5 Ways to Grow Spiritually with Your Spouse

5 Ways to Grow Spiritually with Your Spouse

Being married is an adventure. Let’s face it; we each bring habits and expectations into a marriage. None of us is perfect. I know I fall short; all of us do.

5 Ways to grow spiritually with your spouse

Go On a Wild Adventure Together

Plan a treasure hunt. The surprise adventure of finding the clues will lead you closer to each other. I remember one evening when we had an event that was cancelled. I had already lined up overnight childcare. I stood in the grocery store and prayed that God would show me a way to be creative. While Wayne dropped the kids off, I ran the hot water for the jacuzzi. I had laid out an indoor treasure hunt that made my husband smile.

Join A Small Group that Makes You Think

When you grow closer to God, you will grow closer to each other. What attracted me to Wayne was his love for God. You can grow closer to your spouse as you build positive relationships with others.

Have Sex!

Yes! Great Sex is key to a Great Marriage. Sex is war (against the enemy). When you come together sexually, there is a freedom to be emotionally and spiritually more connected too! There have been times when I have been in a fight with my husband and I sense God prompting me to make love to him. In faith, when I concentrate on being one sexually it has removed the tension and brought oneness.

Have a Daily Spiritual “Check-in” Question

Our check-in question is simple. How are you? How can I pray for you.  This is something I texted my husband today: How are you, How can I pray for you Sue Detweiler

Mentor a Younger Couple

From the point that we were first married, we have been helping couples grow spiritually in their marriage.We love doing premarital together.

When you encourage others to grow strong in relationship, you reinforce what you are committed to. Every time you encourage a younger couple to be patient or kind in their marriage, you are reminding yourself to do the same!

Download 9 Ways to Celebrate the Day of Hearts!

Here’s some simple ideas to celebrate the day of hearts!

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10 Simple Ways to Say “I Love You”

10 Simple Ways to Say “I Love You”

It’s the simple ways to say “I love you”, that sometimes mean the most. Here’s a few to put into practice in your relationship:

10 Simple Ways to Say "I love you" by Sue Detweiler

Give Specific Encouragement

Have you ever noticed that speaking the right word, in the right moment, brings great joy! Take a deep breath in and think about what is most precious about the one you love. If you have a journal, jot it down. Add an descriptive adjective and you are ready!  Here’s one that I love about my husband.

I love how thoughtful you are. It amazes me that you take the time to keep our cars in working condition. I’m so thankful for your skill and expertise with cars.

Brag in Front of Loved Ones

Bragging in front of others about my husband began with a conviction in my heart. You see, I had trouble tearing down my husband in my mind so of course it came out. In chapter 1 of 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage I tell the story of my transformation.Download Here

After this God-Encounter I began to speak positively about Wayne to everyone. It had a huge impact on our marriage! He felt respected and I began to meditate on all the good things about my husband (rather than his flaws).

Practice “Present Love.”

It so easy to be thinking about a problem with the kids or at work, that you aren’t really present.

Be present. Cheer at the super-bowl game. Laugh at his jokes (even if you heard them before). Laughing is good for you. Sometimes you need to just honestly notice what makes your spouse so amazing.

Serve in a Way that will Stand Out

What task is on the bottom of your list, that is on the top of their list?  One way to show that you love them is to complete the “honey-do” list. When I was a young mom, laundry was over-whelming me. I asked my husband to help. There he was in the laundry room, and I found myself getting turned on.

Drop a Memory into a Conversation

One way to stoke the fires of love is to remember doing something together. Our special time is around our anniversary. So just writing this blog, I’m starting to picture the beauty of the Colorado Mountains. Your conversation can be:

Honey, remember how much fun it was to drive up the Mountains in Colorado last year for our anniversary? What would be fun to do together this year?

Ask about the Day, and Pray specifically about it.

I love texting. What a simple way to keep in touch with the one you love moment by moment. 10 Simple ways to say I love you 2 the one you love

Choose to View Quirks as endearing, not annoying.

This is tough I know. There are probably things about your spouse that are driving your crazy. (If you have been married to them long enough). If this is bugging you right now, read the first chapter 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage. Download Here

Say “Yes”

Wow! The word “YES” is so powerful. If you say as many “yes’s” as you can, than the “no’s” don’t overwhelm the conversation. In other words, be positive and not negative. 

Turn Complaints into Compliments

There’s a way to communicate concerns in a positive way. Think of it as a sandwich. The top piece of bread is a compliment, something that you noticed this week. The meat of the sandwhich is the concern that you share. The bottom piece of bread is another compliment. 

Express Appreciation Specifically and Aloud

It’s so wonderful to know that you are appreciated and valued. You don’t just say “I love you” on your wedding day. You need to say “I love you” every day in these 10 simple Ways.

I would love to hear from you!

9 Traits of a lIfe-giving marriage by Sue Detweiler

 

How to Turn Your Marriage Around in 2018

How to Turn Your Marriage Around

No matter where you are in your marriage relationship, with God’s grace you can turn your marriage around in 2018. I don’t know a couple who hasn’t experienced cycles of sin in their relationship. Remember, individually and corporately, the power of this verse:

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we con- fess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:7-9 (NLT)

If there is any type of hidden sin in your lives, it will fight against your intimacy. You must turn the light on and cleanse your marriage from sinful patterns.

Early in our pastoral ministry, a young couple sought our counsel. The wife and husband had sought out a Christian counselor. When the husband expressed his desire to watch pornography, the “Christian” counselor encouraged them both to watch sex video together to stimulate physical intimacy. Opening the door to pornography as a couple brought a license to sin into their home. The wife, in particular, felt dirty and devalued by this pornography. They had invited the world into their bedroom, rather than the Holy One who is the Giver of great sex. When they turned away from pornography and were cleansed from their individual sin, their home life and marital oneness were established in purity.

Turn Your Marriage Around in 2018

You may not have brought pornography into your bedroom, but are there things that you have allowed to come into your life that fight against intimacy with your spouse? If so, turn the light on. If you confess your sin to God, not only will He forgive you, but He will cleanse you and put your marital intimacy on the right track.

If there is only one of you working on purity in your marriage, you will face barriers that only God can remove. If you are in this situation, ask God to show you your next steps.

Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit to help you turn your marriage around. Are you supposed to spend more time together? Are you to surprise him or her with acts of service? Is there a gift you are supposed to buy to express your loyal love? Are you supposed to contact a Christian counselor to help you resolve your issues? (Remember to seek out good references and establish the integrity of his or her counsel.) Is there a marriage retreat that you should invest in? Is there a book that you are to read together? God is for you! Trust Him! 

How to Build a Marriage That Lasts

How to Turn your marriage around in 2017

Building a marriage that lasts requires love, intimacy, and integrity of heart every day! Celebrate the Day of Hearts with 9 Valentine’s Day Ideas!

Download 9 Ideas Here

 



A Father’s Love for His Prodigal Children

Prodigal

The Father-God Love for the Prodigal

Our father watches, waits and longs for His prodigal children to come home. His heart hurts when we are separated from His presence. He longs for the intimacy that He had with us, when we walked with Him in the original garden. When Jesus came, He came to show us the heart of the father. He represented God the Father in everything that He said and did. Jesus did not live independently of God.
 
When Jesus told the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), He showed us the heart of the father. The father allowed his younger son, to assert his rebelliousness of demanding an early inheritance. The father did not run after him and try to rescue him when all of his money was gone and there was famine in the land. He waited till his son hit bottom and came to his senses and rightly recognized and honored his father.
 
The father ran to the son when he finally came home. After the son had repented to His father, then the father called for the servant to get a ring for his finger, shoes for his feet and a robe. The Father through a party and celebrated his return. He restored him fully to a place of honor and authority as His son.
 
Too often, we want the privilege, honor and favor of Father God, without full repentance. Repentance is a gift from the Holy Spirit where we turn around and make a complete change of heart, mind and direction of our lives. The joy of holy intimacy with Father God is found when we totally surrender our lives to Him and don’t hold anything back.

Are you a Prodigal?

I was looking up the definition of “prodigal” and was surprised by the definition:

  • prodigal implies reckless or wasteful lavishness threatening to lead to early exhaustion of resources. 

  • luxuriant suggests a rich and splendid abundance.

  • lush suggests rich, soft luxuriance.

  • profuse implies pouring forth without restraint.

  • lavish suggests an unstinted or unmeasured profusion.

As I looked at this definition, I thought of our American lifestyle. Have you or your children followed this pattern:

  • Our children are encouraged to go to Ivy-league schools and to not worry about the debt accrued with student loans.
  • After they go to college, and meet the perfect somebody, they go into further debt from the lavish wedding.
  • Then of course, there is further spending as they purchase their first house.
  • Then they purchase the first  a mini-van
  • Then extravagant equipment for their babies.

The Prodigal Cycle

The out-of-control spending, the reckless and wastefulness of resources has become confused with the American dream. Remember, how our forefathers and mothers sacrificed when they came to a land of freedom. They hoped for a better life, but their definition of a good life is much different than what the entitlement generation feels they deserve.

If you were around in the 80’s when Imelda Marcos, the widow of a Filipino dictator, was found with a legendary 3,000 pairs of shoes. The media was appalled by the extravagance when so many of her people were in great need. Yet, Americans love to shop till they drop and build mansions where only a few people live in them.

The Entitlement Culture

Let me tell you a story of a land which is becoming a culture of waste. The amount of resources that an individual home waste’s every year could feed and cloth all the pilgrims who died trying to settle this country. They gave their lives for religious freedom and we waste what has been given us.

Let me tell you a story from the Bible.

There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’

So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

 That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father. (Lk 15:11-20).

I have never seen myself as a prodigal…

I fell in love with Jesus early in my life. I didn’t do drugs. I was a virgin when I married. I thought that all the prodigals were people who were “loose” or had sex outside of marriage or had corrupt morals. Yet, when I read this definition: 

I realize that as an American citizen I am included in these statics:

1. Junk galore. Each American throws out about 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) of trash every single day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest 2012 figures.

2. Food Wasted. According to America’s Second Harvest, over 41 billion pounds of food have been wasted this year (www.secondharvest.org).

I know that I fall into the above categories of waste. But as Americans, we also have these statistics.

3. Drug Use. America has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.

4. Teenage Pregnancy. America has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by a very wide margin.

5. Credit Card Waste: According to a Gallup survey, the average cardholder carries a credit card balance of $2,210 at the end of the month. Statistics on creditcard.com show that the average APR on cards with a balance is 12.78%. Considering that 176 million Americans have a credit card, the wasted amount on credit card interest is over $49 billion each year.

Hope for the Prodigal…

I could get really discouraged by these statistics, but the good news is that the story of the Prodigal Son is not as much about the son who was reckless and wasteful, but about the Father who loves… Look at the how the Father loves every prodigal.

 When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’

 “But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.

 “All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’ (Lk 15:20-24)

A Father’s Love for His Prodigal Children

Wow! We spend so much time thinking about “the prodigal”, but really this story is about the Father! As we turn around from our own reckless living we can be sure of this! Our repentance opens the door for intimacy with Father-God to be restored. When we change our thinking and embrace a lifestyle of repentance, we draw near to God and He draws near to us. The truth of God’s never-ending story is told again and again as the father welcomes us home to Himself. Remember this:

1. God Loves Us

2. God Receives Us

3. God Restores Us

4. God Authorizes us

God Rejoices Over Us

// ]]> The Father is waiting for you and for me to come home!

Consider taking a spiritual retreat where you spend time with God, coming closer to Him. Click here to download your free guide. Click Here to Download

Hope to hear from you. If you want prayer for your own prodigal heart to come home, or prayer for a loved one, leave a comment and we will join you! A Father’s love never fails to welcome home His child.

Order your copy of Women Who Move Mountains Today! Click the picture to download chapter 1 and the introduction of Women Who Move Mountains. 

Download the Introduction and Chapter 1

Download the Introduction and Chapter 1 Today!

How to Stop the Crazy Cycle in Your Marriage

How to stop the crazy cycle

How to Stop the Crazy Cycle

Let’s face it, relationships are not easy. 80% of the time your marriage may feel like it is smooth sailing, but 20% of the time you may hit a storm. If year after year in a marriage, you hit the same storm it can be disheartening. You want to learn how to stop the crazy cycle in time for Christmas!

The Need for Love and Respect

. In times of conflict, men and women may speak a different language. Dr. Emerson Eggerich talks about the “Pink and Blue Difference” in this video:

Stop the Crazy Cycle in time for Christmas!

If you have been feeling that crazy stress that comes from the crazy cycle, there is good news – you can get off of the cycle in time for the Holidays! In fact, you can choose today to offer love and respect to your spouse not based on whether or not they deserve it, but based on the goodness of what Jesus has done for you.

The person who get’s off the merry-go-round of blame first is the spouse with the most maturity. You can see that you aren’t getting anywhere on the crazy cycle. So take some simple advice, and show your husband some respect and your wife some love. I know, it seems overly-simplified… but try it. For some couples that we have walked through in this process, this foundation of love and respect was a game-changer for their marriage.

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage

We are receiving some amazing testimonies of how God has used 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage to help build a relationship that lasts. Here are a few comments from readers.

“I wish I would have read this during our first year of marriage, when everything was new and a little confusing. I had many “okay I’m normal!” moments while reading and thinking in retrospect. I especially liked how Sue really took the time to encourage the reader to evaluate his/her relationship with Christ. We get so caught up in a title rather than a lifestyle. I think this has been an excellent reading endeavor, and I will recommend it to all my married and soon to be married friends.” Maddie

“I appreciated the vulnerability shown throughout the pages, along with Sue’s willingness to share personal stories from her own marriage- the good and the bad. We can learn from each other, and this book had the tone of a wise, older sister, sharing her wisdom out of love, with a desire to see marriages succeed.” Dawn Klinge

Truly a delightful, uplifting read with a spirit-driven plan to sustain both partners in a life-long marriage!” Angela

“This book is both encouraging and real, and would make a great gift too! Practical and biblical advice whether married, or preparing for marriage.” Dorris Swift

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage

Get your copy today!

Click here to get your autographed copy of 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage

 

5 Things You Can Do Now to Get Ready for Christmas

Get ready for Christmas

Get Ready for Christmas

This morning before worship, we took our daughter to breakfast. As I looked up from my omelet, who would be walking in the door of Snug on the Square in Mckinney Texas, but Santa Clause himself. Sadly, Santa was walking in a little bit lost. He asked for directions.

Get Ready for Christmas

Have you ever felt a little lost when it came to the holidays. You may have felt a growing anxiety as your Christmas things to do just kept growing. You had your notes on what you needed to do to create the perfect holiday:

1. Buy perfect holiday gifts (go into debt if you need to).

2. Take flawless family pictures (bribe the kids if you need to).

3. Take ridiculously expensive trips (remember you are impressing your Facebook friends).

The problems with this materialistic approach to Christmas, is that you can have a beautifully decorated home but not have Christmas in your heart. 

10 Things You Can Do Now to Get Ready for Christmas

So this year, begin the holiday season by going deeper. Unlike tinsel on a Christmas tree that always falls off, get’s trampled underfoot and thrown away — make your Christmas season centered around Christ.

1. Take time to look back at your year.

If you have been journalling through your year, go back and look at the key things that God has said to you. Ask these questions:

  • How has God answered your prayers?
  • How has God provided for you?
  • What relationships have enriched your life?
  • What losses have you suffered?
  • What victories have you gained?

2. Forgive Everyone who Hurt you this year.

Undoubtedly there have been people and situations that have hurt you this year. You are human. There is no shame in this, you simply need to release those who have hurt you and truly forgive. This is more than just voicing some words, “I’m sorry” Forgiveness is about cleansing your heart of residual pain and loss.

3. Thank Everyone who has helped you this year.

One of the best ways to be free from bitterness is to go a step farther beyond forgiveness and enter the pathway of hope. Take time to thank every single person who has helped you this year. Sit down and make a list. Write thank you cards, or include your thank in your Christmas Cards. 

4. Take Time Praying for Your Family

You may pray regularly for your family, yet Christmas is a great time to set aside time to pray for the particular needs of each one of those you love. Pray for the family relationships. Pray for a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you to build family traditions. If you are in a season of transition, let go of the past to make room for the new ways that you will relate as a family. It’s a big transition to go from having babies to toddlers, or from young children to teenagers, or from teenagers to adults. 

5. Take time to Worship Jesus

The best way to overcome the commercialization of the holidays, is to affirm again that the centrality of Jesus to Christmas.

If you are rushing around keeping up with how the Jones’ do Christmas, you will miss out on the sweet simplicity of the season. 

 

This passionate rendition of Mary, Did you Know by Pentatonix is a moving call to worship. This song will get you in the Christmas Spirit.

5 Things You Can Do now to get ready for ChristmasTop Ten Things to Pray for your Family

As you prepare your heart and mind to be with extended family during the holiday season, here is a simple prayer card to put in your Bible or to post to remind you to pray for your family.
Get your copy here