Funday Friday: Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road

Share Button
chicken road
Photo by sammydavisdog

So why did the chicken cross the road?

Posted by Gary Storts

SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he’s a maverick!

BARACK OBAMA: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period.

JOHN McCAIN: My friends, the chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make why the chicken crossed the road?

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or against us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken.

AL GORE: I invented the chicken…. and the road.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white?

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he is acting by not taking on his current problems before adding any new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross the road so badly. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a NEW CAR so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way the chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

DONALD TRUMP: We should build a wall so the chicken can’t cross the road.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heartwarming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2014, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2014. This new platform is much more stable and will never reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

The Prison of False Thoughts

Share Button

never be free false thoughts

“You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts.”
(Philip Arnold)

If you are struggling with thoughts that are keeping you trapped in anxiety, depression, unhealthy relationships, addictive behaviors, or other prisons of the mind, there is hope.

If you would like help breaking free from the false thoughts keeping you bound, please contact one of our coaches or counselors at CornerStone Family Services.  You can email them directly or give us a call at 614-459-3003.

‘That Dragon, Cancer’: A Video Game on Death, Grief, and Our Living Hope

Share Button

dragon cancer

‘That Dragon, Cancer’: A Video Game on Death, Grief, and Our Living Hope

By Chris Casberg

Some years ago, the late film critic Roger Ebert weighed in on the debate over whether video games could be art: “Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form.” Oh, Ebert. I love you, and I miss you, and how strongly—achingly, even—I wish you were right. For if what you said was true, then I wouldn’t have to wipe these tears from my eyes.

This weekend I played “That Dragon, Cancer,” an autobiographical video game that tells the story of the Green family and their son, Joel, who was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer at the age of one. Joel battled his cancer for four years, overcoming repeated terminal diagnoses until dying at the age of five.

Over the course of about two hours, players accompany the Green family through Joel’s diagnosis, treatment, and death, alternating between hospital rooms and surreal, fantasy-like vistas that make up the landscape of unspeakable grief.

Along the way, players sit in on joyful picnics and frightening doctor visits, listen to frantic voicemails, and read letters of both mourning and encouragement. It is the anguishing record of a family’s journey through tragedy, and there is nothing quite like it.

Difficult Game

As you can imagine, “That Dragon, Cancer” is a difficult game. Not in the traditional sense of game difficulty, of course—it requires neither physical dexterity nor quick reflexes. You cannot fail the game. You will not run out of lives and find yourself at the start again. In fact, it rarely asks you to do more than move the mouse cursor and click on objects.

The game’s demands aren’t physical. Rather, they’re emotional and spiritual. “That Dragon, Cancer” requires the player to enter into the grief of the Green family and walk with them as they lose their son to a frightening and relentless illness. Courage is what’s needed.

“That Dragon, Cancer” is a hard experience to reduce to language, and perhaps this is part of why Ryan Green, Joel’s father, chose the medium of video games to tell the story. Things like sorrow, pain, fear, and doubt can be named and, to a certain extent, described; but as long as they are mere words and concepts their power is limited.

We can keep a clinical distance from the aesthetic experience of grief as long as we know grief only as an abstract idea on a page. In the game, though, we’re utterly submerged in the nightmare, and the parents’ helplessness and sadness is made our own.

Theological Heft

Often, the allure of video games is that the player is granted special power and agency. One becomes a soldier, business magnate, or superhero at the press of a button. “That Dragon, Cancer” frustrates and subverts the normal expectation of agency. Players are given game-like tasks, like navigating Joel through a field of cancer cells as he clings to a handful of balloons, or racing a wagon through the hospital.

The facade of power and control crumbles away. It’s a brilliant piece of artistry in terms of video game design and theological heft; we players, accustomed to the power to trample our enemies, are shown our impotence in the face of a broken and fallen world. Our works cannot save Joel.

The overall effect is devastating. I cried multiple times, and I even had to stop the game to go hold my infant daughter. I’ve never had a game move me so much.

Hope

Yet for all the pervasiveness of fear and hopelessness, there’s another, greater theme: hope.

Ryan and Amy, Joel’s mother, are Christians, and they’re explicit about their faith. They pray often and sing worship songs, and they find encouragement in the small victories in Joel’s battle. In one scene, the parents explain Joel’s cancer to their other sons as a battle between Joel the Knight and a wicked dragon. Grace is Joel’s superpower, and it’s what helps him climb the mountain to face the dragon. In another scene, Ryan is overwhelmed by his inability to soothe a wailing Joel, who vomits any liquid he drinks. Ryan collapses into a chair and utters a desperate prayer, which is answered with Joel at last falling asleep. It’s a small miracle, but one met with gratitude.

This is a remarkable portrayal of faith. The game isn’t preachy, and there’s no prosperity gospel promise that faith results in material health and wealth. Joel’s parents genuinely struggle. Amy is desperate for a healing miracle that never comes; Ryan expresses doubts that God even cares.

The game didn’t have to be this honest, but it is, and this makes it a powerful witness. It shows the horrible condition of the world, and it offers hope for something better. In the end, through the heartache and loss, the Greens remain hopeful and true to their faith.

Game-Changing

“That Dragon, Cancer” is powerful. So powerful, in fact, that some gamers have vocally refused to play it, for fear of how it might affect them. The old narrative is turned upside down: We used to mock Christians because they were afraid of the effect video games might have on people. Now, gamers are the ones afraid of a game’s impact. It’s an incredible thing, and it shows how much the medium has matured.

In an era where so much Christian creative produce is either kitsch, Jesus-themed counterfeits or, at its worse, edutainment, “That Dragon, Cancer” stands out as authentic in both form and content. It is lamentation literature in digital form, A Grief Observed for the Nintendo generation. Like C. S. Lewis’s essays that recount the passing of his wife, this game is haunting and brutally personal. It plays by the conventions and trends of the video game medium and at the same time subverts them, exposing the illusion of total agency and control in our lives for the farce it is. It is a heartbreaking adventure that’s also an excellent work of artistry and a faithful witness to the hope of the gospel.

This one’s a game-changer.

***********************

If you or a loved one is struggling with grief, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

4 Reasons Not to Ghost Your Therapist

Share Button
Every therapist has a story or 12 about clients who seem to be connecting and doing well, but then they suddenly disappear. Poof. Phone calls and emails lead nowhere, nothing comes back. The client has ghosted.

If you’re new to the term, “ghosting” is when someone in a close relationship suddenly disappears, like an avoidant apparition. They’re there one day, everything seems to be going fine, and then they disappear——they’ve ghosted. You can ghost on a micro or macro scale. Let’s say you’re at a party with friends, you want to leave, but don’t want to make the rounds of goodbye hugs and “Aw, you’re leaving? One more!” so you say you’re going to the restroom but walk out the door and Uber home. That’s ghosting on a micro scale.

But let’s imagine that you’re in a new relationship, and while some parts of it are working, you’re just not that into the other person. Instead of having the challenging relationship talk when you discuss your ambivalence, feel bad, and perhaps induce tears, you just stop calling. And you stop answering calls and texts. In fact, you avoid the other person completely, telling yourself that the disappearance will send the message in a more subtle way, without tears or guilt or drama of a face-to-face interaction. This is ghosting on a macro scale, breaking hearts in absentia.

Why do we ghost? We’re human: We seek pleasure and avoid pain. Goodbyes are hard for many of us, whether the harmless goodbye of leaving a party or the more substantial goodbye of exiting a relationship. All that grief, loss, guilt, and conflicted feeling are unpleasant to experience. We seek an easier route through fading away, hoping it will mitigate our pain—and maybe even the pain of the other person. By avoiding the conflict, by avoiding the other person’s feelings, and maybe even our own, maybe it won’t hurt as bad. Right?

All of these ideas and behaviors show up in therapy all the time. To avoid the conflict, the feelings, the other’s opinion, clients may ghost just when the therapist least expects it.

But unlike walking away from friendships or romantic relationships, clients have one more rationalization for ghosting in therapy: “It’s not a real relationship. I pay her. I can leave whenever I want and don’t have to explain anything.”

And you know what? That’s partially correct. You can leave whenever you want—that is totally your right as a consumer and a citizen (unless you’re court ordered to attend). As I’ve said many times, it’s your time and your dime. You can leave whenever you’d like. But there are 4 reasons you may not want to ghost on your therapist, reasons that may benefit you, your therapist, and society as a whole:

1. You can say anything in therapy, and that’s for your benefit.

In other areas of your life, it may be impolite to say “This isn’t working for me anymore; I’m thinking about leaving.” But in therapy, talking about the relationship is one of the central components of the work. You can say things in therapy you might feel reluctant to in other relationships, because therapy is supposed to be a safe place where all topics are fair game. Therapists are trained to hear such statements non-defensively, but even if their response is pathetic, it’s still good for you to say it. You’re just being honest, talking about how you really feel. So why not take that approach for a spin?

2. We don’t have enough good endings in life.

Think about most endings—divorce, death, breakups, moving, fights, firing, etc. These are neither pleasant experiences nor memories. It is possible to have good endings, though. They happen all the time—graduations, for example. A journey ends with a celebration of accomplishments. Bittersweet goodbyes ensue, then brunch at the Olive Garden. That’s a decent ending. Why not model therapy’s ending on a graduation instead of a divorce?

3. What are you avoiding?

While not everyone who wants to leave therapy is avoiding their own issues, we know that at least some are. We’re getting too close to the childhood abuse. We’re focusing less on others in your life and more on your own contribution to your problems. We’re asking uncomfortable questions about our therapy relationship. Each of these scenarios have sent numerous people out of therapy, so they warrant mention. If you’re avoiding something you aren’t ready to talk about yet, how about talking about that? “There’s something about my childhood that I really don’t want to discuss. Can we talk about why I don’t want to talk about it?” Therapists should be able to hang with that.

4. Think of the therapist’s future clients.

Let’s say the therapist kept horrible eye contact, and this made you want to leave therapy, so you ghost. That may be a fine resolution for you, but what about all the other people this eye-avoider sees (peripherally, I suppose)? Might it be helpful, exit-interview style, to tell the therapist why it is you’re leaving, with the hope that the information may help dozens (or hundreds) of people in the future? Again, I hear you : “It’s not my job to make my therapist a better therapist.” I agree. But we do lots of things that aren’t “our job” that benefit others.

I need to add one last piece, as a therapist: It’s hard when a client ghosts, not just for the lost business or the unanswered phone calls. Those sting, but only temporarily. It’s the unanswered questions that hurt most: “Why did you leave?” “What was going on that I didn’t know about?” And the iconic, “Was it something I said?” I come to care about my clients, even after just a session or two, and a disappearance makes an impact.

Why? We spend a lot of time in our training learning to help clients feel safe and comfortable, to help them say whatever they want. Ghosting tells us that something was wrong with our rapport. Even though it seemed like the relationship was functional, something else was going on underneath. Either there was no secure connection or the client didn’t feel safe enough to talk about their insecurities. That’s a problem we’d like to correct—but without contact we’ll never know. It’s like someone telling a surgeon: “Sorry, the heart transplant failed and we lost the patient. The body is gone now, though, so we’ll never know what happened. By the way, you have three more scheduled for this afternoon.”

What happened? What went wrong? How can I improve?

These feelings are part of the cost of choosing this profession and clients shouldn’t feel that this is the main reason not to ghost. More important for you is the loss of a clean, good ending—a missed opportunity to express yourself. You lose a chance to dive into material that may be difficult, but ultimately beneficial for you.

That’s why you chose to come to therapy in the first place, isn’t it?

*************************

If you would like to set up an appointment with a counselor or coach, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.

A Christian Guide to Love

Share Button

heart hands love

A Christian Guide to Love

By Mark Driscoll

There are a few verses in the Bible that both Christians and non-Christians lean on when conversation takes a turn for the religious. “Do not judge” and “love your neighbor” are two of the most popular, but right up near the top is 1 John 4:8: “God is love.”

The notion that “God is love” is confusing, however, in a culture where “love” can apply to anything from Jesus’ death on the cross, to sex, to deep-dish pizza.

If God is love, what kind of love are we talking about?

It is common to hear married people speak of “falling out of love” with their spouses, and “falling in love” with someone else in adultery. In using the language of “falling,” they are cleverly avoiding any responsibility, as if they were simply required to follow their hearts.

But the Bible tells us not to follow our hearts, but rather “guard” them because they are prone to selfishness and sin (Prov. 4:23; Jer. 17:9).

Because “God is love,” that means love does not come from our hearts, but rather through our hearts. In relationship with God through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, we receive God’s love to share with others (1 John 4:7–21). Galatians 5:22 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love . . .” And Romans 5:5 says, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Through the presence of God the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are able to continue loving others—including our spouse. Even when we don’t feel “in love” with our spouse, we can give love to them and receive love from them if we live Spirit-filled lives.

The Bible does describe love as a feeling. But rather than beginning as a feeling that inspires an action, love is often first an action based on obedience to God that results in a feeling. This explains why the Bible commands husbands to love their wives (Eph. 5:25) and wives to love their husbands (Titus 2:4) rather than commanding them to feel loving. This further explains why the Bible even commands us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:43–47).

Additionally, the Bible describes love as a verb—it is what we do. Like Jesus’ love, it is a covenant commitment that compels us to act for the good of the one we love. The most popular wedding Scripture of all time depicts love as active: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4–7).

Christian marriage is reciprocal acts of covenant love. That may sound like a heady theological concept, but it includes the little things. Here are a few practical examples that I collected from some married couples to illustrate:

•“He lovingly makes me coffee every single morning, and it means a lot to me!”

•“He runs me a hot bubble bath when he knows I’ve had a tough day caring for our three daughters (all under five)!”

• “He calls home at lunchtime no matter what . . . just to reconnect and see if we are all doing OK at home.”

•“When my gas tank is low, he drives to the gas station and fills it. My husband has pumped my gas for almost 20 years. I appreciate that he notices and takes care of it for me!”

•“She leaves encouraging notes with my keys or on my car steering wheel in the mornings.”

•“We walk to the library hand in hand, choose books, read them, and then swap. Later that week, over wine on the porch, we discuss those books. My favorite thing ever.”

•“He opens the car door. I never had that before, and it means a lot to me.”

•“She’s excited to see me every time I come home.”

•“My husband will not leave the house without kissing me goodbye.”

•“I love it when she goes with me to a sports bar to watch a game even though she’s not that into it, just because she knows I love it, and I love it when she’s there.”

•“We both take turns writing in a journal that we started when we were married in 2001.”

“God is love” does not mean that “love is God.” This liberating truth allows us to worship God by serving each other, rather than worshiping love and demanding it from each other. When both spouses each make a deep, heartfelt covenant with God to continually seek to become a better friend, increasing love and laughter mark the marriage.

Funday Friday: Punny Tent Humor

Share Button

Here’s a little punny tent humor for you for your Funday Friday:

tent humor

I Can’t Forgive Myself

Share Button

Abstract Silhouette Praying

I Can’t Forgive Myself

By Justin Taylor

Mike Wittmer on whether you should “forgive yourself”:

Initially I can appreciate why forgiving yourself might seem like a good idea. For instance, if I was driving drunk and accidentally killed another person, I think I would find the guilt unbearable. . . . I can see why it might seem necessary for me to forgive myself before I could move on with my life.

But this is why I can’t go there. Forgiveness requires both a victim and an offender, and so to forgive myself means that I am playing both roles. And so a part of me is allowed—even required—to play the victim for something that I did. But I shouldn’t get to play the victim, for I am the offender in this case. If I forgive myself, then I am asserting that I, like the person I killed, am a victim of my sin.

So rather than say that I must forgive myself, I think I should say that I must receive God’s forgiveness. His forgiveness matters more than mine anyway, and receiving his forgiveness reminds me that my proper and only place in this matter is the offender.

If you think my position is too harsh, imagine that someone has deeply wounded you. When they come to ask for forgiveness and reconciliation, what would you think if they said, “I need you to forgive me, and then I need to forgive myself.” Wouldn’t you be insulted? Wouldn’t you reply that after what they did, they don’t get to play the victim? That they are in no way the innocent party here?

And if you are struggling under the burden of unbearable guilt, ask yourself what you really need—your forgiveness or God’s? Isn’t it enough for you to know that God, and the person you offended, have forgiven you?

1. The person who says, “I just can’t forgive myself,” may simply be expressing an inability or unwillingness to grasp and receive God’s forgiveness. This seems to be the most common explanation behind “self-forgiveness” talk. We say that we can’t forgive ourselves because we really doubt that God has forgiven us. Or we don’t see our need for forgiveness from God, so we take over the job ourselves. Unsure of a solution to our real or perceived failure, we posit a need for self-forgiveness to satisfy our lingering guilt or to supplement God’s insufficient forgiveness.

2. The person who says, “I just can’t forgive myself,” may not see or be willing to acknowledge the depth of his depravity. The expression “I can’t forgive myself” often means “I still can’t believe I did that!” . . . Inability to forgive oneself often expresses an underlying problem of self-righteousness and a lack of realistic self-knowledge.

3. The person who says, “I just can’t forgive myself,” may be venting his regrets for failing to achieve a certain cherished desire. In essence, such a person says this: “I had an opportunity to get something I really wanted, but I threw it all away! I can’t forgive myself.”

4. The person who says, “I just can’t forgive myself,” may be trying to establish his own standards of righteousness. In this case the expression “I can’t forgive myself” is equivalent to saying, “I haven’t lived up to my own perfect standards” or “I haven’t lived up to other people’s expectations.” His longing for self-forgiveness arises from his failure to measure up to his own standards of performance, his own image of how good he is or ought to be.

5. The person who says, “I just can’t forgive myself,” may have ascended to the throne of judgment and declared himself to be his own judge. In this case the expression “I can’t forgive myself” is equivalent to saying, “I’m in the role of Judge and will dispense forgiveness as I decide.” Such a person has convened the court, rendered a guilty verdict upon himself and now believes that he must grant the needed pardon! But the Bible declares that God alone is both judge and forgiver as well as penalty-bearer for those in Christ!

Fitting Exercise and Physical Activity into Your Day

Share Button

running

Fitting Exercise and Physical Activity into Your Day

By National Institute on Aging at NIH

To get the most out of exercise and physical activity, they need to be a regular part of your life.

Here are some tips to help you put physical activity at the top of your “to do” list every day.

Make it a priority. Remember that being active is one of the most important things you can do each day to maintain and improve health. Try being active first thing in the morning before you get too busy.

Make it easy. You are more likely to exercise if it’s a convenient part of your day.

  • Walk the entire mall or every aisle of the grocery store when you go shopping.
  • Join a gym that’s close to your home and easy to get to.
  • Take one or more flights of stairs up and two down.

Make it social. Many people agree that an “exercise buddy” keeps them going.

  • Take a walk during lunch with coworkers.
  • Try a dance class—salsa, tango, square dancing—it’s up to you.

Make it fun. Do things you enjoy, but pick up the pace a bit. If you love the outdoors, try biking or hiking. Listen to music while you garden or wash the car.

Make it happen. Choose to be active in many places and many ways.

  • Get off the bus one or two stops early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Do toe-stands or wall push-ups while you’re waiting for your spouse to get ready to go out.

*******************

For more help on establishing healthy habits and reducing stress, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

 

Overcoming Barriers to Exercise: No More Excuses

Share Button

exercise

Overcoming Barriers to Exercise: No More Excuses

By National Institute on Aging at NIH

You know you should be more active, but there are so many things that seem to get in the way. It’s time for some positive thinking. No more excuses!

Here are some tips to help you overcome those barriers and improve your health.

Finding time to exercise

Try exercising first thing in the morning before your day gets too busy. Combine physical activity with a task that’s already part of your day, such as walking the dog or doing household chores. If you don’t have 30 minutes to be active, look for three 10-minute periods.

Sticking with your exercise plan

Make exercise interesting and enjoyable. Do things you enjoy, but pick up the pace. Try new activities to keep your interest alive. If you can stick with it for at least 6 months, it’s a good sign that you’re on your way to making physical activity a regular habit.

Exercising without spending money

All you need for brisk walking is a pair of comfortable, non-skid shoes. For strength training, you can make your own weights using soup cans or water bottles. Check with your local parks and recreation department or senior center about free or low-cost exercise programs in your area.

Increasing your energy

Regular, moderate physical activity can help reduce fatigue and even help you manage stress. Once you become active, you’re likely to have more energy than before. As you do more, you also may notice that you can do things more easily, faster, and for longer than before.

************

For more help in overcoming barriers, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

Two Ways to Fire Up Passion in the Bedroom

Share Button

Mature Couple Nuzzling

Two Ways to Fire Up Passion in the Bedroom

By Les & Leslie Parrott
There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact.
I Corinthians 6:16

The loss of passionate romance is a common complaint in marriage. It seems that once the confetti and rice are swept away and the last of the wedding cake is put in the freezer, so is the couple’s passion.

But marriage in no way requires passion to be put on ice. Love grows less exciting with time for the same reasons that the second run on a fast toboggan slide is less exciting than the first. But as any long-term, happily married couple can tell you, the excitement may decrease, but the real pleasure can still increase.

So what do couples who enjoy passion do that’s different than others? How do they rekindle the flickering flame of passion? Here are two proven practices:

  • Practice meaningful touch. Sex therapists have long known what successfully married couples soon learn. Affection, in the form of touching, is not only a preliminary to making love, it is a language that speaks more eloquently than words. Sheldon Van Auken, writing about his marriage to Davy in the book A Severe Mercy, illustrates the profoundness of touch: “Davy had crept near to me still crouching and I put my arm about her, and she snuggled close. Neither of us spoke, not so much as a whispered word. We were together, we were close, we were overwhelmed by a great beauty. I know that it seemed to us both that we were completely one: we had no need to speak.” Meaningful touch is the language of passion.
  • Compliment your partner daily. The most important element of romantic passion for both husbands and wives is to feel special. Not only do they want to feel sexually attractive to their mates, but they want to know they are appreciated. Compliments feel good — both to give and to receive. So, to paraphrase a James Taylor song, “Shower the person you love with compliments.”

When it comes to passion in marriage, the bottom line is that the intensity of early passion is only the beginning.

We often illustrate it this way: A jet airliner from Seattle to New York uses 80 percent of its fuel in takeoff. A tremendous amount of energy is required to get the plane launched so it can reach a comfortable cruising altitude. The takeoff, however, is only the beginning.

The cruise is the important part of the journey, and it requires a different kind of energy, one with more sustaining and even power.

By cultivating a deep-rooted passion, you can avoid years of needless marital turbulence and enjoy soaring at altitudes never imagined.

***************

If you are looking to enrich your marriage, please give CornerStone Family Services a call at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.