7 Intimacy Killers That Happen After Valentine’s Day

intimacy-killers-valentinesAs I’ve interacted with couples from all over the world, I’ve found that many of the issues that ultimately lead to infidelity and divorce creep in unintentionally. People don’t usually set out to sabotage their marriage and wind up in divorce court, but small choices can ultimately lead to big disasters.

Subtle poor choices along the way can pile up like a snowball rolling down a hill until it’s big enough to start an avalanche of consequences.

Unfortunately too many couples think they only need to pay attention to their marriage when it’s expected or on special occasions … like Valentine’s Day.

However, the truth is that marriage is something that requires daily investment and review. Not just once a year.

It’s because of this that we started StrongerMarriages.com and paid a ton of money to get the word out about investing in your marriage via billboards.

Yes, we believe in marriage that much that the investment was worth it.

Below are seven of the most common intimacy killers that can harm a marriage (even after a nice Valentine’s Day). Avoid these and you’ll go a long way toward safeguarding your marriage.

(In no particular order):

1. Not wearing a wedding ring.

People might just not be into jewelry or not think it’s a big deal, but wearing a ring can be a first line of defense against adultery. When you meet new people, one of the first things they’ll notice about you is whether or not you’re wearing a ring. They’ll make assumptions about your “availability” based on the presence or absence of a ring.

2. Digital distractions.

I’ll admit it: sometimes I give my iPhone more attention than I give my wife! Do your best to keep screens turned off as much as possible when you’re together with your spouse. Talking with your spouse is always better than texting with somebody else (or playing Candy Crush, or checking Facebook, or…).

3. Inconsistency in parenting.

Raising kids is one of the most sacred duties on earth, but it can also harm your marriage if you don’t have a unified approach with your spouse. Ashley and I don’t argue much, but many (if not most) of our disagreements have come out of miscommunications about parenting.

4. Flirting.

This one is two-fold, because we harm our marriages when we STOP flirting with our spouse or when we START flirting with anybody else! Flirting within marriage is always helpful, but flirting outside of your marriage is always harmful! 

5. Porn and/or graphic romance novels.

Many couples think porn and/or reading graphically sexual novels are a harmless fantasy that can actually spice things up in the bedroom if they do it together, but the truth is that these things are an enemy of real intimacy. Don’t just be physically monogamous; be mentally monogamous as well. And I’d encourage you to add some accountability and porn-blocking software on your devices to protect your marriage and family. Check out the resource at www.X3watch.com.

6. Autopilot.

Cable TV companies give their best rates and service at the beginning but then treat you much worse after the “promotional period” expires. Sadly, many marriages look like this. We give each other our best at the beginning of the relationship, but then get into “autopilot” and stop giving each other our best. Don’t take each other for granted.

7. Negative friends.

Your friends have the unique ability to encourage your marriage or to discourage it. Make sure you’re hanging out with people who love you AND your spouse. Choose friends who will strengthen your character, and remove yourself from people who would tempt you to compromise your character.

Even if you’ve found your marriage falling into some of these “intimacy killers,” don’t lose hope! Make the decision TODAY to change course, and in time, your marriage can become more vibrant and fulfilling than ever before.

Check out StrongerMarriages.com and sign up for our 30 Days To A Stronger Marriage campaign. Get FREE daily marriage tips and advice from all the experts at StrongerMarriages.

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3 Ways to Stop Blaming Others and Finally Own Your Porn Problem

Blame is easy, especially when it comes to your porn problem. Why?

Because we don’t have to face the mirror. Facing ourselves as we really are is painful, messy work. To really see the ugliness inside threatens our entire network of excuses and forces us to see: I have a slice of responsibility here.

Every time I counsel someone, eventually I hear it.

“If it wasn’t for this city—this church—this relationship—my family—my job—my friends—then I wouldn’t be stuck in this addiction—this cycle—this problem.”

And that could very well be true. There are a lot of things outside our control.

Watch this video before you read on:

But when it comes to your porn problem, I want to discuss situations where we are engaged in destructive habits and behaviors, such as addiction or disengagement. I won’t speak to situations where others have legitimately hurt you outside your control, because no one can blame you for these things.

Here are three ways to stop blaming others and finally own our part of the problem.

1) Make a preemptive strike against blame: name it out loud and clear the air.

In the above video, author and research professor Brené Brown says, “The first thing you want to know is whose fault it is … Because it gives us some semblance of control.”

Our instant defense mechanism when something goes wrong is to say, “Tag, you’re it.” Our egos are constantly trying to protect us from feeling wrong, because we associate this with being unloved or unaccepted. All this makes a logical sort of sense, but it’s dangerous, because our initial instinct is to drag others down with us. This in turn only justifies and reinforces our cycle of destruction.

We’ve been down this road. “My boss is after me and I hate my job and my girlfriend clicked ‘like’ on some other guy’s picture, so I need to release stress—” which then gives us a mental permission slip to bow to our porn problem. We feed our bad habits with blame. This loop can go on forever.

Yet if we struck down this Hydra of Blame like a whack-a-mole before it got to others or ourselves, the inner monologue might change to: “My boss seems to be after me, but maybe I can ask him what’s really going on. I hate my job, but maybe I can find a better way to love my work or look for a better job. I feel a little silly about being upset at my girlfriend over a picture, but maybe I can talk openly with her about what that’s doing to me.”

Thinking this way, as Brené Brown implies, suddenly lets go of control and creates a scary uncertainty. But it also exposes our blame-game for what it is: an excuse to use, stay mad, or stay withdrawn. When blame is named, it shrivels up and loses power.

The way to cut off the first sprout of blame is to free ourselves and others from the immediate conspiracy theories that pop up in our heads, and to offer openness instead.

2) Specific accountability revokes the urge to spread the blame.

Brené Brown states a fascinating find from her research:

“Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain. It has an inverse relationship with accountability … People who blame a lot seldom have the tenacity and grit to actually hold people accountable, themselves included, because we spend all our time and energy raging for fifteen seconds and figuring out who’s fault something is.”

The more we blame, the less accountable we are. The inverse is true: the more accountable we are, the less we blame. This is huge when it comes to addressing our porn problem.

We’ve each had that weird moment in the shower when we remember the time we did something hurtful or embarrassing or just plain destructive. And we twitch. Or yell. Or clench a fist. Or we make up an angry justification about why it had to happen.

Our brains are always trying to restore the dissonance between “I ought to” and “I didn’t.” Somehow, we have to off-load this discomfort and pain of falling short in our lives. It might come out later at dinner in an argument, or at work on a co-worker, or alone with a computer.

This blame tactic is a shotgun spray. Imagine the mess you’d make if you filled a big bucket and swung it around in a huge circle. This is the “raging for fifteen seconds.” We do this all the time.

Instead, holding ourselves accountable as specifically as possible will dislocate our urge to spread the blame. It has to be specific and surgical. If our urge to shotgun the blame is like splashing that bucket on the walls, then our need to be accountable will have to be like a scalpel on a tumor. That means owning a piece of the responsibility pie.

This also means: Stopping blame means ending our demonization of the vague. No more “they” and “them” and “those people.” No more generalizations like, “I’m stupid” or “They’re bad.” Accountability is thoughtful, nuanced, and splits atoms down to real reasons. That’s how we repair the soul and find a better road away from our porn problem: by close examination of what’s happening and why.

3) Be gentle and generous with yourself.

The video has a remarkable point that goes by quickly:

“I’d rather it be my fault than no one’s fault.”

The implication here is: If I can’t blame others, I will blame myself.

In Brené Brown’s other research (especially in her book Daring Greatly), she shows that our capacity for compassion is directly related to how much compassion we have for ourselves.

So saying “It’s their fault” is a result of avoiding, “It’s my fault,” which means the blame game started with blaming myself. We blame others only as much as first blamed ourselves. This means: Completely killing blame can only be accomplished by a self-given generosity.

Most addicts I know are constantly sliding down a spiral of self-punishment and resignation. “I already messed up, so I might as well keep going.” They might blame others for a while, but underneath this off-loading is self-loathing. Blame says, “This is who they’re always going to be” and “This is who I’m always going to be.” It’s why we stay stuck in addiction and midnight arguments and resentful outbursts. If someone thinks they’re unloved, they’ll keep doing the things that keep them “unlovable.”

The best way out of your porn problem is to find the right balance between love and truth. It’s to have a gracious, gentle accountability, with a generous understanding of why we do what we do, without making excuses for it. Instead of pointing fingers, we point a way forward. “I did something wrong, but I can make this right.” This requires a mentor who is compassionate but convicting. It requires a friend who won’t let you off the hook but will receive you with open arms, always.

To stop blaming others, we must uproot the burden of blame we place on ourselves.

Someone has to be willing to stand up to you (and that might be you).

But someone has to be willing to offer grace, too (and that might also be you).


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London escorts steamy ladies

Smouldering, was the only way he could describe the lady who was sitting opposite him. He had been dating London escorts http://cityofeve.com for a while, but he had never come across a girl like this one before. She was not only hot, she appeared to be ready to erupt like a volcano. He could literally feel her sexiness across the table, and could not take his eyes of her, even though he was trying to eat. As a matter of fact, he was slowly becoming aware that his hand was trembling as he was bringing his fork up to his mouth.

This girl was an unknown quantity to him. It felt really strange sitting in a restaurant, and being a bit apprehensive about the rest of the evening. Most of the London escorts were quite predictable, he sort of knew what was going to happen. They would have dinner, and go back to his place, but this girl seemed to not let on what she was thinking. The blonde hair fell over her shoulders, and couple of curls made their way to her generous bust and cleavage. He could not help to be drawn in that direction, and he could see that she was following the movement of his eyes.

All of a sudden he started to feel like a young man on his first dated. He remembered how he just to date an older woman when he was about 19 years old, this girl made him feel the same way. Worried that he might lose control of himself, he poured another glass of wine for her. She was still talking to him in that sexy voice of hers, and he felt his toes curl up involuntary in his shoes. Perhaps, he should just forget about the rest of the date, pay the bill and go home alone.

She followed him to the taxi like so many other London escorts had done before her. He still wasn’t sure if he was ready for her, but like on auto pilot, he asked her to join him. The London cab driver did even seem to pick up on the tension in between, maybe he knew what was going to happen, London escorts frequently used cab services to visit dates. But this was different somehow. In a way, he felt that he was bring home a killer. It was like she was a tiger ready to pounce at any minute.

She did not pounce, she overwhelmed him. None of the London escorts he had dated before could compare to this girl. Afterwards, he could not remember very much of their night together. It seemed like almost a surreal experience, and in the morning he was not sure if it had happen at all. On waking up, he had looked for traces and signs of her, but there was nothing. She was gone out of his life. In the end, he looked at the London escorts agency web site, so that he could see her picture again, but it wasn’t there. He called the agency to ask after her, but they did not know her name. He was sure he had arranged the date through them, but there was no trace of her. Who had she been…

How to chill out after work in London

I work in the City of London, and by the end of the day, I am totally exhausted. Most of my friends and mates go to the pub, but I very sneak off to the Isle of Digs. For the last couple of years, I have enjoyed a bit of rest and relaxing with my the hot girls at http://charlotteaction.org/isle-dogs-escorts Isle of Dogs escorts after work, and long may it continue. Sure, there are more personal services, and escorts, around London but I have found that the hot girls on the Isle of Dogs, know exactly how to look after me.

My mates back at the office don’t know anything about me and my girls on the Isle of Dogs. Some of them are a bit on the posh side, and I am not so sure that they would approve of me dating Isle of Dogs escorts. Then again, I am pretty sure that I am not the only guy in the office who dates hot escorts after work. Quite a few of the guys disappear of in different direction, and I have this funny feeling that many of them have their own favorite girls in other parts of London.

a sweet romance of isle dogs escorts escorts
a sweet romance of isle dogs escorts escorts

Honestly, I cannot see what the big deal is, and lots of guys have their own personal pleasures. Some like to drink a bit too much, others like me, like to take their pleasures more in the flesh so to speak. I have even thought about organizing a party together with my favorite Isle of Dogs escorts back at my pad, I keep wondering how that would gone done with the lads in the office. Perhaps they think that I am kind of the shy and retiring sort of type. I might be in the office but when you get me with my hot babes at the agency, I am a totally different person.

The girls at Isle of Dogs are both sexy and fun to be with. I have dated other girls apart from Isle of Dogs escorts but they all seem to take themselves so seriously. I really don’t understand what is going on because dating guys is not the same thing as doing quantum physics or rocket science. It it all about pleasure and being able to have some hot fun. So far, all of the girls that I have met at the Isle of Dogs service that I use, seem to be able to appreciate that.

If you only knew how much fun you could have with Isle of Dogs escorts, you would be straight down there. It took me a little while to find the perfect girls to have some fun with, but now when I have, I have no intention of changing. Setting up dates is easy, and you will never be disappointed. I am sure that you will appreciate how much fun the girls can be as soon as you take a look at the web site. And yes, they are just as hot as they look!

Berkshire Escorts

Berkshire has a really active swinging community, says Nick who is a regular swinger. I am not married but I do have a partner that I go swinging with. We have a great time together and I love the adult fun we have when we are together. I also date Berkshire escorts http://charlotteaction.org/berkshire-escorts, but so far I have not been able to get the girls that I date to come to any Swingers parties. It would be fun if they did, but I am not sure that it is ever going to happen. The girls are so much fun to be with and I think that my swinging friends would appreciate them.

I have a partner that I take with with to the local swinging parties. Single can go to swinging parties, says Nick, but you really do have to have partner that swings. Otherwise the numbers might go wrong and that just isn’t right. Somebody will be left without a partner to swing with, laughs Nick. This is why I thought it might be fun to get Berkshire escorts involved. After all they are into things like duo dating, but it seems that none of the girls that I have asked are interested.

A couple of months ago, I went to a swingers party in London, and there were a couple of girls there from a London agency. They seemed to think it was okay to go swinging. When I got back down to Newbury, I asked the boss of the local Berkshire escorts agency, if he would let his girls swing, but he said no. He also said that they do get a lot of request but the girls always decline he says. He says that he can understand that, but it seems strange that other agencies in London provide this service.

I would have thought the Berkshire escorts would like to grow their business. They have some really interesting dating modules, but swinging they are staying away from. A couple of years ago, I went to a swingers convention in Las Vegas and the Las Vegas escorts were all their. They all said that going to swinging conventions can be the high light of the year, and they are very profitable for them. It is almost like a bit of an advertising show case for them, the girls said. I would have thought that would apply to escorts services every where.

One day, I am going to talk my favorite Berkshire escorts to come with me. Even if it is just to watch. I will take my regular partner as well, and we will show the girls what it is all about. After all, they are nice girls and they do have some amazing fantasies. Many of my favorite girls are into role play so they would fit in really well. Would I be able to manage without swinging? No, I don’t think so and it is my favorite hobby. To me, it is the ideal way to relax and when I have been to a party, I perform better at work during the week.

How To Serve Your Spouse And Serve Yourself At The Same Time

serve-yourselfIf you’ve ever been around me for 30 consecutive seconds, you know that I’m a pretty competitive guy. I don’t know where it comes from—it’s just part of my personality, I guess. It’s how I was able to launch an international ministry

Marriage, however, is not a competition.

It’s easy to think of marriage as this always-changing power struggle, where you’re always trying to figure out the things you’re willing to give up so that you can get what you want. But that’s old-school. And wrong.

I’m sure it’s been said somewhere else, but I’m going to say it again: a great marriage works like a pair of scissors. It’s the two of you working together, evenly and equally, to carve up whatever life sends your way. There’s no dominant blade on a pair of scissors: they work together, and if one doesn’t have the other, then nothing’s going to get done.

So with that in mind, let me drop this on you:

When you serve your spouse, you’re serving yourself.

You aren’t giving up a little of you in order to get something back later—you’re giving and getting at the same time.

Let’s take something that every couple has to do but that no one likes to do, and something that always winds up being the go-to example when we’re talking about stuff like this: doing the dishes.

Now, unless you’re so rich that you have paid help to do your dishes for you (in which case, you can donate to XXXchurch here), you and your spouse have the nightly struggle over who is going to do this mundane domestic task. Maybe you split it up where one washes and one dries. Maybe you trade days. Or maybe one of you just does it all the time.

No matter how you’ve worked it out, unless you’ve just thrown a big fit about doing the dishes until your spouse finally caved and just did them to shut you up, you’ve probably been giving and getting at the same time.

How?

Because you’ve contributed to your marriage as a whole by pitching in. You’ve lightened the burden for them, which makes your marriage all the sweeter and which will continue to create a culture of service. You’ll care for one another in every area, from domestic tasks to emotional work to spiritual growth.

I’ve seen this at work in my own marriage. Jeanette and I both grew up with “traditional” roles being modeled for us in our homes, but once we got married, we both realized that some of those “traditional” roles don’t fit our personalities.

So we said, “Forget these traditions,” and made our own, based on what we’re good at.

Maybe one of you is a great cook—let them do the meals. Maybe one of you is good at spreadsheets and planning—let them handle the bills. Maybe one of you is more naturally handy with a toolbox and a set of directions—let them put together the kids’ new bunk beds.

The point is: play to each others’ strengths and find where you complement one another. You do the stuff you’re good at, they do the stuff they’re good at, and you’ll both be operating in your own giftings—serving your spouse while you serve yourself at the same time.

That’s how you both win.


slide04We are strong on building better marriages and better families. This is why we launched a new website called StrongerMarriages.com. For more great content on marriage, intimacy, parenting, and more visit StrongerMarriages today. We know this website will help many people but we need your help to make it as awesome as we think it will be.

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Marriage Is for the Courageous

marriage-is-for-courageous[Editor’s note: today’s post is adapted from the book Open: What Happens When You Get Honest, Get Real, and Get Accountable by Craig Gross with Adam Palmer]

I once spoke at a marriage conference…where I heard an interesting fact about the relationship between happiness in a marriage and the amount of times the husband and wife in that couple were engaging in sexual activity. In other words, the more frequently husbands and wives have sex with each other, the happier they tend to be with their marriage…

Sadly, the flip side of that is something else I learned at this marriage conference: there is a shocking number of married couples who aren’t having very frequent sex.

They are taking this critical component of marriage and sidelining it, for whatever reason.

For some it’s a heart issue (there are problems in the marriage and one or both partners are withholding sex for an emotional reason).

For some it’s a time issue (one or more of them spends a lot of time away from home for work purposes or something, so the amount of time they have together is limited).

For others it’s a schedule issue (both of them are just too busy and wind up tired every night), and for others it’s an opportunity issue (both of them are willing but something—kids, illness, etc.—keeps getting in the way).

Regardless, I was in an accountability group with a bunch of married men. We were about eighteen months into this group at this point, and since we’d all recently experienced a breakthrough in our relationship together, I thought it would be a good idea to test that depth of relationship and ask a courageous question with the hopes of getting courageous answers. So one day I was leading the meeting…and I decided now was the time and threw out this little conversation starter:

When was the last time you had sex with your wife?

At first, it was so quiet that I thought something had gone wrong with the phone lines or that my phone had accidentally dropped the call. I had to take it away from my ear and look at the screen to make sure I was still connected to the call.

Every single one of those guys knew I wasn’t looking for locker-room talk, nor was I seeking advice or soliciting ideas on stuff I could take into my own bedroom. I asked this question out of a legitimate concern for my friends’ marriages; this was the serious, gut-wrenching, courageous work that an accountability group is supposed to be engaged in.

We were a tight group, but we’d never gone there.

Hence the cricket-chirping silence.

Finally, one of the guys chimed in, quietly and disappointedly: “Actually, it’s been about three months.” No one said anything, so he continued, sounding like a man with a broken heart: “There have been some issues between us, and I’m not proud of it, but whatever. There you go.”

Courage.

You know what the rest of us did? We thanked him for sharing. In fact, another of the guys said, “Thanks for sharing that, man. On my end, it’s been about a month.” Because the first guy had enough courage to speak out, it gave the second guy enough courage to do the same thing.

That day’s conversation changed our group, altering our dynamic for the better. Even though our group was already pretty courageous, that conversation added even more courage to the equation.

Courage begets courage. When you start walking in courage, it becomes even easier to continue doing it, and doing it with more courage.


slide04We are strong on building better marriages and better families. This is why we launched a new website called StrongerMarriages.com. For more great content on marriage, intimacy, parenting, and more visit StrongerMarriages today. We know this website will help many people but we need your help to make it as awesome as we think it will be.

Please consider donating to this project by visiting X3christmas today.

 

 

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4 Deceptively Simple Ways To Rebuild Broken Trust

broken-trustWe can’t change each other; we can only change ourselves.

That’s just one of the hard and fast truths about relationships, and yet we tend to spend tremendous amounts of time and energy ignoring it.

Hey, I get it: sometimes that person really needs to change. But guess what: we all need to change. We always need to grow to places where we experience more peace, love, joy, freedom, and wisdom, whether we’re the porn addict or the partner.

In that light, here are a few steps to take toward rebuilding the broken trust that often accompanies addiction. And please note: these steps are for both the people in the relationship, not just the porn addict.

1) Forgive everyone, including yourself.

First off: forgiveness is NOT a thing you do—it’s a destination you arrive at within yourself. Between where you stand right now and that beautiful place where your eyes are opened and you see your partner in the light of grace, brokenness and all, you may find anger (rage, perhaps), repressed pain/trauma, and conflicting beliefs that may need to be shattered on your way to forgiveness. Don’t know how to get there? Find a professional counselor who can sit with you and guide you through the process. It’s time for action.

 2) Find silence.

The ancient Christian mystics and desert fathers made lifestyles of living in silence—they lived tangibly from their spirits, understanding that the mind is not the spirit. The apostle Paul referred to a “peace that passes understanding.” What does this mean for our busy world now? Oftentimes when we make a practice of the teaching, “be still and know that I am God,” we can find in that space the patience, wisdom, insight, and kindness we need to see our partners as God sees them.

3) Get a mentor.

By this, I don’t mean find someone who will teach you more of the same thing that hasn’t been working for you. Find someone who lives on the other side of the mountain you are climbing. Find someone who has lived a story of pain and struggle and now trusts their partner. Do anything and everything you have to do to sit at their feet and learn. This is the ancient art of discipleship, and it is the most tangible form of true human community.

4) Commit to a lifetime of honesty.

You don’t need to know every thought in your partner’s head at all times, but being granted access to the innermost parts of ourselves is the core of trust. It’s also the core of our pain, which makes it is so much harder to say than to do. Allowing my wife to see me in all of my pain means I have to allow her to have her pain. Even if I cause it. And the same goes for her. When I am this honest, I commit not to life that she can trust, but to a life where I become the person I want to be. I am making a commitment to myself.

My wife and I once stood on the sidewalk just after a joint counseling and committed to each other that we would go after our own individual healing with everything we had, desperate to try out the theory that this would lead to the marriage we wanted. And this is turning out to be true. We stopped trying to trust each other and learned to heal, and now we’re discovering that a healed person is very trustworthy.

Try out these four practices and you may find healing; and in healing, you’ll slowly but surely rebuild trust.


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3 Simple Ways To Build Intimacy Within Marriage

build-intimacyIf you’ve been married for any length of time, you know that the relationship you have with your spouse should be like no other. Two people who’ve made a commitment to each other have started on a journey to merge their lives together. This is almost always a beautiful and messy process all at the same time! At least it has been in my marriage so far.

The process of becoming closer to my wife has gone through a lot of transformation over the years and yet I’m still learning. This word, INTIMACY, has taken on a deeper meaning for me as I’ve discovered what makes my wife tick and what she craves emotionally from me.

For some people, a phrase like “intimacy within marriage” is a scary one, while for others, it just equates to sex.

The truth is, intimacy relies on a lot of different things all working together, making it something we must learn in order to put into practice.

So what steps can you take today to build intimacy within marriage, especially if the flame feels like its starting to go out? Here are three that I’ve found to be landmark actions that I need to take to build intimacy within marriage:

1. Encourage

Your spouse needs to know that you love them and that you’re pleased with them. That you find them attractive and gifted at what they do. Encouragement requires you to KNOW your spouse and be PRESENT to their frustrations, fears, and anxieties. It also means celebrating with them on what goes well. If you’re not used to talking, start practicing! We all need encouragement, especially our spouses. Remind them on a daily basis all of the great things you see coming out of their life. Something we often forget is the weight that our spouses often bear upon their shoulders. We should be helping to take those burdens off of them through our words and our actions.

2. Serve

Way too often, we can get stuck in a mindset that our work, responsibilities, and task lists are more important than the GAZILLION things our spouses do on a daily basis. This couldn’t be further from the truth! One of the greatest ways to build intimacy within marriage is not only sharing chores like doing the dishes, vacuuming the living room, and washing the laundry, but also giving your spouse the occasional time and space to flourish. For example, you might take the kids off their hands so they can go hang out with a friend.

Bottom line: share the load by serving one another.

3. Touch

Before your mind goes straight to thinking that I’m just talking about sex, realize that touch is way more than physical intimacy. This is an area where I’m still growing in in my marriage.

Hugs, kisses, and especially back rubs are all crucial points of touch throughout the day. There are moments when I’m at work that I think about my wife and realize how much I love her and how thankful for her I am that I want to run up to her and just hold her in my arms. Am I following up on that thought and actually doing it? It’s only one form of touch, but oh so important. One of the greatest killers to a marriage is a cold, distant spouse who’d rather hold the TV remote than their partner’s hand.

Certainly there are many more ideas for building intimacy in your marriage, but these have been some of the biggest in mine that I’ve grown in over the past few years (and continue to grow in).

We have a responsibility to NOURISH and CHERISH our spouses. Through encouraging, serving, and contact, we can do that and build true intimacy within marriage! We must take action and pursue our spouses on a daily basis, just as Jesus pursues us.

Bonus question: Do you take time out to pray with and over your spouse? What about spending time digging into scripture together? These are so important for the spiritual life of a marriage. Believe me, I know keeping all of this at the forefront of your marriage can be tough, but it bears fruit in the long run.

I’m of the opinion that there’s one person that God has planned for you to commit your life to and love for the rest of your life. To me, this means that I only have one real shot to get it right and so I want to make it count. I carried a lot of lying, deception, and dishonesty into our marriage because of an addiction to pornography that controlled my life. So I’ve had to really learn the above three actions in pretty drastic ways.

It’s never too late to build intimacy within marriage if you feel like it’s missing. But it takes intentionality and healthy actions on your part that help make your spouse a better person. It’s a lifelong journey of beautification and deepening of our love for each other here on earth. But it’s so worth it.


slide04We are strong on building better marriages and better families. This is why we launched a new website called StrongerMarriages.com. For more great content on marriage, intimacy, parenting, and more visit StrongerMarriages today. We know this website will help many people but we need your help to make it as awesome as we think it will be.

Please consider donating to this project by visiting X3christmas today.

 

 

The post 3 Simple Ways To Build Intimacy Within Marriage appeared first on XXXchurch.com.

Want to Strengthen Society? Start by Strengthening Marriage.

improve-societyMarriage is tough. It’s work. My wife Jeanette and I married 17 years ago, and I wish more people would’ve told us back then how challenging marriage can be, but it’s a challenge we’ve accepted.

We’ve worked at it.
We’ve had our ups and downs, but:

We’ve grown closer together.

We have a strong marriage because we’ve had access to the right resources.

Our world needs more marriages to be strong. And then stronger.

The stronger our marriages are, the better our society will be. Think about it. Stronger marriages mean fewer divorces. Stronger marriages mean better sex among husbands and wives, which leads to longer-lasting bonds. Stronger marriages mean temptations to turn to porn will lessen.

Stronger marriages lead to a stronger culture.

But here’s one thing I know:

I don’t have a formula for a perfect marriage.

Even though I’ve heard from a lot of marriage experts, I wouldn’t say I am one.

But now that I know some experts, I—and our team—want to share their wisdom with as many people as possible. We are compiling their work in one comprehensive resource: a new website called StrongerMarriages.com, and the response has been huge.

Before we even advertised the site, we had over 1.3 million page views in the first two weeks alone!

People want this. I know it’s going to help them.

I know it’s going to help you. It’s going to help people you know.

We believe in marriage. We believe it takes hard work to make it work, but we believe couples can last 10, 15, 20, 30, 50 years—and beyond. We want to give couples help where they need it, and we believe StrongerMarriages is going to be that help.

At StrongerMarriages.com, we talk about important things you want to know about, like conflict and communication, sex and kids, spiritual growth and emotional growth, what to expect before you get married and what you can expect after years of being married

We’re so excited about the impact StrongerMarriages can have on relationships around the world.

But we need your help to make it as impactful as it can be.

We have four specific goals for StrongerMarriages as we head into 2016:

1) We want to have the number one marriage podcast in the world. 

More and more people are leaving traditional radio for podcasts and on-demand programming available online and on mobile devices. This is the future of ministry. We are in the early stages of working with a knowledgeable team to do something on the level of Serial and other hugely popular podcasts. A high-quality, well-produced show that will be like nothing in this space but that anyone would be proud to share.

2) We want StrongerMarriages to be strong offline as well.

We have a great team of influencers, speakers, bloggers, and writers with massive followings who are getting the word out about StrongerMarriages, including our marriage live events, which we’re scheduling with increasing frequency.

But we want to think bigger and launch some aggressive campaigns that will reach millions more. We reached half a million people in 15 days with almost no promotion; what could we do if we really tried? We’re working with a team that does Facebook Ads, as well as with Google and YouTube to target the people we want to reach.

In addition to reaching people online we want to reach people offline and we have a killer idea that we will do Valentine’s Day, which brings us to:

3) We want to plaster America with Valentine’s Day 2016 billboards. 

All these billboards will have marriage quotes on them—some funny, some serious—and all will point to StrongerMarriages.com. We’ll promote them in the press and online, turning it into a major campaign that extends into print and online. If we do it right, we will make national news.

And finally:

4) We want to hire full-time staff.

We’re so committed to the strength and longevity of StrongerMarriages that we intend to hire full-time staff just to oversee and concentrate on this invaluable ministry.

But we can’t do this without your help. We need your generosity in order to put the necessary weight behind StrongerMarriages so that it can find the audience that so desperately needs it.

I invite you to visit StrongerMarriages. Take a look around. I’m confident that you’ll like what you see, and when you do, I’d ask that you make a contribution to help us invest in this resource so countless couples can invest in their marriage.

Visit X3Christmas.com to get more details on our plans and to download a copy of our most recent informational magazine.

Call it a Christmas gift to marriage.

DONATE HERE TODAY!

Let’s make marriage stronger. Together.

PS. When you give $100 or more, we have a thank-you gift for you in return: access to our online Married workshop! Thank you for your support.

The post Want to Strengthen Society? Start by Strengthening Marriage. appeared first on XXXchurch.com.