When Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith came out in March, I announced a private Facebook read-along group, where those who joined could read the book in community and engage in weekly author-led discussions. Over 400 people joined the group! We had a fantastic 10 weeks … Read moreAnnouncing a New Read-Along Group for Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side!
I’m not sure when the words “mother-in-law” became synonymous with “here comes trouble,” but they have. Gather a group of married friends together, say “mother-in-law,” and the stories will fly. Words like “meddling,” “jealous,” “bossy,” and “controlling” bounce back and forth like tennis balls at a Wimbledon open. Some mothers transition into the role … Read more6 Things Your Mother-in-Law is Secretly Thinking about You
When alarms sound in our heads, we need to listen. This is especially true when they concern potential marriage partners. This radar warns, “Be careful. Don’t think you can fix him.” Just as the great patriarch Abraham wanted a good wife for his son, so our heavenly Father wants good spouses for His … Read more5 Types of Men That Make Bad Husbands
Words must be chosen carefully, along with the tone we use and our very presentation. Our words have the power to hurt and wound or heal others. Scripture is replete with admonitions to be extremely careful with our speech. Solomon advises: “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health … Read moreIf the Truth Hurts Should You Tell It?
Many marriages are dying. More couples are opting for cohabitation and divorce rates are the highest in history. You can find all kinds of modern tips on how to spice up your relationship again but what if we went back to the very beginning of time? Can biblical patriarchs provide ancient keys to successful … Read more4 Things Couples Need to Learn from Genesis
Relationships begin in many different ways. Ours began with a prank phone call. Yes, that’s right! While attending the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, I (Patrick) called Ruth pretending to be a local radio station DJ offering an opportunity to win cash. The goal was simple: call an unsuspecting student and pretend to … Read more5 Things You’ve Heard about Marriage That Simply Aren’t True
“Is this really my life?” the young bride said through tears. Theresa couldn’t believe she found herself “falling out of love” with the man she had vowed to love forever—only 18 months previous. Theresa composed herself and told me the story of the whirlwind romance that led up to her marriage. As she … Read moreWhat to Do When You Fall Out of Love
I know how you feel. You’re tired of trying. On some days you feel like you’re ready to give up. But before you walk away from what you once hoped would last forever, let me share with you something that might spare you future regret. After 28 years of marriage and nearly … Read more5 Bad Reasons to Leave Your Marriage
Recently, you walked past a Baby Gap. In the window, adorable little white mannequins were clothed in miniature khakis and chambray shirts. You stopped to notice the tiny leggings under a sundress, the small jean jacket with only enough room for 2 buttons down the front. Your heart began yearning strangely. You wondered, How … Read more6 Signs That You’re NOT Ready for Kids
Sometimes even Christian engagements or serious dating relationships you thought were headed toward marriage need to end. There is no easy way to navigate a break up, but it will help if you have a “prayed through plan.” Breaking up is a highly emotional experience, so it may be hard to “think on your feet” … Read moreIs it Okay to Break Off a Christian Engagement?
Creativity is at the core of romance. In Song of Solomon, we see the King bring in all the items from his bride’s countryside farm to create a beautiful bedroom for her. We see the bride invite her handsome husband out into an oasis to enjoy love-making on a “verdant” bed outdoors. Get your … Read more4 Date Nights That Will Wow Your Spouse
“Want to head to the mall with me?” my friend asked one Friday evening. “Actually, I do need stuff for the kids,” I said. “Great sales are going on.” I hopped in her car and she began, “I’m so mad at Jim. I’m actually furious. Ignoring my point of view, with most … Read more5 Things Couples Get Wrong about Money
“Is there someone else?” I directly asked my husband. “There could be,” He replied. “What do you mean, ‘there could be’? It’s either yes or no. TELL ME!” I raged. “Yes,” he whispered. Those words were spoken 30 years ago. That was the day my marriage died. An extramarital affair … Read more5 Things People Don’t Know about the Pain of Divorce
Is your marriage healthy? Every marriage contains its share of challenges. There will be difficult seasons in even the happiest of unions. It might be an overstatement to compare marriage to a rollercoaster, but even a healthy relationship is like a country road, with its twists and turns and occasional dips. The key … Read more6 Things That Make for a Healthy Marriage
Have you wondered about the health of your marriage? Have you wondered whether your marriage is healthy, or if it is in need of significant assistance? Most have wondered about their marriage at one time or another, hoping to gauge whether they needed serious help or not. While there are many questionnaires available … Read more1 Question That Will Determine the Health of Your Marriage
Adultery is devastating. In the aftermath of an adulterous affair, the offending spouse must first turn away from sin through repentance before God. But after such repentance takes place, there’s another question that has to be answered: Should you confess the adultery to your spouse? Sometimes the act of confessing to a … Read moreShould You Tell Your Spouse if You Cheat?
I look at him and he looks at me. I so badly want to tell him these things so that he can hear – really hear my heart. I am so afraid though. I am afraid that I will botch it up; I am afraid my words won’t come out right. I am afraid … Read more5 Things Your Wife Wants You to Know (But is Afraid to Say)
One of the first movies I saw with James when we were just friends was Princess Bride. We were at a house with other grad students. I looked over at James who had declared our relationship to be merely platonic. But I saw in him my Westley, my true love. He didn’t see me … Read moreHelp! My Husband Isn’t Prince Charming Anymore
Okay, so having a boyfriend is awesome. No, but it really is great. Knowing there’s a sweet man out in the world crushing on me is pretty much one of the best things ever. However, it’s not THE best thing ever. Hang with me… I’ve been noticing something odd: people are happy … Read moreWhy a Post-Divorce Relationship Won’t Complete You
I’ve heard people say marriage is hard, but mostly all I noticed during the many years I was single was that marriage looked pretty fun. There were the double dates, constant companionship, and vacations together. People mentioned it was hard but I never really knew what that meant…until now. Next week I celebrate … Read more8 Things I Learned My First Year of Marriage
When was the last time you had a fight, slept in separate bedrooms and had fantasies/fears that your marriage was over? Joe and Tamra, working with me on a recent Marriage Intensive, had a night like that in the middle of their Intensive counseling. “It’s over this time, doc,” Joe said during … Read more5 Steps to End an Ugly Fight
We have a secret for you, one your husband may not even be able to verbalize: you may be the only person he feels truly safe with. Emotionally, guys guard themselves. For many men, it is only his wife that he will completely open up to and share his deepest hopes, fears, frustrations, pains … Read moreGet Your Man to Open Up in 3 Easy Steps
“I’m sure he’s having an affair and I’m leaving him.” “Everyone he works with is young and pretty.” “I should’ve known he’d be unfaithful when he had so many girlfriends before we were married.” “She lived with someone. She probably wishes she had stayed with him.” You’ve probably heard laments … Read moreHave You Forgiven Each Other for Premarital Sex?
“We have to talk,” my husband said as he opened the car door for me to get in. He had no red roses or sweet chocolates for me. Instead, I tasted the bitterness of infidelity in that car ride. Our marriage had been happy, strong and filled with exciting plans. But like … Read more5 Lies the Enemy Wants You to Believe When Infidelity Attacks Your Marriage
Some forms of communication are deadly. We all know when we are being spoken to with respect. We know when someone cares about our well-being and shares with us in such a way that we feel alive and well in their presence. We also know when we feel disrespected. We know when … Read moreIs Blame Destroying Your Marriage?
Horror stories about monstrous mother-in-laws, bigoted father-in-laws and clueless sister or brother-in-laws abound in pop culture. You can see in-laws at their worst in The In-Laws (1979 and 2003), Hush (1998), Monster-in-Law (2005), Mother Knows Best (1997) and The Governor’s Wife (2008). Plus, nearly every week, someone is writing to a newspaper advice columnist … Read moreHow to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your In-Laws
I am a divorced Christian. I know that to many Christians, the term “divorced Christian” may be an oxymoron. I made a covenant before God and man, and that covenant is broken. Or, according to some, I am still bound by it because my ex-husband is still living. Trust me, I know … Read moreAre Christians Responding to Divorce the Way God Intended?
I cuddle up to him as he sits and reads on the couch. I sheepishly look into his eyes and wish he could see the turmoil of my heart. “Do you love me?” I ask and wait with baited breath for his response. Tenderly he lifts my chin and smiles, “Of course I … Read moreHow Do I Know If I am Enough for My Husband?
A few years ago, I wrote a four-part article that ran on Crosswalk called The Unraveling of a Christian Marriage. To this day, I still get emails about this article. And the email usually sounds something like this: Thank you for writing my story. I no longer feel alone. I’m in a … Read moreJust Because I’m Divorced Doesn’t Mean You Should Divorce
“I don’t’ think I should be the one to always have to change first,” Darrin said angrily. “I’ve been waiting for months for her to make the first move and at this rate we will never get back together.” Darrin had been asked to separate from his wife, Lauren, several months earlier. It … Read moreWhen You Have One Last Chance to Save Your Marriage
I recently slipped into a bad mood disorder. Now, to be clear, I didn’t technically have a diagnosable Mood Disorder. Rather, I had a disturbance of mood. Let me explain. My wife Christie and I had just had a tiff. Nothing serious, but I got my feelings hurt. There were several minutes of … Read more5 Simple Ways to Overcome a Really Bad Mood
“Married couples are boring!” she said. She had just asked me about my weekend, but as soon as I started explaining what our family had done she chimed in with that delightful statement. “The single life is where it’s at….” she added. It’s interesting to see how different people respond to the … Read more5 Reasons Married Sex is the Best Kind of Sex
Last week, I referred to 6 ways to counsel a husband who has harmed his wife with his pornography struggle. What about the wife? Although many are harmed by a husband’s struggle with pornography, no one is harmed more than his wife. How does a pastor care and counsel a wife who has been harmed by … Read moreHow Do You Counsel a Wife Whose Husband Struggles with Pornography?
“It’s been miserable, Gary,” the woman confessed. “We’ve only been married for three years but it has been the worst three years of my life. My husband has just been awful. And what frustrates me so much is that God confirmed that I was supposed to marry him, ten times over.” You could … Read moreStop Believing God Told You to Marry Your Spouse
Children change everything. Any parent will tell you that. Everyone agrees that adding children to a marriage alters every aspect of life. What parents cannot seem to agree on is whether or not all of the changes are positive. Sometimes, tired parents seem to boast about the hours spent in the family minivan, … Read more5 Ways Infertility Can Destroy Your Marriage
In Parts 1 (8 Reasons Your Husband Isn’t Talking to You) and 2 (4 Tips for Getting Your Husband to Talk to You), we considered why a wife needs her husband to talk, why he’s not talking, and what can be done to improve communication. Much of what was written was baby steps and … Read more4 Simple Ways to Make Sure Your Husband Feels Respected
This Valentine’s Day are you tempted to give up? To harden your heart, pawn your wedding ring, and simply walk away? Nothing hurts quite like a failing marriage, and there is no loneliness as intense as living with a stranger, especially one that used to be your best friend. So how did … Read more5 Steps to Take for Reviving a Dead Marriage
Editor’s Note: Pastor Roger Barrier’s “Ask Roger” column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at [email protected]. Dear … Read moreWill God Bring Vengeance on My Cheating Husband?
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my … Read moreWhat My Divorce Taught Me about Trusting God
Dear New, Young Wife, When you said, “I do,” not too long ago, there were probably a lot of other eager and excited thoughts that followed. I can’t wait to share a life with you. I can’t wait to be able to spend all our time together. I can’t wait … Read more5 Secrets Newlyweds Need to Know
Have you ever wondered how to start an affair? Or, maybe you’ve known someone who had an affair and asked yourself how it could have happened. Although I have never personally had an affair, I have had a front row seat. I have seen it unfold, step by step. I have watched as … Read moreHow to Have an Affair
“Everything I do just seems to drive him further away. I know God can save my marriage. But John wants a legal separation so I’m giving him one. I figure it would be better not to fight him and that if I go along with him it will calm him down so that later … Read moreWhat to Do When Your Spouse Wants Out
“Bless you both,” I heard as my husband, Dave, and I opened our eyes after praying over our dinner in the Seattle airport food court. I looked up to see an elderly gentleman and his wife beaming at us from the next table. Instantly, we had something in common—God! When Dave and I acknowledged … Read more10 Tips for Praying as a Couple
Editor’s Note: Do you need sound, Biblically-based advice on an issue in your marriage or family? Dr. David Hawkins, director of the Marriage Recovery Center, will address questions from Crosswalk readers in his weekly column. Submit your question to [email protected]. The couple arrived at our cottage late, having flown in from Tennessee to participate … Read more5 Things You Need to Know about Your Spouse Who Struggles with Depression
I hadn’t expected Saturday, April 7th, 1984 to be extraordinary—but it was. That was the day my marriage died. After discovering that our marriage covenant was broken and my husband wanted out of our union, I started crying that day and didn’t stop for a very, very long time. Ambushed by grief I kept … Read moreThe Day My Marriage Died: Healing in the Wake of Divorce