whom raised serious concerns about the bill.

“Stephen Minnis, president of the Catholic Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, warned The Daily Signal that ‘Catholic institutions will have a tough time living our faith under this legislation.’”

Baptist pastor Richard Callahan described the bill as “an assault,” and Roger Severino of The Heritage Foundation warned that, “All this bill does is target people of faith who don’t support woke ideology.”

Similarly, Rabbi Yaakov Menken, the founder of Project Genesis and the managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, said, “Here you have a piece of legislation that exposes every traditional Jewish practitioner of anything to potential litigation.”

And Prof. Esbeck, writing for Christianity Today, finds this acceptable?

As for the redefining of marriage, Esbeck writes, “Now that RMA has the legislative backing of Congress, no Supreme Court reversal of Obergefell would dislodge the validity of a same-sex marriage or the government benefits, tax breaks, and other gains that go with it. But in my view, it’s very unlikely, anyway, that Obergefell will ever get overturned.”

This is a highly unfortunate comment.

Do we affirm a wrong thing as right because it’s unlikely that society will reverse the wrong? What kind of reasoning is this?

There was a time when it looked like slavery would not be abolished. Should we, therefore, have codified it more deeply in our laws?

The same could be said for overturning Roe v. Wade.

For many years, especially after the Casey decision in 1992, it looked as if Roe would never be overturned. Should we, as Christian conservatives, have thrown in the towel and said, “If Congress wants to codify this and make it impossible for the Supreme Court to clean up the mess it made, no problem! After all, it’s very unlikely that Roe will ever get overturned.”

I ask again: what kind of reasoning is this, especially for a Christian?

Prof. Esbeck concludes his op-ed stating, “All in all, RMA is a modest but good day’s work. It shows that religious liberty champions and LGBT advocates can work together for the common good. It says to the original House bill, ‘If a bill is about us, it has to be with us.’ And it shows that Congress can still legislate, not just be a gaggle of egos who go to Washington to perform but never fix.”

What this bill actually shows is that religious liberty champions must sell their souls and compromise their ethics in order to work out an acceptable deal with LGBT advocates. This is anything other than a “modest but good day’s work.”

How telling that Christianity Today, once the flagship Evangelical publication, chose to publish an op-ed offering support for a bill that enshrined homosexual unions into our national laws.

To the core of my being, I am committed to loving my LGBTQ+ neighbors and protecting them against discrimination, hostility, and attack.

But in conscience before God, I cannot affirm as right what God does not affirm. Neither Congress nor Christianity Today will change that for me (and, I trust, for many of you reading my words).

Dr. Michael Brown( is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or YouTube.

The ‘Respect For Marriage Act’ Disrespects Faithful Americans


Jack Phillips decorating a cake

The legislation puts small business owners at risk of fines and imprisonment for declining participation in a same-sex wedding celebration.

The U.S. Senate has begun debate on a same-sex marriage bill they call the “Respect for Marriage Act,” and senators are expected to cast a final vote on the legislation when they return after Thanksgiving. Proponents dubiously claim this bill provides religious liberty and conscience protection. They’re also making a contrived argument that the legislation is necessary to protect interracial marriage.

In its 1967 decision, Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a state ban on interracial marriage because it was in clear violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment. The court rightfully struck a blow against racial discrimination, but its decision did not alter the nationwide consensus that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.

Today — 55 years after the court’s historic Loving decision — not one legislative body in any state of America is considering legislation to ban interracial marriage. While we’re not professional gamblers, we estimate that the odds are less than 1 in 100 trillion that any state in America will ever ban interracial marriage or that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold such a ban in the infinitesimal chance it was placed on their docket. We further estimate that about 99 percent of Americans agree with our prediction and that a comparable percentage would be appalled if any state ever brought such a racist proposal to a vote.    

Punishing Those with Traditional Views of Marriage

Despite knowing that the banning of interracial marriage anywhere in America is a near impossibility, members of Congress are sowing fear across America and seeking to exploit the politically contrived argument that interracial marriage is at risk. This diversion seeks to distract the American people and their fellow legislators from the true goal — advancing legislation that puts photographers, wedding planners, and other small business owners or contractors at risk of severe fines, imprisonment, and bankruptcy if they dare to decline participation in a same-sex wedding celebration due to their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Having manufactured the argument that interracial marriage is at risk, proponents of the “Respect for Marriage Act” now argue it is necessary to pass this legislation in order to alleviate the fear they have sown with their cynical political tactic.

In crafting this bill, sponsors have created a new legal standard that will punish Americans who “cling” to their religious beliefs despite the new orthodoxy about marriage. Photographers and other entrepreneurs who don’t bend to the will of leftist activists will be treated as if they are racist bigots who refuse to provide a service to fellow Americans based on the color of their skin. The faithful entrepreneurs will effectively be presumed guilty of marriage discrimination and will have a high legal bar to clear in seeking to prove their innocence.

Department of Justice’s Abuses

The Biden administration is showing how legal tools in the arsenal of radical appointees can be turned against everyday Americans. The U.S. Justice Department, which would receive enhanced enforcement power under this legislation, has abused a federal law that criminalizes peaceful protests in front of abortion facilities by sending a swarm of armed agents to the home of a peaceful anti-abortion protester despite the fact that local law enforcement found no reason to charge the person with a crime. That individual now faces the prospect of severe penalties and years of imprisonment because the Biden administration is determined to crush any organization or individual that stands in the way of a single abortion being performed in America at any point in pregnancy for any reason.

The same Biden Justice Department has labeled parents protesting at school board meetings as domestic terrorists and has conspired with social media companies to deny the First Amendment rights of Americans. This Justice Department cannot be trusted with enhanced authority to prosecute and delegitimize faithful Americans who respect other people’s beliefs and just want to be left alone and allowed to exercise their beliefs outside the doors of a church — even as they seek to support their families through a local photography business or other enterprise that sometimes provides wedding services in their communities.

Members of Congress Must Create Protections

Conservative senators who have voted to advance the “Respect for Marriage Act” will have another chance to protect their faithful constituents when they return to the U.S. Capitol after Thanksgiving. While we believe this legislation is completely unnecessary and that it purports to address a threat that doesn’t exist, we also believe it will cause real harm in its present form.

At a minimum, conservative senators from America’s heartland should insist that the legislation have airtight protections for nonprofit organizations and social service providers (e.g., adoption, foster care), as well as for small business owners and contractors.

Biden has proved to be a Trojan horse for the radical left, and his aspiring successors from California, among others, are even more radicalized than he is. No responsible legislator should hand them another cudgel that can be used to destroy the livelihoods and reputations of our fellow Americans.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) and a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators. Marty Dannenfelser is vice president for government relations and coalitions at CURE and previously served as staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Senate Passes ‘Disrespect for Marriage’ Act Without Religious Liberty Protections

Ben Johnson November 30, 2022

On Tuesday night, the U.S. Senate passed the so-called “Respect for Marriage” Act which critics say invites “predatory lawsuits” against people of faith, stigmatizes biblical values, and drives Christians from the public square. Although nearly all Senate Republicans voted for amendments demanding greater respect for religious liberty, 12 Republicans voted for the unamended bill — and against the interests of their own voters, according to pro-family organizations.

H.R. 8404, which skeptics call the “Disrespect for Marriage” Act, requires all 50 states to recognize any marriage legally recognized by any other state and gives individuals the right to sue if they feel they have been harmed by people who believe in natural marriage. After the Senate rejected a series of religious liberty amendments, a dozen Republicans sided with Senate Democrats in the 61-36 vote for final passage. Two of its supporters, Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), had served as co-chairs of the congressional Values Action Team, “dedicated to advancing pro-life and pro-family policies.”

“These 12 senators are literally putting a target on their base and driving them out of political engagement,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins shortly after the vote. “This bill is a club, with which the Left will attempt to beat people of orthodox faith — who believe in marriage as God designed it and history has defined — into submission.”

“My experience as a former chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has shown me that religious freedom’s greatest threat is not a military force that eradicates or suppresses religious freedom,” Perkins added. It comes from “policies like the so-called Respect for Marriage Act,” which lead to the “systematic suppression and eventual loss” of religious liberty.

The Senate had the opportunity to fix provisions of the bill that would infringe on the rights of people who hold biblical values but rejected each amendment in succession.

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) put forward a comprehensive religious liberty amendment protecting religious believers from vindictive federal officials who might take “discriminatory action … wholly or partially on the basis of their belief in marriage.” Lee’s amendment failed by one vote, 48-49. His amendment received bipartisan support, with Democrat Joe Manchin (W.Va.) voting yes. But one Republican, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), voted against Lee’s amendment; two Republican senators, Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), skipped the vote, as did Democrat Raphael Warnock (Ga.).

“This is a discouraging development in our country’s storied history of protecting the free exercise of religion,” said Senator Lee after the narrow vote. “While I’m disappointed that my amendment was not included, I remain committed to preserving the religious liberties enshrined in our Constitution for all Americans.”

Travis Weber, vice president for Policy and Government Affairs at Family Research Council, gave a grave assessment of the outlook for religious freedom in America on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” as the votes unfolded Thursday. “It’s going to set in motion a series of events that will aim towards the marginalization of Christians from society because of their beliefs about marriage,” he said. “These are the contested issues of today, and Christians cannot do anything but stand on them. And yet we’re seeing Republicans side with Democrats in marginalizing these believers. This is a sad moment, but we must do everything we can to call attention to what’s happening and light the way forward.”

Senator James Lankford’s (R-Okla.) amendment would have clarified portions of the bill’s language. As written, the Respect for Marriage Act “just says if someone feels they’ve been harmed” by another individual’s views of marriage, “they would now have the opportunity to be able to sue someone else because of that. … It’s fairly obvious” trial lawyers and LGBT activists will file “countless numbers of lawsuits, testing every new definition” codified in the bill. “I encourage everyone in this body to ask a very simple question of themselves: Is today about respecting the rights of all, or is it about silencing some and respecting others?” Senator Lankford asked.

Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) amendment would have struck LGBT activists’ ability to sue believers. Both amendments failed by the same 45-52 margin. Republican Senators Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Rob Portman (Ohio) sided with the Democrats against religious freedom.

“Members of Congress who voted for this bill and claim to support religious liberty are either naïve or don’t understand the laws they are passing,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Roger Severino. “As a result, the tax-exempt status of religious schools and nonprofits is now up for debate.” Others said the vote held disturbing implications about the state of the Senate. “What does it say about our Congress & our country if including religious liberty protections in a bill that would otherwise force Americans to act against their religious convictions proves to be an unacceptable addition to the (Dis)respect for Marriage Act?” asked Liberty University’s Standing for Freedom Center.

LGBTQ political victories had not been under threat prior to the bill’s introduction. Democrats pounced on the issue this summer after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas encouraged his fellow justices to reconsider Obergefell v. Hodges, the controversial 2015 opinion that first discovered a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. After the bill’s passage, CNN admitted, “This is all academic right now.”

“This dangerously cynical and completely unnecessary bill is a direct attack on the First Amendment. It does nothing to change the legal status of same-sex marriage anywhere. But it undermines religious freedom everywhere and exposes Americans throughout the country to predatory lawsuits by activists seeking to use the threat of litigation to silence debate and exclude people of faith from the public square,” said Ryan Bangert of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). “If the Senate truly cared about protecting religious freedom, it would have included comprehensive amendments proposed by Sens. Lee, Rubio, and Lankford.”

In place of these amendments, the Senate adopted a legally ambiguous bipartisan amendment that religious liberty advocates called “dangerous,” “deceptive,” and “harmful.”

Pro-family conservatives say Republicans lost a major vote on religious liberty, in part, because the broader conservative movement provided little coverage of the issue. Christianity Today, now edited by former ERLC leader Russell Moore, ran only one article on the topic — supporting the bill. “While conservatives were chasing the shiny ball of #trans extremism, #LGBTQ activists worked with #UsefulIdiot Republicans (& churches, eg #LDS) to pass a law enshrining the radical concept of homosexual ‘marriage’ in federal law,” tweeted Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth, adding this is how the “LGBTQ lobby advances.”

LGBT activists did not greet the bill’s passage with gratitude, indicating passage only emboldened them to demand more restrictive legislation. “If the Senate really wanted to take a big step to protect LGBTQ Americans and our families, it would finally pass the Equality Act,” which actively repeals religious liberty protections, wrote Jonathan Capehart in The Washington Post.

But Democrats celebrated a political victory — fueled, in part, by Republican votes. “I just called my daughter and her wife — who are expecting a baby next spring — to let them know that this Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act! What a great day!” enthused Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Schumer critically agreed to delay a vote on the bill, which he says the majority of Americans support, until after the midterm elections to spare liberal Republicans electoral backlash.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) praised the dozen Republicans who voted for the final bill, because “the attempts to derail this piece of legislation were probably more focused and robust than any other bills I’ve worked on in the last two years.”

“Republicans privately estimate perhaps 30 or so of their senators want the bill to pass, conservative backlash limited the whip count,” reported Politico. Republican Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said GOP support sent the message “that this is not about an extreme liberal, progressive end that would destroy religious freedom in this country. This was about settling something that is on the minds of millions of people and their families.”

The bill returns to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives for a vote on final passage. A harsher version of the bill passed the House on July 19 with 47 Republican votes, although some Republicans who initially voted for it now say they have seen the error of their ways.

President Joe Biden has already committed to sign the bill. “Love is love,” tweeted Biden, just days after his 80th birthday. “I look forward to the House passing this legislation and sending it to my desk, where I will proudly sign it into law.”

Politically active people of faith promise passing a bill redefining marriage without meaningful conscience protections will come at a cost to supporters in both parties. “Those in Congress who dismissed legitimate warnings about this bill and the harms that would be caused by it must be held accountable. This bill was designed from the start as a political weapon for left-wing activist groups to harass and shut down conscientious Americans who hold fast to the time-honored institution of marriage,” said Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.

Most importantly, pro-family advocates say changing legal definitions cannot alter the fundamental truths embedded in marriage and family life by another Lawgiver. “We know what is right. We know what is true. Whether by the Court or by the Congress, truth cannot be altered,” Perkins concluded. “We need to have the courage to stand for it, remembering the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6, ‘and having done all … stand firm.’”

The 12 Republican Senators who voted for final passage of the “Respect for Marriage” Act are:

The 47 House Republicans who voted for the “Respect for Marriage” Act in July are:

Respect for Marriage God’s Way | Pastor Shane Idleman


You Can Fight Well If You Fight Fair. Here’s How.

By America’s Family Coaches November 9, 2022

You and your spouse have had an argument. You want to talk it out, but your spouse retreats. What do you do? Is there a way to “fight fair”?

When you are in a conflict, it is imperative that you communicate openly and honestly. Failure to share your feelings and talk through your differences will stifle any efforts to clear the air and restore intimacy.

Here are a few helpful things you can do in order to handle your inevitable conflicts and learn to fight fair.

Choose an appropriate time and setting.

Do you and your spouse really need to solve an issue moments before two dozen guests arrive for a dinner party? Select a time and place that minimize distractions, guarantee privacy from the children, and won’t make you tense right before an event.

Ask permission to address the conflict.

Make sure your spouse is ready to face the issue before you bring it up. For example: “Are you ready to talk about our disagreement over how to discipline the children?” or “I’m ready to confront our money problems. Are you okay with that?”

Avoid the silent treatment.

Sometimes—especially when you’re are angry—you both will clam up and give the silent treatment, thinking that the silence will communicate your perspective. Don’t mistake silence for communication. In fact, silence often is only manipulative. The goal is to open communication, not play games.

Agree on a plan for handling conflicts.

Answer this question with your spouse: How do we want to talk to each other when a conflict arises?


Prayer makes a positive impact on the resolution of conflict. Prayer takes two people on opposite sides of an issue and welcomes into the debate a third person: Jesus. Bringing Jesus into your debate makes it more intuitive to fight fair. 

Read Next on Thriving Marriages How To Build a Marriage That Has No Regrets

Listen to this example:

“Some friends of ours have been married over thirty years. They have their times of disagreement, and they shared with us how one time they hit the wall and simply could not come to an agreement. The wife turned to the husband and said, “I’m going to submit because I believe that God has put you in that position. And I trust you. But I’m going to tell you something: I’m going to go to God over this issue.” The husband listened to her, gasped, and said, “Wait a minute. You’re going to go to God?” “Yeah, because I know that he loves you and that he, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can deal with you.”

This gives a glimpse into the heart of a strong marriage. The man who hears these words from his wife realizes that his wife isn’t trying to control him; instead, she desires that he be controlled by the Holy Spirit. She goes to her ultimate authority in prayer because she desires God’s outcome for the situation. And her attitude stimulated her husband to seek after what God’s will in the situation. 

When you get to the point where you just aren’t seeing eye to eye, transfer the situation to the hands of God and leave it there. Then the Lord has a chance to do a wonderful work in your marriage and in your lives. God gets all the glory. God gets all the credit.

*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It’s available in our online bookstore!

Make your marriage stronger…

7 Words to Protect Your Marriage

By Ron Edmondson-November 14, 2022

I’ve been asked many times, “How do you protect your marriage and keep it strong?” Cheryl and I are in a good season of life and marriage. In many ways it is a stressful season with work, family demands, and constant transition, but it is a good season in so many other ways. We’ve been empty-nesters for a number of years now and we’ve adjusted to it well. It was hard missing our boys at first, but we enjoy our time together. These are some of the best years of our marriage.

The greatest thing I can say about our marriage is that we can’t think of anyone we would rather be with. When we are off from work we want to be with each other. Isn’t that a great feeling? We have always intentionally strived to protect our marriage. It’s always a work in progress, but we know that if we ever let up, the enemy will win. You should actively protect your marriage. Here’s how:

7 Words to Protect Your Marriage


Cheryl and I walk together almost every day. I’m typing this after we returned home from an evening walk. When weather and time permits, we walk hours and miles together. We’ve now become “mall walkers” when weather isn’t conducive to being outside.

As an introvert, I talk more — and am more comfortable doing so — when I am being physically active at the same time. Our communication is strengthened when we have an activity we do together regularly. To protect your marriage, take a walk together.


It’s so incredibly important. As we walk we talk about our day. We debrief our life. There are always moments of the day we would have to explain to understand them. Explaining cuts down the surprise factors in our life. I’m a part of every aspect of Cheryl’s life and she is of mine. To protect your marriage, talk!

Read Next on Thriving Marriages Living Together – Is Marriage “Just a Piece of Paper?”


Cheryl and I have been known to ask some strange questions of each other. More than, “What are you thinking?”. Cheryl or I might ask something such as, “If you had one prayer — and only one prayer — for our boys, or for me, what would it be?” We ask questions that keep us thinking deeper about our life and each other. 


Everyone has them. Some of us hide them better than others. Cheryl and I have a consistent habit of dreaming together. No dream is too small or too large.It may or may not become reality, but that’s okay. It’s fun and energizing of our relationship to dream together. To protect your marriage, dream together.


We don’t have the same sense of humor, but it doesn’t matter. We enjoy laughing together about whatever there is to laugh about at the time. It would probably be silly and not funny to anyone else, but that’s okay.


I’ve got to be honest on this one. I’m not a big crier. I cry, but very selectively and very privately. But Cheryl and I are willing to be vulnerable with each other. I’m not afraid to tell her I’m afraid or that I’m hurt. I can admit when I wish life was different than it is — even if I have to say it with tears in my eyes.


Cheryl and I deeply love each other. It’s the kind of love that can overlook the flaws we bring to the relationship. Love is ultimately a choice we make. A deep, committed, loyal kind of love is a choice. I choose Cheryl and she chooses me.

This article appeared here, and is used by permission.

Trust Can Be Rebuilt Over Time. Here’s How.

By America’s Family Coaches August 17, 2022


Your spouse has blown it. You don’t trust him/her anymore. But you want to save your marriage. How can you learn to trust again? You’re going to need to rebuild your marriage from the bottom up.

Photo by   Emma Bauso   from   Pexels

This is the stage when you both put your hands up and surrender. This is where there are tears of anguish over the offense caused and tears of relief that it has been confessed and admitted. Actual tears or just tears of the heart say very loudly the two words that the person who was hurt wants to be convinced of, “I’m sorry.” This is where you get on your knees and say, “I can’t do this, Lord, I need your help to trust again.”

With that prayer comes the admission that you need God to help you in the rebuilding process. When forced to start at the bottom and work to rebuild, many times the spouse who has been hurt will do one of three things: run from it, deny it’s happening, or collapse into overwhelming fear and be unable to cope. If you get stuck in one or all of these, it gets you nowhere in the rebuilding process because you’re trusting in yourself to be in control.

Problem is, you are never in control. Unfortunately it may take a wake-up call to remind you of that. What you can know is that God is in control. When things get bad, you are called to turn your eyes off yourself and turn to him. Rather than depending on your own strength, which will only fail you, ask God for the strength to trust and love again.

You may have no hope that such huge problems can be solved. But when pain happens, you need to make a team. This is when you and your spouse join together and join God as you work through restoration. A counselor could be a part of the team as well in helping you work through the rebuilding process.

Read Next on Thriving Marriages 3 Marriage-Saving Things to Do When Your Husband Is Terrible at Mother’s Day

Next, you and your spouse need to start talking. Pray before communicating. If you’ve depended on God for strength to trust, you can also depend on God to help you communicate what’s really going on so that the other person will best understand. Be honest and yet speak the truth in love. This is when you both communicate your needs and your pain while working to regain trust.

As you talk to each other, don’t be talking to everyone else. While there is a time for your Christian friends to be involved in helping you through the difficult times of your life, this is not one of those where they need to hear all the details. This is between you and your spouse. As you work to rebuild your marriage, hold each other in respect enough to keep your mouths shut around your friends.

Be prepared for attacks. Remember, when you start to rebuild your marriage, the enemy will do all he can to tear it down. The last thing Satan wants is for you to be reconciled. He loves to put isolation and distrust into a relationship and drive people apart. When you seek to restore a relationship, the enemy gets busy and starts to throw doubts at you from within and attacks you from the outside. No matter who wants you to stay apart, God wants you to reconcile. Be aware and be ready for resistance!

Finally, don’t rush this process. It’s going to take time. This is going to be a journey. The element of time plays two roles in the rebuilding process. First, it takes time to heal the pain. Second, you also need time to add some positive experiences to a relationship that’s accustomed to pain. As two people spend time nurturing the relationship and storing up positive memories, the healing process is encouraged. Be willing to persevere.

*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It’s available in our online bookstore!

VIDEO The focus of liberal war against values is marriage – To win A Culture War You Need To Build A Culture

‘They know if they can dismantle this, everything else that stands upon its foundation will crumble’

By Bob Unruh August 27, 2022

America and its generations of traditional values are under attack these days, explains James Dobson in a new issue of his online newsletter.

For example, the House of Representatives recently voted against biblical marriage, the White House wants children to “change” their sex without telling their parents, Critical Race Theory teaches kids the nation is racist and Christians are being described as domestic terrorists by the leftist media.

Further, Joe Biden wants to install abortion “rights” all across the nation.

But the strongest assaults, Dobson said, are coming against marriage.

“In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) reiterated that marriage consisted of one man and one woman. The bipartisan legislation was passed overwhelmingly by both the House and the Senate. Congress was echoing the will of the American people. Thirty-one states, conservative and liberal, had already voted to reaffirm that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” he explained.

But today, only about 25 years later?

“All 220 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives along with 47 Republicans voted to repeal DOMA in support of codifying same-sex marriage into federal law (H.R. 8404),” he said.

“Even as I write this, it is uncertain as to whether or not enough Republican senators will stand against the Left’s radical LGBTQ agenda to thwart the Senate’s version of this perverted bill,” he said.

“It isn’t by accident that the Left and the evil forces behind them have set their marks on the demise of traditional marriage. They know if they can dismantle this most sacred union, everything else that stands upon its foundation will crumble as well.”

He quoted Del Tackett, who has written: “The reason God made ‘male’ and ‘female’ was for the purpose of bringing them together into a divine unity, a ‘oneness’ that brings our thoughts to the unity within the Triune God. And it was this unity of the male and female that would bring forth godly fruit… And it is here that we find the fundamental purpose for God creating us male and female, rather than some androgynous being. Any understanding of human sexuality outside of this context leads to serious error.”

Dobson explained the Bible is clear, stating in Genesis: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. … Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Dobson described it as “foolishness, or worse, evil itself,” to deny the facts of biology.

But he said just because the left’s agenda is “nefarious” doesn’t mean Christians should follow in kind.

“We must remember to treat those who differ from us with compassion and civility. This doesn’t mean we roll over when it comes to addressing the corruptness that is rampantly spreading across our land. Jesus never compromised truth for the sake of relating to those around Him. He never held back on addressing the sinfulness of man, especially when it related to the Pharisees and religious people of His day. And He most certainly didn’t believe that truth interferes with grace. Jesus was and still is the fullness of both grace and truth. He lovingly meets people where they’re at and calls them to turn from their sins and follow Him. This is our directive as well as we address the wickedness of our day.”

The agenda also is targeting children, he pointed out, with promotions of transgenderism, homosexual pride and more.

“Sadly, we don’t have allies in the White House when it comes to protecting our youngest. President Joe Biden and his radical social engineers are attempting to use Title IX to further expand their perverted LGBTQ agenda,” Dobson wrote.

That agenda would provide that boys who say they are girls be allowed in girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms.

The law originally intended to protect girls and woman “will not be used to protect fake girls and women,” he lamented.

He wrote, “Moms and dads, you are charged to raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Sadly, your job has become a much tougher assignment in recent years. From hyper-sexualized school curriculums laced with LBGTQ rhetoric to the false teachings of CRT, your kids need you more than ever to point them to the truth. I cannot stress this enough; your local public school systems do not remotely share your Christian values. And if you’re not engaging the hearts and minds of your children, they will be more than happy to do it for you. “

Dobson has been called by the secular publications the nation’s “most influential evangelical leader,” and he founded and runs Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson on hundreds of broadcast outlets nationwide.

He also founded the influential Family Research Council in the 1980s. He received a doctorate in Psychology from Souothern Cal and served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine there for years.

He also was on the staff of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and he’s advised multiple presidents on family issues.

He has written dozens of books that have sold millions of copies, including “Dare to Discipline,” “The Strong-Willed Child,” “Bringing Up Boys,” “Bringing up Girls,” “When God Doesn’t Make Sense” and more.

Exclusive — Tim Pool Celebrates Self-Released Hit ‘Only Ever Wanted’ Rocketing Up iTunes Charts: ‘To Win a Culture War, You Need to Build Culture’


29 Aug 2022

The unclassifiable social media superstar Tim Pool has amassed an enormous online following — garnering nearly a half-billion YouTube views — by embracing an anti-establishment and anti-woke worldview that doesn’t adhere to conventional partisan politics. His foray into music represents a continuation of that mindset, with the recent self-release of his single “Only Ever Wanted.”

The song is Pool’s first to be released through his own label, Timcast Records. After telling his millions of followers to check it out, “Only Ever Wanted” surged in the charts, reaching the No. 2 spot in iTunes’ Top 10 Song Charts — just below Britney Spears’ first new song in six years — and the No. 1 spot in Alternative Rock.

“Only Ever Wanted” also features drummer Pete Parada, who was fired by the band Offspring for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Watch below:

In a statement to Breitbart News, Tim Pool reacted to the song’s success and explained his anti-establishment approach to the arts.

“I had no idea it would take off the way it did but we are excited to see the response,” he said. “Pete Parada is an excellent drummer and we are glad to help him succeed after the Offspring had fired him.”

Last year, Parada announced on Instagram that his doctor advised him not to get the vaccine  because he suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder.

He wrote that he was “unable to comply with what is increasingly becoming an industry mandate,” adding that leaving the band was ultimately not his choice. “[I]t has recently been decided that I am unsafe to be around, in the studio and on tour.”

Pool believes  that “in order to win a culture war you need to build culture and right now our arts are dominated by woke cultism.”

“With Timcast Records we are hoping to create a space that will compete with major institutions so that people will not have to fear being canceled for voting for Trump or having the wrong opinion,” Pool said. “We already have several songs ready for release and hopefully an album done by the end of the year.”

Tim Pool is scheduled to interview Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow on Thursday on his daily podcast.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at

Citizens for Sanity released a radio advertisement blasting the left’s “woke racism” in America’s schools, corporations, and public life.


Marriage’s Scratches and Dents Are Priceless

By Authentic Intimacy October 7, 2021

scratches and dents

I’m not sure about you, but my marriage feels like it would now qualify for a scratches and dents sale. After 25 years and three children, my husband and I have weathered some storms. I sometimes wonder if our marriage has lost its newlywed beauty.

Mike and I recently attended a wedding. The bride was stunning, and the groom gleamed with pride. Not a dry eye in the place. Weddings are beautiful—not just because of the music, flowers, dresses, and tuxes, but also because they represent young, unblemished love. Like the birth of a child, the beginning of a new family holds unending promise and boundless dreams that have not yet been tarnished by conflict and foolish choices.

I’m not sure about you, but my marriage feels like it would now qualify for a “scratches and dents” sale. After 25 years and three children, my husband and I have weathered some storms. Compared to the optimistic and glistening love of those recently married, I sometimes wonder if our marriage has lost its newlywed beauty. After all, rarely in the throes of real life do Mike and I gaze adoringly into each other’s eyes.

Instead of discovering one another with amazement, we finish each other’s sentences and politely laugh at the same jokes we have heard countless times over the years. Has the splendor faded with the monotony and trials of everyday life?

When I look at my marriage from a different perspective, one the world resists, I can see visions of beauty that make our wedding day look drab. Sure, our schedules are busy, we can feel buried by pressure and romance is a rare commodity. But the miracle of living alongside a man who knows me inside and out, yet still loves me, is priceless. The bumps and challenges, harsh words spoken, and tears shed over the years have left a dent or two. But I can choose to view those imperfections as a priceless exhibition of God’s grace rather than a fairy tale thwarted.

Read Next on Thriving Marriages 10 Ways to Transform Your Marriage in Under 2 Hours

Wherever you are in your marriage, no doubt you have some scratches and dents too. Perhaps you are even tempted to see those scratches and dents as a sign that you are “settling for less.” Take heart in a biblical principle: Christ’s strength and glory do not shine through our perfection but through showing each other His grace in the midst of our weakness and disappointment.

Several years ago, I had the privilege of watching my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Their bodies showed the scratches and dents of their lives and the lines on their faces spoke to the trials they had gone through together. Yet their eyes sparkled with a love that went far beyond their initial “I do.” Through them, I saw the beauty of a lived-out commitment that put even the most romantic wedding celebration to shame.
What do you see when you look at your marriage?

Make your marriage stronger…

Cohabitation: Preparation for failure

Exclusive: Jerry Newcombe spotlights latest research showing benefits of the Bible’s rules for sex

Feb 15, 2022

Marriage is a gift from God. But marriage is in a sad state in America today, and we all suffer because of it.

I read recently about the movie star Joan Crawford who was legendary in her promiscuity. As her rival Bette Davis once reportedly sneered about her, “She slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie.”

Apparently, in the miserable and difficult childhood of Lucille LeSouer (who later adopted the name Joan Crawford), there was a wound from the absence of her father, according to Shaun Considine’s book, “Bette and Joan,” which became the basis for the mini-series, “The Feud.”

Considine quotes someone else about Crawford’s childhood: “Being abandoned so often traumatized Joan. … She spent the rest of her life looking for a father – in husbands, lovers, studio executives and directors.” To this Considine adds, “When she found the ideal candidate, Joan felt safe, secure, validated. In time she expected them to leave, to reject her. When they didn’t, she grew suspicious, then resentful, and found ways to make them depart.” So sad.

That’s so far from God’s design, which is one man, one woman for life. His prohibitions against sex outside of marriage are for our good.

A fascinating article in a recent Wall Street Journal (Feb. 5), highlighted the findings of a study based on the marriages and many divorces among 50,000 women in the National Survey of Family Growth.

One can infer from the article’s headline that it’s best to avoid cohabitating before marriage: “Too Risky to Wed in Your 20s? Not If You Avoid Cohabiting First: Research shows that marrying young without ever having lived together with a partner makes for some of the lowest divorce rates.”

Brad Wilcox and Lyman Stone, the article’s authors, observe, “The idea that cohabitation is risky is surprising, given that a majority of young adults believe that living together is a good way to pretest the quality of your partners and your partnership.” But couples who live together before they wed “are less likely to be happily married and more likely to land in divorce court.”

Through the years, similar studies have found the same results: to prepare best for marriage, save sex for marriage. Even in the archives of UCLA is citation of a 1990s study from the Family Research Center in Washington, D.C., which says: “Other findings indicate that saving sex for marriage reduces the risk of divorce, and monogamous married couples are the most sexually satisfied Americans.” If you’re unfaithful before marriage, why should you be faithful after getting married?

In previous generations, cohabitation was viewed as more of a scandal. Of course, not all marriages were good by any means.

My dad used to tell a story where he and mom were playing bridge one day against another couple. The woman kept yelling and berating her partner at every turn.

Finally, dad asked her, “Are you two married?”

And she snapped, “Of course we are! Do you think I’d live in sin with an idiot like that?” – pointing to her henpecked husband. When I shared this anecdote with a friend, he thought that that story might discourage someone to consider marriage over cohabitation. Well, without proper preparation, bad marriages happen. (Sadly, sometimes even with preparation.)

I thank God that I have 42 years of empirical evidence that I married a saint. After all, my fantastic wife has put up with me for more than four decades. Thankfully, we spent more time preparing for the marriage than we did for the wedding.

I write this on Valentine’s Day 2022 – when we celebrate love and romance. Christian author Bill Federer notes that the best historical evidence is that Valentine’s Day customs go back to a third century Christian leader, who fell afoul of the Roman Empire and was martyred on Feb. 14, 269.

The reason for St. Valentine’s martyrdom was not only his rejection of Roman idolatry but also because he defied the emperor, who forbade men in the Roman army to marry. Writes Federer: “Roman Emperor Claudius II needed more soldiers to fight the invading Goths. He believed that men fought better if they were not married, so he banned traditional marriage in the military.”

But some of these soldiers wanted to be married, and Valentine secretly performed weddings for them. When the Roman leaders found out about this, he was arrested and sentenced to death. The jailer, who had a sick daughter, asked his prisoner, the holy man, to pray for his child. She got better, and the saint wrote her a short, encouraging note, signing it from “your Valentine.”

Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” That includes our relationships.

God’s design for marriage is for our good, and it helps spare people a lot of unnecessary unhappiness.

40 Powerful Marriage Blessings to Pray Over Your Marriage

By Gary Thomas -January 7, 2022

marriage blessings

Marriage blessings are a great way to pray for your marriage because marriage is a gift – one of God’s amazing blessings.  Yet often the greatest gifts in life are not always cherished the way they should be.  Maybe because life gets busy, or we get hurried and distracted. Maybe because we start to take one another for granted.  Or we disagree and let resentments hang on longer than they should.

Life gets hard.

The baggage we bring along from our past doesn’t help much either. What worked for us as two individuals, coping through the everyday stresses of life, may not work so well when joined as “one.” We spin our wheels comparing our own marriage to the next one over, complaining about the problems; falsely thinking it might propel the other to action.  We long for brighter tomorrows, but instead get stuck, in regret and hurt. We begin to drift away.  And sadly, many times, we start looking for the nearest door marked “Exit.”

There’s a battle over marriages today, and the enemy would love nothing more than to  His aim – to destroy.  God’s aim – to build up. To provide marriage blessings over every part of your union. 

But in all of the talk about marriage, defending our views, or pointing out differences, we have to ask ourselves – have we prayed?  I mean, really prayed, consistently, over time, God’s blessings for our marriage? And if we’re not, then who is?

God promises in Isaiah 55:11 that His word will not return empty, without accomplishing great things.

There’s no magic formula in praying verses and words, but there is power through the Spirit of God. And there’s power in His Truth to bring forgiveness, healing, renewal, and restoration – no matter how bad things may seem. His reach is big. His love is huge. His grace covers all.

Prayer + God’s Word = Power, the pathway for Him to do miraculous things.

40 Powerful Marriage Blessings to Pray Over Your Marriage

Dear God,

We praise you for your love and faithfulness.  We thank you for huge grace. We thank you that you give us the power to love well.  Thank you for my spouse.  Thank you for the gift of marriage.  Thank you that you’re for us; that you fight for us.  Thank you that you are Redeemer, and you have good in store.  We confess, some days, marriage gets tough, and we blow it – again.  We ask that you would make us more like you. Please fill our marriage and lives with truth and cover it with marriage blessings.  Lord, we pray for…

Adoration – “My beloved is mine and I am his.” Song of Songs 2:16

Belief – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household.” Acts 16:31

Blessing – “He blesses the home of the righteous.”  Prov. 3:33

Commitment – “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecc. 4:12

Courage – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Josh. 1:9

Discernment – “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”  Phil. 1:9-10

Encouragement – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Ephesians 4:29

Endurance – “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”  1 Cor. 13:7-8

Faithfulness – “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”  Prov.3:3-4

Favor – “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us, establish the work of our hands…”  Ps. 90:17

Read Next on Thriving Marriages  Why Facing Your Past May Save Your Marriage’s Future

Forgiveness – “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Eph. 4:32

Friendship – “Two are better than one…if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.”  Ecc. 4:9-10

Fruitfulness – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  Gal.  5:22-23

Generosity – “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”  Prov. 11:25

Gentleness – “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Eph. 4:1-3

Grace – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col. 4:6

Health – “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”  Prov. 16:24

Hope – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you hope and a future.”  Jer. 29:11

Humility – “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Phil. 2:3-4

Integrity – “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”  Prov. 10:9

Intimacy – “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”  1 Cor. 7:5

Joy – “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.”  Prov. 5:18

Kindness – “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Prov. 31:26

Love – “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other…”  1Thess. 3:12

Oneness – “They are no longer two but one flesh. What God has joined together, let no man separate.”  Matt. 19:6

Peace – “May there be peace within your walls…” Ps. 122:7

Protection – “The Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”  2 Thess. 3:3

Provision – “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 4:19

Purity – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”  Ps. 19:14

Purpose – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”  Rom. 8:28

Respect – “Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”  Eph. 5:33

Self-Control – “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”  2 Tim. 1:7

Servant-Hearted – “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:15

Strength – “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”  Ps. 29:11

Submission – “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Eph. 5:21

Thankfulness – “Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thess. 5:17-18

Trust – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”  1 John 4:18

Understanding – “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way…” 1 Peter 3:7

Value – “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Prov. 31:10

Wisdom – “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  Prov. 4:23

Let your favor shine on us as we seek after you.

In Jesus’ name,


7 Suggestions to Strengthen Your Marriage

By Ron Edmondson -April 29, 2021

strengthen your marriage

All marriages go through periods where things just aren’t as they should be. It’s a natural occurrence in any relationship involving people. (I suppose this would include most marriages). The stress and pace of life causes tension in the best marriages. Even good marriages suffer at times, but you can strengthen your marriage.

Cheryl and I have had several of those times, usually due to external pressures we did not cause or invite. It could be my work – or hers – or family situations. Outside stress causes tension in the relationship. Things aren’t falling apart. We aren’t questioning our commitment to each other, but we both know things aren’t working as well as they should be. We are having more miscommunication, we are more tense in our reaction to each other, or we may just feel we are passing each other through our days, not connecting as well as we usually do. Thankfully, we’ve always been intentional to during those times.

Those times are usually seasonal and they happen in most every marriage. This appears especially true in the earlier years of the marriage, but we shouldn’t be surprised if they happen later in a marriage either. When major changes in the marriage or in life occur, such as children moving out of the house, loss of job, or other serious trauma, marriages can struggle for a time. That’s normal.

Those periods can last a week, a few weeks, or a month or more. It isn’t that the couple doesn’t love each other, or even that they want out of the marriage, but that they just aren’t on the same page as much as they should be. The key in these times isn’t to panic, but to intentionally work to strengthen your marriage.

Has your marriage ever been there?

During these times the way a couple responds is critically important to the long-term strength of the marriage. Ignoring these times – or pretending they don’t exist – could have disastrous consequences.

7 Suggestions to Strengthen Your Marriage:


It is especially important during stressful seasons you keep talking, to each other and to God. Even when it’s awkward to do so keep the lines of communication open. Admit where you are in the marriage. Again, this may hurt for a time, but it’s better to be honest now than to allow the marriage to fall apart or slip further from health later. You may need to schedule times to talk – timing is important – but don’t neglect this one.

Stay close

Keep doing things together. Sleep in the same bed. Find times to do special activities. Have regular date nights. Talk. This will help protect your heart from wandering. You must not let the tension of the times become a wedge between you. This includes letting other people – friends, coworkers, in-laws, parents, even children – should not intefere in the closeness you share with your spouse. Protect the integrity of your relationship. At one time you would have probably considered yourselves best friends. Rekindle those days.

Read Next on Thriving Marriages  The Best Marriage Story is . . . Boring?!?

Discipline yourself

There will be times when you are tempted to say the wrong things or treat your spouse unkindly. It will require discipline to do the right thing, and say the right thing, but it will help protect the marriage. Here’s where you may have to use the Spirit of God’s strength working in you. Before you start to say something you may regret – whisper a prayer asking for God’s help.

I always suggest this question. Would you let other people talk to your spouse the way you are talking to them?

Get help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and, don’t wait until things are beyond repair to do so. Even the best marriages need some at times. This may be counseling, meeting with Christian friends you trust, or doing a Bible study together, but it is important you invite someone to speak into your life. This is an investment in your marriage which may help you get to a new level of trust and intimacy you’ve never experienced – or haven’t experienced in a while.

Of course, the greatest help you can get is from the Creator of marriage. Now is a time to grow your relationship with God individually and as a couple.


There are always principles to strengthen your marriage that can be learned during these times. Cheryl and I have learned, for example, that during especially stressful periods we have to be more intentional with our marriage. You may need to learn how to communicate better, how to handle conflict, or how to dream together again. This is a great season to do some of those things. It’s also a good idea to surround yourself with people in stronger marriages – maybe even find an older, mature couple to mentor you in marriage. (This is usually not parents. You need more objective voices.)

Be Patient

When you are in a “season” you’ll want change immediately, but relationships don’t work that way. Chances are it will take longer than you expect or want it to take to get through this period. Be patient. A good marriage is worth it.

Hang on

This may be the most important. Don’t give up! Renew your commitment to the marriage and each other. These seasons won’t last forever if you continue to work on your marriage. Be committed enough to your marriage to stick with it until this season passes. Every marriage can be restored and improved with two parties working together – especially if you are intentional and do something before things get desperate.

Keep in mind, I’m not talking about times of abuse, neglect, affairs, or severe marriage issues. I’m speaking of times when the marriage just isn’t as much fun anymore. This is also when both spouses still want the marriage to work and are willing to work at making the marriage better. If any of those more serious issues are occurring, get serious help immediately.

This article about how to strengthen your marriage originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

How to Fall in Love All Over Again

By America’s Family Coaches -January 18, 2022

fall in love

Fall in love again? No one gets married thinking their love for their spouse will fade. We go in believing those butterflies we felt when we first fell in love will last forever. But the truth is every married couple experiences times where they don’t feel as “in love” as they used to. Or the marriage relationship may begin to seem more ho-hum than they thought it should.

That’s why practicing celebrating love is so important to your marriage! Celebrating Love is one of our 6 Secrets to a Lasting Love.

Celebrating love is all about reveling in the emotional intimacy, physical love, and spiritual connections that bond you to your spouse. It’s a kind of love that protects you from drifting apart and enables you to fall in love and feel discovered all over again. It’s not always about occasional gifts and surprises. Celebrating love rejoices daily in the marriage you have and helps you feel cherished and captivated by the other. It is a reflection of God’s celebrating love as seen in Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord … will rejoice over you with great gladness… He will exult over you by singing a happy song.”

Without celebrating love, your relationship will stagnate, and you will drift apart emotionally. But when you cultivate celebrating love in your marriage, you will reconnect with the heartfelt love you discovered when you first fell head over heels for each other. Celebrating love means growing deeper in love year after year, rediscovering what you almost forgot about each other, appreciating again what may have lost its shine, and displaying affection and appreciation for all that you find in each other. Celebrating love prompts you to exult with Solomon: “This is my lover, this my friend” (Song of Songs 5:16, NIV).

Celebrating love usually isn’t something that “comes over” you. You don’t just sit around and wait to fall in love again. You cultivate celebrating love intentionally. One of the primary ways to inspire daily celebration in your relationship is to purposely put each other first. Move your spouse to the top of your to-do list, just a bubble behind your love for Jesus.

This means you must make spending time together a priority, just as you did when you were first dating. We’re not just talking about “quality time.” Sometimes you need hundreds of hours of “quantity time” before you can enjoy real quality time with your spouse. You need frequent periods of time away from the kids and other responsibilities. Find enjoyable activities—everything from hobbies to foreplay to conversation—that will rekindle intimacy of heart and spirit. Give your spouse priority access to your time instead of just the leftovers.

Priority time for your spouse means occasional date nights and getaway weekends. These events should be scheduled in your calendar ahead of time, because if you wait until the last minute, you may have trouble fitting them into your busy life. (You may find our book 40 Unforgettable Dates with Your Mate helpful in planning dates!) But priority time also means smaller time slots each day, such as having dinner together, taking a brief walk, spending time talking, playing a game, or watching a favorite program together.

Priority time for what? Among all the enjoyable things you may do when you set aside time to be together, make communication a priority. Sure, you may spend a couple of hours in silence watching the ballet or a movie. But make the effort to fit periods of meaningful conversation into your time together. By meaningful we mean something more than how you liked the movie, what the kids did today, or how the economy is faring. Talk about the two of you—your goals, your dreams, even your disappointments and your hurts. Try to learn something new about your spouse every time you enjoy uninterrupted conversation.

Effective communication in marriage also means what you say through your body language. When you talk together, put down your phone and turn off the TV. Make eye contact and give undivided attention. Make physical contact through an occasional affirming touch. Draw out your spouse with questions that demonstrate your interest in what he or she is talking about. Ask God to help you focus directly on your spouse.

Lavish on your spouse the honor and pleasure of putting him or her first among your earthly relationships. It will prompt a daily celebration that will help you soar above the knotty problems and humdrum of daily life. You can fall in love again!

This article about how to fall in love again originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

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