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Can You Love Your Spouse Even When it Hurts?

It’s easy to love your spouse when your marriage is healthy and going strong. There is a rhythm to how love flows and it seems effortless. It’s like the two of you are dancing in harmony with each step perfectly timed and choreographed. You give and then you receive and then you give some more. You both give love at the same time and in the same way. You both give love at opposite times and in opposite ways. You know without a doubt the two of you are becoming one.

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But what if your marriage is not working this way? What if the music has stopped and there is no dance left in your marriage? You’re trying to continue to love your spouse even though you are seriously hurting inside. You believe in marriage. You want to honor the vows you have made. You want to do what is right before God. So you keep trying to love even when the pain of rejection and neglect keeps telling you to stop.

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When You Don’t Know How to Improve Your Difficult Marriage

You know you would like to have a marriage you have always dreamed of having but somewhere along the way the challenges of life has got into your marriage. And now you find yourself not knowing how to improve your difficult marriage.

On our previous post, Why Do You Settle For a Difficult Marriage, I gave a challenge for anyone who felt stuck with no intention of doing anything about the condition of their marriage. I talked about how marriage was designed by God to be place of “One Flesh” unity and that God esteems marriage in such high regard that He even chose marriage to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the church.

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And as I mentioned in my challenge, “if marriage has been given the responsibility from God to represent what Christ relationship with us the Church should look like, shouldn’t we hold marriage to the same standard of honor and glory that God has already placed on it.”

But maybe you’re someone from my last post who answered Read more

This Should Not Be Missing From Your Marriage

Truthfully, marriage is complex. It takes the complexity of many factors to make a marriage thrive the way God created it to. However, on this post today I want to discuss just one thing that should not be missing from your marriage. Because when it is missing, it makes the journey of marriage very difficult. At least it was for me.

The uncertainty that flooded my mind time after time in my marriage was torment. It reminds me of when I was a boy pulling petals off of flowers over a childhood sweetheart.

“She loves me, she loves me not; she loves me, she loves me not.”

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The insecurity of not knowing if my wife would love me one day and then not love me the next was incredibly difficult to live with. It wasn’t that she was always giving me a reason to feel insecure. There was just always something missing in our relationship, something I didn’t know how to describe, but I knew it was missing.

As it turned out, it was the same thing Janet was always missing that made her feel so insecure about our relationship. And neither one of us knew how to fix the problem because we never really understood the problem. We had times when our love for each other seemed strong enough, yet we both lived with the nagging feelings of not knowing how long our love would last.

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Divorce, Remarriage, & Personal Disclosure

Many of you who follow our blog are facing some of the hardest decisions you have ever had to make. Along with all the heartache you feel because of your broken marriage, you also have some agonizing questions that need to be answered.

Should you stand for a marriage that looks impossible to save? If so, how long should you stand? Or in your situation, is it God’s will for you to stand for your marriage at all? When the bible says “God hates divorce,” does that mean He will condemn you for not doing all you can to stop it from happening? And what if your marriage does end in divorce, is it wrong for you to remarry someday?

For people who love God and value the bible as the Word of God, the questions you are facing are very serious questions that cannot be taken lightly. You search the scripture for answers that apply to what you’re dealing with. And because you don’t want to get this wrong you seek out godly counsel to help you navigate your way through this. But still if you look hard enough you can find lots of people who love God and love the Word of God and yet they are divided over these questions.

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Early this week I read an article on Sheila Wray Gregoire’s website To Love, Honor and Vacuum, called Reader Question: When Do I Give Up Trying to Get My Ex Back? I thought it was an excellent article. One that helps answer some of the same questions our readers are asking.

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Should You Try to Save Your Marriage

There are many of you who are in a very difficult place right now. Your marriage is in trouble and all you know to do is stand your ground and believe for the restoration of your marriage. You’re in one of the greatest challenges a person can face in life. And I know some of you ask yourself how much more you can take.

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I want you to know Janet and I admire and appreciate every one of you facing this battle. It takes a lot of courage and conviction to take this stand. As many of you know I have been there, and I know too well how difficult it is.

Your story may be different that what I went through, but I still know the delicate balance you have to walk between heartache and hope. One minute your heart is so torn and broken you don’t think you can go any further, then the next minute your heart is so alive with the hope of your future as long as you can just hang on a little longer.

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Growing Your Marriage Through Confession

These two simple words “I’m sorry,” can be so powerful for growing your marriage and yet these two words are so seldom heard.

I’m sure you know saying “I love you” is very important for a strong healthy marriage, but confessing your faults to each other and saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong” should be just as important to you as saying “I love you.”

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Confessing you are wrong is actually a major part of demonstrating your love for your spouse. It can be an act of devotion to your marriage and love for your spouse for a number of reasons.
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When I Said I Do, I meant ….

“What right do you have to destroy my dreams?” I asked my wife. It was a question I felt very strongly about many years ago when she wanted to end our marriage. And it is a question I still feel very strongly about today.

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I take the marriage vows very serious. I believe the vows are promises of commitment to see the marriage through even the toughest of times. Vows like “for better or worse, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer,” are meant to foretell our commitment to the marriage and our spouse with the presumption that there is a good chance we will face any number of trials that will test our resolve to stay committed to the marriage.

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What Does a Good Marriage Look Like?

.The desire for a good marriage is a strong desire for most people. I’m sure, most people who are married or hopes to be married wants their marriage to be good. But how do you know if you have a good marriage if you’re not sure what a good marriage looks like?

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Sure, you can look around and compare your marriage to other couples. If their marriage appears good you will want to know if you have what they have.

If you think their marriage is built on great friendship, then maybe that’s what you need to have. They could be good communicators. Maybe that’s your answer. If they are romantic and affectionate with each other, that could be what your marriage needs. Or if they report having a very satisfying sex life you could think that is your answer as well. All of these and so much more are great qualities to have in marriage. Read more

Two Steps of Grace for Reacting to Criticism

This is part three of a three-part series on constructive criticism. On part one, “How Do You Handle Constructive Criticism?” I talked about how valuable constructive criticism can be in a marriage if it is handled properly. I shared an eye-opening experience I had in my own marriage. And I shared from our experience of ministering to other couples how valuable it is to properly handle constructive criticism.

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Then on part two, “Confront Your Spouse with Love” I went into more depth on how to give constructive criticism without doing damage to your spouse and your marriage. I talked about some very important guidelines of what to do, and what not to do when presenting your grievance to your spouse.

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