Relationship Boosters

What did you expect?

“I just didn’t think it would be like this, ” Mary said. She looked completely exhausted and defeated. Sam just looked angry. He didn’t want to be with me talking about his marriage to Mary. In fact, if the truth be told, he didn’t want to be married to Mary. He’d had i! “Fifteen years—fifteen years!—and this is what I get?” Mary refused to answer; she just sat there and sobbed. “Look what my hard work gave you. No one you know lives in a house like yours. No one you know has the things I’ve provided for you. No

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Fresh Starts

Here we go again. It’s that time of the year when many of us reflect on the past year—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and resolve to do better this year. Maybe you had a great year that exceeded your expectations. This is a great time to give thanks for the many blessings God has bestowed on you. But, maybe this is a discouraging time as you realize that many of your expectations for the year haven’t become reality in your life. You ponder missed opportunities, or perhaps your failure to achieve goals you set for yourself. Maybe you experienced

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Where’s your joy?

Recently, my wife Sharon and I pulled out all the Christmas stuff to start transforming the decor of our home from Fall to Christmas. Turkeys were replaced by jolly Santas, and Fall leaves gave way to evergreens and the scent of pine. A big part of our yearly Christmas tradition has been going to cut down our Christmas tree and then stopping at Cracker Barrel on the way back. For a long time our yearly trek included just Sharon and I and our three kids, but has evolved into a much bigger event with the addition of two son’s-in-law and

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A Higher Purpose

Sometimes marriage can be hard. Sometimes marriage can be painful. Sometimes that pain and hardship can lead you to entertain thoughts of escape—to distance yourself from your spouse (physically, mentally, and/or emotionally) and the hard work necessary to maintain a marriage of love, unity, and understanding. When I’m in this place, it’s a red flag for me to realign my focus. My eyes, energy, attention, and affections have been focused on the wrong thing. I need to refocus them on the right thing—and I’m not talking about my spouse. There are two truths that I have neglected. When I forget

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Worship, Work, and Grace

This month we conclude our examination of Paul David Tripp’s book, “What did you Expect?” by  finishing Commitment 6: We will work to protect our marriage. So, what is it that produces a marriage of unity, understanding, and love? This kind of marriage is the result of a lifelong commitment to daily marital work and deep trust in God’s transforming grace. What produces a commitment to work and a trust in grace? There is only one thing, and one thing alone, that can form in you this commitment to toil and trust. It is worship. Worship really is the foundation

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On Your Knees

This month we continue looking at Commitment 6: We will work to protect our marriage. If it is true that all the horizontal skirmishes a husband and wife have are rooted in a deeper war for the heart, and if it is true that a marriage must be fixed vertically before it is ever fixed horizontally, then the place where you win the war for your marriage is on your knees. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” —1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 If marriage is a

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Eyes Wide Open

This month we begin looking at Commitment 6: We will work to protect our marriage. Many of us have known couples who after 25 years of marriage, or more, decide to call it quits. We think “if they made it that long, why call it quits now?” How does that happen? For many, at some point in their relationship, they quit living as one and begin living separately together. “Love doesn’t commit suicide. We have to kill it. Though, it often simply dies of our neglect.” —Diane Sollee We continue this month looking at Paul Tripp’s book “What Did You

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Before Dark

This month we continue looking at Commitment 5: We will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace. OK, you’ve acknowledged that you and your spouse are different. The problem you really need help with is not so much that you are different, but how your sinful choices when dealing with your differences deepen your trouble rather than solving it. We continue this month looking at Paul Tripp’s book “What Did You Expect?” These are primarily excerpts from his book. I strongly recommend reading his book to get the full benefit of his message. You can click on the book

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Amazing Grace

This month we begin looking at Commitment 5: We will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace. Unity in marriage is not the result of sameness. Unity is, rather, the result of what husband and wife do in the face of the inevitable differences that exist in the lives of every married couple. We continue this month looking at Paul Tripp’s book “What Did You Expect?” These are primarily excerpts from his book. I strongly recommend reading his book to get the full benefit of his message. You can click on the book image to the right to purchase

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Ready, willing, and waiting

This month we continue looking at Commitment 4: We will commit to building a relationship of love. Many who look forward to marriage think of it as an extended date. Sure, you know your partner isn’t perfect, but you love them. You are ready, willing, and can’t wait to get married. It’s been fun so far, so why should that change just because we get married? We continue this month looking at Paul Tripp’s book “What Did You Expect?” These are primarily excerpts from his book. I strongly recommend reading his book to get the full benefit of his message.

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