5 Love Languages Grid

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Discover your love language and your spouse’s love language with this helpful chart.

As an added bonus, the chart tells you what the language is, how it is expressed, and how it’s expressed after conflict.

5 love languages chart

Funday Friday: Forgiveness Humor

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This Funday Friday humorous post on forgiveness packs a humorous point.  Though math may feel easier than forgiveness at times, the more we practice healthy forgivness the easier it will become.  Plus, the long term benefits of forgiveness for your overall health are enormous.

For help on forgiveness, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

5 Valentine’s Day Must Do’s for Your Spouse

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5 Valentine’s Day Must Do’s for Your Spouse

By Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott

Valentine’s Day is almost here! No other day of the year focuses so closely on love, so this is your perfect chance to show your spouse how much they mean to you. From helpful gestures to meaningful gifts, there is a lot you and your spouse can do that will make Valentine’s Day extra special for the both of you, whether that is having some alone time together, or getting a personalized gift like this Spotify Plaque (or Spotify Vaso Placas) filled with your favorite music, every little thing can help make this day extra special. If your marriage is strong, these ideas will strengthen your bond. If you’re struggling, they’re great ideas to spark the positive changes you’re craving in your relationship.

Today we’re sharing 5 things you must do for your spouse on Valentine’s Day this year. They’re designed with flexibility and creativity in mind, so take them and make them your own! The possibilities are endless.


Hand-writing a thoughtful love letter to your spouse is a wonderful, personal way to express your adoration for them. Write down your favorite memories, tell them why you love them, craft a poem, or share your dreams for the future. And there are no rules–get creative and have fun!

Pull out a trusty pen and sheet of notebook paper if you wish, or choose some stationery you really like. Or get playful and colorful with markers or colored pencils. Do whatever will delight your spouse!

Let your authenticity shine as your words flow, and create a sweet love note that they will cherish.


These days, we’re all overwhelmed and overscheduled, and that makes it tough to get everyday tasks accomplished. This Valentine’s Day, make a point to do something for your spouse that needs to be done.

You can wash the car, help with the laundry, pack the kids’ lunches, offer to shop for groceries, wash dishes, mow the lawn–the list goes on. Depending on the way you distribute daily tasks in your home, choose at least one thing that you think would help lighten the load for your spouse, then get to it!


This year, make sure your gifts really come from the heart. Don’t just grab a random gift or card from the Valentine’s Day department without putting any thought into it. Spend a little time considering what gifts might be extra meaningful to your husband or wife. Often, the gifts that are most meaningful are the ones personalized to them. For example, this Online Custom Photo Moon Lamp TOP 1 Brand is the most beautiful gift; something that symbolizes your love, whilst having use around the home.

Your options are really unlimited. Maybe your spouse loves a rose and a box of chocolates, or a fluffy teddy bear. Or perhaps they prefer to receive gifts like books, music, or movies. If your spouse is a mother, you could get her these traditional dolls which represent motherhood. What about a gift card to a favorite restaurant or spa? If you need a little help, you can always use your search engine! A simple search for gift recommendations for my man or girlfriend may prove useful and help you find something thoughtful.

Your spouse might prefer to receive something handmade and unique. If you’re not the crafty type, no worries–you could seek out local creatives in your community for a special gift, or even check out sites like Etsy to find unique, one-of-a-kind items.


More than anything, the two of you need to spend some uninterrupted time together this Valentine’s Day (and as often as possible). We’re not necessarily saying that you have to shut off all technology (after all, you could have a romantic date night at home with a great movie!), but make an effort not to let devices divide your attention.

Technology can enhance our lives or it can complicate them, so consider its impact on your relationship and start making the necessary changes for each other. If that means silencing the phones and putting away devices after a certain time of day, so be it–but do not sacrifice your couple time for gadgets and entertainment that do not add to the quality of your marriage.


Valentine’s Day is just as much about fun as it is about love. Think about the ways that you and your spouse like to relax and play together, and work to create opportunities for fun. Maybe you like board games or goofy golf…or maybe you’d just like some special alone time together.

Let go and have a good time! The two of you deserve it. And don’t just limit your efforts to the holidays; find ways to incorporate Valentine’s Day into every day. That’s one way to create and sustain lifelong love.

What is your favorite Valentine’s Day memory with your spouse? How are you going to top it this year? We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t Waste Your Awkwardness

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Don’t Waste Your Awkwardness

By Sammy Rhodes

If we had to make our relationship with awkwardness Facebook official, we would probably have to choose the “It’s complicated” option. On the one hand, we’re drawn to awkwardness. It’s in the shows we love: The Office, Arrested Development, Parks and Rec, Modern Family, and New Girl. We can’t seem to get enough of awkwardness.

And yet we’re terrified of it, especially of being marked with what my friend Les Newsom calls the new scarlet letter: “A” for awkwardness. One of our greatest fears is leaving a party only to have friends lock eyes with each other and complain about how awkward we were.

Maybe we haven’t yet realized we’re both drawn to awkwardness and afraid of it because deep down we’re all awkward people. Just think about the last time you were in an elevator. Everyone’s awkwardness shines a little brighter in an elevator.

Revealing Our Cracks

I probably should define awkwardness. What I mean is there’s a gap between what you are and what you should be, a disconnect between the real you and the ideal you. What awkward moments (and people) do is simply to shine the spotlight on that gap, revealing the cracks in our humanity, no matter how shiny and cool we may seem on the outside.

A few years ago I met with a student who had lived most of his life with a porn addiction. Unfortunately, this type of case is becoming all too common. We all love to consume content from providers such as https://www.tubevideoshd.xxx/ every now and again, but a full-blown pornography addiction can be quite concerning. It might not sound dramatic, but it is an addiction like any other – the addiction side of it is exactly the same as that of drug addictions for example. It can have a very negative impact on your life, as there are a number of serious and negative effects of porn addiction. Over coffee he told me that sex, much less pornography, was simply not something that ever got talked about in church. The sad thing is he grew up in one of those gospel-centered, published-author, preachers-whose-podcasts-you-download kind of churches. His family felt the same way.

What he said nearly broke my heart: “Because no one ever talked about porn I felt like it must be the worst sin in the world, and so I was so scared and ashamed to tell anyone about it.” What my student was describing was shame. Of course, what I ended up telling him was the truth, albeit a sad truth, and that is that a lot of people tend to enjoy pornography and often find themselves getting lost in something like this Full Article in order to pleasure themselves. People have been doing this for years and should you be able to manage it and continue with a healthy life, sexual expression comes alongside living that life. If you’re struggling with an addiction to pornographic material that you’re wanting to stop, you might want to start looking about and reading some helpful advice on how to better manage your addiction.

One of the saddest realities of life is the things we need to talk about the most we tend to talk about the least. Shame is often the culprit. Author and speaker Brené Brown likes to say that shame only needs three things to survive: silence, secrecy, and judgment. If you look behind your awkward moments, you will almost always find shame. And instead of uncovering the sources of our shame to each other, we hide.

Longing to Be Found

When my youngest daughter was three, she was the worst hide-and-seek player of all time. She would find her hiding spot, typically a closet upstairs, close herself in with the doors not quite shut, and then loudly begin to say “In here! I’m in here!” until someone found her. She loved to hide, but she wanted to be found.

So do we. We love to hide from each other. We hide our flaws, our defects, and anything we feel will make us look like we don’t have it all together. We hide how we’re really doing, even from our closest friends and family. We’re afraid the person who finds us will meet us with condemnation and judgment. So we lock ourselves away, resolving to never share the things in our lives that are killing us: broken relationships with parents, lust that’s blossoming into addiction, depression that’s overwhelming us to the point of wanting to end it all, a relationship with food that makes us hate and do harmful things to our bodies.

But we still long to be found. It’s why websites like PostSecret and Tumblr exist. They’re places where we can talk freely about our struggles without running the risk of being judged by our family, friends, or potential employers. The problem with doing vulnerability online with people who barely know us versus doing vulnerability in real life with friends and family is it never quenches the thirst we have to be both known and loved. Being found involves both: being really known and truly loved. As Tim Keller has observed:

To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.

Awkwardness is an invitation to be found. It’s an invitation to vulnerability, and vulnerability is where intimacy and connection are born. It’s also an invitation to throw yourself on the grace that makes vulnerability possible at all. At the end of the day, awkward people are the only kind of people God loves; because awkward people are the only kind of people there are.

Resign Yourself to the Awkwardness of Life

One of my favorite lines in movie history comes from a fortune teller in Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise. Jesse (played by Ethan Hawke) and Celine (played by Julie Delpy) have met by chance on a train, and after an incredibly engaging conversation, spend the night walking the streets of Vienna, where they run into a fortune teller. They jokingly decide it would be fun to have her tell their fortune. What she says is this: “Resign yourself to the awkwardness of life.”

Resign yourself to the awkwardness of talking about where you are, not where you’ve been pretending to be. Resign yourself to the awkwardness of being vulnerable about your struggles with close friends and family. Resign yourself to the awkwardness of God’s work of grace in you to begin to close that gap while simultaneously making you able to talk about it. Resign yourself to the awkwardness of life.

Don’t waste your awkwardness. It may be the very place you learn to be vulnerable and thus experience the grace of God.

10 Things that Require Zero Talent

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10 Things That Require Zero Talent

By Scott Riden

zero talent

Sometimes we can worry about not being talented enough to succeed in life. Yet the above author is driving home that point that character development and hard work can go a long way in this world.

For help with your self-image, self-esteem, and perseverance please contact CornerStone Family Services at 61-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.


Three Steps to Forgiveness

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Three Steps to Forgiveness

By Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, PhD

Q: How does one forgive a spouse, especially when you have been hurt and don’t feel at all like forgiving?

Dr. E says: Through the years I have heard many people ask that question and I have read and listened to many excellent thinkers attempt to answer it. For me, the best insights continue to reinforce what I have learned from the Person and teachings of Jesus.

What Would Jesus Do?

Jesus was wronged more than anyone. All the sins of the world were placed unjustly on Him!

So let’s begin by asking this question: What did He, the Perfect One, demonstrate about how to forgive?

Three Steps Reveal the Secret

Jesus’ words and ways reveal the secret to forgiveness, which includes three steps:

  • Jesus sympathized with the offender.
  • He relinquished the offense to His heavenly Father.
  • He anticipated the Father’s help.

These three steps may sound unfamiliar, even impossible. But stay with me. They offer a pathway out of bitterness and a way to avoid becoming bitter in the first place.

You’re thinking, “Sounds great if you’re Jesus. You just said He was the Perfect One. That puts Him out of my league. I can’t do what Jesus did. Besides, you don’t know what my spouse did to me!”

Oh, I know there are plenty of reasons not to forgive. I’ve heard every excuse and have even invented some of them myself!

The Example for Husbands and Wives

Peter clearly indicates that Jesus is the example for husbands and wives. In 1 Peter 2, the apostle continues to explain the meaning of grace in a believer’s life, a discussion he began in chapter one. He spells out how Christians are to be holy, God-fearing, loving, honoring, mature, and submissive to authorities even when subjected to unfair treatment.

And why should Christians do all this? “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

After taking several more verses to describe how Jesus responded when He was mistreated, Peter goes on to say, “In the same way, you wives…You husbands likewise…” (1 Peter 3:1, 7). In the same way as what? Like what? You are to respond to your spouse and to any mistreatment or misunderstandings in your marriage in the same way that Jesus responded to the mistreatment He received.

Peter is saying Jesus is not out of our league at all. By becoming a man and dwelling among us, He put on our uniform, so to speak. He is not a model “who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses.” Instead He “has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Step One: Sympathize

When counseling people, I have noticed something about those who can forgive. They understand the well-known saying “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Look Beyond the Offense

When you sympathize, you try to look beyond the offense to other factors that help explain why your spouse offended you. The better you understand your spouse, the more easily you can forgive.

I am often asked, “What if my spouse has hurt me far more than I have hurt my spouse? How can I forgive when I have been treated so unfairly?”

Suppose, for example, your husband hurts you with anger and harshness. But suppose you learn that, while he was growing up, your husband was wounded and to a certain extent, shaped by his father’s rage. Consequently, your husband struggles with a volatile temper and doesn’t even realize how harsh he sounds most of the time. As you look beyond how he is treating you to his upbringing, it helps explain why he is so harsh and angry.

This does not minimize your husband’s sin, nor does this “looking beyond” suggest you never confront his anger and harshness. But because you know his background, you see a bigger picture. You are more able to understand his heart and struggle. Again, this does not mean you excuse his sin! Please read what I have written on respectful confrontation to fully understand what I teach about this.

Forgive as the Lord Has Forgiven You

How does Jesus model this step? While He is suffering in horrible agony on the cross, He prays, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus prays for forgiveness of the Jews and the Roman soldiers who are taking part in crucifying Him. He forgives by looking beyond their heinous crime to see the ignorance, mindless fear, and blind hatred that have driven them to do this. On the cross, in terrible pain, Jesus sees the true condition of His enemies and feels compassion for them.

The apostle Paul echoes Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness. For example, before he addresses the topic of marriage in Ephesians 5, Paul speaks about forgiveness in chapter 4, so husband and wife can extend it to one another: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Repeating his advice in Ephesians 4:32, Paul writes in Colossians 3:13 to “forgive as the Lord forgave you” (NIV). In the final analysis, your spouse is like you and you are like your spouse when it comes to forgiveness. You both have done and said things that need forgiving.

So, why not start by sympathizing with each other? There but for the grace of God go I.

Step Two: Relinquish – Let Go

But even though you have sympathized with your spouse, resentment can fester inside of you. So you must let go of your unforgiving spirit by giving it to God.

Let Go of Bitterness

For many people this sounds good in theory, but not at all within the realm of reality. Their bitterness feels like a tumor that cannot be removed. And for some people, the bitterness has even become a good friend, and they simply don’t wish to say good-bye.

Still other people have become the resentment: it is who they are. In these cases and others, the act of relinquishing the hurt and hate to God seems an insurmountable hurdle on the path of forgiveness.

Furthermore, when we refuse to forgive, and live with bitterness in our hearts, we lose fellowship with God!

But what did Jesus do when He faced the insurmountable?

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus looked ahead to His crucifixion – to the shameful treatment, the agonizing pain, and, worst of all, humanity’s sins being placed squarely on Him. Facing the unimaginable, Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42 NIV).

Clearly, Jesus let go of His own will, which shrank from what lay ahead, and surrendered to His Father’s will.

Not My Will Be Done

Just as He relinquished the right to retaliate and trusted His Father for the outcome, so should we. When you relinquish an offense, you need to send that offense somewhere. So follow Jesus’ example and release it to your heavenly Father. You must pray, “Not my will be done.”

Over the years I have seen that people have far more control over their emotions than I was willing to admit. God does help you forgive when you feel helpless to forgive, but other times He reveals to you the need to put away bitterness.

You may not want to admit it, but the reason you have to work toward forgiving your spouse is because you have bitterness in your heart. Remember Paul’s words from Ephesians 4:31? He tells all believers to “let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”

We Have a Choice

We can get rid of bitterness – if we want to.  I have seen that the ultimate reason a lot of people are bitter is that they want to be bitter. However, when they finally realize bitterness is contrary to God’s will, that it is self-destructive and ineffective in changing the other person, they can choose to stop.

We all have a choice: keep manufacturing your bitterness, or choose to relinquish it to your Heavenly Father.

Are you ready to give up the bitterness in your heart?

Step Three: Anticipate

When Jesus prayed, “Thy will be done,” He believed the will of His Father would be accomplished. This is why “He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23 NIV). In other words, after you relinquish, anticipate! You need to foresee God entering your world. As you entrust yourself to God, anticipate His working on your behalf.

Yes, perhaps your spouse should make the first move and ask for your forgiveness. But what if your spouse is not as mature as you are or is more rebellious than you are? Will you remain an unforgiving soul?

Is it worth forfeiting the peace and power of God in your heart?

If you have been angry and unforgiving but have slowly moved through
the steps of sympathizing and relinquishing, I pray that you will move forward, anticipatingGod’s touch on your marriage.

Let me emphasize that these three steps offer guidance on a path toward forgiveness. Anytime something is described in terms of three steps, it can sound like a formula to be followed to the letter. But the point is, all three of these steps put you in a more open frame of mind to allow the Holy Spirit to work within you.

Will you allow God’s healing power to free you from the bondage of unforgiveness? Step out in faith and ANTICIPATE what God can do!

Funday Friday: Coffee Humor

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Here’s a little coffee humor for you Funday Friday:

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Screens May Be Terrible for You, and Now We Know Why

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Screens May Be Terrible for You, and Now We Know Why

By Brandon Keim

For more than 3 billion years, life on Earth was governed by the cyclical light of sun, moon and stars. Then along came electric light, turning night into day at the flick of a switch. Our bodies and brains may not have been ready.

A fast-growing body of research has linked artificial light exposure to disruptions in circadian rhythms, the light-triggered releases of hormones that regulate bodily function. Circadian disruption has in turn been linked to a host of health problems, from cancer to diabetes, obesity and depression. “Everything changed with electricity. Now we can have bright light in the middle of night. And that changes our circadian physiology almost immediately,” says Richard Stevens, a cancer epidemiologist at the University of Connecticut. “What we don’t know, and what so many people are interested in, are the effects of having that light chronically.”

Stevens, one of the field’s most prominent researchers, reviews the literature on light exposure and human health the latest Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. The new article comes nearly two decades after Stevens first sounded the alarm about light exposure possibly causing harm; writing in 1996, he said the evidence was “sparse but provocative.” Since then, nighttime light has become even more ubiquitous: an estimated 95 percent of Americans regularly use screens shortly before going to sleep, and incandescent bulbs have been mostly replaced by LED and compact fluorescent lights that emit light in potentially more problematic wavelengths. Meanwhile, the scientific evidence is still provocative, but no longer sparse.

As Stevens says in the new article, researchers now know that increased nighttime light exposure tracks with increased rates of breast cancer, obesity and depression. Correlation isn’t causation, of course, and it’s easy to imagine all the ways researchers might mistake those findings. The easy availability of electric lighting almost certainly tracks with various disease-causing factors: bad diets, sedentary lifestyles, exposure to they array of chemicals that come along with modernity. Oil refineries and aluminum smelters, to be hyperbolic, also blaze with light at night.

Yet biology at least supports some of the correlations. The circadian system synchronizes physiological function-from digestion to body temperature, cell repair and immune system activity-with a 24-hour cycle of light and dark. Even photosynthetic bacteria thought to resemble Earth’s earliest life forms have circadian rhythms. Despite its ubiquity, though, scientists discovered only in the last decade what triggers circadian activity in mammals: specialized cells in the retina, the light-sensing part of the eye, rather than conveying visual detail from eye to brain, simply signal the presence or absence of light. Activity in these cells sets off a reaction that calibrates clocks in every cell and tissue in a body. Now, these cells are especially sensitive to blue wavelengths-like those in a daytime sky.

But artificial lights, particularly LCDs, some LEDs, and fluorescent bulbs, also favor the blue side of the spectrum. So even a brief exposure to dim artificial light can trick a night-subdued circadian system into behaving as though day has arrived. Circadian disruption in turn produces a wealth of downstream effects, including dysregulation of key hormones. “Circadian rhythm is being tied to so many important functions,” says Joseph Takahashi, a neurobiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern. “We’re just beginning to discover all the molecular pathways that this gene network regulates. It’s not just the sleep-wake cycle. There are system-wide, drastic changes.” His lab has found that tweaking a key circadian clock gene in mice gives them diabetes. And a tour-de-force 2009 study put human volunteers on a 28-hour day-night cycle, then measured what happened to their endocrine, metabolic and cardiovascular systems.

Crucially, that experiment investigated circadian disruption induced by sleep alteration rather than light exposure, which is also the case with the many studies linking clock-scrambling shift work to health problems. Whether artificial light is as problematic as disturbed sleep patterns remains unknown, but Stevens thinks that some and perhaps much of what’s now assumed to result from sleep issues is actually a function of light. “You can wake up in the middle of the night and your melatonin levels don’t change,” he says. “But if you turn on a light, melatonin starts falling immediately. We need darkness.” According to Stevens, most people live in a sort of “circadian fog.”

Just how much health risk can be attributed to artificial light rather than sleep disruption? If breast cancer rates jump 30 percent in women who work at night, and prostate cancer rates nearly triple in men, what proportion of that circadian disruption comes from artificial light rather than sleep cycle problems? And just how much blue light must be absorbed before things get risky: a few minutes a night or a few hours, a few years or a few decades? Blue light has already shown that it can damage eyes as well as cause other ailments like insomnia. No wonder people are looking into eye supplements from websites like https://quantumhealth.com/shop/category/eye-health to protect them from getting damaged further. These are now pressing research questions, yet it may be difficult to know for sure, says Stevens. Conclusively settling the matter would likely require studies both rigorously controlled and terribly unethical. In the meantime, it might make sense to let a little nighttime back into your life.


Counseling for Pastors

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You, Yes You, Need to Get Counseling

You can’t afford not to.

What I Wish I Knew About Marriage

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What I Wish I Knew

By Trisha Davis

My husband Justin and I met in college in 1993 , started dating in January 1994 and were married in July 1995. We were age 20 and 21, respectively. We thought we knew everything about marriage because we were so in love. We weren’t going to struggle like other couples, because we loved each other more than other couples. Man, we were wrong!

We were clueless about marriage. But our story is a story of redemption and so we want to redeem our mistakes by sharing them with you.

So welcome to THE LIST! It is a list of lightbulb moments-things I wish I’d known before I got married. It is by no means exhaustive, but after almost 18 years of marriage my hope is that by sharing it with you, it will help you prepare for or grow in your marriage.

1. Doing everything the “right way” in my marriage won’t fix all the brokenness of my past.

Justin and I got married young. For the most part we grew up in homes that, although dysfunctional, manifested love, and our parents loved each other. My parents separated two years after I got married and soon after divorced. It rocked the foundation of everything I knew marriage to be. I was naive to the real struggles my parents were facing and had to come to terms with my own brokenness. This fueled a very unhealthy fire in me to do everything “right” in MY marriage so that NOTHING would go wrong. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with aiming high. If your wedding was a disaster, for example, why not redo it? Jet off to somewhere like Barcelona and use a Barcelona wedding photographer to capture every special moment, which you can then look back on to remind you of how great your relationship can be. Times can get hard, but a reminder of good times can be a real boost. 

2. Love is a choice, not a feeling.

Have you ever looked at an elderly couple that still hold hands and look upon one another with complete endearment and wonder, “How do I get that?” What I have learned is that love is not an emotion but rather a choice. Love is not about choosing each other but rather a daily choice to choose God. When I love Justin through my emotions and feelings alone, I am left disappointed most of the time. But when I choose to love God and allow the Holy Spirit to prompt me in how to love Justin amazing intimacy takes place; the crazy kind of love that even in your old age makes you reach out for the hand of your spouse and with just a look communicate “I love you.”

3. Physical intimacy WILL BE CONFUSING!

Whether you knew a lot about sex going into your marriage or not, it’s one of the most confusing parts of marriage. Sex is not just about attraction, but a deep spiritual connection like nothing on the planet. It is as much a physical need as it is a spiritual need so why is it so hard to completely understand? Why is it that one seems to long for sex way more than the other? Why is that one seems to never long for it at all?

I wish I knew before Justin and I got married how a man’s body is designed. That sex is TRULY a physical need and not a selfish request. That sex is just as much about an emotional need as it is a physical need.But mostly I wish I understood the beauty and irreplaceable role sex plays in growing our marriage spiritually.

4. Doing it my way isn’t always the best way.

Justin and I were married for 4 months before I got pregnant with our son Micah. In fact, Micah was born 5 days after our one-year anniversary. We were learning how to do life as a team of two, and before we could figure that out, we quickly became a team of three! We both took claim of different areas of our marriage and decided that MY WAY was the BEST WAY. Justin held onto our finances with an iron fist and I was psycho-baby-momma that made sure Micah was taken care of the right way… MY WAY… at all times.

God has brought us together as a team, not as opposing sides. We learned to trust each other and accepted how each of us went about daily life. So I may have chosen to change Micah’s diaper sooner than Justin thought to. And maybe I didn’t balance the checkbook in a timely fashion as he did. In the end, those small details don’t matter! What matters is that we know that we are there for each other and that we are always assuming the best of each other … even when our best looks very different.

5. The difference between TRUST and FEAR.

Justin and I are very open about the fact that he had an affair in the past. And because of this, our story would lead one to think that I have a right to fear that Justin will have another affair. Or that Justin should fear that one day I would eventually leave him because of his choices. This type of fearful thinking is so destructive. Fear says that you will not survive the fallout of losing your spouse, so live in suspicion in order to catch him/her when he/she messes up.

Trust says…
I am fully aware that in trusting I’m being vulnerable to being hurt (again.)

Trust says…
“I am for you” and “I am thinking the best of you”…not the worst.

Trust says…
I am going to love my spouse with reckless abandonment just as Jesus did for me when He came and died on the cross.

Trust says…
I will love my spouse without fear, but with hope that the Holy Spirit will guide me to love my spouse.

Trust says…
“God, I will love my spouse fearlessly, thinking the best of them at all times” and “If my spouse chooses to leave me, YOU will never leave me or forsake me.”

(This post was originally found on loveandrespectnow.com)


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