Take Our Yearly Marriage Review to See How You’re Doing?

This week the president delivers the State of the Union address … RELAX … I’m not here to discuss politics … but it got me thinking … what would I say if I had to deliver an annual assessment of the state of my marital union … to Karen and the rest of our family?  So let me challenge you with those same thoughts …

These speeches always start with good news … the things we’re doing well and the things we can celebrate … how many of these can you say?

  • We’re communicating on a rapport (emotional) versus report (fact) level?
  • We’re making regular spiritual connections?
  • We’re making regular physical connections?
  • We resolve our conflicts / issues with win/win scenarios?
  • We’re an effective parenting team?
  • We enjoy regular “alone time” together?
  • We are serving the Lord together?
  • We feel “safe” to share how we really feel with each other …

Let’s go through that same list and see what things need to be strengthened … or improved …

Now it’s time to do a little strategic thinking … what are some threats to your marriage that may be lingering on the horizon?  There are active threats … things you are experiencing now … and future threats … the things you don’t even see coming …

  • Money: job changes, bankruptcy, retirement …
  • Parenting failures: your children’s failures
  • ex-spouses, step children, empty nest
  • In laws: your lack of “leaving,” and their intrusion, control
  • Addictions: alcohol, porn, romance, gambling, shopping
  • You’re having that same fight over and over again
  • Emotional … physical … spiritual intimacy
  • Leftovers: emotional baggage and unresolved issues from prior relationships
  • Broken Trust: hearts and eyes begin to wander, boredom, emotional or physical infidelity
  • Health: chronic conditions illness grows worse
  • Commitment erosion / apathy with God and spouse … stop caring
  • Changes in your & spouse’s needs … aging

Let me challenge you to spend some time this week as a couple to go over the state of your marital union … and to talk about how you plan to strengthen your strengths, minimize your weaknesses and eliminate those threats …


Additional Resources to Grow Your MarriageMarriage intensives

What is a “Fan the Flame Marriage Intensive”?

Our marriage intensives are more than a couple’s weekend retreat. They are intimate, personalized coaching sessions designed to help you identify and address your specific needs. Intensives are more powerful than one hour counseling sessions because they keep you both focused on your issues for an extended period of time. You will receive over 15 hours of personalized counseling, coaching and marriage building exercises that will fan the flame of your marriage back to life.

Upcoming Intensives
 – Jan. 15-17, 2016 (Black Rock Retreat) Lancaster, Pa
– Feb. 26-28, (Sandy Cove) Md
– March 18-20, (Sandy Cove) Md

Click here for more information or to schedule a Marriage Intensive now!


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Join us at the Twin Pine Manor – February 5-7, 2016

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5 Marriage Resolutions for 2016!

Here’s 5 marriage resolutions you can start working on today!!

  1. Spend more quality time together. One of the best ways you can do this is by committing to a regular date night with your spouse.  This means you’ll have to sit down together to do some scheduling and planning.  Take turns planning your “dates” and remember … these don’t need to be elaborate or expensive!  Take a walk or go out for a cup of coffee together.  Plan activities that will get you out of your regular space and routine so you can focus on one another and have time to talk and to connect emotionally.
  2. Encourage your spouse more. Too often we take each other for granted by expecting our spouses to be doing all the good and nice things they do for us.  Resolve to be quick in complementing your spouse for all the positive things you see and experience in your marriage because of who he or she is!
  3. Grow more spiritually. Discipleship and marriage go together.  It takes your demonstrating the unconditional love of God to make your marriage work and to keep it together.  So, when we grow in our relationship with God … we have the power to deepen our relationships with our spouses.  If you struggle with connecting spiritually … visit our website to get a tool to help you get started called the 10 Minute Miracle.
  4. Get more physical. Touch, flirt, hug and enjoy times of physical intimacy together.  Make your marriage sizzle.  Research suggests that a healthy love-life most often equals a healthy marriage.  A wise couple will make the time to do this … the foolish one will just wish there was more time for this to happen.
  5. Resolve conflicts quickly. Don’t let unresolved issues continue to fester and infect your marriage.  Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.  Don’t bring up issues from the past … and be slow to speak and quick to listen.  Finally, be ready to freely forgive just as you have been freely forgiven.  Marriage is made up of two imperfect people. We all make mistakes … so become generous in extending grace and forgiveness.

You can find more information about all of these topics at http://www.fantheflamedates.com


Additional Resources to Grow Your MarriageMarriage intensives

What is a “Fan the Flame Marriage Intensive”?

Our marriage intensives are more than a couple’s weekend retreat. They are intimate, personalized coaching sessions designed to help you identify and address your specific needs. Intensives are more powerful than one hour counseling sessions because they keep you both focused on your issues for an extended period of time. You will receive over 15 hours of personalized counseling, coaching and marriage building exercises that will fan the flame of your marriage back to life.

Upcoming Intensives
 – Jan. 15-17, 2016 (Black Rock Retreat) Lancaster, Pa
– Feb. 26-28, (Sandy Cove) Md
– March 18-20, (Sandy Cove) Md

Click here for more information or to schedule a Marriage Intensive now!


2 Tickets Left … Grab ’em for Valentine’s Day!!

Join us at the Twin Pine Manor – February 5-7, 2016

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Restoring Love … Reflecting God!

restoring love ... reflecting God

we need your help

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Thank you for your generous support!

Building marriages together,


Bruce McCracken
President and Founder
House on the Rock Family Ministries

 

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The 12 Questions of Christmas!

Here’s a fun Christmas activity to help you learn more about your spouse!

The 12 Questions of Christmas …

  1. What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?
  2.  What was the best Christmas gift ever?
  3.  What is your favorite non-Biblical Christmas story or movie?
  4.  What do you like most about Christmas time?
  5.  What do you find most annoying about Christmas time?
  6.  Do you have a family Christmas tradition … if so what is it … how did it start?
  7.  What’s your favorite Christmas carol or song?
  8.  If you could travel anywhere to celebrate a dream Christmas (with all your loved ones) … where would you go?  Why?
  9.  What’s your favorite Christmas “food” and / or “drink”? 
  10.  What’s the best thing that happened to you since last Christmas?
  11.  What do you do to keep Christ in Christmas?
  12.  Who is the easiest person to shop for?  The hardest? Why?

Additional Resources to Grow Your MarriageMarriage intensives

What is a “Fan the Flame Marriage Intensive”?

Our marriage intensives are more than a couple’s weekend retreat. They are intimate, personalized coaching sessions designed to help you identify and address your specific needs. Intensives are more powerful than one hour counseling sessions because they keep you both focused on your issues for an extended period of time. You will receive over 15 hours of personalized counseling, coaching and marriage building exercises that will fan the flame of your marriage back to life.

Upcoming Intensives
 – Jan. 15-17, 2016 (Black Rock Retreat) Lancaster, Pa
– Feb. 26-28, (Sandy Cove) Md

Click here for more information or to schedule a Marriage Intensive now!


4 Tickets Left … Going Quickly!!

Join us at the Twin Pine Manor – February 5-7, 2016

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How to Rebuild Trust After an Affair – Part 2 (for the offended)

Last week we introduced the challenging process of rebuilding trust that one spouse has after being unfaithful.  We believe that it is always God’s desire for us to stay committed to our marriage just has He remained true to His covenant with Israel when they were unfaithful.  So, this week we’d like to offer some words of advice to help the “offended” spouse work through the process of rebuilding intimacy and trust.

  1. Ask the questions you need answered … with the right intentions. Some questions may need to be asked … many do not.  Do you really want to know all the sordid details … or do you want to get at the root cause of the unfaithfulness?  The purpose of your questioning should be to seek understanding, not to gain information that can be thrown back into your spouse’s face!  Good questions are not an invasion of privacy, but a way to rebuild intimacy, trust and empathy.
  2. Respect One Another – Even though you’ve been betrayed and deeply hurt, you need to fight the urge to lash out and repay that pain. Romans 12: 17 says: “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.”  Ask God for help in not wanting to punish your spouse through your words, actions and attitudes.
  3. Forgive … Forgive … and Forgive Some More. Jesus commanded His disciples to forgive 70 x 7 times … because forgiveness is something that needs to be done over and over again.  As you move past your “1st forgiveness” experience, you may uncover more things that will need to be forgiven.  Remember Satan will be trying his hardest to remind you of your spouse’s sins … hoping that you will withhold forgiveness … “resist the devil and he will flee from you!”
  4. Take the Leap of Faith: Rebuilding trust and intimacy can be a scary!  You’re hesitant to reopen your heart … fearing more pain and rejection. It’s a daunting path for your spouse to travel too.  You both want to stay humble, broken … asking God to do His restorative work in your lives and marriage.  The Bible promises us that He longs to restore beauty for ashes and to redeem what the locust have eaten.  So, take the leap of faith and begin your journey back to intimacy TODAY!


Additional Resources to Grow Your MarriageMarriage intensives

What is a “Fan the Flame Marriage Intensive”?

Our marriage intensives are more than a couple’s weekend retreat. They are intimate, personalized coaching sessions designed to help you identify and address your specific needs. Intensives are more powerful than one hour counseling sessions because they keep you both focused on your issues for an extended period of time. You will receive over 15 hours of personalized counseling, coaching and marriage building exercises that will fan the flame of your marriage back to life.

Upcoming Intensives
 – Jan. 15-17, 2016 (Black Rock Retreat) Lancaster, Pa
– Feb. 26-28, (Sandy Cove) Md

Click here for more information or to schedule a Marriage Intensive now!


4 Tickets Left … Going Quickly!!

Join us at the Twin Pine Manor – February 5-7, 2016

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How to Rebuild Trust After an Affair – Part 1 (for the offender)

Couples who are wrestling through unfaithfulness frequently ask: “How can we rebuild the trust we once had in our marriage?”

It’s a great question because … Trust is vital to all intimate relationships … when there is no trust … there is no safety … there is no foundation for intimacy to be built on … the trust of your spouse is something that most of us take for granted … until unfaithfulness shatters it.

Proverbs 22:1 (ESV) says, “A good name (To be trusted) is to be chosen rather than great riches.

So let me share with you the ABC’s of rebuilding trust …

  1. Apologize – to both God and your spouse for your sinful actions. Seeking forgiveness begins with repentance.  We need to get things right with God before we can rebuild the relationship with our spouse.  Clearly state your sin and acknowledge the pain you have created.  Detail all the things you plan to do to keep this from ever happening again.  Then ask: Will you forgive me?  And wait for his or her response.
  2. Be Patient – It’s natural to be constantly “grilled” by the offended spouse. Don’t treat this as an invasion of privacy.  Embrace it as a way of rebuilding communication and trust in your relationship.  Don’t be offended if you have to answer the same question … 20 different ways.  Be careful not to use phrases like, “Can we stop now?” or “Haven’t I already apologized enough?” or “Can’t we just put this behind us now?”
  3. Complete Transparency – Be proactive in keeping your spouse “in the know” about everything you’re doing. Grant access to bank accounts, phone records, online activity, and your calendar.  An innocent spur of the moment detour on your way home from work … can lead to fear and anxiety as your spouse fights not to assume the worst!

Rebuilding trust will usually take longer than couples anticipate.  But we know many couples who will tell you their marriages are stronger today than they were before they worked through this process.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!


Additional Resources to Grow Your MarriageMarriage intensives

What is a “Fan the Flame Marriage Intensive”?

Our marriage intensives are more than a couple’s weekend retreat. They are intimate, personalized coaching sessions designed to help you identify and address your specific needs. Intensives are more powerful than one hour counseling sessions because they keep you both focused on your issues for an extended period of time. You will receive over 15 hours of personalized counseling, coaching and marriage building exercises that will fan the flame of your marriage back to life.

Upcoming Intensives
 – Jan. 15-17, 2016 (Black Rock Retreat) Lancaster, Pa
– Feb. 26-28, (Sandy Cove) Md

Click here for more information or to schedule a Marriage Intensive now!


 

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Join us at the Twin Pine Manor – February 5-7, 2016

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4 Ways for Husbands and Wives to Face the Holidays as a Team!

These days between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be filled with either lots of joy … or loads of stress.  What makes them happy or nerve-wracking is all in how you as a couple plan to handle them.

Many spouses struggle because one wants “heavenly peace” … while the other wants to “deck the halls.  If you and your mate have different ideas about what makes these days “merry and bright” … here are 4 suggestions to help get ready

  1. Set Realistic Expectations

What do you want this holiday season to feel like — relaxed or action packed?  Talk about what your holiday expectations are as a couple and for your family.  Discuss your calendar, how busy do you want to be?  Plan your budget, how much do you want to spend?  And maybe even talk about the menu.  Compromise may be a gift you can give to each other.

  1. Guard Your Together Time

Don’t let the crowded calendar of the holidays snuff out your couple time.  Schedule your “dates” in advance and build the rest or your schedule around them.  These are more important than most of what is going to be on your docket.  You need to make sure that you stay connected during the hubbub of the season.

  1. Keep Christ in Christmas

The holidays provide plenty of opportunities to focus on the true reason for the season.  One way is to get your family involved in giving to those who are less fortunate.  Serve food at a local church or mission, sing carols at the retirement village, or help your kids give their toys to others.  Make sure your decorations and celebrations are Christ centered to help you keep the true meaning of Christmas front and center.

  1. Deal with Conflict Quickly

All of the hustle and bustle of these days is a breeding ground for conflict.  The keys to resolving disagreements well are to attack the problem … not the person; and to seek a “win-win” solution … not an “I win – you lose” mentality.  Don’t let unresolved conflicts ruin your celebration of the Prince of Peace.

Taking the time to prepare for this very special season with your spouse and family may truly make this “the most wonderful time of the year!”


6 Tickets Left … Going Quickly!!

Join us at the Twin Pine Manor – February 5-7, 2016

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Click for more information as well as reservation details.


Additional Resources to Grow Your MarriageMarriage intensives

What is a “Fan the Flame Marriage Intensive”?

Our marriage intensives are more than a couple’s weekend retreat. They are intimate, personalized coaching sessions designed to help you identify and address your specific needs. Intensives are more powerful than one hour counseling sessions because they keep you both focused on your issues for an extended period of time. You will receive over 15 hours of personalized counseling, coaching and marriage building exercises that will fan the flame of your marriage back to life.

Upcoming Intensives
 – Dec. 4-6, 2015 (Sandy Cove) Md
– Jan. 15-17, 2016 (Black Rock Retreat) Lancaster, Pa
– Feb. 26-28, (Sandy Cove) Md

Click here for more information or to schedule a Marriage Intensive now!

sign up

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Filed under Fan the Flame Marriage Devotional, Marriage/Family