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Q: Pam, your newest book is Discovering Hope in the Psalms. What was one of your darkest moments and how did you get through it?

lighthouse matt vs bible artA: Lighthouses are special to our family. Our youngest son proposed to his wife at a lighthouse. We live on a boat so lighthouses are a beacon of hope to us in the fog or squalling sea. God’s word is that same kind of lighthouse, a beacon of hope to guide is into safe harbor during the storms of life.

In my new book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, I share one of our stormiest seasons and how God’s lighthouse of hope helped us navigate our perfect storm. The winds first hit our little lifeboat during one of our media tours. Bill wasn’t feeling well, so we went to the ER where a doctor informed him he had high blood pressure. That news caught Bill’s attention. His dad had a stroke in his 40s that paralyzed half his body and Bill’s grandfather died of a stroke in his late 40s. Soon it became apparent that God was asking Bill to resign from the lead pastor role he had served in for 15 years. This decision was difficult emotionally and financially. In this same season, our youngest son, Caleb, was hit in a football game and rushed to the hospital where he needed a blood transfusion to save his life. Eight days later, when we brought Caleb home, all I wanted to do was to wrap him in my arms, but I had a speaking engagement, which our family needed me to keep.

During my time away, I received calls about my other two sons who had both also experienced athletic injuries. Then I got a call that my younger brother was hospitalized after having a heart attack, and could I come help with his family. My stress was welling up like a tidal wave.

joy comes in the morningWhen friends would ask, “How are you?” I didn’t know how to answer. So I went to the Word and read Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” JOY! That’s what I needed. I immediately went on a joy hunt. I read Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” and kept following the well-lit path of joy verses. I printed them, studied them, and hung them around my home. Joy became my lighthouse of hope, an anchor in a storm that lasted three years.

Since that day I found hope in the Psalms, I answer the, “How are you?” questionJoyful with “Choosin’ joy!” Responding that way helped me immensely as it kept my focus on God, His power and His willingness to put joy in my heart no matter what life brought my way. Amazingly, this saying has caught on with thousands of women who have heard me share my story of hope. That’s the power of the Word. The joy that becomes the lighthouse for your journey lights the way for those around you also. May the God of all hope continue to multiply your joy!

Join Pam’s online Bible study using Discovering Hope in the Psalms (Register here/ Order book here)

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13

08 2017

Simply UNSHAKABLE

I have been thinking and praying about what it means to live UNSHAKEN, I can’t help but marvel at how God has come through for us this past year, which has  been one of the most challenging in our 37 years of marriage. It is common for couples to have at least one very strenuous season of life and this year has been our turn. Bill’s folks are 87 and are showing signs of aging physically, emotionally and socially. Bill also discovered an unfortunate trend in his family. It turns out that couples in his heritage tend to break relationship with their parents shortly after they get married.  Bill and his brother, however, came to Christ as high school students and were the first of their family to follow Jesus. Part of God’s work has been to maintain a relationship with his folks guided by appropriate boundaries and deliberate interactions. The result today is my wonderful husband has chosen to be the main caregiver (we are the only ones who live in So Cal where mom and dad reside). It is inconvenient, however, since we live 3 hours from them! After making this trip too many times, we decided to relocate to protect Bill’s health and better care for his folks. It sounded very simple. We would  sell our home, downsize significantly and move nearer. But the sale of our beautiful San DiegoRollercoaster home was been an eleven month rollercoaster ride of offers that have fallen through for one reason or another. We have both wrestled with the stress, dealt with the disappointment and pursued a partnership rather than blame each other. We know that many couples fracture their relationship during these seasons of high stress and we wanted to use this time of life to grow closer and more in love.

Simple Skills golden ruleWe found the “SKILLED” acrostic from 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping it All Together  to be of great help in remaining UNSHAKEN during  this midlife mayhem.

Steadfast – When we focused on being RELIABLE, trust would be built and doors of opportunity were opened. While we waited to see what God WOULD DO for our future we CONTINUED TO DO what we knew was his will, which included writing books and blogs, articles and advice for social media. Here is a note we received on our Facebook page:

Hello from Costa Rica

My name is J….  a young boy who has read your book, I’m 20, and I want to thank you for sharing with us that important information about the Waffles and Spaghettis. As a testimony, I didn’t grew up with my father, and it was difficult for me to understand how to be a real man and why I have to take my role and responsibility on the relationship. I was frustrated because my girlfriend was doing things that I couldn’t understand. I was feeling  dumb, but one wise pastor who came from USA to my church was talking about your book, so I did it.  I’ve read it and my whole life has changed. I admire you guys, all what you do and how God uses your knowledge to bless people like me. I love my girlfriend so much. Thanks to you I can understand her better and we are hoping to get marriage in the next 2 years.

Knowledgeable – We made it our goal to  become a little WISER each day so we could make sound plans that would render positive results.

       Over these difficult few years, I began a new quiet time tradition of what I call “Creative Biblical Expressions” or others call Bible Art Journaling. I dig into a passage, then draw out its meaning in my journal or Journaling Bible. This new spiritual rhythm has helped me relax and recharge, as well as memorize the verse and meditate on how to best apply it to my life. In my Bible is a bookmark with this quote: ”It is never too late to become your best self” –   George Eliot. (Maybe pick up a copy of the men’s or women’s Simple Skills book to help become your “very best self.”)

Intentional – As we chose to be PROACTIVE, we  stopped waiting for life to happen and became more active in creating the future we dreamed of.

Each Monday morning, Bill and I have a “marriage meeting” and we use our “weekly worksheet” to set goals, an action plan and pray. This “meeting of the minds” has kept us closer and unified in a season where circumstances could have pulled us apart.

Likable – We made a priority of being RELATIONAL. We deliberately practiced relationship skills we share with others to form healthy friendships, work relationships, dating/ marriage partnerships and a strong family.

Because of our priority of trying to live out the golden rule of “Treat others the same way you would like to be treated”. (Luke 6:31 NASB)  Many people have extended their prayers, support and practical help. In addition, mixed in the mountain of responsibility has been a little fun. For example, to celebrate the release of our “anniversary” expanded and updated edition of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti this year we are doing our own version of a foodie show as we visit Waffles places and Spaghetti restaurants in each city we visit—often eating with friends and having iron sharpens irons conversations over the meal. (If you have a great breakfast cafe or a wonderful pasta place in your city, email us and if we are in your area and we decide to go, we might just invite you along! Email: info@love-wise.com )

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Lively – Maintaining HEALTHY habits of exercise and disciplined eating has given us the energy, drive, and power to live out dreams.

Bill and I workout together most days. We also look for fun active dates like a beach walk, biking, hiking, kayaking, or paddle boarding. There are MANY benefits to physical exercise: releases happy endorphins to lift the mood, keeps you heart healthy, and it even raises the libido (important for the authors of Red Hot Monogamy).

Effective – We have always enjoyed being PRODUCTIVE because it provides the tools to move dreams into reality and deliver tangible fruit for hard work.

I have enjoyed being an editor, then writer, for a new Bible study to be released with Harvest House in 2017. “Discovering Hope in the Psalms” is co-authored by our long-time friend, Jean E Jones and a favorite artist, Karla Dornacher. A powerful verse that has given us hope is Psalms 73: 26, “My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my life and my portion forever.” If you look up the definitions of key words, one could read this as: My body and inner person may perish, Elohim (the God above all gods) will be my sure STONE MOUNTAIN, my SOLID ROCK,  of my inner person and my territory (my reward and my victorious booty) through all eternity. 

Bill has enjoyed writing a series of Relationship Bible Blogs for believe.com. A favorite one that not just encouraged the audience, but Bill too is: How To Recognize God’s Blessings In Your Family History.

Decisive – When we chose to be DECISIVE, life seemed easier, emotions calmer, and efforts more efficient in living out our goals

We have used every single one of the many “decision-making” tools and tips in Simple Skills, including the Rubber-Band method (to decide to stay or go) and the Eisenhower Grid (to decide priorities and when to schedule them) .

One solid decision we have made is to keep making time for our “far flung” family. Yes, we are there for mom and dad, but our hearts are lifted as we travel to spend time with our three leader sons, their godly wives, and our 4 fun grandkids. Each time we are with them, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness to us as a family—and focusing on God’s faithfulness helps us all live UNSHAKEN.

Join us on the journey as we all become more SKILLED. Praying God will help you and your family live unshaken too!

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalms 16:8)

Pam and Bill

17

04 2017

Sunsets, Long Walks on the Beach and Romance

Couples who travel together enjoy more “Red Hot Monogamy” according to U.S. Travel Association. “In fact, 28 percent of those surveyed said their sex lives improved after traveling together, and of those, 40 percent said their sex lives are permanently better since traveling”.

2017 cruiseOne of our favorite romantic vacations has been speaking for cruises on the open sea. There is just something romantic about breath-taking sunsets, the fragrance of fresh air, dancing under the stars, walking the beach, eating exotic dinners by candle light and long, relaxed heart to heart talks. And the best part is the TIME alone to reconnect, recreate, romance and have RED HOT MONOGAMY!

In Red Hot Monogamy, we encourage couples to plan regular getaways to fan the flame on the 8 areas of intimacy:

  • Social
  • Financial
  • Recreational
  • Vocational
  • Parental
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Sexual

splash rebecca pam billYou can focus on just ONE of these areas and plan a getaway to make forward movement (we have ideas on how to do this in Red Hot Monogamy). Or, you can schedule a marriage weekend (see our calendar of options at www.Love-wise). Better yet, you can lengthen your time away with a weeklong Marriage Cruise (We have one coming January 7-14 2017).

No matter WHERE you are going to get away or what goals you have for your time alone together, you two will maximize your time away if you include a few simple activities:

Prayer: So you can hear God’s voice leading you louder than anything else.

Rest: Take a nap before you dig in and discuss. Then take a nap as a reward before you come home and face real life again.

Good food: Cook together or eat at a favorite romantic spot when you begin and end a getaway. (Research says men are happier after they eat. At the same time, the place in a woman’s brain that controls eye sight is stimulated.  She becomes more aware of her life and he is more willing to engage. So if you have a tough topic to discuss, enjoy a great meal,  enjoy “red hot monogamy”, then engage in strategic interaction!

A little activity: Couples who exercise release happy endorphins (and they also have a higher rate of enjoying “red hot Monogamy”). Do something simple–a 20 minute walk, bike or swim will clear your brain and replenish you.

10 sunset profileRed Hot Monogamy: Set an amount of time that you will work on talking about, writing down and processing your goals and work discussion. Reward yourself with s*x by each selecting something off the Red Hot Romance Idea list (200 ideas in Red Hot Monogamy and even more ideas in Red Hot Romance Tips for Women).

Couples who “Come AWAY do NOT come APART”.

Come away, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the spice-laden mountains. (Song of Songs 8:14)

Set sail with love,

Pam and Bill

  1. If you register for the Marriage Cruise, please use this link so we can have a special gift for you onboard and registering through this link benefits Love-Wise ministries.

07

04 2016

Creative Conflict Resolution

Q: What is the most creative advice you know to calm a conflict or keep an argument from escalating?

A: In our book, 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make, we tell a 10 Best Couplestory of a visit to the home of some newcomers to our church, Frank and Kendyl. After being in their beautiful, stylish home just a few minutes, I began to notice small bowls of baby sized Snickers bars all over their home. Curious, I asked Kendyl, “Why so many snickers? Does someone really like them?” snicker

Frank and Kendyl grinned at each other and with a twinkle in his eyes, Frank laughed and then explained that he and Kendyl were both first born, so early in their marriage they had many conflicts because they both always thought they were right. Sometimes anger flared, or word were spoken out of frustration that they each regretted so instead of counting to 10 to calm down, one of them decided that the time it took to chew and swallow a fun-sized “Snickers” TM was the perfect amount of time to  regain serenity and unity.

frank kendylFrank and Kendyl were married for decades — Then recently, Frank was ushered into heaven. Frank and Kendyl have been our friends, mentors, prayer warriors, advocates and partners in ministry.

When a saint dies, heaven’s great gain is this earth’s great loss- but our legacy lives on! 

And Frank and Kendyl’s legacy of love lives on. Their influence is securely planted in the lives of thousands.

Each couple who knows Jesus and has been married much time at all has some wisdom to share. We encourage couples to get involved in couple’s Bible studies, grow deeper in their own walk with God, and closer in their own marriage—then mentor other couples to help them gain God’s enrichment, encouragement and equipping to live “Love-Wise” too.

Thanksgiving with family is a terrific time to influence others. The best ways to do that is to be other centered. Look for those you can comfort, care for, have conversation with and LISTEN to. Then naturally share how God has impacted your life, or things you are thankful God has been or done for you.  Pray and ask God who in your world He wants you to influence this holiday weekend.

“…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…” (James 1:19)

23

11 2015

Pam and Bill, you have become known for creating SIMPLE SKILLS that lead to healthier living and more successful relationships. Why the SIMPLE focus?

One of life’s great mysteries is that complex issues can be addressed with Simple Skills. When the Israelites asked, “How can we live in a way that is pleasing to God?” Moses was given the 10 Commandments. Jesus stunned people with His authoritative simplicity in such challenges as the Simple Skills golden ruleGolden Rule, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” (Luke 6:31) Throughout the Bible we see God’s desire for our lives summed up in simple directions:

  • One thing I ask from the Lord . . . (Ps 27:4)
  • Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack . . . (Mark 10:21)
  • I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do . . .  (Phil 3:13)

We want to spend 7 days in October with you making life simpler for all of us. From October 12 – October 18 we will send you ONE SIMPLE TIP and ONE SIMPLE TOOL each day, if you sign up for the Simple Skill Celebration.

SIMPLY go to the SIMPLE SKILLS book page, (http://love-wise.com/simpleskills.php) watch the video, scroll to the bottom and sign up for the 7 Days of Simple Success Celebration.

SIMPLY STICKY

There is power in having a SINGULAR FOCUS brought about by simple questions:

“What one change would improve your outlook?”
“What one habit would you like to develop?”
“What one skill would help you live more effectively this year?”

Last week we challenged our social media connections (ezine/ facebook/ twitter) to answer the following question:  What one thing do you believe God would like you to DO before the end of the year?

end of 90 day personal professional simple
We are all putting our answer on a sticky note and placing it where we can see it every day (a mirror, desk, refrigerator or dash board). It’s simple. It’s sticky. It keeps us focused on success!

We are committed to pray for every one of you who posts your sticky note on our Facebook page because we know it will encourage all of us if we share the journey together.

SIMPLE STEPS

Over the years, we have discovered that our most valuable accomplishments came about because of Simple Skills applied diligently.

Capture the power of SIMPLE today.

Join the 7 Days of Simple Success Celebration today.

Get your copy of 7 Simple Skills for Every Man and 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman today.

Post your sticky note on our FACEBOOK page so we can pray for you.

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08

10 2015

Q: How can I help my son or daughter be better prepared to succeed academically, socially, spiritually, fiscally and practically in college?

A: If your “child” is going to college, you have dreams in your heart of the truth they are going to learn, the people they are going to meet and the success they will accomplish with the degree they earn. We all want our young adults to think like Eleanor Powell, “What we are is God’s gift to us.  What we become is our gift to God.” We certainly don’t want them to think like Tom Petty, “You have four years to be irresponsible [in college], relax. Work is for people with jobs.  You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on a Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have . . . The work never ends, but college does.”

The reality is that acquiring college degree is one of life’s great challenges. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 30 percent of adults have a college degree and 8 out of every 100 students gain a graduate (Masters) degree. Figuring out how to pay for college is also a difficult pursuit. According to CBS Money Watch, only 2% of high school athletes get sports scholarships while “seven in 10 seniors (69%) who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2013 had student loan debt, with an average of $28,400 per borrower.”

We have been quite fortunate in this regard as all 3 of our sons were awarded partial athletic scholarships and will end their college careers with Masters Degrees in their chosen fields. We also consider ourselves fortunate that our sons have landed successful career positions in a sluggish employment environment where only about 50% of grads have fulltime employment at the one year mark after graduation.

GradPicsWe believe this has happened because of God’s favor and our efforts to help them prepare. In addition to our yearly Learner and Leader Days from elementary through high school (outlined in the 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make book), we proactively prepared our graduates to launch. During the months before each went away to college, we walked them through The Freshman Foundation Dinner and Discussion Questions. With each son, we personalized the when and where of these imperative interactions. For son number 1, we took 5 beach walks each evening at Cannon Beach Conference Center’s Family Camp where we were speaking. We took son two out to dinner once a week for 5 weeks in the summer following his high school graduation. For our youngest, we discussed his decisions over home cooked meals on our deck, then wrapped up the final loose ends on a weekend college scouting trip. Our goal was to discuss with each son five vital areas of life that must be “owned” for a young person to launch well.

The five vital areas covered by the The Freshman Foundation Dinner and Discussion Questions are:

Fitness: How will your student stay healthy emotionally, physically and psychologically?
Finances: Who will pay for what and how will your student balance work and study?
Future: What degree, internships, apprenticeships or other experiences will secure their career?
Friends: How they will find solid, healthy friends, a good church and Christian fellowship?
Faith: What decisions, mentors, methods and organizations will help them mature spiritually?

There are 7 to 12 questions in each area to help facilitate a thorough, sensitive, cordial discussion between parents and student. You are, of course, free to adapt or personalize the questions to fit your situation. The goal is to help your graduate take a bold step in assuming responsibility for his or her choices to increase the chances of success during college.

You may also want to consider developing an Education Contract with your student. (You can find it in 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make). This form will help your young adult clearly spell out a budget that describes who pays for what during the college years. Expenses will be identified and compared with contributions from scholarships, income from work and funds provided by mom and dad. The “Farrel Scholarship” money came with some pre-requisites. Our sons were rewarded for attending church, serving at church or in a local ministry, meeting with a mentor and participating in a church or campus ministry focused on their stage of life. They were required to maintain a GPA in line with their abilities and to sign a morality pledge to seek excellence in the moral choices they would be confronted with (includes convictions about drug and alcohol use, sexual decisions and other ethical dilemmas). We wanted them to see that a college education is a PRIVILEGE not a right. Failure to meet the provisions of the agreement would result in a probationary period in which our sons could regroup. Although we never had to pull our financial support, we were prepared to do so if our kids did not regroup during the couple of probationary periods we had to institute.

The goal of this process was not to put pressure on our sons. Instead, we wanted them to know four vital truths: 1) Mom and Dad were celebrating their growth. 2) Mom and Dad would work hard to support them but were not willing to work harder than them for their success. 3) Mom and Dad were serious and would keep our word. 4) Mom and Dad would be their cheerleaders, champions and prayer warriors through their academic journey.

The payoff is you get to celebrate at the finish line with confetti, high fives and lots of hugs!
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06

09 2015

What are the benefits of being your wife’s best friend?

Curious couples consistently wonder what it is that really makes marriage work. I (Bill) am curious too! We can all sense when our hearts are in sync and things are good. It is elusive, however, to describe how this emotional, relational and spiritual magic is solidified in a marriage relationship. While developing a new APP for husbands, HER BEST FRIEND, I had the opportunity to reflect on years of relationship ministry and recent research.FBPostPic3_lowres

After years of exploration that has led to books, articles and clinical papers, the conclusion is simpler than any of us expected. The success of your marriage comes down to the quality of your friendship with your wife, according to John Gottman, the innovative founder of The Love Lab at the University of Washington (reported in The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work). He and his team discovered that successful couples:

  • have “a mutual respect for and enjoyment of each other’s company.”
  • “know each other intimately and have an abiding regard for each other and express this fondness” in big and little ways, day in and day out.
  • Determine the satisfaction of sex, romance and passion based on the quality of their friendship.
  • don’t let the negative thoughts they have about each other outweigh the positive ones.

In other words, friendship is the key. Her Best Friend is a new app to help foster the friendship in your marriage. Almost every man I meet wants to do good things for his wife but runs out of ideas quickly. The app will deliver one idea per day to your phone. If you like today’s idea, apply it in your relationship. If today’s idea seems better suited for others, simply wait until tomorrow because another idea is on its way. Here’s to your friendship!

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04

08 2015

Q: Creating a family mission statement, a family motto, and an illustrated family moniker (or crest) seems kind of difficult and labor intensive. Is there a simple way to create these?

A: Yes! Year after year we have worked to make these vital ingredients to a family compass easier to create. Focus on the Family interviewed us about these when we were on air talking about our books 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make and 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. (Link to interview on Intentional Parent part 1; part 2). Also, we created a simple step by step document to help you create a family compass.
forest home brock momHowever, more recently, I was speaking for a Mother and Son conference at Forest Home camp, and our son, Brock, was team teaching with me. It thought it might be nice for moms and sons to work on a family crest together. Here is the simple crest and four simple questions that might begin your journey to create that vital family crest that can serve as a compass to you and your kids.

In each of the 4 spaces in this shield, place a symbol that answers these four questions (one symbol per space):

Family Crest Blank

  1. The best thing about our family is:
  2. The belief or value I think our family stands for is:
  3. The trait about God our family loves most is:
  4. The best way our family can help reach people for Jesus is:

While doing research on my newest book, 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman, I discovered a fascinating statistic. Children who grow up in families with a strong identity and a habit of sharing family stories that depict morality or belief choices make better choices and decisions themselves!  That is exactly what the process of creating a family mission, motto and moniker will do—they are tools to set up the environment for some wonderful, deep and meaningful conversations.  We encourage you to pick up a copy of 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make to help you pass on your baton of faith securely to the next generation. The many tools work together to help move your child forward into his or her God –given potential.

Psalm 145:3-4: Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.

May these tools help you commend God from generation to generation!

01

04 2015

It seems even clergy couples struggle with marriage issues. What Can we (I) do to help protect my pastor’s marriage?

Give them a little L.U.V.:

bill pam bech rebecca closeGal. 6:6 says, “One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.” Bill and I have spent our entire married life in some form of ministry. Our 2015 began with a week of heart break hitting our inbox with clergy couples in crisis. Around the world are selfless clergy couples who run to the side of others in need to give God’s love, so here are three things you can do to LUV your pastor or the clergy couples of your church (or parachurch) staff:

Listen—then take action: Tune in and get your eyes off yourself and ask honest questions to see if you really know what your pastor and his wife are dealing with personally. Some common struggles of clergy couples are economic distress or pressure; creating uninterrupted time together ; keeping a positive attitude in the middle of handling negative situations , or same stressors as anyone else: a strong willed or special needs child, a prodigal teen, health issues, or life stage drama like mid-life crisis. Be one of the people that surround the shepherd of your flock and offer a listening ear and tangible help. Your empathy and words of kindness and affirmation will also go a long way in helping easy this burden.

Underwrite: Be generous. Give funding to the pastor(s) to for the kind of things that keep a marriagered hot book and matches healthy. Send gift cards for dates, pay for a weekend away in a nice hotel or loan out your cabin.   Often Christian conference centers offer free housing to clergy couples, so even a small church can raise money for the gas and a couple meals and partner with the local Christian Camp to give your clergy couple some time alone together. (Our book Red Hot Monogamy has 200 ideas to keep passion in the parsonage!) In the church budget should also be funds for an annual marriage conference for the clergy couples to attend. Also, if there are clergy denominational meetings or conferences, add in a little extra to sponsor the spouse to attend too. Ministry minded marriages that have peers and mentors who they can be authentic with will have people to turn to in times of stress or crisis and this will strengthen the ministry marriage. (Our book A Couples’ Journey with God can help ministry minded couples learn from some of what we experienced)

Volunteer: If you have a strong marriage, offer to help head up the marriage ministry at your church,couples journey and bible or at least part of it: offer to run a small group for married couples; chair a marriage retreat committee, be the point person for a couples, date night, or write a blog on marriage for the church website or weekly bulletin. If your marriage has survived and overcome a particular challenge, offer to the pastor to meet with other couples who might come to him for the same issue. If your pastor has young children, volunteer to babysit (or arrange the childcare) so they can have a weekly date night. Also offer to be part of a prayer team for the clergy couple or offer to pay for counseling, or the cost of getting them to a ministry minded intensive (At Love-Wise we have a “Marriage On the Rocks?” resource list of multiple options to rescue and rebuild a relationship).

With a little bit of LUV we can show care for those who care so much for others.

Pam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, relationship specialists, and authors of 40 books. The Farrels are focused on helping individuals and couples become Love-Wise. (www.love-wise.com)

 

 

 

 

09

03 2015

Q: We want to avoid marital crisis. So how can we know how we are doing as a couple?

A: Each January, the President of the United States  gives a state of the Union address pointing out things that are going well and some suggested areas of improvement—then the debate, discussion and dialogue begins. In similar manner, Bill and I meet each January to review the state of our union.

In our book, Red Hot Monogamy, we walk a couple through 8 vital areas of life that create marital intimacy, harmony and unity. Set a date this week and rate yourself 1 to 10 how you are doing in each area: (Download State of the Union: Red Hot Relationship Date Night worksheet)

  • Social – Are you enjoying friendship with each other and those in your life?
  • Financial – Are you stable now and do you have a plan you are working for your future?
  • Recreational– Do you have a plan you both are working to stay healthy and happy?
  • Vocational– Do you have a plan in place to help both of you grow and move forward in your career (education; volunteer work)?
  • Parental– Are you on the same page as parents; do you have a plan to help you children reach their God- given potential?
  • Emotional– Are you both calm, peaceful, stable, and enjoying strong mental health?
  • Spiritual– Are you both growing in your walk with God?
  • Sexual– Do you enjoy regular intimacy, closeness and sexual expression?

Together set a goal in each area and move your life and love forward. (Download State of Union worksheet)

Setting goals is Biblical:

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?  . . . Luke 14:28-33 ESV

 A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

BestYearGoalDownload Your Best Year Yet Goal Worksheets for Couples. (This will help you each set goals (a sheet for a husband and a wife), and it will help you talk through your life from a broad, global perspective. Change is possible! If you set one goal a month, in a year you will have moved your love and life forward! Or choose one area to focus on in the following year to laser movement in a problem area.

 

RHMBuy Red Hot Monogamy and set aside 8 weeks to move your life and love forward in all 8 areas of intimacy—and this book has 200 red hot ideas to fan the flame on your intimate life, so there can be great rewards for all your hard work you are doing as a couple! It is a built in red hot love incentive plan! (Even God gives incentives for wise choices, “Great is your reward!” (Matt 5:12) In this case, a red hot love is its own reward!

03

02 2015