Monday, November 17, 2008

Growthtrac

I have recently come across a new resource for marriages called www.growthtrac.com and www.growthtracradio.com.

I haven't had alot of time to study, but there appears to be a broad range of help for marriages.

One thing I have started to enjoy is www.growthtracradio.com. It is radio on the web and has alot of good worship music with just very short commercial interruptions.

One of the co-founders also writes at www.sherimueller.com. Sheri has alot of training and has done work with marriage mentors, and I find her blog about marriage very insightful.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thoughts on My Love Dare Journey

I watched the movie Fireproof on opening weekend in late September. Right after the movie I went across the street to Barnes and Noble and bought the book "The Love Dare". The next day I started doing it.

My daily notes are at www.thelovedare.blogspot.com.

One thing I realized is that when you break love down, some things are pretty simple to do one step at a time.

Some steps to actually walk out love are hard and really require the love of Jesus working through me to accomplish.

I was traveling out of state a good part of the time I was doing The Love Dare. Most of the dares I could do by phone or email; the ones I couldn't, I just waited until I got home.

One site that was greatly encouraging was 40daylovedare.blogspot.com by Eric and Jennifer Garcia from AMFM - The Association of Marriage and Family Ministries. They each blogged their daily love dares. Their authenticity was so refreshing. Sometimes Eric went first, sometimes Jennifer went first, sometimes they wrote jointly, and sometimes they missed a couple of days because of circumstances.

I do feel more in love with my wife after participating in The Love Dare, and now have a good reference to go back to when I need an attitude adjustment.

I would love to hear anyone else's journey on The Love Dare.

Fireproof - Love Is . . .

I found the daily titles for The Love Dare to be a great description of love, and just reading them gives me a practical reminder of ways to love my wife.

1: Love is Patient
2: Love is Kind
3: Love is Not Selfish
4: Love is Thoughtful
5: Love is Not Rude
6: Love is Not Irritable
7: Love Believes the Best
8: Love is Not Jealous
9: Love makes Good Impressions
10: Love is Unconditional
11: Love Cherishes
12: Love Lets the Other Win
13: Love Fights Fair
14: Love Takes Delight
15: Love is Honorable
16: Love Intercedes
17: Love Promotes Intimacy
18: Love Seeks to Understand
19: Love is Impossible
20: Love is Jesus Christ
21: Love is Satisfied in God
22: Love is Faithful
23: Love Always Protects
24: Love vs. Lust
25: Love Forgives
26: Love is Responsible
27: Love Encourages
28: Love Makes Sacrifices
29: Love's Motivation
30: Love Brings Unity
31: Love and Marriage
32: Love Meets Sexual Needs
33: Love Completes Each Other
34: Love Celebrates Godliness
35: Love is Accountable
36: Love is God's Word
37: Love Agrees in Prayer
38: Love Fulfills Dreams
39: Love Endures
40: Love is a Covenant

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ways to Encourage Couples to Fight For Their Marriages

I keep wrestling with what to say to struggling couples to really inspire them to go all out in saving their marriage. I keep practicing a message if a struggling couple comes to me wanting help.
I am so sorry that you are in pain as a couple. My wife and I have lived through a 16-month separation before reconciling, by God's grace. I know these times are extremely painful for you. I want to tell you that there is hope, but to get to a better place it is going to take hard work, determination, and, probably, surviving some more pain.

I plead with both of you to go together and see the movie "Fireproof". Please be open to letting God work in your hearts. When you have seen the movie, I would like you to each get a copy of the book The Love Dare. I would like each of you to start doing The Love Dare individually. If there is something in there that just seems too difficult, please pray about it, and if you need to, email me or come see me, and we will discuss it. This resource was not available when we were separated, but alot of the principles are ones God lead me through on our road to healing.

The neat thing about The Love Dare is that it will teach you alot of practical Biblical ways to love your spouse. The Apostle Paul told us that love never fails.

I have participated in multiple Divorce Care groups (a divorce recovery group), and have known people who have gone through divorce. I have witnessed the pain people were having because of adultery, demolished finances, struggling children, etc. Please don't go down that road; dare to love one another no matter how tough it is. It will be worth it.

Readers: Does anyone have ideas how to make effective appeals to couples to hold onto their marriages, regardless of whether Fireproof resources are part of the picture? Please share them with me, as I am always looking for more and better ways to encourage couples to fight for their marriages.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What I Sometimes Feel Like Saying

When a couple comes to me about their marriage being fractured, what I feel like saying is "I challenge both of you to watch the movie 'Fireproof", to get the book "The Love Dare", and actually do The Love Dare for 40 days.

If there is something in The Love Dare, that you believe you just can't do or won't do, then journal and pray about it. I am willing to help you process it, but hopefully the majority of the days you can do without hesitation.

If the two of you are not willing to spend a couple of hours watching the movie FIREPROOF and from 15 minutes to 30 minutes a day doing The Love Dare, then there is no need for us to spend time together. I would rather spend my time with someone who is really serious about their marriage. You also may as well both get good attack dog lawyers and go ahead and dismantle your marriage.

And by the way, don't come back whining to me when your kids are a mess, act out and need professional care, when your finances are a wreck and you are living below the poverty line, and when you find out your spouse is sleeping with someone else, or when you are in massive depression.

Well, maybe I shouldn't be quite this blunt, but someway I am trying to figure out how to word things to really wake people up and inspire them to go all out for saving their marriage.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lack of Posting

I have been busy farming the past few weeks, and haven't had much energy for posting. I also have had some disappointing news regarding some marriages that I have been close to, and that has zapped me some.

One thing I can say is that the more I study The Love Dare, and read Eric and Jennifer Garcia's blog about it at 40daylovedare.blogspot.com, the more I am convinced that The Love Dare is excellent. If couples would take it seriously, I believe their marriages could be transformed.

Also, when I read the message board at 40daylovedare.com, my heart just goes out to the overwhelming number of struggling marriages. I wish I was better at articulating help to give others hope.