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Greg Smalley

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the vice president of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. Prior to joining Focus, Smalley worked for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and as president of the National Institute of Marriage. He is the author of 12 books including Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage and Fight Your Way to a Better Marriageand he is the co-author of The DNA of Relationships for Couples.

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Honey, How Are You?

Communicating your feelings to your spouse is critical for maintaining a healthy marriage. It’s especially important when raising little children together. Greg, Erin and John discuss ways they’ve learned to communicate while raising young kids. Featuring Dr. Josh and Christi Straub Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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Showing Steadfast Love to Prodigal Children

It’s usually not helpful to lecture adult children, but you can model Christ’s love for them. John and Danny describe how to leave the door open for a relationship with a prodigal child. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/parentingpodcast. Or, call 1-800-A-FAMILY.

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Giving and Receiving Comfort

A comforting spouse can be a great gift as you’re going through a hard season. When you receive comfort from him or her, it’s also important to give it back. John, Greg and Erin discuss some ways they’ve learned to console their spouse during difficult times. Featuring Milan and Kay Yerkovich. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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When Your Spouse Gets Stressed

Everyone has a reaction to stress. In stressful moments, how do you and your spouse respond? John, Greg and Erin talk about things that have brought them comfort whenever life feels overwhelming. Featuring Milan and Kay Yerkovich. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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At Home With the Smalleys

On the next Facebook live event with Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley, we’ll talk about the recent Perfect 10 Marriage event and answer questions that viewers asked during the online presentation.

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Having the Hard Conversations

When a hard conversation is needed, it’s critical to show your spouse a lot of grace. Greg, Erin and John talk about ways they’ve learned to make the tough conversations productive, and will provide some helpful guidelines you can apply in your marriage. Featuring Dr. David Clarke. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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When Issues Go Unaddressed

All of us have baggage. The key is to not sweep it under the rug, but to deal with it. Greg, Erin and John will help couples talk about and deal with past issues. Featuring Pastor D.A. and Elicia Horton. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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Getting Past the Baggage

We all have things we’re not proud of, but how much of your past should you share with your past? John, Erin and Greg give some advice for how to talk about your past in a healthy and productive way. Featuring Pastor D.A. and Elicia Horton. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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How to Avoid Growing Apart

There are times where every couple doesn’t feel as close as they desire. How do you handle those moments? John, Greg and Erin talk about their own experiences of working through the seasons of feeling disconnected. Featuring Dr. Josh and Christi Straub. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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Navigating Political Issues as a Married Couple

Political issues can be challenging in any relationship, but they’re especially challenging for a married couple. No matter how serious your political differences may be, those differences should never impact your marriage covenant.

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Balancing Your Family and Work in Busy Seasons

Every couple faces times of feeling disconnected. That can especially be true when you’re trying to balance the demands of raising children and your career. John, Greg and Erin share things they learned and struggled with while facing the stresses of career and taking care of their kids. Featuring Dr. Josh and Christi Straub. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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Making Your Marriage a Safe Place

When you feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges, having a spouse to support you is one of life’s greatest gifts. But in those tough seasons, your relationship can grow stronger than before. John and the Smalley’s give some tips for strengthening your marriage in the challenging seasons. Featuring Milan and Kay Yerkovich. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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When Your Spouse Comes from An Abusive Home

What do you do when your spouse comes from an abusive home? The pain can last for years, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your story. Erin, Greg and John give a dose of hope to couples who are struggling with abuse from the past. Featuring Milan and Kay Yerkovich. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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Protect Yourself from Marriage Burnout

Many couples are experiencing marriage burnout because of pressures and daily aggravations related to the pandemic. Some people mistakenly start to think that something is wrong with their marriage.

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The Difference God Makes in Marriage

You can try your best, but some things in marriage are only doable with God’s help. Without His influence, your efforts to be kind to your mate will only go so far. John, Greg and Erin discuss how God’s love helps them to talk kindly to their spouse. Featuring Dr. David Clarke. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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The Ways You and Your Spouse Communicate

News flash: you and your spouse communicate differently. With such stark contrasts, you’ll eventually run into a misunderstanding. John, Erin and Greg explain how men and women are wired, and ways they’ve learned to better communicate in marriage. Featuring Dr. David Clarke. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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The Divorce-Proof Marriage

The number of people pursuing divorce was 34 percent higher during the period of March through June 2020 compared to the same time the previous year. But by following eight straightforward guidelines, most marriages can thrive.

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Recovering the Weight Behind Your Words

In parenting, actions speak louder than words. John and Danny discuss how to follow through on your promises — and teach your kids you mean what you say. Featuring Michael Anderson and Dr. Timothy Johanson.

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Getting Back on Track Spiritually

Most Christian couples at some point will feel like they’re not growing spiritually. How do you get out of those ruts? John, Greg and Erin lend some hope to couples who feel spiritually stuck, and give practical ideas for how you and your spouse can get closer to God. Featuring Pastor Craig Groeschel.

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Marriage Struggles & Your Birth-Order

Whether you’re a first-born or the baby of the family, we all have a common struggle—selfishness. How do you get rid of it? John and the Smalley’s talk about learning to recognize and let go of selfishness in their own marriages. Featuring Dr. Kevin Leman.

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Understanding Your Spouse’s Personality

Appreciating your spouse’s personality can prevent a lot of arguments. But what if your birth order and personality were connected? Erin, Greg and John talk about where they are in the birth-order and how it’s influenced their personalities. Featuring Dr. Kevin Leman.

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Dealing with Your Past

We all have something from our childhood that can negatively affect our marriage. Whether it was a painful event or an unhealthy habit, we must deal with it. Greg and Erin talk with John about how they’ve learned to deal with their pasts. Featuring Milan and Kay Yerkovich.

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Modeling a Good Marriage for Your Children

When you treat your spouse well, you’re setting a good example for your kids. No matter what it seems like, your son or daughter is watching how you talk to each other. Greg and Erin talk about a couple they’ve seen set a good example. Featuring Milan and Kay Yerkovich. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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Working Through a Miscommunication

Every wife wants a listening husband. By listening, he shows her how much he cares about her heart. Greg talks with John about how he’s learned to listen to his wife Erin. Featuring Dr. David and Sandy Clarke. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

Reconnecting With Your Spouse (Part 2 of 2)

Reconnecting With Your Spouse (Part 2 of 2)

If busyness, exhaustion, and distraction have caused you and your spouse to drift apart, listen in as Dr. Greg Smalley and his wife, Erin, offer practical suggestions for rekindling intimacy in a discussion based on their book Reconnected: Moving From Roomates to Soulmates in Your Marriage. (Part 1 of 2)

Reconnecting With Your Spouse (Part 1 of 2)

Reconnecting With Your Spouse (Part 1 of 2)

If busyness, exhaustion, and distraction have caused you and your spouse to drift apart, listen in as Dr. Greg Smalley and his wife, Erin, offer practical suggestions for rekindling intimacy in a discussion based on their book Reconnected: Moving From Roomates to Soulmates in Your Marriage. (Part 1 of 2)

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Getting Your Spouse to Listen

Misunderstandings are part of marriage sometimes. How you respond to a misunderstanding can lead to weeks of tension or better conflict resolution with your spouse. Greg and Erin talk with John about how they’ve worked through tension in their own relationship. Featuring Dr. David Clarke. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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Being a Godly Husband

As a husband, it’s critically important to lead your wife and children toward God. But the big question is, how? Greg and John give advice for leading your family spiritually, and Erin talks about how she’s learned to encourage her husband in his role. Featuring Pastor Craig Groeschel. Find us online at focusonthefamily.com/marriagepodcast or call 1-800-A-FAMILY

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Making Intimacy a Priority

Meaningful connection with your spouse can be very special, but finding it takes intentional effort from both spouses. It can also be easy to let those moments slip away during busy seasons. Greg, Erin and John offer some helpful ideas on making time for your spouse during busy times. Featuring Pastor Craig Groeschel.

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Intimate Details: Rebuilding Trust After Your Spouse Shares Personal Information

What could be the impact of sharing intimate details about your spouse without their blessing? And what can you do about it after it happens?

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The Conflict of Opposites

There’s an old saying that in marriage, opposites attract. But what do you do when those same qualities that attracted you start driving you crazy? Greg, Erin and John talk about the difference that God’s love can make in your marriage, even when your spouse falls short. Featuring Dr. Kevin Leman.

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Using Your Personality to Bless Your Marriage

Understanding your spouse’s personality can improve the quality of your relationship. Greg, Erin and John will explain how a taking a personality test can improve the communication in your marriage. Featuring Dr. Kevin Leman.

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Responding to Stress in Your Marriage

Unchecked stress will burn your marriage out. But having supportive, godly friends can make a huge difference in your relationship. Greg, Erin and John discuss the difference that good friends can make during difficult seasons. Featuring Milan & Kay Yerkovich.

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Recognizing Your Spouse’s Stress-Points

Stressful seasons can be a big test for your marriage. How do you respond when they come? John and the Smalleys explain how stress can actually serve as a benefit for your marriage. Featuring Milan & Kay Yerkovich.

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Making Time for Meaningful Connection

Moments of meaningful connection with your spouse don’t arrive like a free package on your doorstep. They take intentional effort and lots of understanding. Greg, Erin and John discuss how to make time for your spouse, even when one is an introvert and the other is an extrovert. Featuring Dr. David Clarke, Jean Daly & Sandy Clarke.

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Helpful Ways to Communicate with Your Wife

Communicating with your spouse can sometimes feel like trying to understand a new language. But by listening to each other, your relationship can get stronger. John talks with Greg and Erin Smalley about why it’s important for a husband to listen to his wife. Featuring Dr. David Clarke.

Combating the Lies That Can Destroy Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Combating the Lies That Can Destroy Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

In a discussion based on their book 9 Lies That Will Destroy Your Marriage, Drs. Greg Smalley and Bob Paul describe how cultural myths and fairy-tale expectations about marriage have a detrimental effect on couples, and how knowing and applying biblical truth can help those couples develop a thriving marriage. (Part 2 of 2)

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Putting God First in Your Marriage

We all long for intimacy in our marriage, but how do we find it? John, Greg and Erin talk about why praying together leads to deeper intimacy with your spouse. Featuring Pastor Craig Groeschel.

Combating the Lies That Can Destroy Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Combating the Lies That Can Destroy Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

In a discussion based on their book 9 Lies That Will Destroy Your Marriage, Drs. Greg Smalley and Bob Paul describe how cultural myths and fairy-tale expectations about marriage have a detrimental effect on couples, and how knowing and applying biblical truth can help those couples develop a thriving marriage. (Part 1 of 2)

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The Antidote to Bickering and Whining

Sibling conflict happens in every family. The question is, how should you respond? John and Danny consider how to deal with sibling rivalry. Featuring Courtney DeFeo.

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Making Time for a Date Night

Marriage is a lot of work, but it doesn’t always have to be serious. Having fun together is one of the best ways to liven up your relationship. John, Greg and Erin discuss why dating your spouse can benefit your marriage.

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The Goal for Every Married Couple

Learning how to bless your spouse is a wonderful thing. But what if you served him or her without expecting anything in return? John and the Smalleys discuss how to maintain a servant’s heart through the changing seasons of marriage.

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The Tremendous Value of a Husband and Father

Many people in our culture believe that fatherhood isn’t important or is obsolete. But a husband and a father can make a great difference in their family by using the strengths and skills God has given them.

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What Will Marriage Be Like in the Future?

What will marriage be like in the future after the coronavirus? The impact of the pandemic stress on couples will either strengthen or weaken their marriage.

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Un-Quarantining: 8 Important Questions to Ask Your Spouse

It’s time to start gradually getting back to normal. What are your and your spouse’s expectations for this next stage? And how do you readjust — yet again?

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Recognize the Value of Your Wife This Mother’s Day

God desires for you to deeply grasp your wife’s value. Here are some ways to cherish your wife and to recognize her value.

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How the Coronavirus Can Change Your Marriage … for the Better

Many couples are dealing with difficult issues caused by the coronavirus. But it’s possible to build a stronger marriage by adopting new habits.

Reconnecting as a Couple During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Reconnecting as a Couple During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley describe how you can see the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen your marriage. The Smalleys share stories of their own confinement experience and insights they’ve gained that can help you reconnect with your spouse and develop a thriving relationship.

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Facing the Giants in Your Marriage

Some marriage challenges seem too big to handle. If you’re facing giants in your marriage, here’s a battle plan to help you defeat them.

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Quick Pecks and Flirty Texts

Build strength in your marriage through loving routines

Marital Unity does not mean 1+1=1

A Marital Unity Myth: 1+1=1

Uncover the lie that distorts true marital unity

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How to Manage Conflict During the Coronavirus

It’s never easy to manage conflict in a marriage. The coronavirus has added even more challenges. Learn how to work through the conflict.

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Don’t Divorce Because of the Coronavirus Quarantine

Being quarantined together doesn’t help some couples grow closer. The added strain makes existing problems worse.

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Love Is a Sacrifice: An Easter Reminder

Love is a sacrifice. We should treat our spouse as someone of great value and care for their needs. But sacrifice should be motivated by love, not fear.

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Coronavirus: Helping Your Spouse Grieve Loss

Whenever we experience loss, we become vulnerable to getting stuck in the grief process. We need to grieve to restore balance. A husband or wife can provide healing for a grieving spouse.

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10 Ways Your Marriage Can Survive the Coronavirus Quarantine

The next several weeks won’t be easy. But there are things you can do to lower the stress level and find peace during the coronavirus quarantine.

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Cherishing the Differences in Your Spouse

Authors Greg and Erin Smalley encourage spouses to embrace each other’s differences, focusing on their good qualities instead of their faults.

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Generosity in Marriage: Small Acts That Make a Big Difference

When you show your generosity, you’re expressing an important underlying message that your spouse needs to hear: ‘You matter. You’re valued.’

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Recovering From an Affair

Whether you or your spouse recently confessed extramarital affair, we want to help you recover from the affair amid this overwhelming pain.

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Harnessing the Power of Word Pictures

Greg Smalley and John Trent explain how spouses and parents can avoid miscommunication and conflict by using “word pictures,” which are simple metaphors to help clarify thoughts and feelings. The discussion is based on a book by John and Greg’s father, Gary Smalley, titled The Language of Love: The Secret to Being Instantly Understood.

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Asking the Right Questions of Your Child’s Future Spouse

Your daughter’s boyfriend has asked you for her hand in marriage. What questions should you ask him before giving your blessing? Dr. Greg Smalley offers practical guidance covering a variety of topics including communication styles, handling conflict, finances, and more.

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‘Just Relax’ and Other Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Wife

When you say, “Just relax,” the person you’re talking to hears something quite different: “I’m not taking you seriously.” So they raise the intensity level a notch or two to make sure you do.

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A Marriage Health Checkup Plan

To determine marriage health, couples need to monitor their relational fitness to catch problems they might miss. Here are some questions to help you.

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To Keep Your Marriage Strong, Learn How To Listen Well

Active listening is important when you’re talking to your spouse. Here’s how to focus on your spouse’s feelings and deepen your relationship.

12 Questions Every Father Should Ask His Future Son-In-Law

What questions should you ask a young man who wants to marry your daughter? Answers to these 12 big, important, overarching questions might hold the key to your daughter’s future happiness.

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Practical Advice for Those Getting Ready to Wed (Part 2 of 2)

Authors Greg and Erin Smalley offer engaged couples practical advice in a discussion based on their new book, Ready to Wed: 12 Ways to Start a Marriage You’ll Love. (Part 2 of 2)

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Practical Advice for Those Getting Ready to Wed (Part 1 of 2)

Authors Greg and Erin Smalley offer engaged couples practical advice in a discussion based on their new book, Ready to Wed: 12 Ways to Start a Marriage You’ll Love. (Part 1 of 2)

How to Help a Friend Who Has Marriage Problems

We need the encouragement of friends and family — not just when a marriage begins, but to keep it from ending. Our loved ones can make the difference between relationship life and death.

Is Your Marriage Worth Imitating?

Our kids are constantly watching us, and how we treat our spouse is probably how our children will treat their own spouse someday. Your marriage is your child’s blueprint for intimacy and relationships.

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Connecting Spiritually With Your Spouse

Authors Greg and Erin Smalley describe how couples can develop spiritual and relational intimacy.

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How To Strengthen Your Spiritual Connection In Marriage

Building a shared spiritual relationship can feel like a roller coaster ride. But Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley have discovered three key experiences to help strengthen a couple’s spiritual connection.

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Practical Advice for Expectant Parents

Our guests address the common concerns of moms- and dads-to-be, and explain how a couple can be intentional about their marriage – both during pregnancy and after the birth of their baby.

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How to Keep Business Travel From Killing Your Marriage

Kim and Randy learned to live independently while Randy was traveling for work, but they lost the sense of unity that’s critical for a marriage. Here are tips to fix the troubles caused by travels.

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Conversation Starters for Date Nights

The goal of a great marriage conversation is to affirm what your spouse is doing right, to exchange ideas and to offer suggestions for the future. Use these questions to get that process started.

How to Help Your Husband Who Was Sexually Abused as a Child

One of every six boys is sexually abused. And men carry the impact of abuse with them long afterward. Without a safe space to process his story, a man may simply shut down and lock away his memories.

Why Supporting Your Spouse’s Goals Is Good for Your Marriage

God has placed passions in your heart—and also in your spouse’s. Encourage each other in following dreams, even if you have to step out of your comfort zone to do it. You’ll enjoy a richer marriage.

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The Unhappy Marriage: Saving Your Broken Relationship

Why are we unhappy in marriage? How can we repair our broken relationship? We can find healing through commitment, communication and Christ.

The Key to a Happy Marriage: Feelings!

Being a better husband doesn’t mean that you can fix everything, it means being emotionally responsive. And there are three components to that: accessibility, responsiveness and engagement.

Discover What Rejuvenates You … and Your Marriage

Taking time to rest—physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally—is in the best interest of you and your marriage. God doesn’t want you to be an empty, exhausted person with nothing to give.

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Becoming a Wholehearted Wife (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. Greg Smalley and his wife, Erin, offer advice and encouragement to wives in a discussion based on their new book, The Wholehearted Wife: 10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship. (Part 2 of 2)

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Becoming a Wholehearted Wife (Part 1 of 2)

Dr. Greg Smalley and his wife, Erin, offer advice and encouragement to wives in a discussion based on their new book, The Wholehearted Wife: 10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship. (Part 1 of 2)

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How to Support Your Husband Through a Work Crisis

Is your husband moody, angry or fearful? He may have difficulties at work. Dr. Greg Smalley offers practical methods that his wife, Erin, has used to help him navigate these work-related challenges.

Maximizing Everyday Moments in Your Marriage

We’re too busy. Instead of waiting for long, uninterrupted blocks of time to strengthen your marriage, take advantage of key moments that happen every day.

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What Do Couples Fight About? You’ll Be Shocked by the Answer

All couples fight. And it feels as if we’re fighting about something. But when we look at our conflicts, they can sound pretty insignificant. Big things don’t ensnare us as often as the little things.

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This Two-Step Process Can Cure Your Lonely Marriage

Maybe you never learned teamwork. Maybe you came from a broken home. Or the dynamics of your marriage may make it difficult to connect. Whatever the reason, loneliness in marriage can be overcome.

How to Appreciate Your Spouse’s Unique Personality

Just as a flavors can spice up a dish, differences improve our marriage. While differences bring variety, they also create challenges. So how can a couple use their differences to strengthen their marriage?

The Lies Your Heart Believes Affect Your Marriage

Painful wounds can cause us to forget who God made us to be, and we start believing lies that affect what we think about ourselves and how we relate. That’s especially true in how we relate to our spouse.

When Your Spouse Goes Through a Faith Crisis

A serious illness or the death of a loved one can shake a Christian’s faith to the foundation. So when your spouse has a crisis of faith and stops praying, what can you do to encourage him or her?

Keep Your Marriage Strong During a Crisis of Illness

Health scares can test the strongest of marriages. So, when someone — or everyone — in the family becomes sick, what are the best ways to manage the marriage relationship and remain a strong team?

Your Marriage Needs Community

Family and friends have an active role to play in marriages. What can you do to build a community that encourages healthy relationships for husbands and wives?

Elements of a Great Love Story

Every popular romance story portrays a loving bond so special it comes just once in a lifetime. How can you ensure that your own romance has a lifetime filled with those happy-ever-after endings?

The Most Romantic Gift

True romance is more about being captivated by your spouse than buying flowers or chocolate. And captivation is all about curiosity and interest — being allured by your spouse.

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Lifetime Love: Advice from Couples Who Made Marriage Last

We’d be wise to listen to those who have been married for a long time. They have important information for us. These five lessons can help us build a strong foundation for a life-long marriage.

Unrealistic Expectations and Time With Family

When pressure to have the perfect holiday builds relationship tension, we need to change our unrealistic expectations. Then we can better appreciate the time spent connecting with family members.

How to Fight Selfishness in Marriage

Although he wasn’t willing to admit it at first, Dr. Greg Smalley felt that God was making him aware of how selfishness causes issues in his marriage. Greg shares some of the things he’s learned.

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Saying ‘I Love You’ With Random Acts of Kindness

Complacency and routine can push out the small, but important, acts of kindness in a marriage. But it’s not too late. You can start showing kindness to your husband or wife today.

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Managing Marriage Conflicts in Healthy Ways

Dr. Greg and Mrs. Erin Smalley explain how conflict, if handled well, can actually strengthen a marriage, and offer practical advice for navigating disagreements, so that they lead to relational intimacy, rather than division.

Grit: Successful Marriages Need Passion and Perseverance

So many marriages end in divorce because husbands and wives simply give up. They lack grit. Couples who wish to succeed in marriage need passion and perseverance.

Being Grateful for Your Spouse

Our expressions of sincere thankfulness can bless our wife or husband and strengthen our relationship. We are to rejoice in our spouse. But how can we bless our spouse by rejoicing in him or her? 

How to Align Your Dreams as a Couple

I wasn’t fully on board with my wife’s dreams to adopt. But we finally found ourselves on the same page. We have some suggestions for aligning your dreams so that you’re headed toward the same goal.

White Lies Are Still Lies No Matter the Intent

Lying is almost always about protecting self.  When we’re tempted to lie, we can ask ourselves, What does this fib do for me? Then we can ask, What are the personal and relational costs of this lie?

To Resolve Conflict, Open Your Heart

Once conflict begins, it’s hard to defuse. Before you can begin to talk over the conflict like reasonable, loving adults, you have to pry your closed hearts open again.

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How to Pursue Your Spouse in the Long Run

After years or even decades of marriage, how can you pursue your spouse? Three things — understanding, action and serving — can help you get on the right track.

Wooing Your Spouse Should Last a Lifetime

When we find the love of our lives, we don’t want her or him to get away. We woo. We chase. We cleave. But we often stop our pursuit when we get married.

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Four Types of Communication to Strengthen Your Marriage

The key to a great marriage is communication. What kind of communication? Dr. Greg Smalley recommends couples have four key marriage conversations.

Husbands, Want a Better Marriage? Listen to Your Wife!

When your wife says there’s something wrong with your marriage, guess what, there’s probably something wrong with your marriage. And for the sake of that marriage, a husband would do well to listen.

Anniversaries Are as Important as the Wedding

Celebrating an anniversary shows that marriage is a priority in our life. It gives us a chance to pull back from the daily grind and relive a moment that changed our life forever.

The Billy Graham Rule: Should You Be Friends With Someone of the Opposite Sex?

God wants us to have friends. And that can include having opposite-sex friendships. But those friendships should come with boundaries.

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Dealing With Common Challenges in the Bedroom

It’s time to look at some of the real-world issues that may be preventing you from reaching your full sexual potential as a couple.

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!

Marriage is designed to be a place of trust, security and commitment, and nowhere is this more critical than in the sexual relationship between husband and wife.

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God’s Amazing Design for Sex

For a husband and wife, the sexual act is the focal point, the symbol, and the physical expression of the leaving, the cleaving, and the becoming one flesh that define the very essence of marriage.

Sexual Healing

The bottom line is this: physical intimacy is an incredibly important component of any marriage.

Does ‘Yada, Yada, Yada’ in Your Marriage Mean it’s ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’?

The phrase “yada, yada, yada” is used to indicate that something was predictable, repetitive or boring. But the Bible intended to communicate something very different through the Hebrew word yada.

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Exploring the Depth of Intimacy in Marriage

Dr. Greg and Mrs. Erin Smalley examine the various types of intimacy in marriage – physical, emotional, relational and spiritual – and offer advice for how a husband and wife can cultivate closeness.

Is Your Smartphone Coming Between You and Your Spouse?

The smartphone has become a “third wheel” in many marriages, causing husbands and wives to feel they are competing with their spouse’s phone for time and attention.

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Managing Stress Together

What do you do when you’re stressed out? When you deal with stressful events in unhealthy ways, you create new problems in your relationships. But there are ways to constructively deal with stress.

Don’t Go It Alone

God created us to be in relationship — with Him and with others. This is why we need to be intentional about regularly connecting with other like-minded couples. We need a strong community surrounding us.

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Why Couples Stop Talking

Good communication is the lifeblood of a successful marriage, so when spouses stop talking at a deep level, their marriages slowly die. A marriage will only be as good as a couple’s communication.

Married couple in kitchen preparing a meal together

Chores and Your Marriage

When you share the chores with a teammate mentality and when your goal is to out-serve each other, you can bring an end to the chore wars in your home.

The Hidden Benefits of Dating Your Wife

Date night is a fantastic way to make sure you and your wife are connecting positively and enjoying each other’s company on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate.

Giving Your Spouse Grace

Grace believes the best about your spouse. It fights through the messiness of a particular moment or behavior and remembers that your spouse is a son or daughter of the Most High King.

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Are You Emotionally Connected to Your Family?

It’s true that emotional connection doesn’t come easily for many men. But God desires that we engage our families wholeheartedly — with all our heart, soul, mind and strength!

Upgrading Me

A successful marriage requires two mature individuals who are committed to personal growth and development. You won’t reach perfection in this life, but you can continue to pursue Christlikeness.

Couple going on a Christmas date, both wearing Santa hats, and the man passing the woman a red wrapped present

A Christmas Date

This date idea will give you the opportunity to invest as a couple in the well-being of someone else. You’ll likely experience a deeper marital bond and sense of intimacy through serving together.

Do Your Kids Have a Right to Privacy?

What are their rights vs. your responsibility?

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Healthy Manhood in Marriage

As they examine the subversion of authentic masculinity in today’s culture, Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly and Greg Smalley describe how men can strengthen their family by reclaiming their authentic, God-designed roles as husbands and fathers.

What Scripture Taught Me About Manhood

There are many culturally perpetuated stereotypes about men: They’re tough, highly competitive and obsessed with sex and sports. But what does Scripture teach about true masculinity?

Better Bedtime, Better Marriage

One of the most sacred times in a marriage relationship is from the time that you and your spouse get into bed until you fall asleep. You can be intentional with this time at the end of each day.

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Cultivating Commitment in Your Marriage

With personal stories and humor, Dr. Greg and Mrs. Erin Smalley reflect on the importance of marital commitment and offer insights on how you and your spouse can strengthen your relational endurance and conflict resolution skills.

Make Your Bed, Change Your Marriage

Dr. Greg Smalley hated making the bed but realized his resistance had become selfish. Read how he decided to serve and sacrifice for his wife.

Couple sitting together with their arms around each other, gazing out at beautiful sunset

Holding Tight in the Hard Times

It’s not only possible to survive a crisis, but difficult times can also be redeemed by God and transformed into experiences that will help make your marriage stronger. 

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Parenting Your Teens When Times are Tough

Dr. Greg Smalley offers encouragement to parents who are struggling with the challenges of raising teens.

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Sex — A Word to Husbands

Sex is a wonderful gift given by God to a married couple as a means of experiencing a sacred union.

Contempt in Marriage

When we express contempt, we can become truly mean and disrespectful. But the antidote for contempt is to see the positive — what is true about your spouse.

The Story of Us

The way we tell our past story reflects how we feel about our present marriage relationship.

How Pornography Impacts Marriage

Pornography — whether used infrequently or as an addiction — is a big deal. And it can have a major impact on a marriage.

Reconnect Through Meaningful Conversation

It takes intentionality to overcome the tendency for talk with your spouse to morph from meaningful to administrative. Deep, meaningful conversation is a must for couples hoping to stay connected.

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Plan Your Wedding and Your Marriage

Planning for “the day” or for a lifetime? Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley discuss the benefits of preparing for marriage and the beauty of God’s design for marriage.

Misconceptions About Family Leadership

What does spiritual leadership mean to you? When preconceived notions are inaccurate.

Honoring Marriage

In marriage, honor involves recognizing the worth of your relationship and putting that appreciation into action.

Build a Future

Commitment is a passionate decision to be with your spouse for a lifetime and to proactively build a future. A husband and wife must decide to love each other for a lifetime.

Marriage Is a Battle . . . But Not Against Each Other

Every marriage has a mortal enemy, a mighty nemesis named selfishness. Dr. Greg Smalley offers insights on how to win the battle in your marriage without fighting each other.

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Avoiding the Chore War With Your Kids

Our guests offer parents practical advice on teaching children responsibility by giving them age-appropriate chores.

New Year, New Purpose in Your Marriage

Dr. Smalley encourages couples to find a cause that they’re both passionate about, and then trust the Lord to use them and their marriage in the new year

Humility Makes a Difference in Marital Conflict

Pride leads to conflict in marriage, so what are you doing to nurture humility in your own heart?

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Family Dynamics During the Holidays

Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley answer listener questions on how to successfully navigate family relationships during the holidays, and help couples work as a team to balance chores, budgets and family demands.

The Worst Marriage Advice Ever!

Some marriage advice is helpful and given with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, other well-meaning counsel is misguided and useless. Here’s a summary of the worst marriage advice I’ve heard.

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All Things Reconciled

Of all the seasons of the year, Christmas is the best time to set our “Me-and-God” theology aside and discover afresh what it means to participate in the Global Brotherhood of the Redeemed.

All Things Reconciled – Date Guide

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Marriage Lessons From a 4-Year-Old

The word cherish implies a specific attitude and means that you recognize your mate’s incredible value. You have the opportunity every day to choose to see how incredibly valuable your spouse is.

Marriage Notes: I Feel Loved When

The best way to understand how you can nourish your marriage is to ask your spouse to finish this statement: “I feel loved when …”   The answers are a gold mine of  information.

Fight for Your Marriage When Your Spouse Is Emotionally Distant

When we feel threatened, we build emotional walls that don’t allow our spouse into the deepest parts of our hearts and minds. The emotional distance can cause marital problems.

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Marital Infidelity: Recovery for Both Wounded Spouses

Infidelity is a pain that’s far too common to far too many. If you’re dealing with a cheating spouse or admitting that you are a cheating spouse, there’s still hope for restoration in your marriage.

Restoring Your Marriage After Admitting to Infidelity

Maybe you’re thinking, How did I get here? Or maybe you deliberately sought comfort outside your marriage. Here are tips to help you pursue healing in your marriage after being unfaithful to your spouse.

Does Your Wife Feel Loved?

A husband should care for his wife with the same intensity he nourishes his own body. So husbands must spend time every day doing things that help a wife feel loved. 

Get Through This Year’s Football Season With Your Spouse

It’s that time of year again — changing leaves and cooler temperatures. Football season is here. Does your spouse feel like a football widow?

Apology is the Fifth Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

Forgiveness is vital in marriage. The key is to seek an apology after we truly understand our spouse’s heart. Here’s a four-part process to a sincere apology.

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Listening is the First Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

True listening requires you to be fully present — clearly and intentionally focused on your spouse. Intent focus shows that your whole heart, soul, mind and body are present.

Love-Speak

Focus on the Family’s marriage experts have found that genuinely thriving couples typically excel in twelve key areas of marital life.  One of those areas is mutual nourishing.

Empathy is the Fourth Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

Empathy is more than feeling sorry that your spouse is burdened or troubled. Empathy takes place as you carry your spouse’s burdens.

Understanding is the Second Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

Instead of judging or ignoring your spouse’s emotions, you have the opportunity to be curious about his or her feelings. Curiosity leads to understanding.

Validation is the Third Step to Conflict Resolution in L.U.V.E.

Validation is safely allowing your spouse to share his or her thoughts and feelings. The message is that it’s OK to think and feel the way he or she does.

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How Fighting Can Help Your Marriage

Healthy conflict can facilitate communication, understanding, trust and respect if we choose to manage our differences and disagreements in nourishing ways.

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Excellent Self-Care Requires Finding A Healthy Balance

The great commandment teaches that self-care is not selfish — it’s actually foundational to a healthy marriage.

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Learning to Effectively Communicate With Your Husband

Authors Greg and Erin Smalley offer couples practical tips on improving communication in their marriage.

God Can Use Your Past to Shape Your Future

In John 5, Jesus heals a crippled man and then tells him to pick up his mat and walk. Can our “mats” help us be grateful to and dependent on God—even in marriage?

Carpe Diem! Date Guide

Print this out and take it on your date!

It’s a Crazy Time of Year

Working together as a couple to conquer back-to-school stress.

Two in One

Have you heard about the other way of writing the word “intimacy”?—”INTO ME, SEE.” There’s a valuable piece of marital wisdom embedded in this clever play on words.

Two in One – Date Guide

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No Losers

When conflict arises in a thriving marriage, both partners win when they remember that, ultimately, they’re on the same team.

No Losers – Date Guide

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Priming The Pump

How can a couple keep the fires of sexual passion alive in the middle of the humdrum, day-to-day routine of the average marriage? Believe it or not, this is a fairly common question. If it’s come up recently between you and your spouse, take heart. You’re not alone.

Priming the Pump – Date Guide

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Creating a Safe Marriage

Your spouse’s heart will open only when it feels safe. But what does feeling safe really mean?

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Are You Ready to Wed?

How will I know that I’m ready to wed? Dr. Greg Smalley is often asked this question by engaged couples, so he offers his personal insights on how couples can better understand loving and being loved.

The Parts and the Whole – Date Guide

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The Parts and the Whole

What is a marriage? It’s a question well worth pondering.

The Center of the Circle – Date Guide

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The Center of the Circle

The parallel between romantic love and God’s relationship with His people is a theme that runs all the way through Scripture, and it has a great deal to teach us about the spiritual dimension of marriage.

Recognizing Spiritual Leadership in the Little Things

Spiritual intimacy can be a confusing issue for many couples. Dr. Greg Smalley offers personal insights on how husbands can be spiritual leaders and wives can see beyond basic spiritual disciplines for intimacy at home.

Contempative husband as frustrated wife stands in background with arms crossed

Infidelity — To Tell Or Not To Tell Your Spouse?

If you’ve been unfaithful in your marriage and you’re wondering what to do now, Dr. Greg Smalley explains 10 reasons to have a talk with your spouse.

Heart Talk – Date Guide

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Heart Talk

The best research indicates that healthy marriages are always built around a solid core of open, honest, and empathetic person-to-person conversation.

Should Christians See 50 Shades of Grey: A Husband’s Perspective

Sex should always join two people together in love — it should always strengthen a relationship and not weaken it. Sure, sex involving bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism might be legal as long as both people give their full consent — but it is anything but beneficial for a marriage.

True Romance on Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, use flowers, chocolate and cards to heighten your romance, but spend your time being curious and asking questions.

Outside the Box – Date Guide

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Outside the Box

The way to stay excited about being together is to sprinkle in a judicious pinch of spice now and then.  It’s all about “getting outside the box” every once in a while.

The Thrill of Commitment – Date Guide

Be sure to take this guide with you on your date!

The Thrill of Commitment

We live in a culture that has either forgotten or rejected the idea of marriage as a covenant.  Couples who want to go the distance in their relationship need to rediscover it.

How to Navigate the Stress of the Family Holiday Road Trip

What is the key to surviving the holiday family road trip with your spouse?

A Time for Singing

Ecclesiastes says that there is a time and a season for everything.  December is the season for singing.

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Back to the Future

If cherishing is to be pushed to an even higher level in a couple’s present experience of marriage, it will happen because they find ways not only to keep in touch with the past, but to project the past into the future.

You’re on the Same Team

In a marriage there is no such thing as a win/lose scenario when you are on the same team.

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A Deeper Level of Intimacy

Spiritual friendship is eagerly helping each other know, serve, love, and resemble God in deeper and deeper ways.

Treasure Hunt

Whether you realize it or not, you are living every day of your life in the presence of a precious hidden treasure.

Creative Problem-Solving

When was the last time you and your spouse truly viewed yourselves as a team?

The Heart and Soul of Date Night

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.‚” Mark Twain

Secrets and Mysteries

Is it possible to keep a healthy sense of mystery alive in a familiar, long-term relationship?

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Forging Your Family Identity

Counseling team Greg and Erin Smalley discuss the common traits that build strong families and encourage parents to establish and strengthen their family’s unique identity.

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10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship

10 keys to help make your relationship with your spouse more loving.

Foreplay Redefined

Every couple knows that sexual intimacy, celebrated regularly and passionately, is vital to any healthy marriage. What many don’t understand is that sex is more than just sex.

For Life

NFL coach Mike Shanahan has said, “Individual commitment to a group effort—that’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Sub-Creators and Co-Creators

God, the grand Creator par excellence, is inviting the creatures who bear His image to join Him in the ongoing work of creation.  And He’s asking them to do this together.

Unwrapping the Present

Studies show that the average couple spends only four minutes per day engaged in meaningful conversation. Four minutes! Can couples really expect to foster intimacy with so little time devoted to positive communication?

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Remembering the Past

Sometimes, the sweetest, most tender memories are those that happened during moments that were unplanned and that may seem unremarkable to the casual observer.

Vive la Difference!

“When two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary.‚”

Two couples laugh and talk together around a kitchen island.

The Nuts and Bolts of Double Dating

Looking for ideas to use when getting to know another couple? Take a look at these double date tips.

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Nurturing Your Child’s Natural Talent

Marriage and family expert Greg Smalley encourages parents to expose their children to new challenges and interests while honing in on the abilities that best suit them.

I Cherish You

Thriving couples need to be intentional about treasuring, honoring and cherishing one another. Do these things characterize your relationship with your spouse?

Date Night

Did you know that making it a priority to regularly go on dates with your spouse can lead to increased satisfaction in your marriage?

A husband hugs his wife on a cloudy day.

Blessing Your Spouse

The blessing is what we all long for – acceptance and affirmation.

Sharing the Load

Couples with thriving relationships make it their goal to function as a team, because the most important thing is how they work together, not what other people think.

The Curious Thing About Marriage

Since our mate is always growing and changing, we need to maintain the mindset of a lifetime learner.

The Power of Healthy Conflict

Healthy conflict can actually take your marriage to deeper levels of intimacy.

Nourish: Treat Your Spouse in Valuable Ways

When you treat your spouse with compassion, it creates a safe environment to share your deepest thoughts and feelings.

One in the Spirit

Cultivating romance and fostering spiritual growth with your beloved takes discipline and intentionality

We’re in it for the Long Haul!

With the mindset of marriage being an adventure in which husbands and wives stick together through thick and thin, the words “until death do us part” take on a whole new meaning.

Laugh and Play Together

A marriage that can ascend to the heights of intimacy requires careful navigation and routine maintenance.

The Hidden Value of Conflict

Rather than making it our goal to resolve arguments, we must learn how to manage our conflicts.

More than Words

Relationships change over time. In the context of marriage, this means that there will always be something new for you to learn about your spouse

Let the Good Times Roll

Thriving couples cultivate common hobbies and undertake shared adventures through regular Date Nights!

Blowing with the Winds of Change

As the weather cools and the seasons change, we couldn’t pass up talking about a critical component of your thriving marriage — mutually satisfying physical intimacy.

Healthy Individuals

Marriage encompasses the spiritual and physical act of two lives becoming one. But can that union truly thrive if one or both of the individuals involved is feeling unfulfilled?

The Doorway to Intimacy

Conflict doesn’t guarantee intimacy, but it is an open door to discover our spouse’s most important feelings and needs.

To-ma-to, To-mah-to

Healthy conflict can actually be a pathway to deeper intimacy in your marriage.

Finding Common Interests and Hobbies

Developing common interests and hobbies can decrease conflict in marriage and strengthen the idea that you and your spouse are a team.

Giving Together

This month’s Date Night will give you the opportunity to take a break from the holiday grind—the stress, the worries, the overcrowded schedules, the race to find the perfect gift, and other stressors—and invest as a couple in the well-being of someone else.

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How to Show Thankfulness to Your Spouse

It’s important that you take time alone with your spouse to tell him or her directly why you’re thankful. This should involve not only thanking God, but also thanking your partner—directly and specifically—for the things he or she does that bless and enrich your life. Not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the year, we should make a concerted effort to express gratitude for our spouse and to our spouse!

Cherish: Recognize Your Spouse’s Value

Honor isn’t based on behavior or subject to emotion. You grant your spouse value whether they want it or deserve it. Honor is a decision you make and a gift you give. This is exactly what the apostle Paul encouraged the early Christians to do when he wrote, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10).

Keeping the Peace at Any Price?

If we avoid conflict or pretend it doesn’t exist, the greater the problem will become.

Remembering the Good Times

Deliberately call to mind the highlights of your life together.

Road Trip

Whether we’re talking about Date Night, or any other time that you and your spouse have time together in the car . . . it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey!

Community-Minded

This date’s focus on community affords you the perfect opportunity to phone up another couple — or couples — and enjoy a group date.

Love in Action

A working definition of nourishing is demonstrating your love. It involves a conscious resolution to identify your spouse’s strengths and find creative ways to stimulate them.

Mother have a happy engagement on sofa

Finding the Best Solution to Any Conflict

Avoid power struggles by getting on the same team as your teen.

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