Waiting on Your Offender to Repent?

Oh my! Today I’m tackling a tough one, people! Myth #6 – If I forgive, my offender must recognize his/her wrong against me, or it’s invalid or not “total forgiveness.” There’s a line of thought, especially in some Christian circles, that believes forgiveness is … “A commitment by the offended to pardon graciously the repentant […]

Does Forgiveness Forfeit Protection?

Today we’re addressing another myth of forgiveness … If I forgive, I lay down any right to protect myself. Just like the myth before it, “If I forgive, I’m letting my offender off the hook of responsibility” – there’s both truth and myth in this belief. The myth The idea that if I forgive, I’m […]

What are the Triggers in Your Relationship?

My husband and I had a conflict the other day. Hard to believe, I know, since I’m the queen bee of messy marriage! So I asked his permission to share a generalized version with all of you. Maybe you can learn from our mistakes … It was dinnertime and my son inadvertently interrupted me. So […]

8 Questions – Knowing When to Confront

There are times when we should address a problem and times when we shouldn’t. Often there is confusion about just when or if it’s right to proceed. Here are 8 questions or areas of concern to consider when you’re at that crossroad. My prayer is that they might bring you greater clarity on when to […]

Turning Correction into Motivation

Every messy marriage faces the challenge of correcting messy or wrong behavior in a spouse. We often think it’s our duty to point out where our spouse has gotten off track. And in some situations and when offered in the right spirit, that can be true. The trick is knowing how to communicate our observations […]

Trying to Grasp Grace

My church has been doing a series that deals with God’s redemption in the midst of brokenness. And one of the main focuses has been on forgiveness. I’ve done a lot of study and spent a lot of time trying to understand and exercise forgiveness in my life and marriage over the years. That is, […]

Are You a Texticator?

credit For those of you who are a product of “old school Christianity” your mind probably went immediately from my invented word “texticator” to “fornicator”—a word we don’t use so much in our everyday vernacular. If so, then I’m glad, because that’s almost how revolting I want this practice to sound to you from now […]

When Your Spouse Won’t Go to Bat For You – In-law Issues

Recently I suggested that I would be writing a post on how to set boundaries, but decided to focus on one common boundary problem—intrusive and critical in-laws.  Let’s say you have a mother-in-law who makes a habit of criticizing you to your spouse or in front of others. But let’s up the ante and say […]

Unhealthy Alliances – Triangulating

One of my father’s well-worn Bibles and a “red pencil.” When I was growing up, my father was a workaholic pastor. When he wasn’t visiting people (he once had a goal of visiting 80 families a week), he was busy studying his Bible—hours on end and always with his red pencil. Now, both of those […]

The Many Faces of Control – Smothering

In the days and weeks ahead I will be addressing certain ways that “control” manifests itself in marriages. And one of the more insidious and almost unrecognizable ways that control shows up is by the act of “smothering.”  My first experience with smothering was not at the hands of my husband, but rather my mother. […]