Bio not provided
I wonder if our culture of self-help and self-actualization has brought us to that belief of being responsible only for ourselves. I agree that we cannot change others, but we are far too interwoven with people around us to believe that our actions have no effect on those around us. God made us for companionship and community, and you have done a great job of pointing to scriptures indicating His desire for us to do what's in our power to positively impact others.
By the way, I'm planning to say a little more about holy/happy this week. :)
(Oh, and why do I get constant spam about Christian Louboutin knock-off shoes?)
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Her Happiness is Her Responsibility
Paul, this is such a good point because I've said that the worst times in our marriage were when each of us was under a lot of stress. With both of us feeling pressure, neither one felt equipped or eager to comfort and encourage the other. I'm sad to admit that sometimes instead, we just took things out on each other. But we've gotten better! We can feel those times coming and try to readjust our outlook and pray for an extra pound (or ton) of patience. Affection and laughter through those tough times also help us through.
1 month ago on Check Marriage Growth from Time to Time.
I was with you all the way until you intimated that I might have to look an under-toilet-paper-hanger in the face and say, "You may be right." Heresy! LOL.
This is actually great advice! Much of what gets under our skin really doesn't matter. And letting it go can strengthen the marriage.
1 month, 1 week ago on MT Project: I Don't Have to Be Right (Outloud)
I agree, Paul. Busyness is a big problem for marriages.
From the female perspective, I also think that husbands don't realize how much the other stuff they do when they're home primes the wife to be ready for a sexual invitation. For instance, being home an hour in the evening may mean that there's plenty of time for sex literally, but she may need more emotional time with hubby to feel connected and ready to engage in sex. Or perhaps she needs him to come home and pitch in with the household tasks so that she can get to bed before she's ready to drop. I'm not saying this is solely a hubby issue (I talk to woman about setting aside time for sex a lot!), but conversation and non-sexual touch can really help a wife feel more open to having sex.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on The Reason So Many Are Having So Little Sex
I've become more of a NO gal myself lately. I've been thinking about Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and how I prioritize my time. Sometimes the priority has to be rest and rejuvenation--for myself, my marriage, my family. Margin is a great way to look at it. Nice hobby, Paul. :)
1 month, 3 weeks ago on A new hobby
@AnYa494 You make an interesting point. I also write fiction, and I have several friends with self-pubbed books. The quality varies a great deal based on whether they did the hard work themselves and used good editors, as you say.
However, most of the marriage bloggers I know actually do bounce ideas off others. We run stuff past wise family and friends, and we chat with each other. So at least SOME of this pitching/editing process does happen.
Just thought I'd give you a sense of what I've seen. Thanks so much! Blessings to you and your blog!
2 months ago on For what it’s worth, I think she is selfish too.
It's truly impossible to address everything in a single blog post. I often get the "but you didn't say ___" line of thinking too. Essentially, a marriage bloggers chooses what to talk about and who they're talking to on any given day and pray that the message reaches those it needs to reach.
Thanks, Paul, for clarifying!
I will try really hard to bite my tongue and not get into the fact that The Message is a paraphrase, NOT a translation. (Peeve of mine.)
But your conclusions are spot on, Paul! Indeed, the New Living Translation puts it rather bluntly, "The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs." However, this is still an expanded understanding of the original Greek text. Looking up "due benevolence" in Strong's, the Greek is "opheilo eunoia." Opheilo absolutely carries the notion of a debt, but is most often translated as "ought." And "eunoia" is defined as "benevolence, good will, kindness." It's only used one other time in the New Testament, to talk about our attitude in serving others (Ephesians 6:7).
What the words in this scripture indicate to me is that ATTITUDE MATTERS. Someone paying a debt to you isn't the same as someone being good-willed and kind to you. Yes, it's owed, but it should be given freely and generously. In the bedroom, God expects us to approach each other with kindness and mutuality in lovemaking.
A big "amen" from me here!
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Finding a Sex Life You Both Enjoy
I really wish we could sit down over coffee, Alecia, and chat about this. I agree so much with what you said. God isn't trying to deny us pleasure and intimacy, but to make sure we have it in the right way, the best way, His way. I first heard this from James MacDonald: "When God says 'Don't,' He's saying 'Don't hurt yourself.'" Churches have largely done a poor job with (1) explaining to teens/young adults the real reasons they should wait for sex until marriage; (2) helping singles develop strategies for staying pure (where you and I both failed; most of us can't see clearly in the heat of passion); (3) helping couples transition to healthy and holy sex lives, regardless of what came before their marriage. For my premarital sexual sins, I had forgiveness and a clean slate with God, but the consequences carried over in my heart and into my marriage relationship. It took a while to sort that out, and perhaps I didn't seek help early on because I did fear being shamed over and over again. My husband and I now have wonderful intimacy, but I'd give my right arm and a kidney for my children to be spared of the struggle I experienced and to choose God's path of purity instead.
3 months ago on Virginity, The Blame Game, and Repentance
I have to admit that I related so well to an article I read some years back when a wife complained about her husband not helping without a specific request. She said that if she has to tell him to do the laundry, then the laundry is still ultimately her responsibility and she was trying to get certain tasks completely off her plate. I feel that way at times too. However, I have learned that a to-do list helps my hubby a lot. He simply doesn't see everything I see, and it's easier for him to work from a written checklist when I need help. Great reminder!
8 months, 1 week ago on MT Project: It's Okay to Ask for Help
My heart is just breaking as I read this because one of my best friends just had her husband announce he's having an affair and leaving. The ripple effect is unbelievable. It isn't just the husband and wife impacted by such a thing. The selfishness of this one man is crushing so many people around him. It appears that he did not go looking for an affair, but he did not focus on his marriage and he spent way too much time with a female co-worker. Now he's sure that this is the path he should take. I am heartbroken for this whole family. You're so right...NOT worth it.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on MT Project: It's Not Worth It
Excellent point. The red flag to me is when someone thinks they can spend a lot of time with someone of the opposite sex without any problems. Oftentimes it's those who think they are not susceptible who find themselves where they never expected to be -- tempted to be unfaithful to their spouse. That moment is not the best time to hope that you can resist. You must guard your heart long before that. Thanks for your openness and wisdom.
1 year ago on Before The Kiss
Great list. I've also had several people tell that they simply aren't the kind of person who would cheat on their spouse. I think that's a problem. Too many people think they can spend time alone with someone of the opposite sex, remain connected to an ex, etc., because they can handle it and wouldn't cheat. 90+% of people could cheat if the circumstances all lined up in such a way -- if not physically, then emotionally. Thus, we have to guard our hearts, our eyes, our words to remain faithful to our mate.
1 year ago on 10 Ways to Become a Cheater
I agree with your assessment. I think of it as: I can have it all, but not all at once. For me, there are seasons -- a time when I was working full-time, a time when my husband and I got to invest fully in being newlyweds, a time when my children demanded a lot of time and I worked part-time, a time when my career can take more time but I'm still carving out family time, etc. One bite a time, one season at a time. And most important in all of those priorities are God, my marriage, and my kids. Thanks for the reminder.
1 year ago on I Can't Have it All
This was a great line: "Without [communication] you’re just kind of stumbling and fumbling around taking guesses." That's what plenty of couples do, and speaking up for yourself helps your partner so much. It is awkward at first, but gets easier over time. Thanks for tackling this subject, even if it a bit uncomfortable. God desires for marriages to have satisfying physical intimacy. It's worth pursuing.
1 year, 4 months ago on Let's Talk About Sex Baby