Podcast – Technology’s Attack on Marriage: Finding Wise Digital Boundaries

The DFR team discusses the damage that the digital world can have on marriage and how to set up boundaries to keep your marriage safe. Technology’s Attack on Marriage – Finding Wise Digital Boundaries


Podcast #71: Technology’s Attack on Marriage – Finding Wise Digital Boundaries


Originally posted on the DFR page HERE. 

Follow this link to hear our podcast discussing the needed boundaries in our kids’ lives. 

Podcast – What Happens to Our Relationship When the Butterflies of Love Die?

What happens to our relationship with the Butterflies of love die? Is it over – or is it part of the cycle of relationships? And can we get them back?


Join us on the DFR podcast as we discuss where to go from here – and if what “dead butterflies” mean for our relationships.



For Dave’s article on the same topic click here.

or in my blog here.

3 Reasons Doing “Devotions” with Your Spouse is Difficult and 6 Ways to Help

3 Reasons Doing “Devotions” With Your Spouse is Difficult

And 6 Ways to Help

3 Reasons Doing “Devotions” with your spouse is difficult and 6 ways to help


Living a mutually beneficial life of devotion to Jesus as a couple is a beautiful thing to see. I’ve seen many couples do this and asked some of them how and if they do devotions together. Many do, and they enjoy the time of study together and if that is you, I’m excited for you! There are others though, that don’t find devotions as a couple to be quite that simple.


I was speaking to someone that has asked me to mentor him, he was describing how difficult it was for he and his wife to try and do devotions. By “devotions” I mean the formal kind, the ones that some Christians believe that they need to take part in if they want to be a “good Christian couple,” where you open a bible together and read it and study in unison, sharing your personal insights to the passage you are reading simultaneously.


He described frustration and anxiety in the midst of trying to study together. He found himself frustrated by her insights.


It turns out that my wife and I had a similar problem.


Many might suggest a need for practice or that there must be a spiritual disconnect. But I would argue that, that isn’t actually the case – at least not in the two situations I’m describing above.


Both couples love to go to church and discuss insights received from others speaking. We love to teach our kids things and bounce back and forth, sharing the opportunity and responsibility of answering hard spiritual question with our kids. We love Jesus and love seeing others fall in love with him, and in this case both couples are in ministry as well.


So what is happening? Why would devotions as a couple be so difficult?


Here are some potential reasons:


  1. It takes practice. Anything new takes practice and is uncomfortable at first, so yes it could be that you simply need to keep trying until you learn each other’s learning and teaching style.
  2. One or both of you may have a teaching gift. Asking a teacher to read a passage with the intention of finding insights and teaching it, and then subjecting them to someone else teaching them about the topic they are now passionate about, is bound to cause conflict. Honestly, I believe that this is the case for both of the above listed couples. I know it resonates with me. When I get passionate about teaching something, I want to share it. In fact, the act of sharing that insight with someone else is the culmination of my gift-set in that moment. Having to sit and listen to someone else’s thoughts obstructs that so it can make it hard to receive and increase frustration.
  3. Formal isn’t always necessary, or good. Maybe a sit-down devotional book isn’t the best fit for every couple. Doing things formally, although not bad, isn’t necessarily the best or most effective way to learn things. We hear all of the time that kids learn better when they get involved practically. Using their hands to engage in things like science projects for example. The lessons and impact is different when there is real life application. We also know and hear all of the time that learning things “organically” is deeply impacting as well. For example, when we are walking through a park and see a homeless man, we engage with the subjects of compassion and justice and interact with what the bible says with our kids, and the lesson permeates deeply into their soul. This is FAR more effective than discussing compassion and justice in a classroom. Yes, it’s hard to plan for these things because we have to be ready in the moment, so making sure you cover specific topics will be hard but is possibly not necessary, either way though the impact is far greater and more natural.



What can we do about it?


  1. Consider how you can engage in organic and practical conversations and mutual lessons as a couple when relating to scripture. Start paying attention to the world around you and make spiritual conversations a part of your daily life.
  2. Pray together. This can be awkward too, but practice and listen to your spouse’s heart as they express themselves to God.
  3. You may need to pray for a deeper longing and appreciation for His word.
  4. Try a different devotional book, maybe the ones you’ve tried weren’t a good fit for you as a couple.
  5. Consider taking turns teaching. Instead of mutually reading the same passage to both share insights, one of you comes into it with an attitude of receiving and listening instead of speaking and teaching.
  6. Consider that the word “devotion” is about a lifestyle, to live a life where all of your energy is invested in one direction, how does this reality change your approach to mutual devotion times together?



As you explore what being devoted together looks like, remember that it takes practice. You have been living life alone for a long time and adjusting to another person involved can be hard. Also remember that discomfort and frustration are normal as you move forward and continue exploring a life of devotion (both formally and/or informally) looks like together.


Finding a way to share what God is doing in your life individually with your spouse is VITAL to your growth and connection as a couple. If formal devotions are easy for you, consider expanding and adding to them. If they are more difficult, take the time to notice the faith connections you do have and appreciate them, and consider continuing to work hard to find a way to connect on a slightly more formal level as well. Fighting to connect spiritually is ALWAYS beneficial to your marriage.

The Myth that Marriage Completes You

Marriage Won’t Complete You

Addressing the “Marriage Will Complete You” Myth


We have likely all heard it before, the classic scene in the movie “Jerry Maguire” where Tom cruise tells Renee Zellweger “You complete me.” It’s this moment in the movie where everything seems right again. The two main characters have finally gotten their priorities straight and have realized how much they need each other. The line is perfect because the audience can’t imagine them living without each other, and their lives won’t be complete unless they are together. Or at least that’s what the director and writers want us to feel.


But this isn’t a new or isolated sentiment, most of us come into marriage and relationships feeling like there is something missing, and that finding that special someone will help fill the void we have inside. Whether it is because we are lonely or conditioned to think being single isn’t a lifelong option, or maybe it’s just the next step in life according to our families or culture. Regardless of the reasons, we believe that finding that special someone will somehow “complete” us.


I remember praying for a girlfriend when I was in high school. I was lonely and that was the only thing I believed would fix that need for companionship. When I actually found a girlfriend, I ditched all of my friends and put 100% of my attention and time into her. It was desperately unhealthy and it was sourced in a belief that is reflected in the quote above.


We take this belief into marriage too, which is often one of the core reasons we have conflict as couples. When we feel like things aren’t right inside or in our world, we look to the one who “completes us” to fix how we feel. The expectations are high and completely unreasonable because our fulfillment can’t come from another person in that way.


The reality is that marriage doesn’t complete us, the best they can do is complement us. Which is good! Complementing someone blesses them and puts our attention in how we can serve, bless and support who we are with instead of looking for someone else to fix where we lack.


The most beautiful and powerful marriages you will see are those where both people choose to complement each other, to look to their partners strengths and weaknesses, and instead of highlighting the bad, fill the gap, seeing the weaknesses as opportunities to care for and support your spouse.


How do you know if you are falling into the trap of looking to your spouse to fix you and make your world complete?

Those times are often displayed by words and feelings like “why aren’t you” or “why don’t you” and for some with softer hearts and words “I wish you would.” Although there are times when these sentiments are legitimate and fair, if you find yourself saying or thinking them regularly it’s probably time for a heart check.


4 Unexpected Ways to Put Children First: Hint- It’s All About Your Marriage

4 Unexpected Ways to Put Your Children First

Hint – Its all about your marriage

The second highest demographic for divorce is people who are married 25-30 years!


Does this shock you?


We have couples regularly telling us stories about how disconnected they are, how they don’t date anymore and in some cases describing finding their needs met in others, whether physical or emotional. They reminisce on the days when they were first together and when they were so in love, when family members and friends would be exclaiming to them “Don’t miss your 6 months anniversary!” as this was something that was so important to them back then, now an anniversary is something that’s not so special and unfortunately, most couple feels disconnected.


The most common reason for this disconnect is, you guessed it, children! We know kids change our marriages, but they shouldn’t destroy our marriage. Whilst children don’t destroy all marriages, they can definitely make it more difficult for couples to do anything together without having to include the children. This is where people can drift apart. Couples need to try and find time for themselves, otherwise they might be heading towards a divorce. This has been the case for some couples. They’ve felt so miserable in their marriage that they have filed for a divorce by using a divorce attorney los angeles area, if that’s where the couple is located. No couples get married with the intention to divorce a few years later, so it’s important to try and keep the spark alive for as long as you can.


With this being said, we a big advocates of marriage counseling and trying to overcome your differences. However, there are rare occasions where an individual in a relationship is abusive and while we think you can work hard to save your marriage, this is where we draw the line. If you have children then you may need to Google “who is the best child custody lawyer” in order to legally get them away from your partner. It’s always best to contact professionals over serious matters like this so you know your children will always be safe.


Often when we have kids it’s because we “want them” and maybe we believe they will make our lives and relationship complete somehow. This is ironic because too often one spouse will pour into the kids while the other pours into their career, and instead of completing our lives and relationship, the new normal “depletes” it. Leaving little left for each other.


Let me be fair, putting our kids first makes sense, especially in those early years when they are completely helpless? Even as they grow there is only so much they can do to care for themselves or financially support themselves for they are dependant on us on many different levels, and we have a responsibility to provide for their needs. Unfortunately, if we don’t take the time to balance our family life with our marriage, we will struggle to maintain an adequate connection and when the time comes for them to move out of the house, we are strangers living together.


We MUST give our kids what they really need, and it turns out what they need most is for us to have an incredible marriage and relationship with our spouse. Without it they will lack the foundation of security they need today AND in their future. Cracks they find in their foundation can rock even your adult children and potentially have a devastating effect on their lives and families. We want to give our children something worth modeling.


One way to keep our relationships strong is by learning how to identify and express our needs to our partners. Proceed with caution, however, because saying “This is what I need from you…”, can potentially lead to personal entitlement, defensiveness or misunderstanding. I like to phrase it in a softer way, perhaps something like, “I love you and I miss us. I want a deeper and more incredible relationship with you, I think __________ would help us get there. What do you think we can do differently?”


Rephrasing your language not only helps your partner better receive your message, but it also shifts your thinking from blaming, moving from “me” to “us”.

Remember that putting your spouse first IS putting your children first – and they will appreciate the model of family that you leave them with more than you can imagine.

Here are a few ideas for how to keep your marriage first:

  1. Date your spouse! Schedule regular date nights as often as possible.
  2. Know your own needs well enough to express them.
  3. Soften your language as you communicate your needs with each other, remembering you are on the same team.
  4. Choose to listen to and meet your spouse’s needs when they express them to you, this keeps your heart in a state of giving rather than taking.


My kids occasionally ask their mother, “Why are you and Dad going out on a date? You’re already married!” And her response is, “”Do you like how Mom and Dad love each other and are married? Then we need to keep dating.” And they quickly send us off to stabilize their foundation. May you enjoy building a firm foundation for your children as much as we do.