Dear New Bride, Ten years ago, I was in your shoes. We were just back from our honeymoon, stepping into everyday life as husband and wife. We painted our walls and arranged our furniture (mostly bookshelves). We unpacked dishes and planted a tree (a red maple we’ve moved three times). And with each item I placed in my cupboards, each task I completed as a new bride, I felt deeply the significance of the fact that I was creating habits and ... Read More about Ten Habits of a Healthy Marriage
“Are you doing pre-marital counseling?” The bride nodded. “Do you have plans for post-marital counseling?” The poor bride cocked her head and looked at me in confusion as if to say: “Post-marital counseling?! But we’re fine!” Marriage counseling isn’t just for the hurting, the almost-divorced, the dysfunctional. Marriage counseling is for everyone. A veteran wife, our newly engaged friend, and me. Sitting on the sunny Starbucks patio, I ... Read More about Marriage Counseling is for You
In August 2014, Thomas Umstattd, Jr. published his blog post, “Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed.” It sparked a firestorm, racking up more than 1,500 comments, provoking numerous rebuttals from other bloggers, and inspiring a Kickstarter campaign that led (just one year later) to a book entitled Courtship in Crisis: The Case for Traditional Dating. I read Thomas’s original blog post with interest, which quickly turned to indignation. Why ... Read More about Culture in Crisis
I was born in 1992. I wasn't a teenager until 2005, which means I narrowly missed the biggest "purity" era. I never attended a conference surrounding the topic of abstinence, made a vow in front of my youth group or was awarded a piece of jewelry symbolic of my commitment. My parents did things the old fashioned way by giving me my own Bible, praying for me, exemplifying a faithful marriage, and discouraging promiscuous behavior as I grew ... Read More about your purity is not your dowry
The waitress probably thought we were fighting; based simply on the intensity of our words, her assumption was valid. Our date night date night was evolving into a peel-back-the-layers-and-look-deeper discussion. The topic? Our kitchen renovation. This renovation has been five years in the making. My husband began updating his newly purchased home before we were even engaged, poured sweat equity into the bachelor pad to create a home for his ... Read More about Renovating My Marriage
You can see the problems in your friend's relationship, and maybe you want to scream "Break up with him already!" But what do you do? I was on the opposite side of this question once, when a close friend spoke honestly to me about the red flags she could see in a long-term-going-nowhere relationship. It took courage for her to share her concerns, because such discussion don't usually result in a response of, "Yeah… you're right." Here are a few ... Read More about When You Need to Say, “Break Up With Him!”
As a single, I read dozens of books on relationships. But I quickly discovered that there were two types of books on love and marriage: The books that told all the depressing divorce stories, brought up every negative aspect of the differences between men and women, and then invariably told you how to have a new relationship by Friday. The books that told the truth about our human sin and selfishness, but pointed to the Savior ... Read More about Books That Have Changed My Marriage
Dear Daughter, If you're reading this letter, it means that you've filled my heart and soul with joy; it means that you exist. If you're reading this letter, it means that God has blessed me with the privileged responsibility of raising you, cherishing you, training you, preparing you. If you're reading this letter, it means that you're facing your first relationship, it probably means that you're tearfully facing your first conflict in that ... Read More about Is he worth marrying?
Since I didn't date much before I met my husband (and by much, I mean barely at all), that particular season in our relationship has always been a favorite. Dating was fun. The thrill of getting to know someone can be intoxicating. I'm not a naturally talkative person, but I loved staying up late discussing our families, our college experiences, and our faith. I also loved the doing of dating. We had season passes to Disneyland, so if we ... Read More about The power of complicated.
He's not a tall, handsome, rich prince. He's just a man. He's a good man. A hard worker. Sometimes short-tempered, though always humble. But he sure isn't a prince. Now that I've been married seven years, I can look back and realize how easy it would have been for me to marry someone else. I'm a pretty level-headed girl most of the time, but when it came to men it was easy for me to confuse what seemed good with what was. The real ... Read More about Why You Shouldn’t Be Looking For A Prince
I was 21 when I first read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. My mind was blown as I began to see and understand my family members in light of their unique love style. The inexplicable bond I felt with my Dad? We had the same love language: Words of Affirmation. The distance I felt with that sister? The result of two very different love languages--Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. When I realized the times she sought me out in my ... Read More about Giving the Gift of Understanding in Relationships
The moment you have a ring on your finger (and sometimes long before!), the entire world becomes sage with advice for you and your sweetie. Some of it is best let in one ear and out the other. Some of it you should laugh over. Some of it is borderline TMI! (Hey, it happens. Smile and move on. Or take notes. Because sometimes "TMI" is exactly what we need to know but didn't know who to ask.) But if you are a bride-to-be--or even if ... Read More about The Best Advice About Love & Marriage