Tackling Midlife Transitions in Marriage

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Middle-aged couple

When you first got married, did you assume your relationship with your spouse would remain pretty much the same from year to year?

Many couples do.

That’s probably why so many wind up shocked and utterly confused when life around them changes … and their marriage along with it.

According to our guests on today’s program, relationship experts Bill and Pam Farrel, the key is to recognize that changes are coming – probably sooner than we think – and to prepare for them.

God in the Middle of Pain and Suffering

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American flag

Few events in modern America’s collective consciousness embody pain and suffering like the terror attacks we experienced on Sept. 11, 2001. It was this generation’s Pearl Harbor, a day so unthinkable and awful that we spent months reeling from the shock of it. We ached as a nation. We grieved with moms and dads, husbands and wives, children and friends who had lost loved ones.

Where was God in the middle of all that heartache?

It’s a question many people asked themselves in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and understandably so.

Doing This Will Help Your Marriage

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Happy couple with floor plan

My wife Jean always knows when I’ve taped a broadcast with author and speaker Dr. Gary Chapman.

It’s uncanny. I’ll walk through the door and, inspired by my time with Dr. Chapman, I’ll ask her something like, “What’s one thing I could do to help you today?” And she immediately knows who I’ve spent time with.

And that’s how God uses Dr. Chapman. He’s a relationship expert, and he helps couples create and maintain an emotionally safe environment in their marriages that is conducive to positive growth.

How to Heal Old Wounds

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Burdened woman

Do certain memories from your past still haunt you after all these years?

Every day Focus hears from good people who have faced difficult, even tragic, circumstances. Many endure life with a sense of agony few of their family and friends are even aware of.

In some cases, these folks refuse to seek help because they don’t believe it’s possible to overcome problems from so long ago. “Why bother?” they think. “What’s done is done. We can’t change the past.”

Strictly speaking, that’s true, of course.

Helping Your Kids Get Ready for Marriage

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Happy engaged couple relaxing by a river bed

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned roller coaster? Yet, as exciting as they are, even the most ardent thrill seekers wouldn’t choose to ride one every day for the rest of their lives.

Sadly, we hear from many husbands and wives who feel as if their marriage has become one long, scary, roller coaster ride. Things are up and down, unpredictable, unstable, and just not fun anymore. And many of these couples are looking for a way out.

Too Busy to Rest?

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Exhausted woman pausing to rest while doing the laundry

I often feel like I’m burning the candle at both ends. I imagine the same may be true for you.

No matter how much we get done, there’s always one more thing to do.

And rest? There’s hardly time for that, is there?

I confess I’ve had moments where relaxing seemed like a waste of time. It felt like the absence of something – like an empty space where productivity ought to be – rather than an active and beneficial component to my life.

Christian Women and Porn

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Black & white photo of a woman reading a book

Does it surprise you that, in a recent poll, Christian women voted Fifty Shades of Grey to be their favorite book of the year?

In some ways, we shouldn’t be shocked, after all, we have an Enemy who is determined to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). Because his desires are rooted in his hatred for the image of God, he attacks our most intimate and meaningful relationships with fierce intensity. After all, the union of husband and wife potentially produces more human life created in God’s image.

Praying for Our Christian Family in Iraq

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Man upset, praying

If you’ve had an eye on the news lately, you’ve no doubt heard reports about the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), more recently known as “The Islamic State.”

They’re a well-armed Muslim extremist group sweeping throughout Iraq, exercising both military and political control over the regions they conquer.

Just the other day we saw grisly images of the beheading of the American journalist, James Foley. ISIS claimed responsibility for his murder.

Beyond the political complications usually addressed on the nightly news are disturbing accounts that hit much closer to home for all of us who profess the name of Christ.

Why I Don’t Want Perfect Children

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Two male toddlers sticking out their tongues

These first few days of school remind us that our children grow up quickly. In the midst of those early years, the long nights, the crying and the diapers, to name just a few passages of early life with kids, it seemed like it would go on forever.

But then you’re walking your son or daughter by the hand into school, or dropping them at the bus stop, and suddenly you realize just how fast the seasons come and go.

Pursuing Passion in Your Marriage

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Married couple standing forehead to forehead and smiling

I tried this little exercise once and found it revealing. Maybe you’d find it helpful as well.

It works like this:

Write down everything you do in a typical week. Among other things, your list might include working at your job, enjoying a hobby, or tinkering with projects around the house.
Next, place a check mark by the items you do out of obligation, and a heart by the activities you do from a sense of passion.