Marriage and Relationships
Marriage is… wonderful. And hard. And live-giving. And painful. And fun. And exhausting. The relationship you have with your spouse may be one of the most complicated relationships you will ever have. Here’s a selection of encouraging resources for Christians wanting to get through the hard times and deepen their relationship with your spouse.
In an ideal scenario, sex is a manifestation of loving commitment, but housework, children, jobs, miscarriages, emotional withdrawal and porn all keep us from celebrating sex as it can be. For those times when sex just isn’t practical or when we’re not in the headspace to connect, how can we turn our partners down while avoiding an emotional backlash?
If you’ve ever lived away from established friends and family you’ll know the importance of intentionally making new friends and building warm, loving community. These kinds of relationships are special and unique but they don’t have to be rare. My good friend Melissa recently shared some tips for building community and I’m sharing them here with a few added thoughts of my own.
Love covers a multitude of sins. If one of your relationships can't tolerate something that has happened, then there's not enough love in it. What are you to do when you discover this? I think we all have two options: toss the relationship, or invest in it. One of those options is going to cost us a lot more than the other.
Many women I talk to tell me they married expecting a best friend, a confidant, a spiritual warrior, and a cuddle-bunny, all rolled into one. Many men I talk to tell me they were expecting a Godly but nymphomaniac sex vixen, the "righteous fox" promised by youth pastors, who would validate them at every turn and support all their crazy dreams. It seems that most of us were sold a bill of goods that didn't quite match up with our expectations.
My wife and I travel in different circles, and are usually headed in different directions. She is a natural planner and strategizer, I am naturally empathic and sensitive. I feel first, she plans first. I work in a Christian ministry, she works at a University. When we got married, I had no idea what my dreams were, what my life’s goals were, or what calling God had placed on my life (whether or not you believe in such things). When we got married, Maija was already working the plan for her life. We’re very different to one another. We’re best friends, we’re lovers, we’re mom and dad to the same kids, but in many ways we’re poles apart.
Sheila Wray Gregoire, author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and owner of the popular blog To Love, Honor and Vacuum joined me on the show to discuss sexual intimacy and the many stereotypes that exist surrounding marriage. Sheila shared some insightful and practical advice on dating, marital communication, sex and more.
If you were a Christian teenager in the late 90s or early 2000s there’s a good chance you read or were influenced by “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” Twenty years on Joshua Harris has re-evaluated his message and removed the books from print. Joshua and I discussed the purity culture, the positive and negative effects of encouraging abstinence, his role in the pain that people experienced, and what the church can do better to prevent things like this happening in the future.
Rob and I discussed whether cheap sex can block you from reaching your destiny, if I missed out on fun times by getting married young, and how to build a fulfilling community of friends while you wait for someone special.