A Great List of Things to Thank Our Spouses for …

Once a year we celebrate Thanksgiving … which to many means football, butterballs, and holiday shopping.  The giving thanks part has been relegated to a minor position.  This holiday was founded by people who gave thanks to God on a daily basis, and now, as a nation, we struggle to focus on thankfulness for one day a year.

“Thanks” and “Giving” are both important aspects of marriage.  I think it is important in building your relationship that you regularly give thanks to your spouse for all the good things he or she is giving to you and your family.  Paul was thankful for the special people God brought into his life …  “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus … I have not stopped giving thanks for you …”

So … make it your project this week to identify things about your spouse that you are thankful for … and for which you can give praise and appreciation.  If your relationship hasn’t been going too well … this exercise can help get you back onto a better path.  Look for an opportunity every day to genuinely thank your spouse for something positive you see in him or her.

To help you get started here is a list of some things spouses were thankful for:

Gives unconditional love: Doesn’t hold grudges   Puts God first   Is patient   Is trustworthy   Is committed to our marriage   Listens   Has overcome a sinful habit   Models leadership   cares for others   Is thoughtful   Has a servant-heart   Is a peacemaker   Believes in the God of second chances   Lets me dream   Great Provider   Is dependable   Is a great mom or dad   Knows and loves Jesus Christ   Manages our home well   Gives encouragement   Is fun to be with   Prays with and for me   Covers my weaknesses   Depends on God   Gives me grace   Holds me accountable   Empowers me   Has a teachable spirit   Is Selfless humble:

Would you like to give your spouse an amazing gift for Thanksgiving?  One that will be cherished for years to come?  Why not write down a list of things in a card or letter that you appreciate most about your spouse and share it on Thanksgiving Day?


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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!

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You Can Help Couples Experience Life-Changing Marriages!

You Can Help Couples Experience Life-Changing Marriages!

The ministry of House on the Rock has far out grown our initial regional geographic boundaries! Today, we’re helping couples in all 50 states and 45 countries!

In 2013 we launched our online: “Fan the Flame Dates.com” … and were thrilled to see over 7,500 couples grow their intimacy. In 2014, we were blown away as that number exploded to 22,500 … and in 2015 we’re projecting that more than 35,000 couples will watch our videos. What’s even more exciting is that our weekly Marriage Devotionals with their short, practical suggestions for couples to “Fan the Flame” of their marriages are being seen by over 40,000 couples each year!

listening earThis growth has amplified a question that we’ve heard for years: “Do you guys offer marriage counseling … we need more help?!?” 

This year we responded to this growing need by launching our 3-day “Fan the Flame” Marriage Intensives geared for couples facing major challenges in their marriages. For many of these couples this is their last hope to save their marriages and begin the process of restoring their relationships.

The results have been nothing short of miraculous … and we give God the glory!!


Over 85% of our couples are growing and thriving together!

 

Here’s one couple’s experience …

(From Pre-Intensive Questionnaire)

I can’t talk to him without him getting so defensive. I stop talking, but usually after we argue, he’ll scream then walk away too. We never resolve anything!

(After Coming)renewed couple

I’ve already noticed that we are more cognizant of the way we talk about things and when we’re listening together. I’m pleasantly surprised by my husband being so open with these changes. We’ve made goals for each other and am really hopeful

Another couple’s experience …

(From Pre-Intensive Questionnaire)

I feel like there is no point in expressing anything to him because he doesn’t hear me.  I feel very devalued and insignificant because of his lies, affairs, and lack of caring. 

(After Coming)

My advice to couples is go! My marriage has been changed and yours can too!

 

stressed couple 2But here’s what’s scary!!

Neither of these couples could have come to our marriage intensive if they hadn’t received some financial help …

We ask couples for $3,000 to attend our 3 day intensive. I know some of you are saying to yourself … that’s pretty expensive! And I understand … but the reality is our costs to house, feed and give these couples over 20 hours of powerful coaching adds up quickly.  And every participating couple has said that this is a lot cheaper than a divorce!

The truth is … our intensives are over $1,500 cheaper than those offered by Focus on the Family and Family Dynamics Institute. But there is something else that we do that they don’t … we offer scholarships and payment plans to make these marriage saving events more available … I hear from couples who initially balk at the high cost of an intensive say, “that’s do-able” … after we explain the ways we can help.

Here’s how we make it work for them. We offer “needs based” scholarships that award up to a 50% discount … and we offer a payment plan for couples. By giving these two options, we’re able to mitigate the financial concerns for most of the couples who want to attend.

We Need Your Help!!phone calls

We receive 3-5 phone calls and/or e-mails every day from couples who want to save their marriages.

Right now we are adding more ministry locations and training more qualified coachers to host and lead our intensives. Our vision is to see these spread from our two local venues out into western PA and throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

The more couples who attend our retreats, the greater our need for cash reserves to offer these scholarships and to make the payment plans a reality.

The demand we are getting mandates our offering a marriage intensive every weekend in 2016! Additionally, our goal is to serve thousands more couples via our online “Fan the Flame Dates!”

 We have a financial target of $75,000 by year end to help us meet these ministry goals!  

 coupleprayWould you please consider a generous gift … to partner with us in strengthening and keeping these marriages together so they can reflect God’s love to the world!?!?

Thank you for making a difference in a couple’s life!

Bruce R. McCracken
Founder and President
House on the Rock Family Ministries

  1. Via Check to House on the Rock – 222 S. Market St. Suite 102A – Elizabethtown, Pa 17022
  2. Via secure online donation at hotrfm.org
  3. Via the ExtraGive – Nov. 20th … at www.ExtraGive.org

House on the Rock Family Ministries is a registered 501c3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

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Do I Need Marriage Counseling??

Here’s a question I get a lot, “Is our marriage at the point where we need counseling?”

While that’s a pretty loaded question … and every situation is unique … let me see if I can offer a few thoughts that might provide some clarity.

Just like the fact our wedding rings tarnish and show signs of wear over the years … marriage relationships can get worn, weary and show signs of neglect if they’re not routinely “cleaned.”

How do you know if your marriage is just in a tough season … or if you’re experiencing something much more significant?

Here’s a few behaviors you should be on the lookout for:

1 – Communication Goes Silent – The foundation of relationship is the ability to communicate with each other. If you stop sharing your thoughts and feelings … or don’t feel safe enough to communicate what you’re really thinking, you’ve entered a downward spiral that needs addressed.

2 – Constant Negative Communication – Every couple knows that arguments and conflict are a part of life. As I’ve shared on many occasions, if you don’t have conflict … you don’t care … but if your communication is nothing but negativity towards each other … and doesn’t end in positive resolution … you start laying a foundation of disdain, contempt and anger towards each other that warrants professional intervention.

3 – Non-existent Physical Intimacy – While frequency may change over the years, tapering off completely … or having physical intimacy with no emotional connection is not normal.

4 – You’ve Had or Fantasize about an Affair – We’ve seen many couples overcome affairs … through heartfelt forgiveness, rebuilding of trust, and a renewed emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy … but it takes time … hard work … and more often than not, the guidance of a third party to navigate challenging path.

Proverbs 11:14 states, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety”

If this list hit too close to home, we’d love to chat further with you about our marriage intensive retreats … or help you get in touch with a personal counselor or pastor to help.

 

 


Take Your Spouse on the Marriage Retreat of a Lifetime at one of the nations Top 10 B&B’s (only 7 tickets left!)

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!

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How to Build the “Core” of Your Marriage!!

Recently … my body told me it wasn’t as strong as it used to be … so I joined a gym. The trainer smiled and re-assured me I could get a lot my old self back … and promptly started me on an exercise program to strengthen my “core” … you know those muscles in our backs … stomachs … shoulders and sides that support our heads … arms … legs … fingers … toes. … so when we build our core … we strengthen our entire body …

As I was trying to soak away my aches and pains in a hot bath … it occurred to me that there is a lot of similarity between building our bodies and strengthening our marriages. There are core, or foundational, ingredients that all of the other aspects of our marriages are built upon.

Some of these are:  faith … commitment … unconditional love … safety … trust … and one that we often overlook … personal responsibility.

Because no marriage will ever be stronger than its weakest spouse; we need to be intentionally working to become the best man or woman … God wants us to be!

When our personal responsibility is weak … we blame our spouse for the condition of our marriage … we say :  if he would just do that …or …  if she didn’t do this …  healthy personal responsibility means we stop blaming our spouses and look at our own lives first … Jesus asked the question: “Why do you look at the speck in your spouse’s eye … but don’t notice the log that is in your own eye?”

So, we build stronger marriages by asking ourselves: How am I contributing positively or negatively to making our marriage the best it can be? What are some areas I need to strengthen in my personal life that will make a positive impact on our marriage?

Paul David Tripp declared:  “I am my biggest marital problem!”

So If you want a better marriage … ask God to help you become a better you!

 


Take Your Spouse on the Marriage Retreat of a Lifetime at one of the nations Top 10 B&B’s (only 7 tickets left!)

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

outside shot

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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5 Incredible Conversation Starters for Any Couple!

It’s been reported that the average couple spends less than 3 minutes a day in “meaningful” conversation.

That’s because most of our couple talk is all about family logistics … who …what … where … when … and how …  It is reporting … not rapport building …  It’s head to head communication … not heart to heart connection.

The Office for National Statistics finds that on average we, as couples, spend between 2 to 2.5 hours a day together and that includes weekends!! Let that sink in … you are only together with your spouse for about 2 hours a day.

And what do we do when we’re all alone with our loved ones? We watch TV (one third of all the time), we eat (30 minutes) and we do “household chores” together (24 minutes).

Here’s a surprise! They found that women cared more than men about spending time together; and the ladies were very clear that this time together had to involve talking to each other. The final revelation:  the less time couples spent talking together, the less frequent their physical intimacy was.

So to help you out on all fronts … here are 5 questions that you can ask each other at the end of every day to get the conversations going and your marriage growing! They’re guaranteed to get you talking more than 3 minutes!

  • What was the highlight of your day today … what did you feel good about today … Why?
  • What was the “downer of the day” … what did you enjoy least about today … what made you feel badly … Why?
  • What do you think the Lord might be doing in your life through these things?
  • What can I do to help make the rest of your day better? What do you need from me?
  • How can I pray for you now …

Didn’t have time to write them down? Come on out to our website fantheflamedates.com to download these and other helpful tools to build your marriage.

 


Take Your Spouse on the Marriage Retreat of a Lifetime at one of the nations Top 10 B&B’s (only 9 tickets available!)

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

outside shot

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.

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

sign up

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A Reader Shares the Secret Emotional Needs of Men … A Must Read!

Crying ManIt’s always good to hear from listeners … and to those who receive these thoughts via our email devotions … here’s one we got the other day from a men’s ministry leader …

“I read your online article to wives today and it was very good.  You can quote me in saying that wives have no idea how much their husbands need encouragement from them—you were right on! An appreciative note from a wife can go a LONG way!

I know it goes both ways, but if a wife is “tuned-in” enough to get the ball rolling and becomes a cheerleader of her husband that would be awesome!

Many wives think their husbands are strong and tough and don’t need that encouragement, but that is very wrong … that is the “face” that we men have been taught to wear.

Many men are getting a “beat-down” on a daily basis only to have that continue when they get home.

Most of us men are secretly desperate to be loved, honored and appreciated (yep—just like women). And I’m amazed at how many men don’t understand how to ask for, or get attention appropriately … because it feels like the need to be loved by a woman is a weakness. So we seek it inappropriately by grabbing and demanding … or avoiding altogether …because that doesn’t make us feel weak.

It’s scary and hard for us to love a woman because we have to be vulnerable … and most of us don’t do vulnerable real well.

In fact we’ve been conditioned to believe that women need us to be tough and if we speak of our weakness and neediness that our wives will turn away from us.

As a men’s ministry leader … I’ve watched men sob over the lack of connection they feel with their wives and how desperate they are to be desired by their wives. And in most cases their wives have no idea of how much pain they are in … because men either don’t know they’re in pain or they don’t feel safe enough to express it.”

So ladies make it safe for your husbands to talk to you about what they need and want from you … why not ask them today?

 


Take Your Spouse on the Marriage Retreat of a Lifetime at one of the nations Top 10 B&B’s (only 9 tickets available!)

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

outside shot

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.

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

sign up

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Ladies, It’s time to ask ourselves the hard question. Do I let my husband lead?

(Guest writing again is Bruce’s wife – Karen McCracken)

Last week we began discussing spiritual leadership in the home and our desire as wives for our husbands to take the lead.

We first looked at the importance of guarding our heart by having a heart of gratitude. One way you can do that is by journaling all the things you appreciate about him.  Having a hard copy will give you something to refer back to when you’re aren’t feeling so appreciative. Guarding your heart from negativity places you in the position to love, bless, and enjoy your husband for all the things you love about him.

When we think about creating spiritual leadership in our marriages … it may be time to ask ourselves the hard question. Do I let my husband lead?

As a strong woman … I can have a take charge attitude that Bruce has found to be a bit intimidating. In our conversation about this topic he has shared that he has felt unsure as to how to lead me spiritually.

So … you as a strong mom and wife want to pray and ask the Lord for a good time to talk together about your spiritual life … as a couple and family. Be sure to acknowledge that husbands and wives have different ideas about what spiritual connection is …so ask him what he thinks your spiritual time should look like. It’s critical to create a safe environment for him to share.  Affirm him. Be gentle.  Let him express his opinions freely without judgment (verbal or facial expressions).

Hopefully this productive loving conversation will produce some first steps to building spiritual intimacy in your marriage.

Is it easy? No. Really reflect on this and search your heart for insights about your role as follower. Think about what it would look like for you to support his attempts and give him space to lead..

Remember that it’s God’s desire for you to experience spiritual intimacy in marriage and He is the All-powerful one that can bring this to fruition. Our job is to pray for spouse and model Christ-likeness in our gentleness and our willingness to be lead spiritually.


Take Your Spouse on the Marriage Retreat of a Lifetime at one of the nations Top 10 B&B’s (only 9 tickets available!)

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

outside shot

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.

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

sign up

Leave a comment

Filed under Fan the Flame Marriage Devotional, Marriage/Family