For years on Fridays I would publish my syndicated family column. But about a year ago I stopped writing it because I just had no more time. Writing to a deadline became too difficult when I was trying to balance this growing blog, writing books, and speaking.
But I continued to write column type articles on Fridays anyway, and then send those columns out to the 8000 or so people who subscribe to my Friday newsletter.
I’ve realized lately, though, that I can’t really keep writing 5 big articles a week–not with my speaking getting so busy!
And besides that, I’ve got almost 2000 articles on this blog already–likely many that you’ve never read.
Everyday on Facebook and on Pinterest and on Twitter I share some of those older articles, and then in my Friday newsletter I also share those older articles that have been most popular this week (seriously, if you look at the sidebar on your right on this blog you’ll see ten square pictures of my most popular posts. Very few were written this week–at any given time, chances are nine of them are older!)
So what I’ve decided to do to save myself a bit of time AND to help you all see some of the other things I’ve already written is to change up Fridays. I’m going to share snippets of My #1s from various social media, some great articles I’ve read this week, letters I’ve received, and even some personal stuff!
Then in my Friday newsletter I’ll run my favourite new post from this week, rather than my column (and I’ll still point to all the #1s!)
You can always sign up for my Friday newsletters (and others) here.
And please do follow me on Facebook for more updates!
So without further ado…
The #1 Older Articles on Facebook, Pinterest, and the Blog this Week:
#1 on Facebook:
I love this post, which was compiled by suggestions from people off of Facebook! What are the hardest truths to learn once you’re married? They’re all here. And I think you’ll agree. Marriages would be much stronger if people started out understanding these things, instead of having so many unrealistic expectations. Share this with engaged couples and newlyweds you know.
The Top 10 Side Effects of Porn on Your Marriage and Your Sex Life
It’s one of my most popular posts, and I’m so glad that I’m ranked high on the search engines for this, because this is a message that needs to get out: Porn is NOT harmless! Someone shared this on Facebook this week and it went crazy again. Glad new people are finding it!
#1 on Pinterest:
Getting in the Mood When You Don’t Feel Like It
It’s part of my original 29 Days to Great Sex series, and it’s a great post confronting why we aren’t always “in the mood”, and what we can do about it. So important!
What’s Up at My House
I just received the line edits (which is a fancy way of saying the typeset version) of my upcoming book, 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage. I get to go through it and make any final changes before it hits the printer. So excited! You can pre-order it now.
And my daughter Rebecca’s wedding plans are coming along. We had the Save the Date emails out and the venue picked–and then last week we got a call from the hotel saying construction is starting and they can’t host the reception. That started two hours of sheer panic on the part of my youngest daughter (the maid of honour) and me as we were each on the phone frantically calling alternatives at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon. But we found one! And it looks cheaper and even nicer anyway. God came through. Whew!
And my daughter and her fiance signed the lease on their apartment this week!
Katie has a New Video Out
If you haven’t seen it yet, she’s doing a YouTube series from Katie: The Relationship Guru Who has Never Had a Relationship. Part 1 on what you need in a Christian guy is here, and Part 2 on being friend zoned is here:
I know she would appreciate it if you shared these! Just post the first one on Facebook and tag your youth pastor–so he or she will share them with other teens.
More thoughts on Emotionally Destructive Marriages
I was writing this week about emotionally destructive marriages, and I had more I wanted to say, but that post was already really long.
One of my close friends, Dr. Mike Dittman, recently challenged me with a profound statement: “Gary,” he said, “God doesn’t care about shells; He cares about the people in the shells.”
Mike was referring to churches, but let’s apply this to marriage…
God isn’t into shells—He’s into people…
That’s why I’ve recently been willing to speak up about the “shell” of marriage as it pertains to divorce. I’ve based a large part of my career and ministry on supporting hurting marriages, trying to build marriages back up…
God can and does heal and redeem broken marriages. But some individuals can and do marry evil people who resist God’s Holy Spirit but try to use God’s word as cover to keep perpetrating their evil. Marriage, like a church, to a certain extent is still a shell. If a marriage “shell” is used to allow real people to be abused and hurt, God may well take it down.
It’s so interesting to see how often we all write on the same thing at the same time! Read the rest of it here.
Second, if you are in an Emotionally Destructive Marriage, and you don’t follow Leslie Vernick’s blog, you need to!
Third, I want to share with you a letter I’ve received from women walking through tough marriages. The first woman understood that she had to stand up to her husband and make some changes. We’ve corresponded back and forth for the last few years, and she filled me in recently on what was happening with her:
We have been in counseling for about six or seven sessions–first weekly and now every two weeks, and my pastor and his wife are telling me that there is something really ‘different’ about my husband. He appears to have no capacity for empathy. He has yet to truly display that he has any true recognition of the pain he has caused me in our marriage. He is focused on my not respecting him enough, my behavior being the cause of his lack. But here’s the thing…he is walking through this counseling to the letter. He does everything the pastor suggests. He memorizes verses, he does all the extensive homework. But yet, he doesn’t “get” it. The pastor is baffled and is putting a call in to a colleague who is a trained therapist, for help. In the meantime, the counseling sessions, for me, feel like being run through a meat grinder, every time. I am going to the doctor with more stress-related physical issues, some very serious. I am in prayer about calling off the counseling sessions, and my pastor and his wife are very understanding. They are bewildered. In counseling my husband gives lip-service to being ‘sorry’ but is clearly struggling with the concept, clearly displays no real guilt or ownership of problems, and outside of counseling ‘slips’ and reveals his true nature like clockwork.
There is something very broken about my husband. He just doesn’t understand. Truly, it is, and has been for thirty years, like living with a person who has the emotional intelligence of a two-year-old. He fits every description of a narcissist, but in the nicest way possible, at least to most people. I seem to have been the sole benefactor of his anger and cruelty, while others (including his children) get off with neglect.
For about 28 years this woman tried to twist herself into a pretzel to make him not so mean, to no avail. And what she is describing is very typical in terms of these emotionally abusive marriages.
Enter My Giveaway:
Don’t forget that I have a marriage book and audio download giveaway going on right now! It’s not too late to enter.
I’m finishing the line edits (that’s the final, final edits) on my new book! Come on over and follow me on Instagram for more updates!
Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!