Tag Archives: communication

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!


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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.

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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?


6 Tickets Left … Going Quickly!!

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!

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Leave a comment

Filed under Fan the Flame Marriage Devotional, Marriage/Family

How to Talk to Your Spouse about Sex

It’s no surprise … talking about our physical love lives can be daunting!  Realizing that we may sound unsatisfied, selfish and judgmental doesn’t make this challenging conversation any easier.

But having the love life you desire will not happen by itself.  A positive love making experience often requires some extremely personal communication.

You need a safe and honest relationship to talk about what does and doesn’t feel good, or to ask to try something new.  Intimate discussions don’t come easy; so here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. It’s always a good idea to let your spouse know that you would like to talk about sex … before you have the conversation. Knowing that you are going to talk about this part of your marriage gives both of you the chance to plan and prepare for this important discussion.

2. Determine and agree on the best time to talk.  Obviously, this conversation needs to occur at a private time and place where you can enjoy a face to face setting with no interruptions.  Be sure to schedule it when you both will have the time and energy to stay engaged.

3. Start your conversation by affirming your partner’s desire to please you.  Then move onto describing your needs, wants and desires. Use “I” statements and avoid putting blame on your partner.  Use the proper vocabulary … no code words.  Be specific.  Stay positive … remember the goal is to make your love making experience more enjoyable for both of you.

4. Listen carefully.  Be open and honest.  Accept personal responsibility for the things you can improve or change.  Avoid making excuses for yourself and listen with an open mind!

5. Ask questions to get clarification.  “I hear you saying that you would like me to touch you more … where and how would you like me to touch you?”

6. Once you break the ice on this topic you will see that one conversation won’t be enough.  So be sure to schedule a regular date night to keep this conversation alive?

You can alternate your date night topics with conversations about emotional and spiritual intimacy … they all work together!


Join us for a Marriage Retreat in Lancaster!

Marriage Retreat and Special Guest Musician – Matt & Kim Goss – October 9 – 11, 2015
(use promo code “marriage50” for a $50 discount!!)

Dr. Bruce and Karen McCracken, founders of House on the Rock Family Ministries will lead you and your spouse through a weekend filled with laughter, romance and re-connection. Bruce and Karen have been married for over 40 years and have been leading couples events for 25 years.  They bring practical advice for couples … filled with grace that has been tempered by their experience together.

Matt and kim gossMatt and Kim Goss have been married for 19 years. Matt has been on staff as Worship Pastor of LCBC Church in Manheim, PA since 1999.  In that time the church grew from 700 to over 10,000 people! He is a featured worship leader and speaker at Integrity Music Seminars and many other conferences each year.

Kim is also a prolific singer, songwriter and worship leader. Her much anticipated debut CD was released in Feb. 2011.


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

5 Tips for Meaningful Communication with Your Spouse!

Our daily exposure to superficial noise via the internet, social media, TV, and radio makes it easy for us to become immune to significant communication. We’ve become a sound bite culture; and we can’t build meaningful relationships with sound bites!

Jesus made a habit of getting away from the “noise” in His everyday life to have some meaningful communication with His Heavenly Father.  He was intentional about dedicating blocks of uninterrupted time to focus on His most important relationship.

So as couples, we need to work hard at nurturing meaningful conversations that will build the most important earthly relationships we have with our spouses.

Here are 5 tips on how to make the best use of the times we do find to meaningfully connect:

1. Set a regular time and place.  Look at your calendars and schedule at least one block of time per week for some uninterrupted conversation.

2. Get ready. What are the two most important things we need to talk about?  Is it a major decision deadline that’s approaching?  Is it a problem between the two of you or with the kids?  Develop your agenda so you’re ready to discuss the important things first.

3. Stay on topic. Once a good conversation gets rolling it’s tempting to “dump the whole load” of what you’ve wanted to discuss over the last six months. Unfortunately, that usually leads to information overload, confusion; and the frustrated feeling of “What are we talking about?”

4. Be sensitive to the time. When your conversation gets too deep or goes too long, intellectual and emotional fatigue comes into play. Even if the conversation is going great stop and ask: “Do you want to keep talking about this?” Your goal is for the conversation to end positively and productively!

5. Close with:  “Thank you … I appreciate you listening to me.”  The conversation will eventually weaken. One of you may withdrawal or explode.  These symptoms indicate that it’s time to stop before all your good conversation morphs into a bad conflict. End your time by reviewing any decisions that were made.  Be sure to close with:  Thanks for listening … I’m glad we got to talk about this.”


Join us for a Marriage Retreat in Lancaster!

Lancaster Host Resort, PA – Marriage Retreat and Special Guest Musician – Matt & Kim Goss – October 9 – 11, 2015
(use promo code “marriage50” for a $50 discount!!)

Dr. Bruce and Karen McCracken, founders of House on the Rock Family Ministries will lead you and your spouse through a weekend filled with laughter, romance and re-connection.

Bruce and Karen have been married for over 40 years and have been leading couples events for 25 years.  They bring practical advice for couples … filled with grace that has been tempered by their experience together.

Matt and kim gossMatt and Kim Goss have been married for 19 years. Matt has been on staff as Worship Pastor of LCBC Church in Manheim, PA since 1999.  In that time the church grew from 700 to over 10,000 people! He is a featured worship leader and speaker at Integrity Music Seminars and many other conferences each year.

Kim is also a prolific singer, songwriter and worship leader. Her much anticipated debut CD was released in Feb. 2011.


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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Filed under Fan the Flame Marriage Devotional, Marriage/Family

Why we should say, “I Like it when you …”

 

When’s the last time you told your spouse … “I like it when you…”

Why that question?  Because too many marriages are characterized by negative and blaming phrases like “you never do this for me” or “you’re always doing this wrong”.  This negative attitude and tone does nothing positive to build your marriage.  so let’s try something new!…

Whenever your spouse does something that you do appreciate … share that with him or her using the phrase … “I like it when you”

Every successful marriage is characterized by acts of kindness shared between spouses … loving actions … gentle or encouraging words … a little gift … sharing time together … physical contact … all of these things make us feel loved and cared for …

But let’s be honest … we’re not mind readers … so why not help your spouse learn how to show you love … by reinforcing these loving things with the little phrase … … I like it when you … do this … I like it when you are gentle and understanding … I like it when we do this together … I like it when you give me a spontaneous hug and kiss …

So let’s set a goal … look for the little things that make your heart smile when your spouse does them … and affirm that by saying … I like it when you … (fill in what just happened) …

It’s not the once a year … big gift … or special event … that builds a marriage … it is those little things that happen every day … week after week that build love and intimacy  …

So see how many times you can share “I like it when you’s” with your spouse this week!


Join us for a Marriage Retreat! (Early Bird Prices NOW through June 1st)

 Lancaster Host Resort, PA – Marriage Retreat and Special Guest Musician – Matt & Kim Goss – October 9 – 11, 2015

Dr. Bruce and Karen McCracken, founders of House on the Rock Family Ministries will lead you and your spouse through a weekend filled with laughter, romance and re-connection.

Bruce and Karen have been married for over 40 years and have been leading couples events for 25 years.  They bring practical advice for couples … filled with grace that has been tempered by their experience together.

Matt and Kim Goss have been married for 19 years. Matt has been on staff as Worship Pastor of LCBC Church in Manheim, PA since 1999.  In that time the church grew from 700 to over 10,000 people! He is a featured worship leader and speaker at Integrity Music Seminars and many other conferences each year.

Kim is also a prolific singer, songwriter and worship leader. Her much anticipated debut CD was released in Feb. 2011.


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