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Archive for the ‘Romance’Category

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

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

Question: Do men and women learn differently. Seems like I(wife) like to read books but my husband would rather listen to an audio book or watch a video. Or sometimes I am sharing a story and ask, “Remember, honey?” and he looks at me with a blank stare. Is this just us or do men and women learn and retain information differently?

Answer: “One of the reasons men and women approach the work place differently is that they learn differently. We think remarkably similar and are able to learn the same information, but we process it differently. ‘Men, for example, tend to think more in terms of principles, while women think more in terms of relationships. Men generally learn on a less personal level, while women tie thoughts to emotions.’ This is why ‘On achievement tests, men score higher on math and spatial concepts, while women outscore men in areas of language.’
“As a pastor, I see this in operation all the time. Men are consistently talking about the principles of the Bible and how to apply them to our lives. Women are more concerned about the well being of the members of their families and the spiritual motivation of the ones they love . . .
“The fact that women tie knowledge to their emotions is also why women usually have better memories than men. Women attach the events of their lives to their emotions which makes the memory stronger. When it is time to recover the memory, it is easier to remember because it was more intense for her than for him. Men go through life one activity at a time and usually do not attach it to a vivid emotion. As a result, the memory of the activity is rather bland. In my relationship with Pam, this is a pretty consistent frustration. She often says to me, ‘Don’t you remember?’ The problem is, I don’t. She has such vivid memories of times we have spent together that at times I wonder if I was really there.” (excerpted from Chapter 7 of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti)

06

03 2013

What if we have no money for romance?

red hot book and matchesRomance is not about how lavish the gift is or how expensive the date ends up being. True romance is taking the time to speak to the heart of the one you love! In our book, Red Hot Monogamy, we have over 200 red hot ideas, and many of them don’t cost a thing—or very little. Here are some recession romance ideas for love on a shoestring budget:

1. Have a candlelit picnic in an unusual location, like your rooftop, a park bench, or overlooking the ocean.
2. Go on a photo date where you snap pictures of each other all over the city. If finances permit it, take them to a one-hour developing location. You may want to frame your favorite and give it to your spouse with a note. The others can be sent as postcards, facebook/ instagram posts or emails to each other all through the year.
3. Walk or bicycle to an inexpensive ice cream shop or a fancy coffeehouse.
4. Drive in the mountains, arriving in time for a sunset or moonlit stroll.
5. Go to a park, push one another in the swings, and talk. Take turns listing A to Z the reasons you love your mate.
6. Walk the mall. The goal is not to buy, but to test perfume and cologne along the way.
7. Pull out the kids’ toys, Fly a kite or have a squirt gun fight.
8. Write clues on dime-store Valentines and place them around town, then take your love on a car rally or treasure hunt. The date consists of gathering clues and small romantic treasures like poems, chocolates, and other small treats.
9. Go to the library and check out a poetry book, find a romantic spot, like at the beach at sunset, or by the fireplace, and take turns reading them out loud to one another.
10. Write a song or a poem and perform it for the one you love. Even an original version of “Roses are Red…” can be a trea­sure when it’s from the heart.
11. Reenact a portion of a timeless romantic drama. Shake-speare’s Romeo and Juliet is a great place to begin.
12. Celebrate your married romance. Spend the day in bed. Pre­pare ahead and have breakfast in bed. Bring piles of maga­zines and play soft music. Rest in your love.
13. Reminisce over old photo albums or your wedding album. Set the mood by relaxing together and talking by firelight or candlelight. Another option is to have your children play waiter and waitress and serve a romantic dinner, then tell them the story of how you fell in love. After they are in bed, choose one other idea on this list to enjoy.
14. Go to a local Christian bookstore and buy a book on mar­riage and read it together. Red Hot Monogamy is a 8 week guide to fan the flame on your love. Men are Like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti has 10 weeks of date nights (and you can download videos to watch at www.Lifeway.com10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make has 10 weeks of dinner and dialogue questions.
15. Have a living room luau. Often local music stores have island music at rock bottom prices. Put on your bathing suit, toss down some beach towels and enjoy island cuisine.
16. Borrow plants from all your friends and neighbors and turn your patio into a private garden retreat and enjoy a quiet dinner. Bake something extravagant together. Bonus points for cooking the dinner and doing the clean up together.
17. Rent an old-fashioned romantic movie. The movies made in the ’30s through the ’50s are a good place to start.
18. Work out together. Go for a jog, do aerobics to a video, or visit a gym. Enjoy sitting in the Jacuzzi to recover.
19. Play a board game together. Classics like Scrabble or the Ungame are good conversation starters. Share hopes, dreams and goals as you play.
20. Put on your special song and waltz around the living room.
21.Go on a walk and find a quiet romantic place to dance under the moonlit or in the sunset.
22. Play 20 questions. Each of you think of ten questions you’d love to know the answer to. Try questions like, “If you intro­duced me to a stranger today, what one thing would you say I do that you really appreciate about me?” or “If money was not a factor, where would you like to go on a romantic get­away?”
23. Anticipate the future. All marriages go through seasons. Consider buying a book to help prepare for the next season of love. (A Couple’s Journey with God is a devotional that shares in 5 minutes inspirations the ups and downs of the seasons of our love. It might encourage yours!)
24. Watch a movie about a place you’d love to travel together. Create a theme date by eating food from that location, scan the internet together and plan where you might go away together in the future.
25. Renew your vows (or write personal vows, if you didn’t do that in your original ceremony). This can be a private affair or you can invite the children or friends and celebrate.

Remember, it’s not the expense of the gift but the thought that counts!

For more ongoing romantic ideas—many of them FREE—Please “like” the Bill and Pam Facebook page or sign up for the monthly newsletter at www.Love-Wise.com

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02 2013