093 – Overcoming Negative Beliefs

What they are, where they come from, & how to overcome them

Welcome to episode 93 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss overcoming negative beliefs in your relationships.

Negative beliefs can go unnoticed, but they can hinder good communication in any relationship. In today’s podcast, we will identify what they are, discuss where they come from, and most importantly how to overcome them.

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Also in this episode – email question
From: Anonymous

You seem to believe that divorce is non-negotiable. Why do you insist that those absolutely miserable in their marriage stay married?

Accepting Expressions of Love in Marriage

Don’t make expressing love a risky endeavor in your marriage

It was Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages that finally helped me understand my wife’s rejection. Her love language isn’t gifts, therefore every bouquet of flowers and box of candy fell short of garnering the response I’d hoped. She wasn’t really rejecting me, but it sure felt like it. She simply misunderstood the importance of accepting expressions of love in marriage.

I recall recognizing my wife had struggled through a few rough days and thought I would cheer her up with a bouquet of flowers. So I stopped on my way home from work to grab the best-looking bunch of roses I could find. I bragged to myself the entire ride home. “I’m such a good husband to buy flowers for my wife. She will be so appreciative. It will make everything all better for her.”

The kitchen scene

When I arrived at home, I charged into the house to find my wife deeply engrossed in homeschooling activities with our three kids. The kitchen table was littered with school books, papers, and pens. A serious conversation was taking place between my wife and our youngest son regarding his attitude toward school work.

Undeterred by the chaotic scene and her obvious preoccupation with the mountain of schoolwork to accomplished, I bolted across the kitchen to present her with the flowers I had so thoughtfully selected. As she took the flowers from me, I lifted my head high and awaited the accolades that were sure to follow.

The reaction

Instead, I received only a weak “thanks” and she placed the flowers among the papers on the table as she returned to math homework with our son. I was demoralized. Luckily, the words didn’t come out of my mouth, but they certainly went through my mind. “That’s it? I bust my [bleep] at work all day, but still find time to get flowers for you. And all I get is ‘thanks’!” Boy, am I glad I didn’t actually say that.

In her defense, she was very involved in the important activity of school with our children. Additionally, gifts would be considered Jennifer’s last love language. Those flowers didn’t speak love to her at all. Now, if I’d sat down to help my son with his math or made dinner for the family while she continued school, that would have spoken her love language.

The rejection

But enough about her, let’s get back to me. Let’s examine the rejection I felt. Though I know she wasn’t rejecting me or even rejecting the gift of flowers, it sure felt like it at the moment. I moped away from the kitchen table like a little boy that had just lost his puppy. I felt as if I couldn’t do anything right for my wife.

The importance

Why is this little exchange in our marriage so important? It’s important because, unbeknownst to me, the experience shaped how I attempted to show Jennifer love. More specifically, it caused me to be more cautious about showing her love. Feeling rejected hurts, so expressing love just became riskier.

It happens so subtly, even unconsciously; we shy away from expressing love in various ways because we fear rejection. Inside our marriage, we stop offering acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, or gifts because we fear it won’t be well received.

The conclusion

You must recognize and cheerfully accept expressions of love from your spouse. It might be contrary to your love language, but it is nonetheless important to your spouse. In fact, the expression of love they offer is likely their love language. This makes your rejection all the more painful.

Don’t make expressing love a risky endeavor in your marriage. Accept them cheerfully, no matter how menial or small they may seem. The best way to accept an expression of love is to reciprocate with words of affirmation. This frees your spouse to express their love in deeper and more meaningful ways without fear of rejection.

092 – One of God’s Greatest Gifts to the World

An Interview with Stephen Buckner - Part 2

Welcome to episode 92 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we have the opportunity to hear from my good friend, Stephen Buckner regarding one of God’s greatest gift to the world.

Stephen and Debbie Buckner are passionate about strengthening marriages because it’s one of God’s greatest gifts to the world.  They’ve been married for over 21 years and live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
 
Stephen and Debbie’s primary mission is to help local churches build ongoing, comprehensive marriage ministries.  They believe the church is the Body of Christ and the hope of the world; therefore if the dream of marriage is going to be restored, it will happen in, and through, local churches.

They are also seasoned speakers with a presentation style that is fresh, unique, and honest.  They’ve been through more than their share of tough times in marriage, and they are not afraid to talk about it.

Stephen and Debbie founded Hot Marriage, Inc., an organization committed to strengthening individual couples by partnering with churches to build ongoing marriage ministry.

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The R&R of Marriage Sex

R&R no longer means rest & relaxation

Ninety-six. It’s the favorite number of any member of the United States military. Getting a ninety-six means you are getting ninety-six hours (four whole days) off duty. The Lieutenant of my Marine platoon had a dismissal routine that included the phrase “some much deserved R&R.” Lieutenant Bland meant rest and relaxation, but R&R takes on an entirely different meaning in marriage sex.

Over our twenty-three year marriage, I’ve read countless books, listened to endless podcast and radio episodes, worked through multiple Bible studies, and attended hours upon hours of mentoring sessions, but none of them really cracked the code of balancing sex drive in our marriage. I’ve followed every piece of advice offered – everything from “sex starts in the kitchen, so start with washing dishes” to “she’s a crockpot that has to simmer for long periods, so start early.”

Now in full disclosure, I’m the higher desire partner in our marriage. So naturally, marriage advice and topics related to marriage sex have always captured my attention. I credit Michael Smalley of Smalley Institute for helping me understand the R&R of marriage sex. R&R wasn’t the main topic of his podcast, but one sentence mentioned resonated with me and helped me uncover a secret about marriage sex that most couples miss.

By the way, you can find Michael Smalley and many other great marriage resources in my marriage resource guide. Get it here…

So, R&R in marriage sex? What does it mean? What is this secret so many married couples miss?

Well, R&R is related to rest and relaxation, but there is an added dimension that can lead to great marriage sex.

091 – One of God’s Greatest Gifts to the World

An Interview with Stephen Buckner - Part 1

Welcome to episode 91 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we have the opportunity to hear from my good friend, Stephen Buckner regarding one of God’s greatest gifts to the world.

Stephen and Debbie Buckner are passionate about strengthening marriages because it’s one of God’s greatest gifts to the world.  They’ve been married for over 21 years and live in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

Stephen and Debbie’s primary mission is to help local churches build ongoing, comprehensive marriage ministries.  They believe the church is the Body of Christ and the hope of the world; therefore if the dream of marriage is going to be restored, it will happen in, and through, local churches.

They are also seasoned speakers with a presentation style that is fresh, unique, and honest.  They’ve been through more than their share of tough times in marriage, and they are not afraid to talk about it.

Stephen and Debbie founded Hot Marriage, Inc., an organization committed to strengthening individual couples by partnering with churches to build ongoing marriage ministry.

Listen to the Audio

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Yes, I’ve Considered Divorce

Now What?

It seems odd that I’m writing this article the day before our twenty-third wedding anniversary. At the time, Jennifer and I are enjoying a great relationship, but it hasn’t always been so. Only a few folks have worked up the courage to ask, so for those that wonder but won’t ask – yes, I’ve considered divorce.

Even more dangerous, I know Jennifer has considered divorce also. I could use divorce statistics to convince you, but I trust you understand that our marriage has been in serious trouble during these times of divorce consideration. Much of marriage is a mental and emotional battle. Once a spouse has mentally and emotionally gone into divorce mode, odds are they won’t return.

So how did we get there?

Well, life happened to us. Like the majority of married couples, we started having children and ventured into our careers. We often use the cliche, “don’t blink, you’ll miss something” with new parents. The cliche is meant to warn new parents their children will grow so quickly and they should cherish every moment with them. Maybe we should start using this cliche for marriage as well. Don’t blink, you’ll miss something.

We missed the fact that life was pulling us apart like a rip current in the ocean. We blinked and suddenly we were just parenting partners, not a married couple. Jennifer became consumed with our children, their education, and extracurricular activities – all very good things. I became distracted by my career, making more money, and climbing the corporate latter – again, all very good things.

In addition to children and career, we let other voluntary activities of life distract us from one another. Church activities, for example, became distractions that drifted us apart. Over the twenty-three years, we’ve done everything you can imagine in our church. When you combine the children, the career, and the church, where is there time for the couple? While it can be balanced, we failed to balance all those areas of life, therefore our marriage suffered for it. That’s when the divorce considerations crept into our mind.

So divorce considerations have infiltrated your marriage, now what? What do you do now? How do you survive? How do you keep the marriage together? Let me share a few points I learned from my own experience.

087 – How To Get Your Husband To Lead

I didn’t say it, she did!

Welcome to episode 87 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we have the opportunity to hear from my good friend, Michelle Discavage regarding equipping your husband to lead.

Michelle Discavage is the author of Unnamed Women of the Bible: Lessons of Value, Belonging, and Worth, speaker, and a Certified Life Purpose Coach. She desires to come alongside women as they seek truth in their own lives, and to build a community of women who can admit they do not have it altogether.

Life does not have to be perfect, and neither do we. The beauty is, God has a plan and a purpose for us all.

How to find Michelle:
sparkedliving.net
unnamedwomenbook.com
facebook.com/MichelleDiscavage
Instagram: michellediscavage
twitter: @SparkedLiving

Listen to the Audio

Podcast: Play in browser | Download

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Podcast Sponsor

This podcast episode is sponsored by the Call to Me Prayer Journal by Jeannine Moffitt. 

How can Christians transform the daily call to prayer, with all of its challenges, into a purposeful, organized, and enjoyable routine?

Call To Me provides an easy to use prayer journal that helps keep individuals on track and allows them to see their entire week of prayer at a glance. They can organize prayer requests, concerns, and praises into labeled columns across a spacious two-page spread. With plenty of room to journal, they can reflect on answered prayers, continuing requests, or even the impact of certain verses, all in one convenient location.

Along the bottom of each spread, Call To Me includes scriptures speaking to everyday topics that help spark prayer life. The journal’s creator, Jeannine Moffitt, has provided example spreads to nudge hesitant individuals past the starting line until they settle into their own rhythm.

With its beautifully laid out design, many find Call to Me a user-friendly tool for combined journaling and prayer. By taking care of the organization, it allows Christians to focus on the prayer itself and truly enjoy an enriched prayer life.

Jeannine is a wife, a mother, sister, mother-in-law, grandmother, friend, recent cancer survivor, speaker and author. Her husband is a pastor, so she can relate to other women who are also pastor’s wives and all that that brings! She is a woman with a lot of life experiences!  She’s worked in the corporate world and legal field as a certified paralegal. She’s worked in the Christian realm and non-profit arena. She (and her husband) homeschooled for 12 years. She is a recent cancer survivor and understands the difficulties and challenges of dealing with cancer. She can identify with women from varied backgrounds, various ages, and all stages of life.  She likes to use her sense of humor and quick wit to drive home truths that may be difficult to hear and even more difficult to apply!  She enjoys speaking to women and encouraging them to reach their God-given potential and become all God intended for them to be.

No matter where you’ve been—fatherless, abused, abandoned, or divorced—or where you are presently—sick, a single parent, addicted, in financial trouble—you can become the person God intended for you to be.  Jeannine will tell you that our past does not dictate our future. God has a plan for our lives regardless of our circumstances. We have a choice in what we do, and that first, critical choice is to trust God with our lives. He promises when we give our life to Him, He will show us how to live victoriously each and every day.

Jeannine has a passion for prayer and created this journal with that in mind, to help others have a deeper prayer walk with Jesus.

Open Letter to the Low Desire Spouse

You don't have to feel guilt or shame

So you think all your spouse thinks about is sex? So you feel like your spouse may suffer from sexual perversion because no one can possibly need sex that often? You are not alone! Every marriage on the planet has to struggle through a difference in sex drive among spouses. The degrees of separation will vary, but every marriage has a low desire spouse and a high desire spouse.

It’s likely that you feel like the bad guy or gal as it may be, in your relationship. You are the one preventing relational intimacy in the marriage because of your low desire for physical intimacy. It’s also likely that your high desire spouse has no idea why you have low or even no desire. In that case, I’ve also written an open letter to the high desire spouse. Just a word of advice should you share this article with your high desire spouse – be prepared to talk about it.

Luckily, low desire spouses are not doomed to a life of guilt or shame. Unless your spouse truly suffers from a sexual addiction, which isn’t likely, your high desire spouse’s sex drive can be satisfied. These few principles will allow you pull out of your sexual shell and actually enjoy meeting your spouse’s sexual needs.

086 – Secret To A Happy Marriage

Easy said, difficult done

Welcome to episode 86 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the secret to a happy marriage.

Timothy Keller authored a book that I highly recommend. “The Meaning of Marriage” is my favorite marriage book. I go back to this book often. In chapter two of this book, Keller makes a statement I’ve held tightly to ever since I read it. I believe the secret to a happy marriage is found in this single quote. Tune in as I describe the Keller quote and why I’m certain it’s the secret to a happy marriage.

Also in this episode – email question
From: Jeremy

Hello Sir,
I have read your blog for at least a year now. I’ve always appreciated your advice, however I disagree with your obvious view of a family. You clearly believe in the very narrow definition of a family as being a man and woman that is married. My husband and I (yes, we are a married gay couple) follow similar advice and feel it benefits our relationship. Do you think we should follow your marriage advice or do you think we are wasting our time and should stop reading your blog?

Listen to the Audio

Podcast: Play in browser | Download

Subscribe on iTunes

 



 

Podcast Sponsor

This podcast episode is sponsored by the Call to Me Prayer Journal by Jeannine Moffitt. 

How can Christians transform the daily call to prayer, with all of its challenges, into a purposeful, organized, and enjoyable routine?

Call To Me provides an easy to use prayer journal that helps keep individuals on track and allows them to see their entire week of prayer at a glance. They can organize prayer requests, concerns, and praises into labeled columns across a spacious two-page spread. With plenty of room to journal, they can reflect on answered prayers, continuing requests, or even the impact of certain verses, all in one convenient location.

Along the bottom of each spread, Call To Me includes scriptures speaking to everyday topics that help spark prayer life. The journal’s creator, Jeannine Moffitt, has provided example spreads to nudge hesitant individuals past the starting line until they settle into their own rhythm.

With its beautifully laid out design, many find Call to Me a user-friendly tool for combined journaling and prayer. By taking care of the organization, it allows Christians to focus on the prayer itself and truly enjoy an enriched prayer life.

Jeannine is a wife, a mother, sister, mother-in-law, grandmother, friend, recent cancer survivor, speaker and author. Her husband is a pastor, so she can relate to other women who are also pastor’s wives and all that that brings! She is a woman with a lot of life experiences!  She’s worked in the corporate world and legal field as a certified paralegal. She’s worked in the Christian realm and non-profit arena. She (and her husband) homeschooled for 12 years. She is a recent cancer survivor and understands the difficulties and challenges of dealing with cancer. She can identify with women from varied backgrounds, various ages, and all stages of life.  She likes to use her sense of humor and quick wit to drive home truths that may be difficult to hear and even more difficult to apply!  She enjoys speaking to women and encouraging them to reach their God-given potential and become all God intended for them to be.

No matter where you’ve been—fatherless, abused, abandoned, or divorced—or where you are presently—sick, a single parent, addicted, in financial trouble—you can become the person God intended for you to be.  Jeannine will tell you that our past does not dictate our future. God has a plan for our lives regardless of our circumstances. We have a choice in what we do, and that first, critical choice is to trust God with our lives. He promises when we give our life to Him, He will show us how to live victoriously each and every day.

Jeannine has a passion for prayer and created this journal with that in mind, to help others have a deeper prayer walk with Jesus.

Open Letter to the High Desire Spouse

There is hope for sex in your marriage

So you’ve married someone that doesn’t align with your sexual desire level, you’re the high desire spouse? Join the group! It’s very rare the sexual desires in a husband and wife actually match. However, this doesn’t mean you, as the high desire spouse, are doomed to the life of sex camel.

For an explanation of sex camel, check out this short clip from one of my favorite TV show.

Unlike Ray Barone (see video above), you don’t have to be a sex camel and you don’t have to be scared. But you do have to be a talker if you want to enjoy a sex life that even comes close to your desired level. Do you want to know what I mean by being a “talker”?

Well, I’m glad you asked. To have the sex life you desire, you must be willing to discuss sex with your spouse. You have to talk about it. I know it’s the topic most married couples fear discussing the most. Recognize though, without a good discussion, the sex life inside a marriage will naturally tend toward the low desire spouse.

Is that what you want? If you think you can live with your current sex life, also consider the reality that low desire can easily and quickly become no desire. Now that changes the game a bit, doesn’t it?

Let me share with you a few principles that will help you and your spouse get through the awkward discussion about sex.