How to Make Couple’s Devotions Really Happen

How to Make Couple’s Devotions Really Happen

If you’re like most Christian couples, bringing God into the center of your marriage is important to you, but making that happen can be difficult. First of all, know that you’re not alone. We’re professional Christian counselors and it can be hard for us too. Just like any good thing, it will require work and intentionality, BUT, let’s also not forget that we have an enemy who is finding great pleasure in our busyness, chaos and fatigue. Jesus is here to offer us an abundant life, but there’s also a thief who is here to steal, kill and destroy it (John 10:10). 

In order to not let the Enemy take away what Jesus came to give us, we have to develop a little tenacity when it comes to protecting our time and the things that are important to us, like the establishment of doing a couple’s devotional together. Opening up God’s word to grow as a couple will almost always have opposition. Here are some practical tips you can use to actually make this God sized marriage goal come to fruition.

For starters, be committed. Decide together that it is important to you both, and that your marriage is worth investing in. It’s amazing how many other things we invest in that don’t pay back even close to the same dividends. Like most of you, I enjoy a good Instagram scroll, but I can’t tell you the last time it’s given me back anything.

Next, schedule it—take an honest look at your schedule and put it in your calendar during a day and time each week that works for you. A lot of couples, including us, go with a Sunday evening. It’s a good time to spend together and prepare for the week ahead. Nothing will start your week better than time in God’s word together.

Lastly, if you want to make it easier to do, it helps if you make it fun. Grab your devotional, we highly recommend ours, the Newlywed Couple’s Devotional, for all newlyweds and newlywed wanna-be’s, and make a special dessert, enjoy a cup of coffee, or if you’re able, go sit at a place you enjoy, like your front porch, a coffee shop, or make it an early relaxing night in the bed.

Over time, you might actually find that this time together discussing God’s word, hearing stories of other couples, learning practical marriage tips, answering real purposeful questions together, and then closing it all in prayer, is exactly what your marriage needs and what your heart begins to crave.

Make the decision to invest in your marriage, check your calendars, and then head on over and grab a copy of the Newlywed Couple’s Devotional. You’ll be glad you did!

Ep. 10: Gratitude, God & Science

Are you grateful for your spouse? They don’t always make it easy, do they? But did you know there’s a lot of science behind what gratitude does to your brain and mental health? There are also big impacts it can make in your marriage.

When you show gratitude towards someone, you are saying that you respect their value, and that you treasure how unique, beautiful or indispensable they are. Wow, what a gift to a spouse that is!

Today we shared the truth of scripture when it comes to gratefulness as well as the science behind it, because believe it or not, science and Bible do align! We also gave some insight into how being grateful can impact your marriage in big ways and why couples who are grateful have a much higher marital satisfaction rate.

Developing a grateful heart is definitely the way you want to go in your marriage. The benefits are well worth it!

26 Ways to Make Date Nights as Easy as ABC

26 Ways to Make Date Nights as Easy as ABC

Isn’t it amazing to think of how easy it used to be to squeeze in a date night? In fact, can you believe that there was once a time where that’s literally almost all you did together? But, if you think of what dating provided for you way back then, you’d quickly discover why it’s SO important to keep those date nights alive.

Dating helped you establish your friendship, it helped you discover both of your likes and dislikes, and it likely provided a lot of laughter too. All the things that bonded you as a couple back then, can still bond you together as a married couple now. That’s why date nights are so necessary.

But we totally understand if you’re running out of ideas, so we’d love to help you with that. No matter how busy life gets, with just a little bit of effort, we truly believe date nights can be as easy as the ABCs, and here’s the proof….

A. Adventurous Eats- Go out for food you haven’t eaten before

B. Bike riding, explore your neighborhood or find a new place

C. Chalk drawing encouraging messages on sidewalks for strangers

D. Dessert and Dancing at home

E. Escape room. Grab some friends and take on the challenge

F. Fishing. Farmers Market or Food Truck

G. Game night at home or with friends

H. Horseback riding. Hammocks at the park. Hiking.

I. Ice cream sundaes. Go all out!

J. Journey through old photo albums

K. Kite flying. Karaoke.

L. Live music. Learn a new skill.

M. Massages at home or at a salon

N. Netflix new series

O. Outside fire pit or outside swing

P. Pedicures. Popcorn and a classic movie. Picnic. Photoshoot

Q. Quickie somewhere new

R. Random act of kindness together

S. State park

T. Trivia night.

U. Unwind by relaxing at home without technology

V. Vacation dreaming and planning.

W. Walk in a park you’ve never been to

X. Xbox gaming together

Y. Yard games.

Z. Zip lining. Zoo.

One more thing date nights do—they help you learn more about each other, and just because you’re married, that doesn’t mean you’re done getting to know each other. In addition to these date night ideas, if you’d like to keep on getting to know each other and have some things to talk about while you’re out, go ahead and grab our 25 Date Night Conversations from the tab below!

Now go on, get out there and have some fun!

How to Make Use of the Pause

How to Make Use of the Pause

For quite some time now, our society has been all about the hustle. We’ve been running ourselves ragged trying to achieve more, get more, and of course all while we stay in control of our lives. But what if that’s never been what life was supposed to be about? What if is all we’ve done is just indeed run ourselves ragged?

If we’re honest, I think we’re all feeling this fatigue, and even though a contagious virus is not how most of us would choose to pause, some of us have been craving it for quite some time.

But now that we’re here, what do we do with it? How do we slow down and make use of it when we’ve been so trained to constantly run?

Our first step is to RE-ENGAGE. We must re-engage with what is important. What is it that you’ve lost touch with amidst all the hustling? When’s the last time you’ve thought about your priorities in life? Are they making it to the top of your list on a daily basis?

Let’s see…

Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re pausing well…

Does your relationship with God look as it should? Have you been making time to pray, to be in His Word? This is a foundational part of a purposeful day and a purposeful life. Taking time pausing to ask the Father what He has for you on any given day. Allowing Him to align your priorities; taking the time to sit with him, to converse, to listen, to simply pause. This is always priority number one, and when we miss it, we usually can tell.

What does time with your spouse and your family look like? How long have they just been getting the scraps? When’s the last time you had a conversation together about anything other than the kids or the running of the household… or, about how exhausted you are?

It’s time for a change. Use this pause to re-engage your family. Pull out that devotional that you’ve attempted to do 100 times. If you don’t have one, we’ve got a great one for you HERE. Get talking with one another. Play a game with the kids, have a family dinner where you actually have conversations without heads angled down into a phone. Put some new phone free rules into place.

Engage one another. 

Prioritize your family.

Lastly, how have you been investing in the lives of others? Who is that friend you’ve been meaning to check in on? I personally have a friend who has written me a card with a note and a prayer in it every week for almost a year now. That friend has been a lifeline for me. Are you being that friend? Maybe now you can actually take the time to sit down and write a letter to someone. Maybe someone needs a call, a gift card, or just some contact letting them know you’re there, you’re praying, and you see them.

God always wants us loving others well, and yet our busyness never seems to allow time for that. But now, now we have the time.

It’s time for us to USE THE PAUSE and RE-ENGAGE.

Let’s slow it all down together. Align with God and His priorities…Love Him and love others (Matthew 22:37-39). Let’s take God at His Word and “consider it pure joy when we face trials” (James 1:2-4) because let’s face it, sometimes those trials bring us exactly what we’ve been needing the whole time. Let’s use this difficult time as an opportunity to create some good.

BONUS INFO : In addition, now is a great time to evaluate your greatest stressors to help you identify more areas to address that can help make your life better.

  • How are your finances, if this situation is making you feel vulnerable, is there something you need to change?
  • How is your physical health? Is your body feeling the strain of the stress?
  • What is it you’re afraid of running out of? Why? Are you panicked? Ask yourself why.
  • Are any fears you need to deal with being identified? Now that they’re on the table, it’s time to address them.

Here’s to moving forward, linking arms and making purpose of the pause together! It’s time to grow!

Back to the Basics

Back to the Basics

Back is not the direction we usually want to head in, but sometimes it is only in moving backwards that we can begin to move forward.

It’s that age old adage that we have to learn to crawl before we can walk, and walk before we can run. It’s the crawling that builds the muscles and gives us necessary strength for the next step, literally. 

There’s a proper order to things, and if we skip over something as foundational as building muscle strength before we start off on a journey, we might find ourselves in some trouble, and perhaps falling a bit more than we normally would. The same is true if we were to run a race without practicing or training. We might survive it, but it will likely not be a new personal record, and we will also more than likely pull a hamstring. This is true in our physical world as much as it is in our emotional and relational worlds too.

In our marriages, we always want to keep practicing, and we don’t ever want to feel as if we have arrived at mastery. Mastery is one of those things that we will never achieve this side of heaven. Especially over something that is constantly changing, like a marital relationship. Let’s face it, we’re all vulnerable to failure and to making mistakes. Mistakingly believing that we have reached mastery can breed not only arrogance, but also complacency.  Achieving mastery, fools us into thinking we need not do any more work because we have arrived. It is in that moment that we let our guards down and become vulnerable. 

If you want to revamp your marriage, or if you need to get back on course, take the time today to go back to the basics. Go back to the fundamental place in your marriage where it all once began, the sharing of your vows. Whether you wrote your own or used traditional ones, pull them out, re-read them. You now have experience in your marriage  that gives you a new lens to view your vows from. When you originally promised them to one another I’m sure you believed they would come with ease, but I’m betting your “experience” now tells you otherwise. There may even be some that you haven’t been putting into practice for a while.

Take the time to read those words that you declared and promised to your spouse in the sight of God, your family and your friends. (You can even google some vows for a reference.) As you do, ask yourselves and one another these questions…

What exactly was it that we promised to each other?

What did we each say that we, as individuals would do and how am I, and how are we, living up to it?

What kind of spouse did I say I was going to be, and to what ends?

Do I still mean and take action on these things today, or does our marriage need help? Honestly.

Are we willing to return to the basics of loving one another as we once declared?

In light of our vows, what is at least one practical thing we can begin to change?

It’s probably been a while since most of you said those vows. I’m sure you’ve realized that time, circumstances and aging, changes people. Some of that change is good and some, perhaps not so good, but regardless, change doesn’t release us from our covenants. 

Take an honest look back, reboot those fundamental promises in your marriage. Make a realistic plan for getting back to the basics with your spouse. Even if you choose one thing to change, that’s a great start in the right direction. Honor that covenant you made to your spouse and to God. You won’t regret it!

Every once in a while it’s good to restart your journey!