Get in the Game – Play Offense Not Defense

Far too many of us spend our lives constantly playing defense. We react to problems as they arise, focusing our time and energy because we must. We do what we have to do to salvage a relationship, get along and just survive. We put out the fires when and where they ignite. And we assume that if an issue doesn’t surface than we’re good. But what would happen, if instead of always playing defense, we played offense in marriage?

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Learn to Speak Your Spouse’s Language

My greatest desire is to connect emotionally with my husband. Over the past few years as my relationship with God has strengthened, I have started opening up so much more with Jim. At night I lay on my husband’s chest and pour my soul out to him. I share my insecurities, struggles with God, my hopes and my dreams and it has been amazing. The problem is that I don’t want my husband just to listen to me. I want him to emotionally connect with me too. I want him to become an equal partner.

Our Greatest Struggle

Connecting emotionally has become our greatest marital struggle. It is the crazy cycle that we enter over and over. Usually it goes something like this…

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Inside Your Circle – Working on Yourself.

ReEngage

The best thing Jim and I have done recently to strengthen our marriage was to attend a 16-week marriage ministry called ReEngage. We have since become leaders and taken multiple groups through. Every time we learn something new about ourselves and about each other. ReEngage uses a small group model to create a safe community where we can be honest, authentic, and real. We spend 8 weeks working on our relationship with God and 8 weeks learning about aspects of marriage. Alongside our spouse and 5 other couples, we dive deep into working on ourselves.

The Circle

One of the most powerful things we teach in ReEngage is to draw a circle around yourself and then to work on everyone that is inside the circle. Really staying in your circle is just a practical principal that empowers us to stop trying to change our spouse. Though it sounds like a simple thing, it is much harder to practice. Learning to stay in your circle will change your marriage, your parenting and even how you foster deep friendships.

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Learning to Like Giving Your Husband Oral Sex

Most men love to receive oral sex, but many wives struggle to enjoy giving it. A penis can feel scary and foreign up close. Oral sex can also feel dirty because of past experiences or messages we’ve received. Though we are all very different, I would challenge you that oral sex can be a very intimate way to know a husband. It takes great trust and you can learn new things while focusing just on his pleasure.

But ultimately, if you don’t want to do it, you probably shouldn’t. No one should ever feel forced, coerced or guilted into doing something sexually. But if you want to learn to enjoy giving oral sex, I have a few suggestions for you.

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Battling Satan’s Lies with God’s Truth

We are in a battle. Satan loves to fill us with lies that render us impotent to growth in marriage, parenting or even ministry. He picks at the broken parts of our soul causing us to feel defective, unlovable and stuck. We either lash out trying to prove ourselves or retreat into hiding. But when we embrace God’s unconditional love, rather than striving to measure up, we can learn from past experiences, conflict or suffering. Instead of shrinking into isolation, shame and believing Satan’s lies, we choose to move forward in confidence. We have the courage to live fully known by sharing our  insecurities, failures, hopes and dreams. But Satan doesn’t stop coming at us with lies. He waits for just the right moment and then he’s right back at it, speaking the same old lies, and trying to make us doubt who we are.

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Hidden Struggles

You cannot always tell how people are doing, or what kind of shape their marriage is in.

I remember more than one marriage at church that imploded and nobody had a clue until one spouse completely threw in the towel.

A few months ago we received this letter from a women that participated in an Awaken-Love Class.

When I was asked to be apart of a 6-week Awaken Love class, I thought to myself what in the world was God thinking! Turns out he knew what he was doing. My marriage of 24 years was on the brink of divorce. There wasn’t any thing that was going to change my mind, I was done.

During this class, I learned a lot about how much God loves marriage and how much he’s involved in our marriage beds. I will forever be grateful for the class and the other 6 women, who have become sweet friends. I cherish the time we shared together. The books are awesome too. I plan to read them from front to back. Oh and by the way, my husband was disappointed when the 6 weeks was over. He looked forward to each weeks homework. Our intimacy, our sex life, our love for each other has grown. He told me just this morning that we’re making love more now than ever before. We have both been changed.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart,

This woman had been involved in church and marriage ministry for years, and my guess is that few people knew what was really going on in her life.

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Happy Thanksgiving

We are so Thankful for what God has done over the last year.

We are thankful for the women in Awaken-Love classes that have shared their stories, ministered to each other, bravely stepped into something new, and committed to bring God back into marriage beds.

We are thankful that the video class has launched,  and that we have several groups taking it for a spin.

We are thankful for the women that God has put in our lives that speak truth to us, pray for us and pick us up when we are down.

We are thankful that we have amazing husbands that stretch with us, pray for us and lead us.

We are thankful for our kids that keep us young and challenge us to think new ideas.

We are thankful for time spent together between Texas and Minnesota.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving,

Ruth and  Mel

What are you thankful for?

 

Sleep Aid

A few years ago my husband took a business trip to Taiwan for a couple of weeks. You can imagine how exhausted he felt when he got home after working in a strange city. Sleeping in a hotel bed and then traveling for 20 plus hours to get back to Minnesota wore him out. Add on top of that a 13-hour time change that left him wide awake when he most wanted to sleep and it sounds like a nightmare.

Back then, my drive was through the roof, so I got the bright idea to become his sleep aid. I made him promise that whenever he found himself wide awake in the middle of the night, he would rouse me for some extracurricular activities. We have never before transitioned so quickly back into life together and feeling connected. In no time he was back on his regular sleep schedule and we had made some wonderful memories.

This week I was reminded of my great experiment – being the sleep aid.

My husband lost his brother last week to liver failure and has been dealing with all the hard choices that come with aging parents. Needless to say, he has a ton of things on his mind and timidly admitted he has not been sleeping well, at all. I wish I could take away all of his pain and wrestling, but I can’t. I wish I could say something to make it better, but words seem so inadequate. But I can keep loving him, and comfort him, and help him sleep. And so for a while, I have made myself available to my husband whenever he needs me. In fact I have admonished him – please wake me – because I don’t want him doing this on his own. And hopefully, it will bring him the sleep he needs.

What would I write about sex?

Recently I read a great book on marriage by a well respected author and of course there was a chapter on sex buried near the end of the book. Since I have been teaching women about sex, I have this habit of filtering whatever I read thru the lens of what a Christian wife would hear.

What I remember from the sex chapters in most Christian books is 2 things…

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What About Romance Novels?

Recently when I was speaking to a group, one of the women asked,

“Are there Christian romance novels that you would recommend?”

I knew exactly what she was asking and so did most of the women in the room. Romance novels help women to get in the mood.

I remember as a teenager just beginning to read real books and stumbling upon the scenes that began to wake up my body. Romances where the guy said all the right things, whisked her off her feet, knew how to take her to the moon and back, and that honestly, stirred warm places in my body.

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