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Renew the "I do"  Foundation Copyright 2020

Busy Couples with Kids

How to Fight Fair

Jackie and Bobby Angel

January 15, 2020

A great deal can be said about a relationship if the two parties involved can’t fight fair.

That’s why Jackie and Bobby argue that arguing isn’t always a bad thing, if you do it well.

They address some common issues that lead to arguments, especially in marriage, like failure to communicate and emasculation, and lay out some guidelines for how to fight fair in your relationships.

  1. Don’t avoid conflict.

  2. Take time if you need it.

  3. Show that you’re listening.

  4. Affirm first.

  5. Express expectations.

  6. Ask for what you need.

  7. Use “I feel” statements.

  8. Move forward insteading of bringing up the past.

  9. Realize it’s not intentional.

  10. Forgive.

One more thing to always remember, they say, is that reaching a deeper understanding of each other—whether it’s your friend or spouse—is always worth it, even if the road to that goal is bumpy.

How Does Satan Attack Marriage? C.S. Lewis Can Tell You

Tim Muehlhoff

December 03, 2018

“Would you walk in another person’s shoes for one month?”

The challenge was given by producer Morgan Spurlock to a wide range of people, resulting in the hit FX series 30 Days. In each episode, participants agreed to place themselves in situations that challenged their perspective. Episodes included an atheist schoolteacher living with a conservative Christian family, a Christian attending a Muslim mosque, a person committed to deporting illegal immigrants picking oranges side by side with undocumented workers, a physically able person navigating a wheelchair in public places, a middle-class couple living on minimum wage, and so on. Thirty days spent seeing life through the eyes of another.

Long before Spurlock’s hit show, Christian author C. S. Lewis created the ultimate perspective-taking project. Lewis sought to see the world not through the eyes of another person but through those of a demon. How does a demon seek to disrupt Christians? What tricks would he use to weaken people of faith?

Lewis imaginatively submersed himself in their world not for merely thirty days but six months. The result was one of his most read books, The Screwtape Letters.—

Is Busyness Destroying Your Marriage? Six Signs that It Might Be

Jim Burns and Doug Fields

March 11, 2019

We need a slower pace.

To experience a lifelong marriage filled with refreshing time margins and deep intimacy, you must understand the cause of your busyness as well as the consequences. It’s easy to simply cast blame on busyness without looking within your own heart to see why you might be so busy. To help me (Jim) escape busyness, I regularly ask myself three questions:

  1. Is the pace of my life really sustainable over a long period of time?

  2. Do I like the person I’m becoming as a result of the pace I keep?

  3. Am I giving Cathy and my family my best during this season?

When I’m busy, the answers to these questions are always no, no, and no! While I’m often tempted to move to a deserted island to escape everything, I’m fully aware that a quick fix isn’t a good solution. The long-term answer always tells me to notice the warning lights of busyness, learn from my past mistakes, and make choices that will result in a better, stronger, and healthier Jim.

When I reflect on some of my previous bouts with busyness, I can see that I wasn’t willing to make the difficult decisions to unclutter my life so that I could have more time for my primary relationships. The warning lights were working; I just didn’t give them the attention they deserved. The warning lights of busyness are fairly obvious. Here are the ones Doug and I have seen in our own lives as well as in the lives of couples we’ve counseled.

Are You Good at Communicating? Communication 101

Scott Kedersha

February 20, 2019

"Sometimes I don’t want to talk to or listen to my wife. Even though we’ve been married since 2001 and I’ve served as a marriage pastor since 2006, I admit I sometimes strongly dislike communicating and resolving disagreements.

The reality is, most married couples don’t love to communicate or resolve conflict. We’re not good at it, it’s rarely modeled well, and it takes so much time and effort to do it with success. Our selfish desires get in the way, and most of the time we are radically different from our spouse in the ways we prefer to communicate and resolve disagreements.

All our lives we’re taught to win, defend, and prove our point. These tactics might work in a debate, argument, or sporting event, but they won’t work in a marriage relationship. If you act like this with your spouse, you will end up with a mess of a marriage. You and your spouse won’t truly know each other, and you’ll end up resenting the person you are intended to love most."

Lacking Joy in Your Marriage? Try Finding a Rhythm

Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey

May 06, 2019

"The first and simplest reason the joy gap starts to expand is tiredness. It is hard to build joy when you feel worn out and lack margin. Perhaps the core reason we lack margin in our lives is that we lack rhythm. Without a relational rhythm, our souls begin to wilt. When we can’t find time for the kinds of activities that build joy and nurture the soul, life starts to feel overwhelming.

I have some good friends whose joy in marriage has seen them through a lot of hard times. They have developed several practices that have helped them establish a rhythm of relational connection. First, they eat breakfast together almost every morning. The husband is an early riser and loves to watch the sun light up the mountains near their home as they go from black to purple to pink. Once his wife is up, he sits at the table with her. They read the day’s editorial from the newspaper and discuss it before getting on with the rest of their day. In the evenings, they sit in the living room together and enjoy a glass of wine.

It is this cycle of relational appreciation and affection that leads to a rhythm that creates margin in our lives, allowing us to be happy together in times of rest as well as times of activity."

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