The In-laws Who Stole Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all thro’ the house Not a couple was merry, not even one spouse.   The stockings hand quilted by Grandma with care, Were replaced by Dad’s mom with new store-bought pairs.   The children played video games all snug in the den, In hopes that Mom and Dad would get it together again.   I, in the kitchen, with Sammy the cat, Begged for more scraps while Mom and Dad spat.   When out in the family room there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my dog bed to see what was the […]

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What’s Lurking Under the Hood?

On a scale of 1 — 10, with 10 being the highest, how would you rate the condition of your marriage?   Husband 9.5 – Wife 2.0 Before founding Live the Life, Richard Albertson attended a marriage class with his wife. When asked to rate their marriage, he pridefully proclaimed a 9.5. In shock, Elizabeth showed him her 2. She was mortified he was unaware of her misery. He was sure she was the one who needed straightening out. The oil had slowly leaked from their marital engine. Both had a lot to learn.   I don’t love him. I’m […]

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Does Marriage Matter?

Standing at the altar with her groom by her side and three “possible” dads behind her, Sophie halts her wedding ceremony, saying, “Now I know what I really want. Sky, let’s just not get married yet.” Sky: “What?” Sophie: “You never wanted this anyway. I know that. Let’s just get off this island and see the world. All right?” Sky: “I love you.” That’s the climax of the wedding movie, “Mama Mia.” To a Boomer, this makes no sense. It’s a millennial thing. Many just don’t see the need for marriage. The numbers are in From a report earlier this […]

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Vows: Will You Love Me in The Rain?

“I, Patricia, do take you, Patrick, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony; to love, honor, respect, trust, cherish, encourage and support you according to God’s holy ordinance forsaking all others and keeping myself only unto you, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, in joy and in sorrow, in failure and in triumph, from this day forward until death do us part. Do you really mean for better or worse? Who remembers Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and […]

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God’s To-Do List for Marriage

“I, Patricia, do take you, Patrick, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to live together in the Holy Estate of Matrimony; to love, honor, respect, trust, cherish, encourage, and support you according to God’s Holy ordinance …” At a monthly Living Waters Counseling how-to-do-life seminar, my good friend, Dr. Norman Wise, painted perhaps the best picture of what often derails marriages. He said that as singles, we feel unhappy. We meet the opposite sex, and they make us feel happy. So we marry. Then we become vampires, sucking the happiness out of our spouse. If your spouse is the same […]

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The Holy Estate of Matrimony

Installment five in the marriage vows series. “I, Patricia, take you, Patrick, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony…” The word holy means divine, set apart, sacred. Estate is a state of being, and matrimony is, of course, marriage. Marriage was the first institution that God set apart for his good purposes. The other two were government and church, which powerfully indicates the importance he places on marriage. Where dreams come true However, our expectations of marriage may resemble a fantasyland. Supercharged young children surrounded us as we rode our Disney bus […]

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Lawfully Wedded

I, Patricia, take you, Patrick, to be my lawfully wedded husband… While Christian marriage is a spiritual event, to be legally married according to Florida state laws, you must follow Florida Statutes Chapter 741. Accordingly, you must apply for and get a license to marry at the courthouse, documenting your identity and paying a fee which will be discounted if you can prove you took a recognized 4-hour premarital course. Your marriage must be officiated by an authorized agent of the state like a pastor or notary public. After your wedding, your officiator and two witnesses must sign your license. […]

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Shrinking the Expectation Gap

Lorraine gave up on her marriage. “I don’t love Rich anymore. In fact, I don’t know if I ever loved him. We live separate lives. I guess we just grew apart.” Lorraine’s statement is ironically accurate. She stopped demonstrating love (action) toward her husband. However, her true reason for quitting is that she is not feeling loved. When asked about the vows she took when she got married, Lorraine got a deer-in-the-headlights look that said, “Vows. . . what vows?” Traditional wedding vows Although Lorraine has convenient amnesia now, she repeated these traditional vows when she got married: I, Lorraine, […]

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Divorce by the Numbers

Fact or Fiction: “Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world.” Fact. Surprised? Perhaps this is misleading because “Christians” include anyone who says they are, even though they are not true believers. So is there a difference between believers and the world? Professor Bradley Wright (University of Connecticut) found that the number of self-identified Christians who have been divorced is 60% for those who rarely attend church versus 38% for regular attendees. W. Bradford Wilcox (University of Virginia/director of the National Marriage Project) compared stats of those with and without religious affiliations for the likelihood of divorce. “Active” […]

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Is This the Year?

Is 2014 the year that you are finally going to write that book, buy that house, become that professional or start that business you have been dreaming of? Do you have a dream? Perhaps a more important question is: Has God given you a calling for your life? “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God” (Ephesians 4:1). You’ve heard pastors describe being “called into the ministry.” But calling does not necessarily mean becoming a pastor or missionary. It may mean opening a […]

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