What does it mean to have a christ centered home

What does it mean to have a Christ-Centered Home? In a world filled with distractions and ever-changing values, it is essential to anchor our homes in Christ. In this episode, you will learn exactly what it means to have a Christ-centred home, why this is important and some tips to help you get started.

Listen to the episode

Timestamps:

[00:03:26] “Personal relationship with Christ affects daily life.”

[00:09:36] Follow Bible, grow spiritually, and prioritize routine.

[00:11:16] Early stress in a relationship revealed true character.

[00:15:02] Eternal peace and hope with Christ.

[00:19:43] Deciding to share life, Bible impacts relationships, ethics, money, and decision-making.

[00:23:19] Reading the Bible impacts all areas of life.

[00:27:55] Value of Christian community in deepening faith.

[00:31:32] Free Christian women’s home bundle with 29 resources.

Resources Mentioned: 

What does it mean to have a christ centered Home?

Having a Christ-centered home means intentionally making Jesus the center of our family life, decisions, and relationships. 

It means building our foundation on the principles found in God’s Word and allowing His love and teachings to permeate every aspect of our household.

6 reasons why this is important

1. It takes us beyond Christian culture

I’m Canadian and I live in Canada, and I think most of you live in North America, and the United States and Canada are actually known as Christian countries, but if you live in them, you know that that’s not true in practice.

So there’s this great culture of Christianity where people go to church and they call themselves Christians and they just go about their daily lives.

But that’s where it stops. It doesn’t go deeper than that.

Now, I’m not saying that those people aren’t Christians, because that decision isn’t up to me. That’s up to God himself because he’s the judge.

But what I’m saying is that there’s a big difference between just being a cultural Christian, and being in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and having that relationship.

It means that it affects different areas of your life. The perfect example of this is marriage, and God actually compares himself to a groom and Christians as his bride.

So we know that Christ wants a personal relationship with us. And it’s not that friend that you see every six years or every, you know, three times a year and just catch up.

He wants the everyday, day in, day out relationship that you would have as you do with your spouse. So that means that in a good marriage, you’re not leaving things off the table.

There are always things that you talk about. And in a good marriage, I know for ourselves we talk about everything, even the boring stuff.

When I was young, I would listen to my parents talk and they would talk about work because that’s what they did during the day. And they would share, you know, the ins and out of the office and the projects that they were working on. And I remember sitting there and just being so bored and thinking like, Oh my gosh, these people have nothing else to talk about.

But the older I get, and now I’ve been married for 16 years, I see that that’s just sharing each other’s lives. You’re saying, hey, this is what’s important. That happened my day, I want to tell you this. And then you’re sharing those things with you, each other.

You’re building that relationship. You’re growing together, You’re having that connection time and you’re becoming stronger.

And that’s the exact same thing with the Lord, that He wants us to have those everyday moments with him. He wants us to bring him in the things that we’re doing, and not just bring him in, but actually go and ask, hey, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to go here? Do you want me to go there? Do you want me to make this decision? And so we are decision making

Is not just centered about what we want and what we think, but about what the Lord wants and what he thinks. And when we start doing that, it actually touches a lot of different parts of our lives.

2. It’s the difference between life and death

I don’t like being crazy dramatic, and I’m not trying to over-exaggerate anything and I don’t believe in scaring people into heaven.

But the reality is that your decision, whether or not you’re going to follow God or whether or not you’re not is the difference between eternal life and eternal death.

But not just that, it also can impact your physical life.

When we look at the Old Testament, the example that I give a lot is that you can go through all the cleansing laws and feel that it’s really restrictive and say, Oh my goodness, God has so many rules and it must be so hard to follow the rules.

God doesn’t want me to have any fun whatsoever, and these are all the things that I have to follow. But The thing is, now that we look back. And if you look at those cleansing rules, those rules were like, hey, after you touch something dead, wash your hands.

You can’t mix this thing with that thing. They didn’t have advanced science. So some of the things that we take for granted now, like washing our hands before we go to the bathroom, washing our hands before we eat, washing our hands before we touch anything dirty, that wasn’t a normal thing.

God isn’t trying to restrict his people. It’s literally saying to them if you do these things, you will live longer.

The nations around them would spread sickness and have all these deaths and the nation because they followed the word of God and they did these cleansing rituals, they were healthier and they lived longer lives. And so the things that sometimes we think could be restrictive could be because he knows that if we don’t do those things, we may have a harder life.

Things might not go as well. Now that doesn’t mean that Christians don’t face hard things. I can share my testimony and say that I’ve been through many hard things. And so, you know, choosing to follow the Lord isn’t, you know, like a gold ticket saying, hey, you can have no more troubles.

I will never say that to you because that is an absolute lie. The scripture tells us that we will face trouble. The difference is that when we follow the Lord, things may be a little bit easier, right?

If you wash your hands, you might not get sick as often. And we know this because we have just gone through, you know, two years of COVID where we were cleansing our hands and using. You know, sanitary things. And then lo and behold, I don’t know if this happened in your household, but it did happen in ours. As soon as those restrictions went down, we all got sick because we weren’t taking as many precautions as we were before when it came to sharing germs

So that’s one example that I use for people to say that it’s not just necessarily about, you know, your eternity and where you’re going to spend eternity, but also how you’re going to live your life. And that when you do follow the things that the Bible says, there are some things that are going to be easier for you

A dark blue background with text and image. The image is of Anne Markey, the host of The Christian minute podcast. The text says, The Christian minute podcast, What does it mean to have a Christ Centered Home. www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. It helps us grow spiritually

A Christ-centered home provides an environment conducive to spiritual growth and maturity. By prioritizing prayer, Bible study, and worship together, we invite God’s presence into our everyday lives and create opportunities for our family to grow closer to Him.

if you’re just a cultural Christian and you’re only going to church maybe a couple times a year or you’re not necessarily spending time in God’s word.

I’m not saying you’re never going to grow spiritually or you’re not going to learn more about God. Chances are you probably will, but just not as in-depth or as quickly as you would if those things became a regular part of your routine.

I’ll go back to a relationship example. When I met my husband, we were working in a call center. And when we started to get to know each other, you know, it started with us talking at the bus stop and then we sat together on the bus. And then we started taking our breaks together. And then we started sitting next to each other. And then we start spending all our time together as we could outside of work.

But in that time I saw all his ups and downs, the good, the bad, the ugly, because it was literally every day, you know, 8 to 10 hours a day.

And so when we started dating, even though we had only known each other for a couple of months, I felt that timeline was accelerated because I saw him so often and so I didn’t have to wait a year to see how he would react in a stressful environment. We worked in a call center selling things, which at the time was not his Forte, and he was stressed out all the time

And so I got to see the real him really early on in our relationship. And so I could make decisions as to okay. This is the type of guy he is. Do I like that or not versus when my parents were courting my dad was in France, my mom was in Chicago and they sent each other letters.

And so I’m not sure how long it took to get one letter, you know, across an ocean, but it took a long time. And in that process, you don’t get to know each other as well or as quickly because the communication is a little bit, you know, there’s a barrier between that because it’s letters, right? You can read something and you don’t necessarily know their intention or their tone of voice.

So you can have some inferences that maybe may not be correct. And you don’t necessarily get to know them as quickly because you maybe you’re not going to be able to write, oh, this is how I reacted in this particular situation. So it takes a lot longer.

And it’s the same with the Lord that when you’re having that daily in-and-out relationship with him, you’re going to grow so much faster, you’re going to get to know him so much better because it’s in your everyday moments, it’s not just once in a while

And so it really. Does help that connection to get deeper with the Lord, and to do that quickly, like more quickly than you would if you were only doing something you know once in a while.

4. Creates Stronger Relationships

Placing Christ at the center fosters love, forgiveness, and unity within our homes. It encourages us to treat one another with grace, compassion, and respect, strengthening our relationships with our spouses, children, and other family members.

scripture tells you how to act with other people, how to treat your spouse, and how to treat others.

Just today in our family devotions, we read the verse that you know, like treating others the way you would want to be treated.

There are many scriptures in the Bible that tells us how we should be treating others. Caring for them and loving them and all these sorts of things.

So if we’re getting to know the Lord and we’re slowly becoming more and more like him, it’s going to impact different areas of our life and it’s going to do it naturally.

It’s not necessarily going to be super hard or even extremely intentional because sometimes it just spills over and it goes into these other areas, including our relationships with others now.

5. Give us Guiding Values

When Christ is the center of our home, His teachings become the guiding principles for our decisions and actions. Our choices are rooted in love, integrity, humility, and service to others, reflecting the character of Christ and instilling godly values in our children.

So a really easy example of this is that you know, scripture tells us to take care of the poor. So that then the value can be ingrained in me.

And so then it means I’m I want to try and find some ways to donate to people who have less than I do because I know that the Lord values that.

Since the Lord values it, I can also value it and it can then influence some of the decisions that I make in my life

6. It gives us a Source of Hope

Life can be challenging, and our homes can provide a refuge in times of uncertainty. By keeping Christ at the center, we find hope and encouragement, knowing that He is with us, guiding us, and providing the strength we need to navigate life’s ups and downs.

There are a lot of things happening that I specifically do not think about because I refuse to live in fear, but when I do start getting fearful.

The Lord reminds me of the hope that I have in him, because ultimately, regardless of what happens on earth, he is the God and King of the universe. He controls all things, and when I’m saved, if the word should happen and I die, I go to heaven with him.

And that is a great comfort because it doesn’t matter what’s going on around me. He stays the same. His promises are true, and my eternal status is locked in. And so then I don’t need to be consumed with the things of this world

I don’t need to be worried about all the different things, because ultimately, at the end of the day, those aren’t going to matter. They’ll affect maybe the day today, but it’s not going to change my future. It’s not going to change my eternity.

And so I can let those go and I can have this lasting peace because I have this hope in Christ. So not only does it help in the day today, but also in calming my fears, giving me hope and also a purpose ’cause sometimes, certainly as a mom, I felt like my purpose was just to keep humans alive

And for a long time, it didn’t really seem quite worth it. I didn’t have the best early mom years experiences and so I needed to have a hope that was outside of those things.

I needed to have a purpose that was outside of those things. And for both of those that was Christ and the purpose that he had for me and the hope that then I have in him and how those things aren’t related to.

Anything that I do, anything that I am, but ultimately it comes back to Christ and who he is and the way he wants that relationship with me in his view of me, which is incredible.

Choosing who I want to be

When I was a young teenager, I had different personas. There was Anne at home, Anne at church, and Anne at school. 

It was easy to be different in all 3 areas because the only overlap would be my siblings, but we were never in the same grade, or had the same friends at church- so they didn’t really keep tabs on me. 

But, as I was getting ready to be baptized, I realized that I was about to declare to people that I was a follower of God- but I wasn’t acting like it in every area of my life. 

So, from that day- I strived to be the same person in all areas of my life and I wanted those areas to be guided and influenced by The Lord. 

Areas of our lives that can be affected by our faith

If you are new to all this, you might be wondering what areas of your life can be guided by The Lord. 

Some of these areas include Personal Relationships, Marriage and Family, Ethics and Morality, Work and Finances, Social Justice, Decision-Making, and any other area you can think of.

Remember that applying a Biblical view to these areas requires ongoing study of the Scriptures, prayer, and reliance on the Holy Spirit’s guidance. It is a lifelong process of seeking to align our thoughts, attitudes, and actions with God’s Word.

2 Tips to Help You Get Started:

1. Spend time reading The Bible and praying

Begin by nurturing your own relationship with Christ through daily prayer, Bible reading, and reflection. Seek to grow in your faith and allow Christ to transform your heart and mind.

I’ve had this conversation a lot with my husband. And when he hears this, he says it can’t be that simple.

Why do they always say this?

And my response is like, because it’s true.

When you start reading the word of God, you get to know God, you get to know who he is. It’s dark. Impacting the way you think, the way you behave, the things you want to do.

If you’re spending time in the word of God, and if you’re doing it in a way that you want to learn more, that you want to grow and that you want to obey, then just spending that time with the Lord will have a huge impact on every single area of your life.

The Bible talks about finance, it talks about relationships, it talks about all the different hard things, you know, even loss even.

You look at David in the songs and you know he struggled with very deep depression and being persecuted by his friends being stabbed in the back.

There are some very relatable stories in every single piece of the Bible that we can see ourselves in, because it’s real life. And every single one of those weaves in God and who he is and how those things are impacted.

And so just by reading Scripture, it will change the way we think.

It will change the way we want to do things. And it will make us holier just by being in the Lord’s presence. And so when we do that, it will naturally just flow out of us.

I like just having a few simple things I can do that then just naturally spills out, right?

But if I’m reading scripture that says, hey, you need to be treating your coworkers the way you want to be treated, and I haven’t been treating my coworkers nicely, I might have a double thing like, ooh, OK, I’m going to have that conviction.

The Lord’s going to speak to me and say, hey Anne, I need you to be nicer to your coworker. And then it just naturally changes the way things happen at work.

Because not because I’ve added it to my To Do List, but just because I’ve been spending time in his word and letting him speak to me and then letting it then be the motor that changes my behaviour, that changes me, my mindset, that changes my all the different things just by doing the one thing.

2. Seek Christian Community:

Connect with a local church or Christian community where you and your family can grow spiritually, find support, and develop relationships with like-minded believers.

So this means spending time regularly with other Christians so that you can encourage each other, pray for each other, and support one another.

And I’m not just saying go to church once a week because that is a way that you’re going to be with other Christians. It means real friends that you share struggles with them, You tell them what’s going on in your life, you ask them for prayer, and they pray over you.

When you’re going through something hard and you need some biblical wisdom, you have somebody you know you can go to for advice, that can pray with you and give you wisdom

So this isn’t just the casual relationships, this is lasting, deep relationships to have with other Christians. And so that might mean you need to be more engaged.

But I promise you that when you start having other Christians in your life on a regular basis, it will make you a better Christian because you’ll be encouraging one another in your walk with the Lord.

You’ll be leaning on each other when things are hard. You’ll be supporting each other, loving each other, and praying for one another. And all those things help you become closer to the Lord and just help you become a better person, honestly, because.

You get to see somebody else’s relationship with the Lord, and it sometimes could be a mirror. And you look at yourself and like, oh, I’m not doing that well, I can really learn from this person. And then you want to, you know, start emulating some of those things.

Christian community is one of the best things that you can do because. It kind of takes the pressure off because then it’s not just up to you to do all these things because now you’re doing it together, not just with the Lord, but kind of like a team.

FREE resources to help you

Building a Christ-centered home is a journey that requires commitment, consistency, and reliance on the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Stay open to God’s leading and trust Him to work in your family’s lives as you seek to honour Him.

Starting July 10th, I’ll be sharing a FREE Bundle with you. A collection of 29 FREE products to help Christian women establish a strong foundation in every aspect of their life and cultivate a home environment that honours God. 

Even though this bundle is FREE, you will have the option to purchase a premium bundle that includes even more resources to help you centre your life around Christ.

To be the first to learn about this bundle going live and getting a coupon for the upgrade, make sure to sign up for the bundle waiting list. You can do that at www.onedeterminedlife.com/bundle 

I can’t wait for the next couple of weeks, we will be covering so many amazing things and I’m so happy you are here with me. 

Tune in next week when I will talk about The power of praying as a family.

Growing Closer to God: The Power of Praying Together as a Family

As parents, we want to raise our children in a way that nurtures their spiritual growth and deepens their relationship with God. One powerful tool we have at our disposal is the act of coming together as a family to pray. In this blog post, I’ll explore the significance of family prayer. Continue to read as I share with you the power of praying together as a family.

Watch the Episode

The Power of Praying Together as a Family

Creating a Habit of Family Prayer

The first step in embracing family prayer is to make it a regular part of our daily lives.

In our daily lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness and overlook the importance of prayer. However, setting aside dedicated time for prayer is important for deepening our relationship with God and nurturing our family’s faith.

Establishing a prayer routine that works for your family’s schedule may seem challenging at first, but with a little intentionality and creativity, it can become a meaningful and cherished practice.

A picture of The Family Devotions starter kit. A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

Teaching the Purpose of Prayer

Understanding the purpose of prayer is essential for children to engage with it wholeheartedly.

Prayer is a special way for us to connect with God and share our hearts with Him. It’s like having a conversation with our Heavenly Father, who loves and cares for us deeply. The purpose of prayer is to build a relationship with God, seek His guidance, express our gratitude, share our worries and joys, and find comfort in His presence.

When we pray, we open our hearts and minds to God. We talk to Him, just like we talk to a close friend or a loving parent. We can tell Him about our dreams, hopes, and fears.

We can ask Him for help when we feel confused or need strength. We can thank Him for all the good things in our lives, like family, friends, and the beautiful world around us.

Prayer also helps us grow closer to God. It’s a way to show Him that we trust Him and rely on Him. It’s a way to invite His wisdom and guidance into our lives.

When we pray, we listen to God too. Sometimes, He may speak to our hearts and give us comfort or direction. He loves us so much and wants us to know Him better through prayer.

Prayer is not about saying fancy words or having all the answers. It’s about being honest and sincere with God.

We can pray anytime and anywhere, whether it’s in the morning, before bed, or even during the day when we need His help or want to share something special with Him.

So, remember, the purpose of prayer is to connect with God, share our hearts, seek His guidance, express gratitude, and find comfort in His loving presence. It’s a beautiful way to grow closer to Him and experience His love and care in our lives.

A picture of folded hands above a Bible. Above the picture are the words, the power of praying as a family. www.onedeterminedlife.com

Encourage family Participation

Prayer should be inclusive and allow each family member to have a voice.

Including your children in prayer is a wonderful way to help them grow in their faith and develop a personal relationship with God.

By involving them in prayer, you teach them that their voices and thoughts matter to God.

Encourage your children to join in family prayers and express their own prayers.

Let them know that they can talk to God about anything on their hearts, whether it’s thanking Him for blessings, asking for guidance, or sharing their worries and joys.

By including your children in prayer, you create a loving and safe space where they feel valued and connected to God. It’s a beautiful opportunity for them to learn and grow in their spiritual journey while strengthening the bond within your family.

Praying for Others

Praying for others as a family is a powerful and meaningful way to show love and support to those around us. It teaches our children the importance of caring for others and demonstrates the power of prayer in making a positive impact.

When we pray for others, we lift them up to God, asking Him to provide comfort, healing, guidance, and blessings in their lives. It helps us develop empathy and compassion as we become more aware of the needs and struggles of others.

Praying for others as a family also strengthens the bond within our own family, as we come together in unity, seeking God’s intervention and expressing our love for those in need. I

It’s a beautiful way to teach our children the value of selflessness and cultivate a heart of service.

Why is praying together as a family so important? 

  • Teaching and Role Modeling: Praying together allows parents to teach and model important values and principles to their children. It helps instill a sense of reverence, gratitude, and humility. Children learn from their parent’s example and guidance, and family prayer provides a platform to demonstrate the importance of prayer, faith, and reliance on a higher power.
  • Unity and Bonding: Praying together creates a sense of unity and bonding within the family. It provides an opportunity for family members to connect on a deeper level, share their joys and struggles, and seek solace and guidance together. Praying as a family helps build trust, compassion, and empathy among family members, strengthening the overall family dynamic.
  • Building a Foundation for Life: Praying together as a family establishes a strong foundation for life. Regular family prayer fosters a lifelong habit of turning to prayer in times.

A picture of The Family Devotions starter kit. A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

Praying together as a family Teaches our children about God:

When prayers are answered, it becomes a powerful teaching moment for children to learn about God and His presence in their lives.

Here are some ways in which answered prayers can teach children about God.

A: Faith and Trust:

Answered prayers teach children the importance of faith and trust in God. When they see that their prayers are being heard and answered, it strengthens their belief that God is faithful and reliable.

It encourages them to continue seeking God’s guidance and relying on Him in all aspects of their lives.

B: God’s Timing and Wisdom:

Sometimes prayers are answered in unexpected ways or at a different time than expected. This teaches children that God’s wisdom surpasses their own understanding.

They learn that God knows what is best for them and that His timing is perfect. It helps them develop patience, resilience, and a willingness to surrender their desires to God’s greater plan.

C: Gratitude and Thankfulness:

When a prayer is answered, it instills a sense of gratitude and thankfulness in children. They learn to recognize and appreciate God’s blessings in their lives.

Expressing gratitude for answered prayers cultivates a humble and appreciative heart, teaching children to acknowledge God’s goodness and faithfulness.

D: Helps deepen their Relationship with God:

Answered prayers deepen a child’s relationship with God. They learn that prayer is not just a one-sided conversation but a genuine dialogue with their Heavenly Father.

It encourages children to continue seeking God’s guidance, sharing their joys, concerns and desires with Him. This personal connection with God forms the foundation for a lifelong relationship built on trust, love, and open communication.

Conclusion:

Praying together as a family is an important part of raising godly children. By cultivating a habit of family prayer, we create a spiritual bond that strengthens our family and nurtures our children’s faith.

In the comments below, share a story about a time you saw the power of praying together as a family.

A picture of The Family Devotions starter kit. A downloadable bundle containing tips, and resources for starting and maintaining family devotional practice.

7 mistakes Christians make when trying to discover God’s plan

If you have been trying to figure out what your life’s purpose is, God has given you His Word through the Bible, to help you do so. In order to find God’s will for your life, you have to get rid of the things that are keeping you from realizing it. Here are 7 mistakes Christians make when trying to discover God’s plan for their lives.

7 mistakes Christians make when trying to discover God’s plan for their lives

1. Not asking God to reveal His will

Have you ever thought about a situation where you wondered if God was trying to tell you something, but you were too afraid to ask Him?

Have you ever had one of those thoughts that you pushed down deep into your head and hoped it would go away? Please, don’t make that mistake.

God is always willing to help you and you need to ask for His guidance. Here’s the kicker though: you have to ask for it and then trust it.

Most people who are in the process of making big life moves will look to friends or other sources and not take the time to ask God to reveal His will.

2. Not giving God time to answer

When you ask God to reveal His will, it may not happen right away. It could take years or even decades before His promises are fulfilled.

In Genesis, God promised Abraham a son.

Abraham was 99 years old and his wife, who was barren, got pregnant right away. That promise wasn’t fulfilled until another ten years!

3. They listen to other voices instead of God’s

You know that phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?” It’s not true. Words do hurt and if you’re paying attention to what you’re saying, you’ll notice that you’re actually hurting yourself.

In today’s world, people are surrounded by so many voices. We have thousands of voices that are shouting at us to listen to them. Unfortunately, many of the voices distract us from hearing God’s voice.

4. Lack the faith to take a step of faith 

It’s hard to take a step of faith. You may not see the outcome, but you know that you need to take that step. However, you are afraid of the unknown, and you are afraid of going forward not knowing what you are getting into.

The rich young ruler is a great example.

He had the faith to go to Jesus and asked Him what He needed to do to be saved. Jesus replied: give what you have. The young ruler walked away sad because he didn’t have the faith to give up what he loved the most for Jesus.

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5. They don’t trust God in every part of their life

Many people don’t trust God in every part of their life. Instead, they trust God in certain areas of their life. But if we are to follow God, then we need to trust Him in every situation.

They’re afraid to believe in God during the bad times. When they don’t see their finances prospering, they think God has abandoned them.

They’re afraid to trust Him with their children’s lives during tough times in their lives. They’re afraid that He’ll abandon them when problems arise.

Love The Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.

To love God is to trust him and obey Him.

6. They refuse to follow Jesus because they don’t think it will benefit them.

There are a lot of people that are trying to find out what God is like. These people will read what Jesus says, but they don’t think they need to follow him.

They think it will only cause them trouble and they will not be able to fulfil their own plans.

There is a lot of freedom that comes with following Jesus. Jesus said, “If you believe in me, you will do what I have been doing.” John 14:12. 

7. They don’t share the struggle with others 

When we talk about knowing God’s will, we often discuss the difficulties, the challenges and the seemingly unanswered questions.

We are supposed to trust in the Lord, but sometimes it seems as if we are being pulled in two different directions.

The worst part is that we are afraid to share our struggles because we are afraid that we will be judged. It’s time to stop hiding and start talking.

We need to understand that we are not alone in our struggles. Here are the 4 biggest mistakes that most

Finding Freedom in sexuality through Faith

Let’s talk about sex. In this episode, I’ll be diving into a conversation that many find difficult, but is absolutely crucial for our spiritual journeys.  We’re talking about sex. More specifically, how to Find Freedom in sexuality through Faith.

With us today is my guest, Matt Cline

Matt is the founder and director of Restored Ministries, focused on leading men and women out of sexual brokenness and into a life of freedom and impact.

He’s here today to discuss the impact of pornography, understanding repentance and experiencing grace, navigating sexual temptation, practical steps for sexual healing, the role of the church in sexual healing, the importance of understanding the state of our hearts, the connection between trauma and sexual brokenness, and the significance of knowing God and experiencing intimacy with Him.

They also share tips for approaching conversations about sexuality and supporting each other in this area.

So whether you’re tuning in during your morning jog, on your commute to work, or simply winding down after a long day, I hope this conversation brings you some clarity, and encouragement, and perhaps, even challenges you to think differently.

Listen to the episode:

Time stamps 

  • Matt’s Background (01:39)
  • The Impact of Pornography (04:28)
  • The Importance of Accountability (07:52)
  • Understanding Repentance and Experiencing Grace (08:32)
  • Finding Freedom in Christ (11:26)
  • Navigating Sexual Temptation (15:00)
  • Practical Steps for Sexual Healing (21:20)
  • The Role of the Church in Sexual Healing (25:14)
  • Understanding the State of Your Heart (28:19)
  • Guarding Your Heart (31:06)
  • The Importance of Knowing God (35:02)
  • The Connection Between Trauma and Sexual Brokenness (36:20)
  • Understanding Significance and Intimacy with God (39:12)
  • Rooting Ourselves in Christ and Our Identity in Him (21:42)
  • Overcoming Taboos Around Sexuality (23:40)
  • Tips for Approaching Conversations About Sexuality (24:50)
  • The Power of Vulnerability in Conversations About Sexuality (24:50)
  • Helping Women in Relationships with Men Addicted to Porn (29:08)

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Finding Freedom in sexuality through Faith

Matt’s journey to sexual healing and his work with Restored Ministries is a powerful reminders that God’s grace and forgiveness are available to all who seek it.

By being intentional about pursuing holiness in our sexuality, seeking accountability, and taking practical steps toward healing, we can find freedom and live a life of impact. It’s important to remember that forgiveness is a choice and that healing is a process, not a destination.

About Restored Ministries

Restored Ministries is dedicated to helping men and women overcome sexual brokenness and lead a life of freedom and impact.

The ministry aims to support individuals grappling with pornography, sexual brokenness, and related issues such as sexual abuse and infidelity. Their flagship program, Peter Freedom Journey, guides participants through a comprehensive 52-week training course, combining video lessons, group coaching, and one-on-one counselling.

Recognizing that everyone’s journey is unique, Restored Ministries offers various avenues for support, including a free online community called Pure Freedom Community, where individuals can find daily inspiration, and tips, and connect with others in a similar battle.

My goal for you primarily is not even to get you free of porn. My goal for them is to experience the love of the Father in their darkest places and then understand their true God-given identity.

Matt Cline

2 common challenges people face in sexuality

Understanding the motives behind one’s actions is crucial when addressing struggles related to pornography and sexual sin. Multiple factors contribute to these behaviours, and it is essential to explore them thoroughly.

1. Not understanding how to guard their hearts

The most common challenge is understanding the state of their heart and how to guard it.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23

Often, our focus is solely on our actions and attempting to change them, neglecting the importance of guarding our hearts.

Teaching individuals how God can heal the wounded areas of their hearts completely transforms their perspective.

Often, the focus is on the negative aspects, leading to attempts to avoid or ignore them. Instead, we should examine what triggers tell us about the state of our hearts.

How can God address those areas?

It is vital to recognize that God is all-sufficient and can satisfy our deepest longings. For instance, individuals struggling with sexual sin may question how God can satisfy their needs since He is not physical.

However, what they truly long for is peace and intimacy.

God can provide that peace, satisfy their bodies, and guide them to honour Him in controlling their physical desires. It is essential to grasp that God’s sufficiency extends beyond our perceived limitations, even when we feel distant from Him.

Understanding the condition of one’s heart is often overlooked, primarily due to the overwhelming focus on addiction.

However, it plays a significant role in one’s struggles.

By shifting the perspective to guarding the heart, acknowledging the triggers, and allowing God to bring healing, individuals can experience true transformation.

God’s all-sufficiency, coupled with a deeper understanding of our hearts’ needs, enables us to overcome the bondage of addiction and live a life that honours God.

A picture of Anne Markey and Matt Cline. Above their images are the words, The Christian Minute Podcast,  finding freedom in sexuality through faith. www.onedeterminedlife. com

2. Rejection

Another prevalent issue that often leads to sexual sin is rejection.

People experience rejection from their spouses, potential partners, or even colleagues at work. Feeling rejected can become a trigger, prompting individuals to seek solace in sexual sin.

Recognizing that the underlying longing of their hearts is acceptance and intimacy is key. Rather than avoiding or succumbing to self-pity, understanding how to guard one’s heart is crucial.

When faced with rejection, it is essential to remember that Jesus, too, experienced rejection from mankind but remains chosen and precious to God.

Embracing this truth can shift our response, replacing self-pity with a sense of belonging and preciousness in God’s sight.

Dwelling in this relationship with Him can bring about transformation.

3 Tips on how we can guard our hearts

1. Be mindful of what we allow into our lives

One of the simplest steps towards transformation is to be mindful of what we allow into our lives.

Scripture advises us that if something causes us to stumble, we should cut it off.

This principle applies to various forms of media, such as movies, music, or songs that may lead us astray.

Personally, I used to believe that as long as I stayed away from pornography, I could handle movies with explicit content. However, I realized that even those seemingly harmless scenes affected my thoughts in ways I didn’t desire.

It dawned on me that my pride was at play when I believed I could handle it.

Guarding our hearts means recognizing triggers and understanding what they reveal about our heart’s desires.

To value myself and my journey toward freedom, I made the decision to cut out such content from my life.

The same applies to social media and the pages we choose to follow.

We must understand our worth in the eyes of God and recognize that consuming harmful or explicit content is detrimental to our well-being.

The eyes are the windows to the soul, and if we continually expose ourselves to darkness, our lives will be filled with darkness.

It may seem challenging, but making these changes is relatively simple.

By eliminating what is harmful and aligning our focus with what is pure and edifying, we can guard our hearts effectively.

2. Delight ourselves in The Lord

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

This verse is often misinterpreted and instructs us to delight ourselves in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our hearts.

Previously, I misunderstood this verse, thinking it referred to material desires.

However, the true meaning lies in delighting ourselves in the Lord and recognizing His goodness, might, and majesty.

Delighting in the Lord involves acknowledging His view of us, accepting His love, and understanding our true identity in Him.

We are called very good, loved, and accepted by God.

This realization shifts our perspective on significance and satisfaction.

Instead of seeking fulfillment from external sources such as relationships or achievements, we find our significance in the Lord.

3. Allow God’s love to encompass us

Allowing God’s love to encompass us and satisfy our deepest longings is essential.

In my personal journey, I used to tell myself that nobody’s life was impacted by me, highlighting a desire for significance in my heart.

However, I failed to accept the significance God had already bestowed upon me.

The reality is that Jesus died on the cross, enduring the worst form of execution, paying the highest price for each one of us.

This act demonstrates our inherent significance in God’s eyes.

When I felt called to ministry, it took three years before I saw any fruit or tangible impact.

During that time, I experienced an intimacy with Jesus as I dedicated hours to reading the Bible and praying in my closet.

This period of apparent fruitlessness taught me that my significance did not rely on the impact I made on others. Instead, it stemmed from being a beloved child of God.

The more I satisfied my longing for significance through my relationship with Him, the more fruit and life-changing moments began to emerge.

Our identity in Christ and understanding our significance in Him is crucial to guarding our hearts and living a life of purity.

How can we approach conversations about sexual brokenness?

1. The Bible talks about sex and so should we

Be vulnerable to a point and share our struggles. Show compassion and grace, avoiding guilt and condemnation.

One common response I receive from people is praise for engaging in this ministry is that sex is a taboo nature.

However, I always remind them that the Bible does not shy away from addressing the topic of sex.

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, and in Genesis 4:1, it is explicitly mentioned that Adam had sex with his wife Eve and bore fruit.

Throughout the New Testament, numerous writers, including Jesus Himself, discuss sex. There is no whisper or secretive tone when it comes to these discussions.

The writers address sex openly, just as they do with other aspects of life. Sex should not be regarded as a taboo subject.

It is commonly preached that sex is a beautiful gift from God and an integral part of the marriage covenant. It symbolizes the intimacy we share with God. Given its power and significance, it is paradoxical that it is a subject we seldom talk about.

2. Have open conversations about sex

In my line of work, people feel comfortable sharing intimate details with me because they perceive me as a safe person. Stories pour in, and it becomes evident that individuals are longing for guidance in this area.

Recently, I was invited to speak at a Bible study for young adults associated with Athletes in Action at the University of Alberta. The participants, who were college-age, confessed that they had never had such a conversation before.

They had questions and issues they had never felt free to address. Their thirst for guidance was palpable.

This illustrates how people crave understanding and support regarding their sexual struggles. It is essential to recognize that our sex drive is a healthy and godly aspect of our design.

While we are taught not to engage in sex outside of marriage or consume pornography, we must remember that sex is a powerful and godly gift.

By confidently discussing the topic, we can help break the silence and provide guidance.

3. Be vulnerable

One effective approach is to be vulnerable to a certain degree.

Personally, I openly share my experiences, as it has become part of my ministry. However, I understand that not everyone is ready to do the same.

Even sharing a little bit can make a significant impact. I recall when I was 20 or 21, my young adult pastor took me out for coffee and established a relationship where openness was expected.

He shared his struggle with pornography, which encouraged me to open up about my own struggle.

That simple act shattered some of the shame I felt.

4. Foster an atmosphere of grace and compassion

Similarly, we can initiate conversations with friends, family members, or even young individuals, addressing the reality of pornography and sexual exposure.

These discussions should be filled with compassion and grace, devoid of guilt and condemnation.

During one of my speaking engagements at a man camp, a pastor expressed his concern about not instilling guilt or shame in people.

However, when I delivered my message, individuals approached me with tears, seeking prayer and admitting their struggles. It was a powerful moment of grace and vulnerability.

It is crucial to approach the subject of sex with grace, recognizing that sexual brokenness affects many individuals.

By fostering an atmosphere of grace and compassion, we can dismantle the awkwardness and taboo surrounding these conversations.

5. Acknowledge past sexual struggles

Additionally, it is important to acknowledge that sexual struggles often arise from our own experiences and the experiences of others.

Many individuals have suffered from sexual abuse or violation. These stories are heartbreaking, and it is disheartening to realize that over half of the people we work with have experienced some form of abuse.

Personally, at the age of 33, I uncovered a repressed memory of being sexually violated at 16. This discovery forced me to process the accompanying insecurities, and beliefs, and forgive the perpetrators.

As I shared my experience with a group I was leading, one participant, a man in his sixties, revealed that the same thing had happened to him at

Tips for women whose loved ones have a porn problem

1. Get help

Access support and seek resources for help. On our website, restoredministries.ca, there is a section specifically for wives where they can find assistance.

They can book a call with our main coach, Kelly, who is highly skilled and also trains other coaches. Another valuable ministry is Hope After Betrayal, which offers additional support.

Our podcast, Pure Victory, also features episodes dedicated to women in similar situations.

These resources are readily available to provide guidance and support.

2. Recognize that it’s not the woman’s fault

I want to emphasize that it is not the woman’s fault when her husband or boyfriend engages in sexually destructive behaviour.

It has nothing to do with her attractiveness or desirability. Many men, including those of our generation, had their first exposure to sexual content at a young age, which had a profound impact on their brain development and sexual desires.

These issues were present long before the relationship began. Thus, it is essential for women to understand that it is not their fault.

In such situations, it often feels like a hurricane colliding with a tornado in a relationship.

The hurricane represents the confession and revelation of the man’s actions, while the tornado signifies the insecurities and emotional turmoil experienced by the woman.

Although it may seem devastating at first, this process can actually lead to a stronger and more intimate relationship. If a woman is willing to examine her own insecurities and seek healing, she may discover personal growth and the potential for her husband to find healing as well.

Many couples have shared that after doing the necessary work to heal, their marriage became better than ever before.

3. Seek understanding and guidance from the Lord

While forgiveness is crucial, it is important to understand the depth of forgiveness demonstrated by Christ on the cross. It calls for wholehearted and swift forgiveness.

However, I acknowledge that in the midst of the turmoil that arises when such revelations occur in a marriage, it can be challenging to reach that point of forgiveness. It may take time, but it is advisable not to delay forgiveness longer than necessary.

By seeking understanding and guidance from the Lord, forgiveness can be achieved, which forms a foundation for reconciliation and personal healing.

Forgiveness not only brings healing to the relationship but also to the individual’s own heart. While forgiveness is not solely for oneself, it has a profound impact on personal healing.

It is crucial to remember that there is hope even in the midst of such challenging circumstances. In moments of intense emotion, it is important not to make rash decisions regarding the relationship.

Approaching the issue with this understanding helps us realize that it is not the fault of the women involved.

4. Unlearn damaging beliefs

We must unlearn damaging beliefs ingrained in us, particularly those from the purity culture of the ’90s.

It is vital to internalize the truth that our clothing choices or sexual availability to our husbands are not responsible for their actions.

Eradicating these misconceptions is a crucial starting point.

Engaging in more sexual activity is never the solution to a porn problem.

Matt Cline

This only masks the issue because the problem lies within the heart and serves as an escape mechanism during difficult times or feelings of rejection.

Dealing with the root causes is necessary, and putting pressure on women to provide more sex is not healthy for either partner.

5. Set Boundaries

Seeking guidance and counsel is essential for wives who may inadvertently engage in behaviours that exacerbate the situation due to their desire to uncover every detail.

However, it is important to note that husbands may not remember all the details, making complete disclosure challenging. Receiving guidance in navigating these complexities is crucial for couples.

Women often have a tendency to play the role of a detective in situations like these. We believe that if we know all the details, we can somehow fix everything.

I can relate to this mindset in my own marriage, although it was not related to sex.

There were certain questions I knew I shouldn’t ask because knowing the answer would only cause more pain.

However, these issues didn’t significantly impact our relationship.

In a different podcast episode, I discuss the importance of setting boundaries, particularly in our thoughts and thinking patterns.

These boundaries are crucial for building and protecting our marriage. One important boundary is recognizing that we don’t need to know all the details, as it won’t necessarily be helpful.

Conclusion

Today’s discussion has shed light on various crucial aspects related to pornography’s impact, repentance, grace, sexual temptation, healing, the role of the church, understanding our hearts, trauma’s connection to sexual brokenness, and the significance of knowing God and experiencing intimacy with Him.

By delving into these topics, we have gained insights into the profound effects of pornography, the path to repentance and receiving grace, strategies for navigating sexual temptation, practical steps for sexual healing, the church’s role in supporting individuals on their healing journey, the importance of self-reflection and understanding our hearts, the link between trauma and sexual brokenness, and the transformative power of knowing God and cultivating intimacy with Him.

Armed with this knowledge, we can take proactive steps toward personal growth, healing, and restoration, while also fostering a compassionate and supportive environment within our communities.

Let us continue to seek wisdom, extend grace, and pursue a life of purity and wholeness in our journey toward sexual healing.

7 Simple Ways to improve your mental health

As a young adult, I watched as mental health affected the marriage and life of family members. I wondered how anyone could marry someone that had mental health issues. What I didn’t know at the time was that I would do exactly that. 14 years ago, I married my best friend. Little did I know how mental health would affect our marriage and what was coming around the corner?  Today, I want to share with you 7 ways to improve your mental health. 

My Husband’s story

Before I share 7 ways to improve your mental health, I want to share a bit of my husband’s story. 

In the fall of 2011, my husband experienced his first severe panic attack. We didn’t know what it was or what had caused it. 

Friends invited my husband and me to a birthday party. That same day, my husband had made a slight error at work. While at the party, my husband couldn’t keep himself from worrying about the mistake he made. 

That worry soon became panic, and he started having a hard time breathing. 

Thankfully, a friend noticed my husband’s behaviour and sat him down. Our friend had recently recovered from his own mental health crisis and so knew that my husband needed help. 

Our friend not only helped my husband out of his panic attack, but he was the one to tell us what this was and insisted on connecting my husband to a counsellor. 

Direct Intervention

Because of that discussion, we started our road to recovery. 

I am convinced that it was God who caused my husband to have a panic attack at that party so that our friend could see and intervene. 

I truly believe that without that party, there would have been a completely different ending to this story. 

God had heard my prayers and sent us help exactly when we needed it. 

I share this with you so you know that God hears. He loves you and wants to help you. If you are too stubborn (like me) to seek help on your own, then I urge you to pray. 

You may not know what you are praying for, and you may not like how The Lord answers, but God hears, and He loves you very much. 

7 simple ways to improve your mental health 

If you’re like me, the idea of facing mental health in your marriage, or any other relationship seems scary.

But it doesn’t have to be.

There are things you can do to improve your mental health and ways you can be ready to face it. 

1. Educate Yourself 

My husband and I grew up in the 80s when mental health was still taboo and misunderstood. Because of that, schools and our parents never taught us about mental health and what it may look like. 

This was also a time when mental health was never discussed in church. People mostly faced these issues with quick remarks about not having enough faith and to not worry about tomorrow. Neither of these solutions seemed to “fix” our issue. 

What I have realized is that the first step to overcoming mental health is to educate yourself. 

To know what mental health looks like, it’s important to know what mental health is. 

Some knowledge will come through personal experience. You can also learn about mental health by talking to people you know about mental health and reading as much as you can about it. 

Thankfully, today, we live in a society that knows more about mental health and has created more support for it. 

I have even found that more Christians are willing to discuss their struggles. 

All these positive changes make it so much easier to learn about mental health and prepare us for when we may be facing it. Either with our own struggles or with the struggles of people we love. 

2. Notice Red Flags

When I first met my husband, I learned pretty quickly that he did not do well under pressure. 

When we got married, I soon learned that he would sometimes feel unwell, not willing to go out and be with people, and would sometimes get irritated. 

These are all pretty common in all of our lives, and so I thought little of them. 

What I didn’t realize was that they were all signals he wasn’t doing well and that his mental health was going down the wrong track. 

When someone has mental health problems, it shows in their behaviour and mood. If you aren’t looking clearly, then you may not realize it.

The best example I can give is remembering your children when they were babies. 

When a baby is hungry, it cries. When it’s tired, it cries. 

Adults are just like babies. When their body or mind feels stress and anxiety, it sends out signals. 

There are many signs of anxiety a person may give. 

Knowing what anxiety looks like will help you pinpoint symptoms and their root cause. 

That way, you can treat the cause, and not the symptoms. 

Catching symptoms early can help you and your loved ones face chronic anxiety and seek the help you need. 

A picture of 2 couples walking in a fall forest. The picture shows how each couple has the women on the back on the man. Below the picture are the words, 7 simple ways to improve your mental health, www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. Seek treatment that works for you 

When my husband first started his mental health journey, he was under the care of a counsellor. We soon learned that this route would not work for us. 

It was a starting point, one that led us to seek medical help. Thankfully, our doctor diagnosed my husband quickly and prescribed medication that worked extremely well for him. 

For every case of mental health, there seems to be a different treatment. 

There are a variety of treatment options and it’s important to seek the one that works for you. 

For us, that included medication and lifestyle changes.

There is no shame in seeking alternative routes or seeking help that may differ from others. I am not a medical expert, so I will not go into treatment options or details. 

If you think you are struggling with mental health, please seek the help of a professional. Starting with a therapist or a doctor is a good idea.  

4. Avoid triggers

Anxiety triggers can disrupt our peace and well-being, making it essential to develop strategies to avoid or minimize their impact on our lives.

By identifying and managing these triggers proactively, we can create a healthier and more serene environment for ourselves. In this blog post, we will explore practical techniques and lifestyle adjustments that can help you navigate through anxiety triggers with confidence and maintain a greater sense of calm.

The best way to avoid any anxiety is to stay away from any triggers.

 

5. Recognize Mental illness as an illness

In our society, mental illness is often misunderstood or dismissed as something less significant than physical illness.

However, it’s crucial to recognize and acknowledge that mental illness is a legitimate illness that can have a profound impact on an individual’s well-being.

Many people still hold outdated beliefs that mental health struggles are a sign of weakness or simply a result of personal flaws. By recognizing mental illness as an illness, we can debunk these misconceptions and promote a more compassionate and understanding society.

Just like physical illnesses, mental illnesses require a professional diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care. Recognizing mental illness as an illness is a crucial step toward achieving parity between physical and mental health. It emphasizes the need for equal access to resources, support, and treatment options for individuals facing mental health challenges.

6. Having a Godly Perspective

In times of anxiety and uncertainty, seeking solace in our faith can provide comfort and guidance. The Bible offers profound wisdom and encouragement for those facing anxiety, reminding us of God’s presence, love, and care.

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible offers comfort, guidance, and hope for those facing anxiety. By embracing the biblical perspective, we can find solace in God’s presence, trust in His sovereignty, and experience His peace that surpasses all understanding.

Let us draw near to God, seek His wisdom, and allow His Word to transform our anxious hearts into vessels of faith, hope, and peace.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7,

7. Look for the blessing

Living with anxiety can be challenging, but even in the midst of our struggles, there are hidden blessings to be found. Although anxiety may seem like a burden, it can also serve as a catalyst for personal growth, resilience, and a deeper reliance on God.

While anxiety presents challenges, it also offers hidden blessings and opportunities for growth. By shifting our perspective and actively seeking the blessings within our anxiety, we can cultivate empathy, resilience, self-awareness, gratitude, spiritual growth, and a commitment to self-care.

Remember, we are not defined by our anxiety but by how we respond to it.

Embrace the blessings that emerge from your journey and allow them to guide you toward a life filled with purpose, growth, and a deeper connection with yourself and with God.

Lessons learned in the first year of marriage

My husband and I are celebrating our 14-year anniversary. That is insane!! Today, I want to share with you the lessons learned in the first year of marriage.

3 pictures. One of a wedding bouquet, the other is of a flower centre peice and the third is of a bride holding flowers. In the middle of these 3 pictures are the words: 6 things I learned in the fist year of marriage. www.onedeterminedlife.com

This year was the first year that I looked at our wedding day photo and saw 2 babies!! Seriously, we look so young (24 & 26)

Anne and Greg markey on wedding day 2007. Lessons learned the first year of marriage. 
www.onedeterminedlife

Even though my wedding day was so long ago, I still remember it like it was yesterday. There are large portions of the day that are a blur, but I clearly remember the look on his face when he saw me walk down the aisle. I thought I loved him. I guess I did, but my love has grown so much since that day.

To celebrate our 10 years together, I wanted to take time and remember everything that I have learned about myself and marriage. I have learned so much so, I want to break it all up into smaller blog posts.

Read the next post: 4 things I wish I knew before I got married 

** This post has Affiliate Links see my Disclosure Policy***

6 things I Learned in the first year of Marriage

I was warned over and over that the first year was the hardest. So, I was expecting a bad year. Thankfully. We had a really easy first year. Even though it was an easy year, I still learned so much from our first year of marriage. I hope what I learned can help you too.

1. Don’t be attached to the symbolism

When we got back from our honeymoon, we bought a starter garden.  I was so excited! I had this vision of growing our own fresh herbs and using them in the kitchen.  So, I put the plants on our balcony and took care of them.

Within a few days, they were dead!

I had this moment and thought: oh no!! Our first project as a couple has failed!! We have killed our plants!!!

I was worried that this might be a sign of our lives as a couple. That somehow we would fail because we could not keep plants alive. I had heard that if you want kids you should try to keep a plant alive. So all these voices were saying: you can’t even keep plants alive, but you want kids!!

I had to take a moment and calm down.

I needed to realize that these plants were not a picture of our marriage. My ability to take care of plants had nothing to do with my ability to be a good wife or a good mother.

I had to let go of those expectations I had of myself and let a plant be a plant.

10 years later, I have yet to keep a single plant alive but I have 3 healthy kids and healthy marriage.

2. Let it go

My husband does not do the dishes the same way I do. He fills the sink first and washes the dishes in a specific order. I like to leave the sinks empty and run the water and wash one dish at a time.

Watching him do dishes drove me nuts. I thought that his way took longer and made no sense to me.
It was tempting to “Correct” him. Instead, I let it go. I decided that I preferred him helping me in his way than fighting over the way things should be done.

That first year, I had to let go of a lot of things: mostly control over how things were done around the house. I decided that I did not want to create conflict over these simple and small things. I instead focused my energy on making our home a good place for both of us to live in.

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3. Think before you speak

In the first few months of marriage, we bought a dining room table. Some of our wedding guests had given us the money to purchase a table. We went to the store and brought it home.

We had planned to put the table together the next night.

The next day, my husband calls me and tells me that he has been invited to participate in a baseball game. I said it was ok and I figured that after the game he would come home and set the table up. I also assumed that if he was going to go out after, he would call again and ask if I wanted to come as well.

That call never came. He played the game and went out without communication.

What came next

Needless to say, I was livid. I was ready to yell and scream and accuse him of not thinking about me and my needs. I was also mad because I had started building the table and he was not around to help. He had made me feel abandoned.

Over the next few hours, I was able to calm down and gain perspective on the whole night. By the time my husband got home, I did not yell or scream. I was able to discuss with him how his actions had made me feel.

Had he been home when I was mad, I probably would have caused some serious damage to our marriage. My words and anger would have hurt his feelings and might have changed the way we worked together in the future or affected many other aspects of our relationship.

This event was a big lesson for me.

From then on, when I got angry, I thought about how my words and actions may affect our marriage in the long run. Since I am in it for the long hull, I decided that I should be careful to not ruin my marriage over these small issues.

4. Set a routine

When we got married we had lots of invitations out for dinner and visits and nights out of the house. My husband is an outgoing guy and he loved being out of the house every night. For me, that was too much.

After a few months of being out of the house every night, I told my husband that I could not keep up. I told him that being out of the house every night was too much for me. I needed nights at home with nothing to do and we could just be the two of us.

Since he liked being out, we needed to find a routine that worked for both of us. After some discussion, we decided to stay home 3 nights a week.

In the first year of marriage, it’s important to find a routine that suits both of you. We both had to compromise. He wanted to be out and I wanted to be in. We settled into a routine that we could both live with.

Since that first year, we have continued to set routines for our family that work for both of us. Having a routine that meets all our needs is sometimes hard to get, but it’s so worth it.

5. Learn to communicate

The first year of marriage is the foundation year. It’s the perfect time to build healthy communication patterns. If you can learn to communicate in a healthy way, then the rest of your marriage will be so much better off.

I found that the first year we “defined terms”.

I would say something that hurt his feeling and I would say sorry and he would say: that’s ok. To me: that’s ok means that what I said and did was ok. I wanted to hear, you’re forgiven. For him, when he said: that’s ok, he meant– I forgive you.

So we were using different languages to mean the same things. It’s important to figure out what the language differences are and make it clear what you’re trying to say. Doing so will save a lot of heartache and misunderstandings.

6. Enjoy The Year

There is no other time in a marriage like that first year.

When we got married, we were young with no commitments. We didn’t own a home yet or have children.  I wish we would have enjoyed these freedoms more. Once you start having kids or financial responsibilities you have less freedom and have to be more mindful.

So, that first year, just have fun. Do things that you might not be able to do again ( or at least for a long time). Travel, go to the movies, go out to dinner. These things become a bit more complicated when you add a few kids or mortgage payments to your life.

I was very fortunate and had a very good first year. It was easy to live together and get along. I know some people are not so fortunate and they have a hard first year. But, the first year becomes the second and before you know it 10 years have passed by.

On the comments below, share the lessons you learned in the first year of marriage. Please share this blog post with others. Thank you.

Read part 2 in my series: 4 Things I wish I knew before I Got Married

12 Christian Family Resources to help you grow

As a Christian mom of 3 kids, I understand the desire to see your family grow in faith and deepen your relationship with God. That’s why I’m excited to share an incredible list of 12 Christian family resources that will help you on this journey. 

Whether you’re looking for devotional books to read together, seeking guidance in raising godly children or exploring ways to incorporate prayer and worship into your daily lives, we’ve curated a collection of resources that will inspire, educate, and encourage your entire family. 

From captivating movies and TV shows to online sermons, podcasts, and Bible study tools, these resources are designed to strengthen your family’s bond and ignite a passion for God’s Word. Join us as we dive into these amazing resources that will equip and empower your family to grow in faith and experience God’s presence in your everyday lives.

Listen to the Episode

12 Christian Family Resources to help you grow

** This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more details.**

1. Family Devotional Books: 

Using family devotional books is a great way to gather together as a family and grow in faith. These specially crafted books offer a structured approach to exploring God’s Word, providing age-appropriate readings and discussions that cater to the whole family.

With engaging stories, thought-provoking questions, and practical applications, family devotional books help spark meaningful conversations and deepen everyone’s understanding of biblical truths.

They serve as a valuable resource for parents to guide their children’s spiritual growth and instill important values.

By setting aside dedicated time each day or week to read and discuss these devotional materials, families can create a habit of seeking God’s wisdom and drawing closer to Him together.

Family devotional books are not just informative but also foster a sense of unity, love, and shared faith within the household.

Family Devotional Book Recommendations:
  • Jesus Calling Family Devotional: Bring your family together with a devotional specifically designed to offer a deeper relationship with Jesus.
  • Every Day with Jesus: 365 Devotions for Kids: It is perfect for families to grow in their faith. Every reading includes a devotional message, Scripture, prayer, and daily takeaway to help young believers develop an intimate and rich relationship with Jesus.
  • 365 Devotions for Kids: Faith-Filled Activities for Families- Each of the 365 action-filled devotions comes to life with fun activities and games using regular household items.

2. Christian Parenting Books: 

Reading Christian parenting books can be a game-changer for parents seeking guidance and wisdom on raising their children in the ways of faith.

These books provide valuable insights, practical advice, and biblical principles that can help navigate the joys and challenges of parenting.

From addressing discipline techniques to fostering spiritual growth, Christian parenting books offer a wealth of knowledge and experience from experts in the field. They equip parents with strategies to nurture their children’s character, build strong relationships, and instill a love for God.

By delving into these books, parents can gain fresh perspectives, find encouragement, and discover practical tools that align with their Christian values.

Reading Christian parenting books is an investment in both your own growth as a parent and the spiritual development of your children, empowering you to navigate the parenting journey with confidence and faith.

  • The 5 Love Languages Of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively”-  learn the secret to building a love that lasts. Now discover how to speak your child’s love language in a way that he or she understands.
  • The Power of a praying parent: This gathering of short-but-powerful prayers and encouraging scriptures is small enough to keep in your purse or pocket for quick times of communion with God.

A picture of a family together in the kitchen. All smilling and looking at the camera. Above the picture are the words, 12 christian family resources to help you grow

3. Christian Music: 

Listening to Christian music with your children is a wonderful way to infuse your home with uplifting and faith-filled melodies.

It creates an atmosphere that nurtures their hearts and minds with messages of hope, love, and praise for God. Whether it’s singing along to worship songs in the car, dancing to Christian tunes during family dance parties, or playing peaceful instrumental music during quiet moments, music has a unique ability to connect us to God’s presence.

Through Christian music, children can learn biblical truths, memorize Scripture through catchy choruses, and express their love for God through joyful melodies.

It’s an opportunity to bond as a family, instill a love for worship, and create lasting memories centred around faith.

My top pics for music for the whole family with love:
  • Slugs and Bugs: a musical handbook for the Christian home because the verses combine practical instruction and bedrock foundational truths. And the melodies make all that goodness easy and fun to remember.
  • Psalty: music for children to sing along to and learn God’s word
  • K Love: Christian Radio station

A family together in the living room. the dad is playing the guitar and the mom and child are looking on. Next to the picture are these words, Through Christian music, children can learn biblical truths, memorize Scripture through catchy choruses, and express their love for God through joyful melodies.

4. Family Bible Study Resources

Family Bible study resources are invaluable tools for families seeking to delve deeper into God’s Word together. These resources provide structured materials and guidance to facilitate meaningful study and discussion within the family setting.

Whether it’s a Bible study guide specifically designed for families or interactive online platforms, these resources offer age-appropriate lessons, thought-provoking questions, and engaging activities that cater to different family members.

They help families explore and understand the teachings of the Bible, encouraging thoughtful reflection and personal application.

Family Bible study resources create opportunities for open conversations, strengthen the family’s spiritual bond, and allow everyone to grow in their knowledge of God and His Word.

By engaging in regular Bible study as a family, you can foster a love for Scripture, deepen your faith, and build a solid foundation for each member of your family.

Resources specifically designed for family Bible study:
  • The Family Bible Devotional by Sarah M. Wells: The Family Bible Devotional cultivates conversations through 52 Bible readings, paired with engaging discussion questions and background information. 
  • Grace for the Moment Family Devotional by Max Lucado: Families can share the help and hope of God in everyday moments with their children by reading the family devotional edition.
  • The Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak: Learn the parallels between the relationships, experiences, and challenges of women in the Bible as mothers and daughters and your own. You’ll reflect on how God focused on their faith and trust—and how He is doing the same with you.

5. Online Faith-Based Content: 

Online faith-based content is a valuable resource for families seeking to grow in their faith and deepen their understanding of God’s Word.

With the digital age at our fingertips, there is an abundance of websites, podcasts, videos, and articles available that offer insightful teachings, inspiring testimonies, and thought-provoking discussions centred around faith.

These online platforms provide a convenient way for families to access a wide range of faith-based content from the comfort of their homes.

Whether it’s listening to sermons from respected pastors, engaging in interactive Bible studies, or watching inspiring videos, online faith-based content offers a wealth of resources to explore and learn from. It allows families to dive deeper into specific topics, find answers to their questions, and discover new perspectives on matters of faith.

By using these online resources, families can strengthen their spiritual journey, connect with like-minded individuals, and enrich their understanding of God’s love and purpose in their lives.

You can find Christian websites, podcasts, and YouTube channels that offer faith-based content for families.

Examples include
  • Focus on the Family: provides free resources and services to help your family thrive
  • RightNow Media: provides a wide range of resources including videos, articles, and study materials.
  • My FREE Facebook group: a growing community of similarly-minded women who want to grow in their faith

6. Family Prayer Guides: 

Using family prayer guides is a powerful way to cultivate a spirit of prayer and connection with God within the family unit.

These guides offer a structured approach to prayer, providing prompts and topics to guide your family’s conversations with God.

They help parents lead their children in meaningful prayer, teaching them to express their thoughts, concerns, and gratitude to God. Family prayer guides can cover various areas such as praying for each family member, the community, world issues, and personal struggles.

They encourage families to come together, create a peaceful atmosphere, and invite God’s presence into their lives.

By using prayer guides, families can develop a consistent prayer routine, deepen their relationship with God, and experience the power of prayer as they witness answers and spiritual growth.

It’s a great opportunity to teach children the importance of prayer and build a strong foundation of faith within the family.

7. Christian Movies and TV Shows: 

Watching Christian movies and TV shows can be a wonderful way for families to be entertained while being inspired by faith-filled stories and messages.

These movies and shows often convey positive values, biblical principles, and uplifting themes. They provide opportunities for families to engage in meaningful conversations about faith, character development, and the importance of living out one’s beliefs.

Christian films and TV shows can foster a sense of unity, encourage spiritual growth, and reinforce important lessons in a visually engaging and relatable manner.

By selecting family-friendly content, families can enjoy quality entertainment that aligns with their values and deepens their understanding of God’s love and grace.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Set in the magical world of Narnia, the series follows the adventures of children who discover a gateway to this enchanting realm, encountering talking animals, mythical creatures, and epic battles between good and evil.
  • VeggieTales: An animated series that features anthropomorphic vegetables who tell engaging stories with valuable moral lessons. The series teaches important values such as honesty, kindness, and forgiveness in an entertaining and kid-friendly way.
  • The Chosen: A groundbreaking television series that depicts the life of Jesus Christ and his disciples, exploring their relationships and the impact of their encounters with Him.

A picture of a family sirring on a coach watching TV together. Next to the picture are these words, Christian films and TV shows can foster a sense of unity, encourage spiritual growth, and reinforce important lessons in a visually engaging and relatable manner.

8. Christian Apps: 

Families using Christian apps can use a number of Christian Apps that give them access to devotionals, Bible study plans, prayer prompts, and worship music.

Christian apps provide a range of platforms for families to deepen their understanding of God’s Word, foster spiritual growth, and connect with other believers.

With the flexibility and accessibility they offer, Christian apps empower families to incorporate faith into their daily lives, nurturing a vibrant and meaningful relationship with God as they navigate the joys and challenges of life together.

The best Christian Apps include:
  • YouVersion Bible App – The YouVersion Bible App provides access to hundreds of Bible translations in various languages. It offers reading plans, devotionals, audio Bibles, and study tools to help users engage with Scripture daily and deepen their understanding of God’s Word.
  • Pray.com – A powerful app that focuses on fostering a community of prayer. It allows users to join prayer groups, share prayer requests, and receive daily inspirational content. The app also offers guided prayers, Bible study plans, and a library of audio devotionals to encourage and support users in their prayer life.
  • Superbook Bible App – An App designed for children and offers an interactive and engaging way to explore the Bible. It features animated Bible stories, games, quizzes, and devotionals that help kids learn biblical truths in a fun and educational manner. The app aims to make the Bible come alive for children and encourage them to develop a lifelong love for God’s Word.

9. Online Sermons and Teachings:

Access online sermons and teachings from respected pastors and Christian speakers. Listening to online sermons is a convenient and impactful way for individuals and families to engage with biblical teachings and receive spiritual nourishment.

Through online platforms, sermons from renowned pastors and speakers are easily accessible, allowing listeners to access a wide variety of topics, insights, and perspectives.

They can be enjoyed at any time and from anywhere, making it a flexible resource for individuals and families to connect with God’s Word, find encouragement, and grow in their relationship with Him.

Websites to check out include:

These websites offer a wealth of audio and video resources that families can listen to or watch together.

10. Family Retreats and Camps: 

Consider attending Christian family retreats or camps where you can engage in worship, teaching, and fellowship with other like-minded families.

These camps provide a unique opportunity for families to step away from their daily routines and immerse themselves in a community of believers.

Through engaging activities, worship sessions, Bible teachings, and fellowship with other families, they can grow spiritually and draw closer to God as a family unit.

Christian camps offer a supportive environment where families can bond, share experiences, and encourage one another in their faith walk.

It’s a time of connection, renewal, and spiritual growth that leaves a lasting impact on both parents and children, fostering a love for God and a desire to live out their faith more intentionally in their everyday lives.

A picture of a family sitting on a bench at their campsight. They are enjoying a hot drink by the fire.

11. Christian Podcasts: 

Discover family-friendly Christian podcasts that cover various topics related to faith, parenting, marriage, and more.

  • The Christian Minute: Join Anne every week I dive into a topic that is relevant to the Christian faith. Join me as I explore the Bible, and share personal stories of how faith has impacted our lives and how practical it can be in any given scenario. Whether you’re a long-time believer or just starting your journey, Anne’s goal is to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus and live out your faith in today’s world. 
  • Risen Motherhood: On each episode of the Risen Motherhood podcast, hosts Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler discuss relevant topics to everyday motherhood, through the lens of the gospel. In-depth, topical mini-series are released periodically as we explore how Scripture applies to modern motherhood.
  • Focus on the Family Podcast: Every episode of the Focus on the Family Christian podcast helps you confidently guide your loved ones through the unique challenges faced by today’s Christian families. 

12. Online Bible Study Platforms

Explore online platforms that offer study resources, videos, and interactive tools to engage in family Bible study and exploration.

The Best Online Bible study resources include:
  • Bible Study Tools: offers a wide range of resources to support Bible study. It provides access to numerous Bible translations, commentaries, concordances, and dictionaries, allowing users to explore the Scriptures in-depth. Bible Study Tools also offers study guides, devotionals, articles, and videos to help users gain insights into biblical themes, characters, and teachings.
  • The Bible Project: a website that focuses on visual storytelling to engage users in studying the Bible. They provide animated videos that explore the books of the Bible, highlighting key themes, literary styles, and theological concepts. Bible Project also offers podcasts, articles, and study guides to accompany their videos, providing users with a comprehensive and interactive learning experience.
  • Bible Gateway: is a popular online Bible resource that offers an extensive range of Bible translations in multiple languages. Users can search and read various versions of the Bible, compare different translations, and access study tools such as commentaries, concordances, and reading plans. Bible Gateway also provides additional resources like devotionals, audio Bibles, and a Verse of the Day feature to help users engage with Scripture on a daily basis.

Conclusion:

Remember, these resources can supplement and enhance your family’s spiritual journey, but it’s important to discern and choose those that align with your beliefs and values.

These Christian family resources provide valuable support for families seeking to grow in their faith. 

They offer practical guidance, inspiration, and opportunities for shared learning and discussion, helping families to deepen their understanding of God’s Word and strengthen their relationship with Him.

In the comments below, share your favourite Christian family resources that you’ve found helpful.

5 Practical Tips for Teaching Scripture to Kids

Are you ready to unlock the power of Scripture in your children’s lives? Look no further, this blog post is here to guide you. I’ll be sharing five practical tips for teaching scripture to kids. From making Bible study a cherished part of your routine to engaging in meaningful conversations that relate God’s Word to their world, we’ve got you covered. Continue to read to help you share 5 Practical Tips for Teaching Scripture to Kids.

**This blog post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more details.**

5 Practical Tips for Teaching Scripture to Kids

1. Make Bible Study a regular part of your routine

It’s important to make Bible study a regular and enjoyable part of our family routine.

Making Bible study a regular part of your family routine is a wonderful way to strengthen your faith together.

7 simple tips to help you get started:
  • Choose a specific time that works best for your family, whether it’s in the morning, after dinner, or before bedtime. Make it consistent, so everyone knows when to gather.
  • Find a cozy spot where you can all sit comfortably, like the living room or dining table.
  • Next, pick a Bible version that is easy to understand, especially if you have younger children.
  • Read a short passage or story each time, and encourage everyone to take turns reading aloud.
  • Discuss what you’ve read, ask questions, and share your thoughts.
  • Make it interactive and engaging
  • Don’t forget to pray together, thanking God for His Word and asking for His guidance.

By making Bible study a regular part of your routine, you’ll deepen your family’s faith and grow closer to each other and to God.

2. Explain the passage you read 

When reading the Bible with our children, it’s helpful to explain the context and background of the passages.

This can bring the stories to life and help them connect with the characters and events. Encourage their curiosity and ask open-ended questions to spark meaningful discussions.

This allows them to express their thoughts, share their insights, and develop a deeper understanding of the Scriptures.

5 questions parents can ask kids about any bible verse they read
  • What is the main message or story in this Bible verse?
  • How do you think this verse applies to our lives today?
  • Can you identify any important lessons or values that we can learn from this verse?
  • Is there a particular character in the Bible verse that you find interesting or inspiring? Why?
  • How can we live out the teachings in this verse in our daily lives?

A picture of a girl smilling with her index finger pointing up. Above the picture are the words, 5 practicle tips for teaching scripture to kids. www.onedeterminedlife.com

3. Relate God’s word to their lives:

As parents, we can also relate the lessons from the Bible to their everyday lives. 

This helps them see how the principles and values found in Scripture can be applied to their relationships, choices, and challenges. 

Start by identifying relevant situations or experiences in their lives where biblical principles can be applied.

For example:

If your children are facing a challenge at school, discuss how the story of David and Goliath teaches us about courage and trusting in God’s strength.

Use age-appropriate language and examples to make it relatable.

Encourage open discussions and ask your children how they think God’s word can guide them in making choices or handling difficult emotions. Help them see the practicality and relevance of Scripture in their everyday lives.

By relating God’s word to their experiences, you’ll instill a deep understanding of faith and equip them with a solid foundation for navigating life’s challenges with God’s guidance.

4. Encourage them to memorize scripture

Beyond reading and studying Scripture, encourage your children to memorize key verses.

This will help them hide God’s Word in their hearts and carry it with them throughout their lives.

Start by choosing short and meaningful verses that are easy to understand.

5 verses you can start with
  • “God is love.” – 1 John 4:8
  • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” – Proverbs 3:5
  • “Be kind to one another.” – Ephesians 4:32
  • “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31

Once you pick a verse, you can write them on colourful index cards or create a verse-of-the-week display in their room.

You can make it a family affair by memorizing the verses together and reciting them regularly.

Create fun games, crafts, or challenges to make memorization enjoyable, like turning it into a friendly competition or using a song or rhythm to help them remember.

Celebrate their progress and offer small rewards or praise to motivate them.

Help them understand the meaning behind the verses and discuss how they can apply them in their lives.

By making Scripture memorization a positive and interactive experience, you’ll help your children build a strong foundation of faith and equip them with God’s words to guide them throughout their lives.

An infographic that shows the 5 practical tips for teaching scripture to kids. www.onedeterminedlife.com

5. Have an ongoing conversation

Lastly, let’s remember that teaching and talking about Scripture is not a one-time event but an ongoing conversation.

Look for opportunities throughout the day to bring up biblical principles or share relevant stories from the Bible. This helps our children see that faith is not limited to a specific time or place but is woven into the fabric of our everyday lives.

Conclusion

By teaching and talking about Scripture with our children in a way that is engaging, relevant, and relatable, we equip them with a strong foundation of God’s truth. We guide them to develop a personal relationship with Jesus and understand the depth of His love and grace. 

Together, let’s embark on this exciting adventure of exploring God’s Word with our children and watch as their hearts are transformed by its life-giving message.

In the comments below, share your best Tips for Teaching Scripture to Kids.

Master the Art of Communication to Build a Strong Marriage

Are difficult conversations causing tension in your relationship? Do you want to strengthen your communication skills and build a deeper connection with your spouse? Continue to read as I share with you the Art of Communication to Build a Strong Marriage.

Listen in as I have a captivating conversation with communication expert, Ann Visser, who shares her personal story of communication challenges in her own marriage. Her insights will leave you craving more and eager to transform your own relationship through effective communication.

Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, and this is particularly true in marriage. However, many couples struggle with effective communication, leading to misunderstandings, conflicts, and emotional distance.

**This blog post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy**

Listen to the episode:

Timestamps:

[00:01:57] Meet Ann Visser
[00:05:36] Neglected communication and conflict led to distance.
[00:11:58] Create healthy conflict, and communicate to build trust.
[00:19:38] Three C’s: Check emotions, communicate, and curiosity.
[00:23:51] Patience and communication are key to relationship success.
[00:41:13] Daily and yearly habits maintain a marriage.
[00:44:48] Avoid relationship mind games
[00:49:02] Marital system changes are needed for child discipline

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Master the Art of Communication to Build a Strong Marriage

Meet Ann

Ann Visser is a certified John Maxwell coach, speaker, and trainer with over 20 years of experience in equipping individuals and organizations to communicate effectively. She is also the co-founder of For Better Forever, which focuses on communication and leadership skills for couples. Ann has worked with young people, teaching them how to avoid falling for a jerk and find good people to be with for a lifetime. She has also travelled to Paraguay to teach values-based leadership skills to students and supported inmates in a local jail and a recovery home for addicts to change from the inside out.

In this podcast episode, we focus on Ann’s insights on communication in marriage, particularly the challenges that couples face and how to overcome them.

Common Communication Challenges in Marriage

One of the most common challenges that couples face in communication is avoiding conflict. Many couples believe that avoiding conflict is the key to a happy marriage, but this is a misconception. Avoiding conflict creates emotional distance and can lead to resentment and frustration. Ann shares her personal experience of how avoiding conflict created a distance in her marriage:

“We also avoided conflict. And this, these two things, not communicating and avoiding conflict, created an emotional space at a distance in our marriage. It kind of snuck up on us. It didn’t happen right away. It kind of snuck up on us. And so all of a sudden we kind of like, it was like, I woke up one day and was like, wait a minute, I don’t know who you are anymore.”

Another challenge that couples face in communication is not knowing how to communicate effectively about their feelings and needs. Many couples assume that their partner should know what they want or need without having to say it explicitly. However, this assumption often leads to misunderstandings and unmet expectations. Ann shares her experience of feeling alone and like a single mom raising her kids when her husband was busy with farming:

“I often felt alone, like I was a single mom raising these kids when he had his very busy seasons.”

This feeling of loneliness and unmet needs can create emotional distance and resentment in a marriage.

Additionally, couples often struggle with vulnerability and trust. They may fear being judged or rejected by their partner, leading them to withhold information or feelings. Ann explains that trust can fluctuate, and it’s essential to create a safe space for vulnerability:

“Trust is something that kind of moves. It’s a bit on, it’s on a slider. And so you hurt me a little bit today, and my trust kind of falls, or I’m reminded of something way back when, and my trust plummets. Because I’m not sure I can trust you. So I’m not going to be vulnerable with you.”

2 simple Tips for Overcoming Communication Challenges in Marriage

To overcome communication challenges in marriage, couples need to learn how to communicate effectively and openly about their feelings and needs.

This requires vulnerability and honesty, which can be difficult for some couples. However, getting help is the bravest and best thing a couple can do for their marriage:

“We’re going to get the help that we need in order to get well. And I tell my people, it’s the bravest and best thing you can do in the world is to get help. And I think we all need it at some point.”

Getting help can come in many forms, such as counselling, coaching, or attending workshops or retreats. The important thing is to recognize that communication is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice and guidance.

A picture of a couple sitting on a couch facing each other talking. Under the picture are the words mater the art of communication to build a strong marriage. www.onedeterminedlife.com

1. Be an Active & Empathetic Listener

One effective way to improve communication in marriage is to learn how to listen actively and empathetically.

Active listening means paying attention to what your partner is saying without interrupting or judging them.

Empathetic listening means trying to understand your partner’s perspective and feelings without necessarily agreeing with them.

The importance of listening in communication:

“Listening is the most important thing in communication. And we need to listen with our hearts and our ears. We need to be present and focused on what our partner is saying, rather than thinking about our response or what we want to say next.”

2. Learn to express your feelings

Another way to improve communication in marriage is to learn how to express your feelings and needs in a clear and respectful way. This means using “I” statements instead of “you” statements and avoiding blame or criticism. Ann emphasizes the importance of expressing yourself honestly:

“It’s important to express your feelings and needs in a clear and respectful way. This means using “I” statements instead of “you” statements and avoiding blame or criticism. For example, instead of saying ‘You never listen to me,’ say ‘I feel unheard when we talk.'”

It’s so important to be self-aware and have emotional regulation in communication. When emotions run high, it can be challenging to communicate effectively. Ann shares her personal experience of learning how to regulate her emotions:

“I have learned how to regulate my emotions. So when I’m feeling upset or angry, I can take a step back, take a deep breath, and respond in a calm and respectful way. This has been a game-changer for our marriage.”

Related Blog Posts

How to Create a Healthy Communication Environment

In addition to learning communication skills, couples need to create a healthy communication environment in their marriage.

1. Establish Routines that promote good communication

This means establishing routines and habits that promote open and honest communication. Ann and her husband have developed daily, weekly, and yearly habits that help them stay connected:

“We have rhythms and routines that help us stay connected. For example, we have a daily prayer time and coffee together in the morning, and we have a weekly date night where we go out and do something fun together. We also take an annual marriage retreat to reflect on our relationship and set goals for the future.”

2. Set Boundaries in your communication

Creating a healthy communication environment also involves setting boundaries and respecting each other’s needs and preferences. Ann emphasizes the importance of boundaries in communication:

“Boundaries are important in communication. It’s important to know your limits and to communicate them to your partner. For example, if you need some alone time to recharge, it’s okay to say that and to ask your partner to respect that.”

Strengthen Your Connection Through Effective Communication

Effective communication is essential for a healthy and fulfilling marriage. When couples learn how to communicate openly and honestly, they can build trust and intimacy, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their connection.

However, when communication breaks down, it can lead to emotional distance, resentment, and even divorce.

By learning how to listen actively, express themselves clearly, regulate their emotions, and create a healthy communication environment, couples can overcome the common challenges of communication in marriage and build a strong and lasting relationship.

Conclusion

Communication is the foundation of any successful marriage. However, many couples struggle with effective communication, leading to misunderstandings, conflicts, and emotional distance.

By learning how to communicate openly and honestly, couples can build trust and intimacy, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their connection.

By creating a healthy communication environment, couples can establish routines and habits that promote open and honest communication, set boundaries, and respect each other’s needs and preferences.

The future outlook for communication in marriage is promising, as more couples recognize the importance of effective communication and seek help to improve their skills.

In the comments below, share your tips on communicating with your spouse.

10 Christian Parenting Tips for Raising Godly Children

We know what an amazing and important role we have in nurturing our children’s spiritual growth. It’s a journey filled with love and joy. We also have the privilege of helping our children become people who love and honour God. To help you with this task, Im sharing 10 Christian Parenting tips for raising Godly Children. 

10 Christian Parenting Tips for Raising Godly Children

1. Lead by Example

When it comes to raising Godly children, one of the most powerful ways we can teach them is by setting a good example through our own faith. Kids are like little sponges, soaking up everything they see and hear. So, if we want them to develop a strong relationship with God, it’s crucial that we show them what it looks like in our own lives.

Being a role model means living out our faith authentically and consistently. It means demonstrating love, kindness, honesty, and integrity in our daily interactions. 

Our children are always watching, whether we realize it or not. So, let’s make sure we’re showing them what it means to follow Jesus with our words and actions.

2. Teach and Discuss Scripture

In our journey of raising Godly children, one of the key ways we can teach them about God is to read and talk about The Bible. 

The Bible is filled with wisdom, guidance, and stories that can shape our children’s hearts and minds. 

When reading the Bible with our children, it’s important to explain the context and background of the passages. This can bring the stories to life and help them connect with the characters and events. 

We can encourage their curiosity by asking open-ended questions. This allows them to express their thoughts, share their insights, and develop a deeper understanding of the Scriptures.

A picture of a family facing towards the water as they stand together on a beach. Above their picture are te words, Christian family, 10 Christian parenting tips for raising Godly children

3. Pray Together

Praying together as a family is a great way to deepen our relationship with one another and with God. 

It doesn’t have to be complicated or lengthy – it’s simply about coming together, sharing our hearts, and lifting our voices in prayer.

Find a quiet and cozy spot where you can gather as a family, whether it’s around the dinner table, in a comfy corner of your home, or even outdoors. 

Take turns leading the prayer or invite everyone to participate by expressing their gratitude and sharing their prayer requests. 

Remember, there are no right or wrong words when talking to God. 

Encourage your children to speak from their hearts and share their thoughts and feelings. 

As you pray together, trust that God is listening and that He delights in the voices of your family. Let this time of prayer be a source of comfort, strength, and unity as you grow in your faith and love for one another.

4. Foster a Relationship with God

Help your children develop a personal relationship with God through prayer, worship, and listening to His voice. Encourage them to seek Him in all aspects of life.

That means giving them the tools they need to grow in their faith and become a disciple. 

In our family, it also means letting them lead their relationship with God when they want to take communion or get baptized. 

We also make sure Friday nights are free so we can take our teenagers to youth groups and encourage them to create and keep deeper relationships with friends who will encourage them in their faith.

5. Instill Moral Values

Teach your children the importance of moral values such as kindness, honesty, forgiveness, and respect for others. 

Help them understand the significance of living out these values.

Through age-appropriate discussions and real-life examples, we can help them understand the impact of their actions on those around them.

Encourage them to make choices that align with these values, guiding them to consider the well-being of others and the principles taught in the Bible.

6. Create a Safe and Loving Home Environment

Build a home where your children feel secure, loved, and accepted. Provide a nurturing environment that fosters emotional and spiritual growth.

Be slow to anger and quick to listen.

Listen to their problems and ask what they need. 

Give them space to work out their faith and support their journey. 

7. Set Clear Boundaries

Establish reasonable and consistent boundaries for your children. Teach them self-discipline, responsibility, and the consequences of their choices.

God’s presence and His laws provide a sense of safety and protection for us. 

This is like a study conducted with children playing in a fenced schoolyard. Beyond the fence, there was a vast natural area with big trees and exciting things. 

However, when the fence was removed to give the children more space, they actually stayed closer to the building. 

Why? 

Because the boundary made them feel secure, and that instinctual need for safety kicked in. 

This study teaches us an important lesson: true freedom isn’t about having no boundaries; it’s about having the right boundaries that keep us safe. 

When we embrace God’s boundaries, we find the freedom to truly enjoy and experience joy in our lives. 

So, let’s teach our children about God’s loving boundaries so they can embrace the safety and freedom that He offers us.

8. Encourage Service and Generosity

Teach your children the joy of serving others and sharing their blessings. Engage in acts of kindness as a family, such as volunteering or helping those in need.

We can inspire them by setting an example of generosity ourselves and involving them in acts of service. 

Whether it’s volunteering together as a family, helping a neighbour in need, or donating to a worthy cause, these experiences teach our children the value of selflessness and the joy that comes from making a positive impact in someone else’s life.

By nurturing a spirit of service and generosity in our children, we empower them to be a source of goodness and kindness in the world, spreading love and making a difference in the lives of others.

9. Cultivate a Culture of Gratitude

Teach your children to appreciate and express gratitude for God’s blessings and the kindness of others. Foster a thankful attitude in daily life.

We can do this by leading by example and expressing gratitude for the blessings in our own lives. 

Engaging in conversations about gratitude and highlighting the little joys and moments of appreciation in daily life can help our children develop a grateful mindset. 

Encourage them to express gratitude to others, whether it’s through a simple “thank you” or a heartfelt note of appreciation. 

By nurturing gratitude in our children, we open their eyes to the beauty and abundance that surrounds them, fostering contentment, joy, and a deeper appreciation for life’s blessings.

10 Christian Parenting Tips for Raising Godly Children

10. Encourage Open Communication

Create an atmosphere of open communication, where your children feel comfortable discussing their questions, doubts, and concerns. 

We can encourage open communication by being approachable and actively listening to our children without judgment or interruption. 

By validating their feelings and perspectives, we create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, concerns, and questions. 

It’s important to prioritize regular conversations where we genuinely engage with our children and show genuine interest in their lives. 

By fostering open communication, we show our children that their voices matter and that we are here to support and guide them. 

Together, we can navigate the ups and downs of life with love, understanding, and an unbreakable bond.

Conclusion: 

Every child is unique, and parenting is an ongoing learning journey. These tips can serve as a foundation for raising godly children, but adapt them to fit your family’s dynamics and values. In the comments below, share your christian parenting tips to raise Godly children. 

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