Testimonial

This is a ministry that is a gift from God to equip couples to have lifelong effective communication without just surviving but living abundantly. Thank you for the practical and useful information to move us closer to God. God bless you Richard & Jeanna Lynn!

What if the Kids Got the House?

Difficult choiceWe’ve seen so many divided homes over the years. A divorce (or two) has happened. Parents split up; sometimes moving states away from each other and others living just down the street from each other.

From a kid’s perspective, it seems like everybody gets to move on, but them. Parents marry somebody new. The parents move into different homes and establish themselves. They sleep in the same bed every night. They eat in the same kitchen every morning. Settled.

You know what is happening in the lives of the kids, though. They’re switching beds. They’re eating at different tables. Unsettled.

What if when parents divorced, the kids got to stay in the home and the parents had to switch in and out? What if the kids got to go to the same church every Sunday as before, play in the same neighborhood every day as before, got to sleep in their bed every night and eat breakfast in the kitchen that has been theirs? What if the determination was to make sure the kids are the ones who get settled and the adults who divorce have to move in and out every week or every three days?

Knowing that kind of arrangement would be ordered by the court might give some a little more pause before divorcing in the first place.

We know that this short post doesn’t deal with every issue or answer every question. We’re just wondering what could happen to keep kids in their place and let the parents be resilient.

Richard and JeannaLynn

Others have written about this.

There has been a movie about the idea called Who Gets the House?

Praying for Change

Young beautiful girl praying with tears in her eyes. The structure of the old burnt paper

We’ve read a lot recently from people who are praying for a turn-around in their marriage and are not seeing the results they desire.  Not only are they sad about the continued struggle in the relationship, but they are losing their belief in the power of prayer.

When the positive change you are praying for doesn’t seem to be happening, keep in mind that God’s work might not be absent as much as it might be unseen to you.  God’s work is not always a quick fix. Some of his work has taken years to accomplish.

It’s also true, though, that there are only a few times recorded in the Bible when God manipulated someone’s heart to make them do something that they were not otherwise bent to do.  When what we are praying for demands repentance by somebody else – the spouse you want to see change, for example – the change might not ever happen.  People are changing every day, but not every person changes.

Pray for your spouse to repent. Pray for your marriage to thrive. Be sure, too, that you are praying for God to change you. Changing you will still demand some repentance, but it will be in the life of someone you can actually impact.

Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).

 

Richard and JeannaLynn May

Marriage Missionaries and Coaches

Marriage Events and Coaching Fill First Half of 2015

We’ve have marriage events (classes, Roadshows, etc.) in Oklahoma, Mississourippi, Alabama (X2), Maryland, Texas and Tennessee (X2).

We’ve Keynoted at the Christian Children and Family Services Association on the campus of Harding University.

We’ve learned from leaders in Marriage Ministry at the Marriage Ministry Conference hosted by Watermark Community Church in Dallas.

We’ve coached in close to 210 sessions this year that usually last 1.5 to 2 hours (sometimes longer) and then engaged in countless hours of texts, calls and emails.  Couples are reaching out and the faith-focused, forward-pressing coaching we offer is giving them just what they need to succeed.  Contact between sessions is an important part of the coaching relationship.

We’ve spoken at Summer Series in the OKC area getting to talk about marriage and our marriage ministry vision.

Last week, a man who told his wife a month ago that he was filing for divorce told us at the end of a session, “I believe you have saved our marriage and I want you to know that I will never divorce my wife.”

Amen.

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2015 Hooked on Marriage Crowd at Full Bubble.

549

Sometimes your upgrade is better than you can imagine.

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The Hooked on Marriage Group from S. Huntington Street Church in Kosy.

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An M&M gift from a friend at the Roadshow in Kosy.

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While we were in Maryland…

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While we were in Maryland…

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A great retreat in Texas!

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The Inoculation Against MADD

Backs of Couple Reading the Bible“Marriage should be honored by everyone…” (Hebrews 13:4).

Many marriages suffer from MADD (Marriage Attention Deficit Disorder). When we are honoring our marriage like scripture calls us to do, we are giving our marriage the attention that it deserves.  The cure for MADD is DPT. Not a diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus shot, but shots of DPT (Daily Predictable Time).

Daily predictable time for a husband and wife is action that builds your emotional connection (read friendship), spiritual connection, and physical connection.  Twenty minutes together for DPT is what you need. If you don’t have time for that, you are too busy – and you are neglecting the most important human relationship you have.

Try these. For your emotional connection, each of you secretly write down a random noun on a piece of paper. Then reveal your words and do a YouTube search with the word combination.  You are bound to laugh a little.  For your spiritual connection, go to www.crosswalk.com and follow the links to the couple’s devotional. Read one and tell each other what you get from it.  Finally, for your spiritual connection, enjoy a 30 second hug and a 10 second kiss with each other.

Twenty minutes to do three things that will inoculate your marriage against MADD.  Go do it!

Joy and Pain

iStock_000017507571XXXLargeNobody rushes the field after an easy victory.

Paul advised, “If you marry, you will have trouble.” When we emphasize, then, that marriage takes work and involves much difficulty we are not suggesting that marriage is not filled with joy, too.

It’s not an either/or deal. In fact, when a couple overcomes the difficulties together the potential for joy is greater!

Work hard, endure the pain, and CELEBRATE!

The E429 Filter

Parents swear, and children suffer

The boy asked his dad, “Dad, how do wars get started?”

The dad replied, “Well, Son, suppose a US leader made a comment that made a Great Britain leader mad…”

About that time, the mom walked through the room and said, “What happened?”

The dad replied, “I’m telling him how wars get started. Nothing happened.  Good grief.”

The mom retorted, “Well, that’s dumb. The US and Great Britain are allies.”

“I’m just giving the boy an illustration.”

“Well it’s a stupid illustration. Why not give him something realistic?”

“It’s not stupid,” the dad replied angrily, “what’s stupid is you feeling like you have to….”

About that time, the boy interrupted them and said, “Never mind, Dad. I see how wars get started.”

Too many husbands and wives have no filters for what comes out of their mouths. We hurt, tear down, embarrass, judge, criticize, and put down the person we promised we would love, honor, and cherish.

We suggest (and use) the E429 filter. We call it that because is practices what the Holy Spirit commanded in Ephesians 4:29.

We must say “… only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Helpful?
Builds up?
Beneficial?

Run your words through the E429 filter before you run them out of your mouth.

Pursue Help When First Requested

Upset couple arguing in their living room

Don’t ignore her requests for help.

Often, a husband will resist his wife’s desire to get some help for their marriage. Then when she grows too cold to pursue it anymore, he panics and pursues it himself. When your wife suggests it the first time, husbands, please pursue it.

Back to the Black

The significance of forgiveness in a marriage relationship is realized when you grasp that forgiveness is a cancellation of debt.  When our spouse hurts us, we have a sense that they ought to pay.  Minimally, they owe us an apology.  Often, the debt is bigger.

They owe us suffering through 3 days of the silent treatment.

They owe us a week without sex.

They owe us acts of service that we are demanding though we don’t actually ask for them.

When the hurt they caused is unforgiven, anything they do that is loving is not received as love. It is received as partial payment for the hurt they caused.  They are trying to make up for their mistake. They are working their way back to the black.

You can’t feel loved because you haven’t forgiven.

Nor can they feel like they are expressing love. They only feel like they are trying to make up for their blunder. They are in the red, working their way back to black.

Living feeling like your spouse is constantly in debt to you, unable to express love because you won’t cancel the debt is a burden.

Living feeling like you can never be OK with your spouse, like you are always in debt to them is a burden.

Year after year of this kind of burden weighs down a marriage and ultimately destroys it, because it destroys the hearts of the husband and wife.

What do you need to forgive?  What debt has your spouse been carrying that you can cancel and give freedom – to your spouse and to you?

50 Shades, Bible Belt, and Leather Belts

What do Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama have in common? To state the obvious, they are some of what we usually call Southern States. Perhaps most would recognize they are states in the Bible Belt. Did you know that they are also some of the states with the highest presales of tickets to 50 Shades of Grey? Apparently, the Bible Belt is interested in leather belts.

So what’s the deal? Why were pre-sales so high in Bible Belt states for a movie that many Christians argue is not appropriate viewing?

We haven’t done any research. We have no statistics. What we know is where we’ve come from (we are both southern born and bred) and what we hear (we are marriage coaches). Here’s our concern.

It’s possible that people in the Bible Belt are blowing up the pre-sales because most of the message about sex they hear is so inadequate, they are thirsty for anything – and like a man chasing the mirage in the desert, they’ll drink the sand if it’s all they see.

The church’s message about sex has largely focused on clarifying the boundaries.

  • “Sex is a sin unless….”
  • “God will punish you if….”
  • “It’s wrong when….”
  • “It’s evil every time….”
  • “You’re impure if….”

These messages flow out of the Bible’s verses about sex, but these are not the only messages from the Bible. If, then, they are the only message from the church – or the message so prominent that it seems like the only message from the church – then the message is inadequate. And people will drink the sand.

What if we talked more about the gift of sex in a positive way?

  • Suppose our message to young people changed from “No, it’s wrong,” to “Not now, it’s sacred”?
  • Suppose instead of making women continue to feel guilty for having a strong desire for sex, we encouraged them to unashamedly give themselves to their husbands with reckless abandon?
  • Suppose instead of continuing to develop a predatory, “I have to get mine” approach to sex in our men, we taught more about the beauty of mutual submission and sex that gives instead of takes.
  • Suppose we led the change from, “Good girls don’t…” to “God’s girls do in a holy context”?

The Song of Solomon paints a beautiful picture of the sexual relationship – from setup to climax and beyond.

Proverbs directs a young man to his home with his head nestled in the comfort of his wife’s breasts.

Proverbs encourages a man to love a woman who is attractive because of her character instead of her body parts and flattering words.

Genesis emphasizes the unity and connected of the sexual relationship with the choice of the words, “One flesh.”

Paul reminded his readers that a man and woman belong to each other and their sexual relationship has the power of distracting them from the temptations in a sexually charged society that doesn’t grasp the holiness of intercourse.

Scripture addresses the ecstasy of orgasm, the excitement of sexual touch, and the holiness of a husband wife pleasuring each other in what is the best physical experience this side of heaven.

But we don’t talk about that. People – including Bible Belt people – think they’ll see the truth in 50 Shades. Why? Because 50 Shades is talking about it more than we are.

And we fight it the same way.

“You’ll go to hell if you go.”

“It’s a sin to promote such filth.”

Get off all the negative. Can’t we see that our approach is not working for our culture?

Encourage a husband and wife instead to skip the movie, open up Song of Solomon, and spend a couple of hours and no box office cost doing everything they read in those chapters for a few hours.

50 Shades Belts, and Bible Leather, Belts

What do Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama have in common? To state the obvious, they are some of what we usually call Southern States. Perhaps most would recognize they are states in the Bible Belt. Did you know that they are also some of the states with the highest presales of tickets to 50 Shades of Grey? Apparently, the Bible Belt is interested in leather belts.

The “leather belts” reference is an assumption we make. We haven’t read 50 Shades nor did we get in on the pre-sale. Yet, we know what the book is about. Pretty sure leather belts are mentioned.

So what’s the deal? Why were pre-sales so high in Bible Belt states for a movie that many Christians argue is not appropriate viewing?

We haven’t done any research. We have no statistics. What we know is where we’ve come from (we are both southern born and bred) and what we hear (we are marriage coaches). Here’s our concern.

It’s possible that people in the Bible Belt are blowing up the pre-sales because most of the message about sex they hear is so inadequate, they are thirsty for anything – and like a man chasing the mirage in the desert, they’ll drink the sand if it’s all they see.

The church’s message about sex has largely focused on clarifying the boundaries.

“Sex is a sin unless….”

“God will punish you if….”

“It’s wrong when….”

“It’s evil every time….”

“You’re impure if….”

These messages flow out of the Bible’s verses about sex, but these are not the only messages from the Bible. If, then, they are the only message from the church – or the message so prominent that it seems like the only message from the church – then the message is inadequate. And people will drink the sand.

What if we talked more about the gift of sex in a positive way?

Suppose our message to young people changed from “No, it’s wrong,” to “Not now, it’s sacred”?

Suppose instead of making women continue to feel guilty for having a strong desire for sex, we encouraged them to unashamedly give themselves to their husbands with reckless abandon?

Suppose instead of continuing to develop a predatory, “I have to get mine” approach to sex in our men, we taught more about the beauty of mutual submission and sex that gives instead of takes.

Suppose we led the change from, “Good girls don’t…” to “God’s girls do in a holy context”?

The Song of Solomon paints a beautiful picture of the sexual relationship – from setup to climax and beyond.

Proverbs directs a young man to his home with his head nestled in the comfort of his wife’s breasts.

Proverbs encourages a man to love a woman who is attractive because of her character instead of her body parts and flattering words.

Genesis emphasizes the unity and connected of the sexual relationship with the choice of the words, “One flesh.”

Paul reminded his readers that a man and woman belong to each other and their sexual relationship has the power of distracting them from the temptations in a sexually charged society that doesn’t grasp the holiness of intercourse.

Scripture addresses the ecstasy of orgasm, the excitement of sexual touch, and the holiness of a husband wife pleasuring each other in what is the best physical experience this side of heaven.

But we don’t talk about that. People – including Bible Belt people – think they’ll see the truth in 50 Shades. Why? Because 50 Shades is talking about it more than we are.

And we fight it the same way.

“You’ll go to hell if you go.”

“It’s a sin to promote such filth.”

Get off all the negative. Can’t we see that our approach is not working for our culture?

Encourage a husband and wife instead to skip the movie, open up Song of Solomon, and spend a couple of hours and no box office cost doing everything they read in those chapters for a few hours. They won’t even need to buy a leather belt.

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