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Don’t Go It Alone

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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.

I love the moment during some wedding ceremonies when the pastor invites family members and close friends to make a vow: “As a part of the community that surrounds this couple, do you pledge your support in keeping this marriage forever strong?” This call to commitment is a way of telling loved ones that they really do have an active role to play in the life of this young couple, and their involvement doesn’t end when the last piece of wedding cake has been eaten.

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. The best way to build and maintain a strong support system is to look for three different types of relationships. Every couple needs a “Paul” (1 Corinthians 4:15) couple in their life. This would be an older, more experienced couple who can offer wisdom. This couple acts as mentors, investing in the relationship of the younger couple through prayer and godly advice.

We also need several “Barnabas” (Acts 4:36) couples along our marriage journey. “Barnabas” means “son of encouragement,” so this would be our peer group — couples in the same season of life. We might have been married close to the same number of years, or our children might be roughly the same ages. These couples offer encouragement and friendship.

Finally, we need a “Timothy” (1 Timothy 1:1-2) couple in our life. This would be a younger couple that we invest in. When we work alongside our spouse to help another couple, we often become more relationally aware and better communicators, and our marriage becomes stronger. It’s amazing how much we receive when we mentor a younger couple.

We all have a responsibility to help build a community of support and encouragement for our own marriage and for the marriages of other couples.

Dr. Greg Smalley is vice president of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family and the author or co-author of several books, including Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage.

Did you know couples are 30 percent less likely to get a divorce if they get some sort of premarital training? If you or someone you know is planning to marry, check out Focus on the Family’s Ready to Wed curriculum, and then prepare for a marriage you’ll love!

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.
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