Ask a Different Question: How (Bad) Good Is Your Marriage?

How bad is your marriage? What bothers you at this very moment concerning your spouse? Is your husband stonewalling you? Is your wife complaining far too much? Is the reverse true?

Do you want your husband to be more romantic? Do you wish your wife would desire to be sexually intimate with you more often than she normally does? Is the reverse true?

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Key Truths about a Husband and Wife Needing and Desiring Sex - Part 3 - Mutual Does Not Mean the Same

In parts 1 and 2, we discussed a key difference in men and women’s approaches toward sex. Though both desire and need sex, we need to understand a wife’s interpretation of sex through the love lens and the husband’s interpretation of sex through the respect grid. I take this position because God commands the husband to love his wife in Ephesians 5:33 (C.O.U.P.L.E.) and commands a wife to respect her husband in that same verse (C.H.A.I.R.S.). (Please read parts 1 and 2 of this 3-part blog series for a more complete explanation of C.O.U.P.L.E. and C.H.A.I.R.S.)

Every married couple that is concerned about their sexual intimacy needs to answer the following with honesty and accuracy.

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Key Truths about a Husband and Wife Needing and Desiring Sex - Part 2 - Is It Just About Sex for the Man?

In part 1 of this series, we discussed how even Hollywood unwittingly supports God’s design for unconditional love being absolutely vital to a woman in order for her to truly enjoy sex with a man long-term. Because in the end, for her the perennial question will always be, “Do you love me for me—unconditionally?” And when he assures her of his unconditional love toward her by acting out C.O.U.P.L.E.—the six biblical ways God’s Word reveals that a man should love his wife—he will be hitting on all cylinders the premiere aphrodisiac for his wife.

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Key Truths about a Husband and Wife Needing and Desiring Sex - Part 1 - Even Hollywood Gets It About Women

In my opinion, anyone who watches movies gets the message that men and women have sexual needs and desires but that they are not the same.
In the movie For the Love of the Game, Billy Chapel (played by Kevin Costner) and Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston) meet and hook up sexually. Because Billy travels as a professional baseball pitcher with the Detroit Tigers, they make a deal. Jane says, "So, when you're away, I'll live my life and you'll live yours. And none of this 'why didn't you call me?' crap. And what you do when you're not with me has nothing to do with me, and vice versa. No questions asked, no worrying, no obsessing."

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She Wants Him to Lead, So Why Doesn’t He?

Even though men and women are equal in the eyes of God, Scripture is clear that God has charged men with being the family’s spiritual leader (1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 5:22). I have found among most wives who follow Christ that not only do they not resist this biblical mandate but they actually hold a deep desire for their husbands to be the spiritual leader.  

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It’s All About Jesus

If you have attended or heard a Love and Respect Marriage Conference or read any of the books, more than likely you will recall some of my favorite terms, analogies, and acronyms, such as: Pink and Blue, C.O.U.P.L.E., C.H.A.I.R.S., the Crazy Cycle, the Energizing Cycle, and the Rewarded Cycle. While it certainly always brings a smile to my face to hear from readers and others that they, even many years later, still talk about “needing to get off the Crazy Cycle” or “their pink hearing aids didn’t hear what their blue husband was really saying,” what I most hope that people will remember is how all of this should be used to point them to Jesus. Let me explain.

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Which Statements Will We Believe?

Walk into any football stadium or sports bar on game day and you will find a sea of fans decked out in matching gear excited to cheer on their team that they have loved since birth. As long as their team is getting the first downs and touchdowns, these fans are ecstatic in their show of support.

But when things don’t go so well with their team . . . well, from the sound of their groans and the choice words coming from their mouths describing their so-called favorite teams, you may have a hard time believing that they love their team like they do. But in fact, no matter how bad it may get this week, they’ll be right back next week cheering them on again.

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Have You Learned Yet What a “Sacrifice of Thanksgiving” Is?

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the apostle Paul reminded the church in Thessalonica, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (5:18). This is one of four times in which Scripture clearly tells us what the will of God is. I call these the four universal wills of God, and I have written about them extensively in my book, The Four Wills of God, and how our following these four universal wills of God can lead to learning His unique will for us in our individual lives.

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You Want Your Husband to Hear Your Heart—The Answer May Be to First H.E.A.R. Him

A wife longs for her husband to hear her heart. She becomes insecure when he does not. What can she do?
Given your husband has goodwill and wants to do God's will, I suggest looking in four areas and trying to “H.E.A.R.” your husband.
H: Honor his desire to honor God. If there is any positive thing you see in his walk with God, say, "I want to honor your desire to honor God. I have noticed how you _____." Fill in the blank. While most likely there are things you wish he did in his walk with God that he isn't currently doing, don't go there. This exercise is about addressing the positive—how you see your husband honoring God—because it is true, honorable, and right.

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Sometimes the Solution in a Troubled Marriage Is to Do Less!

Can a wife be guilty of helping her husband too much? At first glance, that may sound preposterous, right? I mean, of all the burdensome things a wife deals with during the day in managing her home and feeding her marriage, do we really have to add “don’t help husband too much” to her list?

The events of Genesis 2 speak to this, actually. Take another look at these verses that you are probably more than familiar with already:

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How Have You and Your Spouse Achieved Win-Win in Your Sexual Intimacy? (Part II)

In a previous article, I wrote about some of the disheartening times when Paul’s Holy Spirit-inspired words on sexual intimacy in 1 Corinthians 7 were spun so as to justify one-sided coercion rather than mutual consent. Unfortunately, throughout history many husbands have taken a one-sided position to 1 Corinthians 7:4 and demanded fulfillment of their male conjugal rights. This is clearly contrary to Abba Father's revelation to husbands and wives and ignores the second half of 1 Corinthians 7:4.

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How Have You and Your Spouse Achieved Win-Win in Your Sexual Intimacy? (Part 1)

In the near future, I will be going deeper on the topic of sex in marriage for all of our Love and Respect friends. The title? Love and Respect (and Sex): Coming Together as Husband and Wife.
Interested in learning more? Would you like to add your stories to the content? Read on, and I’ll show you how.

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Love and Respect in the Face of Male and Female Differences

Based on scripture’s command in Ephesians 5:33 for the husband to love his wife and for the wife to respect her husband, Sarah and I have found two challenges. One, to follow this command unconditionally means we are to love and respect each other even during our male and female differences.

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The Two-Edged Sword of Love and Respect: Virtue And Vice

Have you ever told someone the oft-used phrase that “two wrongs don’t make a right”? If you have kids you no doubt have. When big brother pushes little sister and she charges at him in response, knocking him over backward, both get in trouble with mom and dad because “two wrongs don’t make a right.” And it’s true: Never in the history of sibling rivalries, sports, war, politics, or any other area have conflicts been appropriately resolved after the initial victim retaliated with his or her own dose of medicine.

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What Does It Mean When a Blue Man Is Feeling Pink?

In my writings and conferences on Love and Respect, I like to use the analogy that men and women are as different as pink is from blue. Women look at the world through pink sunglasses, hear through pink hearing aids, and speak through a pink megaphone; while men do it all with blue. Which basically means a man and a woman can hear the exact same sentence and interpret it in completely different ways, or even say the exact same thing but mean completely different things with their words.

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Does Unconditional Respect Equal Becoming a Doormat?

One of the questions I hear the most is some variation of, “Are you telling me I have to unconditionally respect my husband’s bad behavior and become a door mat?   Everyone knows respect must be earned!
Interestingly, in our culture we don’t have a problem understanding unconditional love… in fact, we see unconditional love as the right of every human being. Imagine expecting our children to “earn” our love!  We would disapprove of such parenting.  Most of us have no problem separating the person from their behavior when it comes to love.  Love the person, hate the sin.  Right?

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Love and Respect in the Face of Male and Female Differences

Based on scripture’s command in Ephesians 5:33 for the husband to love his wife and for the wife to respect her husband, Sarah and I have found two challenges. One, to follow this command unconditionally means we are to love and respect each other even during our male and female differences.

Two, not only are we to love each other when these male and female differences between us are highlighted, but we are to also love and respect these male and female differences themselves as part of God's beautiful design.

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