Friday, February 27, 2009

Encouraging Statistic

I was just on Two of Us and saw an interesting statistic that 82% of 18-30 year olds hope to have a lifelong marriage. With rampant divorce, the amount of cohabitation, and the current emphasis on gay marriage, I am encouraged that so many young people still dream to have a lifelong marriage. Part of my challenge is helping find effective ways for their dreams to become reality.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Focus on Marriage Simulcast, Sat. Feb 28

There is a Focus on Marriage Simulcast on Saturday Feb. 28, with lots of top notch speakers like Gary Smalley, Beth Moore, etc.

You can sign up through Friday. Go to the link below to find a location near you,

Focus on Marriage Simulcast

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Simple Help

I am in a writing class and our assignment is to do some competitive market research. I went to Amazon and searched for marriage reconciliation. It is amazing how much encouragement you can get by just reading the limited "Look Inside" summaries on some books. There is so much help out there with just a few clicks of the keyboard.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Help For The Separated

I just started a blog yesterday at www.savemymarriage7.blogspot.com. My idea is that people who desperately want to save their marriage, can dialogue with me and hopefully I can give them encouragement and point them to helpful resources. My hope is that I can comfort others with the comfort I received when I desperately wanted my marriage to turn around.

Mother Lode of Community Marriage Info

I came across these links on Smart Marriages.

http://smartmarriages.com/grants.html#registry

http://smartmarriages.com/directory_browse.html#type_19

There is a boatload of info here about community marriage resources and, if you dig through it, alot of help for individual marriages. This certainly gives reason to hope for a more positive change in tide for marriage.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Federal Pro Marriage Ads

Some days I read so many sources I can't remember where I saw something, but I was encouraged the other day to see that the federal government is going to run an ad campaign to encourage marriage. Many in the government are seeing the pluses from a secular and economic perspective of saving marriages, i.e. less single family homes, less people in poverty, etc.

Now, if we the church can reinforce the message from a Christian perspective in a way that hits people in the heart, we might make some real progress.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Staying In A Relationship You Don't Want

In thinking about my prior posts about no fault divorce reform I realized that some people will object to stricter rules that keep them in a marriage when they want out even though they voluntarily got into it.

I started to think of some similar situations when people voluntarily enter into an agreement and then wanted out.

One example I thought about was the military. Our current military in the U.S. is voluntary. You make a free will promise when you go in for "x" numbers of years. If you decide you don't like it anymore - you don't easily get out just because you decided you want out. Just try going AWOL and see how long it takes them to catch up with you and how serious they are about you fulfilling your obligation.

Another type of voluntary agreement people enter into is a car loan or a house loan. If you decide you just don't like your car or house anymore, or are not sure how to make the payments anymore, getting out is very difficult. Just try walking away from a car or house loan and see what happens to your credit report the next time you apply for a loan, a job, or a cell phone.

If you have kids with a spouse, or if you have them out-of-wedlock and your paternity is determined, even if you wanted the kids - just quit paying child support and see how friendly the system is when you tell them, "I just don't want the responsibility anymore".

My point is that it would seem to me that if you voluntarily agree to get married, then it should not be easy to change your mind and get out without major consequences, and the deck should be stacked so that the person who wants to stay in the marriage has more leverage than the one who wants out.

Divorce Reform/ McManus

Mike McManus from Marriage Savers has written a three part series in his Ethics and Religion column about divorce reform.

I really like what he says about No-Fault divorce causing a situation where the defendant in a lawsuit - the person wanting to save their marriage with an unwilling partner - always loses.

He makes a case the no-fault divorce is actually unconstitutional. Makes sense to me.

Mike is a more succinct writer than me, so I will let you read and think for yourself.

http://ethicsandreligion.com/redesignedcolumns/C1427.htm

http://ethicsandreligion.com/redesignedcolumns/C1428.htm

http://ethicsandreligion.com/redesignedcolumns/C1429.htm

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fireproof the Movie Being Sold at Office Depot

I was at the checkout today at Office Depot and they were selling Fireproof. I was very surprised to see it there, but encouraged with the broad distribution the movie is getting.

Possible Book and Encouragement for Reconciled

My wife and I have been working on a book that will tell the story of our separation and reconciliation as well as provide resources for couples that are struggling.

Any prayers for this project are greatly appreciated. We have never written a book before and in writing our story it does bring back alot of less than wonderful memories.

For those of you who have reconciled don't get discouraged when memories from the past resurface, or you start to head into an old unhealthy pattern. My observation is that healing takes time and is not a straight line, but Jesus is with us all the way.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Post Valentine's Day

Well, Valentine's Day has come and gone. This is a reminder to myself and any readers to ponder ways to continue to show love to our spouses even without the incentive of the Valentine's marketing machine.

It's also good to remember that little things count - a small card, an email or text, a small bouquet of flowers, doing an unexpected kindness, and more.

Here's to a year of Valentine's thoughtfulness.

No Fault Divorce Article

This article by Mike McManus, co-founder of Marriage Savers, Inc., clearly makes a case for modifying our No-Fault Divorce Laws.

Read Reform No Fault Divorce here.

I do hope that over time our divorce laws can be reformed to encourage couples to hang onto their marriages and work things out. I am not sure where I saw it but there is a statistic out that shows that of a group of unhappy marriages, after five years, those that toughed it out in their marriage were happier in many ways than those who had given up and divorced.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Love Dare Journals

Just came across a site that has multiple journals from people doing "The Love Dare"

Check out Love Dare Journal.

Feeling/Will

I was listening to Beth Moore yesterday when she was discussing doing the right thing. She had a very short statement that impressed me - "When you don't feel, you will."

What I took her to mean is that sometimes we don't feel like doing the right thing, but in those times we chose with our will to do the right thing. Good idea to keep in mind in marriage, especially in a struggling one.

I've also heard it another way - that if we do the right thing, i.e. obey God, our feelings will follow.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Joy of Simple Things

Yesterday my wife had an hour meeting about a half hour drive away. I just went with her and chatted on our drive. While she was at her meeting I went to the nearby Barnes and Noble. Then we chatted some on our drive home.

Early in dating, it was nice just to be together, even without doing anything special; this helps bring back those good feelings.

Today, for no reason in particular, I counted the cars on a train as I was waiting for it to go by. Brought me back to childhood and reminded me of what Jesus said about us needing to be like children.

Don't forget to enjoy the simple things in life and in marriage - it can make a difference.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fireproof at Redbox

I just noticed that Fireproof was available at my local Redbox. If you are not familiar with Redbox, it is DVD's in a vending machine, and they cost 1$ per night to rent. They are often in groceries, Walmarts, or McDonald's. Go to Redbox to find one near you.