Category

Self Reflection

3 Ways to Demonstrate Love Mindfully

By | Scripture, Self Reflection | One Comment

Mindfulness, or attentiveness, is a practice that can be applied to our entire lives to help us be more fully engaged with both ourselves and others. When we fail to be mindful of what’s happening inside and around us, we’re prone to a sort of “perceptual blindness.” This means that we could easily be missing the obvious–especially when it comes to the people we encounter. When we’re too wrapped up in our own activities and to-do lists, we’re missing others’ needs. Then, we leave a gap where we could have provided help, attention, affection, guidance, or love. Loving mindfully is…

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How to Love Like Jesus

By | Scripture, Self Reflection | 7 Comments

“Observe how Christ loved us. Love like that.” – Ephesians 5:2 Loving like Jesus is the best way to live. When we love like Him, we can step outside ourselves and clearly see our loved ones and their needs. We can shed layers of selfishness, resentment, anxiety, pettiness, and entitlement. Most of all, we can rise above our human imperfections and step into transcendent love. Jesus’s model of love challenges us to stop settling for anything less than “the most excellent way.” If you want to love like Jesus, read on. Can anyone really love like Jesus? When it comes…

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Opposite Sex Friendships: 3 Scenarios and What to Do

By | Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection | 31 Comments

It can be a challenge to balance the intimacy of our marriages with the other important friendships in our lives. This is especially true if we have close friends of the opposite gender. While same-sex friendships tend to be easy to nurture after we’re married, there’s an entirely different set of considerations when it comes to having opposite-sex friends. The first question to ask ourselves is, where are we going to invest our energy and focus? Obviously, our marriage is the most precious relationship to protect. Outside of that, we have to decide how we’re going to approach our other…

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7 Secrets to a Healthy Dating Relationship

By | Communication, Self Reflection | One Comment

Dating can be a thrilling, romantic whirlwind. It’s also a complex developing relationship that requires careful consideration and attention to detail as you get to know one another over time. Ultimately, dating leads to one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life–the decision to marry–so it’s important to cultivate a healthy relationship with your dating partner from the very beginning. By following principles of what we call “smart love” and taking your time, you can build a healthy relationship with your dating partner. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide of 7 tips to help you start on…

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3 Keys to Finding the Love of Your Life

By | Self Reflection | 4 Comments

Love is overpowering and intense–a seemingly mystical mix of emotions and physical sensations that authors and poets have compared to madness. If you’ve ever been in love, you know the feelings: lightheadedness, shortness of breath, excitement, and elation. The problem is that love seems to cause people to really lose their minds. The phrase “love is blind” is true; the all-consuming sensory experience of falling in love tends to block our critical thinking. It can become almost impossible to objectively look at ourselves–and the person we’re dating–from the outside in. Simply put, feelings of love can’t tell us anything about…

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Building a Shared Vision in Your Marriage: 3 Questions to Answer

By | Communication, Self Reflection, Time | 4 Comments

Do you and your spouse set aside time once a year to plan for the next 12 months? Making time together for planning, intention, and strategic thought as you move into the future together will bind you closer together and give you shared goals to work toward as a couple. We’ve found that there’s great value in pausing to talk about the direction you’re headed going forward. The New Year’s celebration might be behind us already, but you don’t have to wait until next January to build a shared vision with your spouse. It’s never too late to dream and…

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5 Ways to Cope with a Passive-Aggressive Spouse

By | Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection | 32 Comments

Passive aggression is a common behavior pattern that arises in all kinds of relationships. It’s always harmful, but in marriages, it’s especially painful. Passive-aggressive behavior can be a simple as a dishonest, “I’m fine,” followed by a period of pouting and unpleasant behavior (slamming cabinets and drawers, angrily manhandling items around the house, giving you the silent treatment, etc.). Or it can go as deep as deliberate sabotage between spouses. Luckily, these harmful patterns can be overcome with observation, self-examination, and the willingness to get help. And if you think your spouse might be passive-aggressive, there are ways to cope…

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4 Things to Do When Your Spouse Self-Sabotages

By | Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection | 8 Comments

Whether your spouse is pursuing a career promotion, a job change, or a personal goal, it’s incredibly painful to watch them set themselves up for failure. We want to help, so we throw ourselves into offering advice and assistance…only to realize we can’t change the situation. While we all self-sabotage at one time or another, some individuals seem to be caught in a pattern. If this sounds like your spouse, you’re not alone. Self-sabotage is easiest to identify when your expectations (or in this case, your spouse’s) don’t align with your efforts—or the outcome. At the core, self-sabotage is rooted…

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Help! My Spouse is a Flirt! What Can I Do?

By | Communication, Conflict, Self Reflection | 8 Comments

When you and your spouse first met, you were captivated by their charming personality. Maybe he made you feel like a princess, or maybe she made you feel like you were the only man in the world. It felt great to receive so much focused attention from someone who quickly became so special to you–and such a big part of your life. Now, you’re married and building a life together, but lately you’ve noticed that your spouse has begun to pay that same kind of flirtatious attention–the kind you thought was reserved only for you–to members of the opposite sex….

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Two Ways to Fire Up Passion in the Bedroom

By | Communication, Scripture, Self Reflection, Time | 14 Comments

There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. I Corinthians 6:16 The loss of passionate romance is a common complaint in marriage. It seems that once the confetti and rice are swept away and the last of the wedding cake is put in the freezer, so is the couple’s passion. But marriage in no way requires passion to be put on ice. Love grows less exciting with time for the same reasons that the second run on a fast toboggan slide is less exciting than the first. But as any…

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