Friday, November 4, 2011

Week 15: The Message of Grace

Scripture to reflect upon: Galatians 5:13
For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.

My husband and I have had a deep revelation of the gospel according to grace. It has quite literally transformed our walk with Christ. We see scriptures in a whole new light, and as Jesus said, our yoke is now easy, the way God intended it to be.

I know a few weeks ago I promised to use scriptures from Romans 12, but I want to divert our attention from that for a while and focus on the notion of grace and how it pertains to marriage.

Last night Jared and I were discussing how our perception of God has changed since relying solely on grace rather than the Law. I have noticed since I started viewing my opinion on the subject I am greeted with horrific looks of disbelief and uncertainty about my walk. I know many people don’t care for Joel Osteen’s ministry, or believe that grace is an easy way out and an excuse to do whatever we want. The best way, though, that I was able to describe it was by relating it to my marriage with Jared.

Jared loves me the way no other person on the planet has. He loves me during the good and the bad. Not once in our marriage has Jared ever doubted his decision to be married to me. Even when I’m at my worse, he adores me still. During those moments, Jared simply stands back, lets me vent, and quietly listens. Upon watching this and realizing that my outbursts don’t rile him up, I immediately find peace within and I’m able to let it go almost automatically, without hesitation.

This is the message of grace: Where sin increased, grace increased all the more (Romans 5:20).

Because of Jared’s amazing unconditional love for me, I have no desire to do anything to hurt him. Naturally, it became so easy to be “good” with Jared. In other relationships, I had to fight my desires to do bad, or go out, or not be tempted by other men. They were constant struggles. I was always kicking and screaming in every relationship before Jared. I was angry, restless, annoyed, frustrated, and love starved. Jared made it easy to be loved and to be loving.

This is the message of grace: God’s love brings out our natural ability to bear the fruit of the spirit: love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22)

Jared’s love (replace this with God’s love) is so perfect and so good, that it changed me for the better. I was finally able to rest in who I am and never feel ashamed about my past or my flaws. I’ve said it before, Jared found my flaws enduring, and even the first encounter with him as I was being rude and disrespectful, he felt drawn to me.

This is the message of grace: Christ has liberated us to be free (Galatians 5:1).

Because Jared loves me the way that he does, I aim at pleasing him. I desire to be good to him. My fleshly desires have been completely removed from me. I don’t need to seek out love in other places, because I know nothing I do will change his love for me.

This is the message of grace: Through the obedience of [Jesus] many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19).

Jesus served us…through love. Because of that love we are able to be righteous and good. It creates in us a desire to do good deeds, and to love others. In our marriages, we need to live the message of grace with one another. When we love fully and unconditionally, that is grace; and that grace will provoke our spouse to love us in return the same. It will literally transform their way of thinking and their relationship with you, the way Jared’s love for me changed me.

ACTION PLAN: Consider for a moment what your gut reaction is when your spouse does something upsetting. Do you start wishing they were another way, or begin fantasizing about being single again? Do you spend most of your time trying to change your partner, or punishing them for things they’ve done to hurt you?

My action plan for today is simple. I want you to consider God’s love for YOU, which includes an abundance of grace. Do you even know what grace means? It means favor or goodwill (kindness, love, benignity); a manifestation of favor (forgiveness, charity, mercifulness); mercy; clemency; pardon.

GO FURTHER: Take grace to the next level and project God’s love for you to your spouse! Again, reread what grace means and apply it in your marriage. Remember to love your spouse MORE when they irritate or aggravate you. Find ways to manifest favor and goodwill for your spouse.

Discuss grace with your spouse. Dig into God’s Word and study His grace. Discover how you can incorporate grace into your partnership with one another.

FACT: Living by grace and not by works manifests the fruits of the Spirit.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Week 14: KEEP OUT!

Scripture to reflect upon: Hebrews 13: 4 (The Message)
Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband.

The whole world wants to talk about sex. Everywhere we look or turn, it’s sex, sex, sex. There’s nothing sacred or intimate about sex anymore.

As a way to earn some money last year, I became a Passion Parties Consultant—selling adult toys to women. I didn’t choose this particular business because of the products, I decided to become a consultant because the money was so promising and good. I made top sales every month, but my soul grieved with every party I did. I tried so many unique ways to avoid selling sex, and instead try and sell the notion of intimacy. That can’t work in a world where women are being sold this idea that having numerous sexual relationships are entirely acceptable.

The value of sex has decreased much like the value of the dollar. It’s worthless. When we can find sex just about anywhere we go or in anything we do, what’s the worth anymore? When sex loses the intimacy factor, all else is lost. And today’s society encourages us to chatter endlessly on and on about it.

I was currently hired to rewrite some articles for a romance website. Unfortunately, the topics are not based around “romance” as implied, but instead focus on using sex as a means of getting what we want in our relationships. We have misconstrued romance as sex. We have misplaced intimacy and allowed too many people into our bedroom.

One of the things that bothered me most about being a Passion Parties Consultant was the disgusting nature of the conversations I'd overhear. The filth and lust that ensued from these women lurked in my spirit and typically left me feeling drained. In women’s quest to be equal, they have demeaned themselves into the very type of men they despise who only look for sex. By constantly talking about sex, not only do we minimize the value of marital sex, but we also reduce our own worth. We make sex as empty and trashy as a reality television show.  

Sex between a wife and husband should remain just that: between a wife and husband. Neither one of them should be calling their best friend and telling them the intimacies of their bedroom. By doing so, you have just invited more people into your bed. “God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex” (end of verse 4). Do you really want your best friend to know about your husband’s private pleasures? It’s a thought they carry with them from that point on. Do you really want your best friend to visualize your wife naked? Then don’t EVER discuss your sexual relationship with anyone outside of your marriage! Stop minimizing intimacy, and rediscover the sacredness of sex with your spouse. Stop allowing the world into your bedroom, and make your sex life private and personal, something of great worth and value.

ACTION PLAN: Your spouse may be the best lover in the world, but no one else needs to know that! Resist the urge to blab on and on about your sex life with outsiders—I don’t care how close you are to them, they should be outsiders when it comes to this area of your life. Would you welcome your friends in the bedroom to sit and watch? Probably not! God, I hope not! But that’s what you do every time you share bedroom secrets. You have given them the key to your room to watch any time.

GO FURTHER: When your friends start to tell you about their sex life, stop them! Tell them that their sex life with their spouse is an intimate and personal connection that you don’t need to know about. Keep your friends out of your bedroom, and stay out of your friend’s bedroom, too! Learn how to put up a mental “KEEP OUT” sign on the intimate parts of your marriage.

FACT: “The marriage bed [should be] kept pure…”

Friday, October 21, 2011

No Post

I am off to a weekend retreat on becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman. So there will be no post today. If you are so inclined, feel free to read Proverbs 31, both men and women, and try to determine what that means, or could mean for your marriage.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Week 13: Who's Right and Who's Wrong

Scripture to practice for Relationship Revival Week 13:
Romans 12:3
“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to explore Romans 12 in detail, as God has jam packed tons of helpful tips for us as couples in that chapter. We'll start with verse 3, today’s scripture.

One thing human nature predicts is that we always need to be right. We need the last word. We need to be better than everyone else. And when it comes to relationships, that can be the death of us.

This dire need to always be right suffocates good marriages. How often have you gotten into enormous fights over who’s right and who’s wrong? How many times have you found yourself unwilling to give in because you thought you knew better than your spouse? Of course this is a major pride issue, and we all know that in order to have healthy, loving relationships, we sometimes—always—need to put our pride aside.

That’s why this scripture tells us to think of ourselves with “sober judgment.” When we are prideful, it’s hard to see ourselves in the true light of day. It’s how children view the world when the sun goes down and darkness misrepresents everything around them. Suddenly, the things they saw all day now make them anxious. When we are living in pride, we are living in darkness, and the way we see ourselves is typically not accurate.

Why do we feel the need to be right all the time? And what will it hurt to admit when we don’t know something, or confess we were wrong? We sometimes make marriage a competition with our spouse, always needing to better than them and insisting they are wrong about this or that. In our need to be right, we are incredibly wrong!

My study bible explains the second portion of this scripture, “God has given,” as power from God. “There can be no basis for a superior attitude or self-righteousness since our power comes from God.” When we insist we are right, we have taken God out of the picture. We give ourselves the glory, and in the process we demean the intelligence of our partner. We might as well call them “stupid,” because when we argue about who’s right and who’s wrong, we are insulting and offending them in cruel ways without even realizing the damage that’s being done.

Sure, it’s always nice to be right. I’ll admit, I’m right about a lot of things (see that awful PRIDE!), but I’m also wrong about a lot, too. I am the first one to admit my mistakes and take full responsibility for any wrong doings I’ve done, or any wrong information I’ve provided. I am incredibly outspoken about my political beliefs, but there are some topics I’m not well versed about, so I don’t bother getting caught up in debates about them. Instead, I like to gather information from both sides. I then let common sense and facts rule my decision on where I stand.

This need to be right in all things, all the time, will lead to destructive arguments, petty resentments, and hard feelings. Is being right worth more to you than your own marriage?

ACTION PLAN: Stop looking at yourself through the eyes of pride. Sober up and consider how it looks from God’s perspective. Measure it with the faith God has given you—the abilities He’s given you! Do not consider yourself above your spouse, but rather on equal ground.

GO FURTHER: Consider what your partner is saying to you instead of only wanting to be right. Take their points and opinions into consideration, and ask them nicely why they see it that way. You can also ask them to show you the evidence of their argument. Not in a mean spirited way, but try something like this: “That’s interesting. How did you come to that conclusion? Would you mind showing me? I’d like to understand it from your point of view.” Of course that sounds a bit cheesy, but you get the point.

When I first met Jared, he was convinced he was a die-hard liberal. But on our first date, upon asking me questions about my political reasonings, he soon realized that he held those same beliefs and they didn't jive with the liberal mindset. Sometimes when we ask questions and understand why our partner believes in one thing or another, we can be pleasantly surprised to find out we actually agree on something.

FACT: Forcing others into believing you are right often makes you look incredibly wrong.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Week 12: Let it Go

Scripture to reflect upon for Relationship Revival:
James 5:16 (The Message)
Live together whole and healed.

Stop holding that grudge against your husband. He said he was sorry a hundred times, didn’t he? So why, then, are you still mad and stomping around?

Let. It. Go.

When all is said and done, what does holding onto a past transgression do for you? Does it make you feel any better, or only worse? Does it resolve the issue, or only make the problem bigger than it really is?

You see, the small things—the ridiculous things—that couples typically fight about mean nothing in the long run. I spent most of my adult life struggling with men over dumb things that really didn’t mean anything except for the fact that I wasn’t perfect and that was the real problem they had with me.

Jared’s not perfect, and neither am I (believe it or not!). And yes, he does things that sometimes annoy the heck out of me, but in the larger scheme of things, my love for him overshadows all those silly things. I’d rather let it go then hang onto it and be mad at such a wonderful person for something so insignificant.

Jared sometimes doesn’t shut the shower curtain. So I shut it after he’s done. What would I solve by yelling at him? Would he shut it? Maybe. Or maybe he’d just become resentful that I would stoop so low as to get mad at him about the stupid shower curtain not being shut.

I want to live together with Jared, whole and healed. Those issues are my issues, not Jared’s, and I’m not going to make them his issues, either. And whenever I get mad at him for something so small and meaningless, I’m committing a greater sin against myself and God. So the second I feel anger struggling to surface, I remind myself that I can simply close the shower curtain myself and immediately that anger subsides. And what did it hurt me by closing it? It didn’t. It took me two seconds, tops, to shut it and that was that. I’m on my way with my day.

Jared is more important than a shower curtain. The man adores me and treats me like a princess. He respects me and showers me with love and kindness. The shower curtain could care less about me. In fact, it has no feelings about me whatsoever. Shower curtain? Jared?


ACTION PLAN: Live together whole and healed by releasing your sins. Let it go. Forget about it. Just move on. If it’s your issue, YOU deal with it, but don’t shove it on your spouse. And after you’ve dealt with it, don’t tell your partner that you dealt with it. Just do it and get over it. Don’t linger over coffee with it. Don’t entertain it. Don’t befriend it.

GO FURTHER: Confess to your partner about those piddly things that drive you nutty. But be wise with the words you choose. Don’t be accusatory and snotty. Be playful and cute about it. Present it in a funny way. Allow yourself to laugh at yourself, and allow your partner to laugh with you.

FACT: Nothing, besides God, is more important than your spouse.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Week 11: Real Revival

Scripture to reflect upon for Relationship Revival: Acts 6:7-8 (The Message)
The Word of God prospered. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased dramatically. Not least, a great many priests submitted themselves to the faith. Stephen, brimming with God’s grace and energy, was doing wonderful things among the people, unmistakable signs that God was among them.

You may be wondering what this scripture has to do with your love relationship and reviving it, but I will show you how you absolutely need to incorporate this scripture’s hope into your marriage.

We took last week off in hopes of everyone new to the site being able to catch up and grab hold of the simplicity of making a fresh start with a loved one. When my husband and I first decided to put something like this together, we thought of many clever things to call it, but what stood out to me most was the word, revival.

According to, the word revive means: 1. to activate, set in motion, or take up again; renew. 2. to restore to life or consciousness. 3. to make operative or valid again. 4. to bring back into notice, use, or currency. 5. to quicken or renew in the mind; bring back. 6. to reanimate or cheer (the spirit, heart, etc., or a person). 8. to return to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, or a flourishing condition. 9. to be quickened, restored, or renewed, as hope, confidence, suspicions, or memories. 10. to become operative or valid again.

Let’s take a look at some of the key words from the definition: activate, set in motion, renew, restore, operative, valid, bring back, quicken, reanimate, return, vigor, strength, flourishing. You may even notice that some of these words are used several times, such as: again.

When Christ came back to the disciples and prepared them to start the church, this is what it was all about: restoring hope, quickening spirits, renewing relationships with God, cheering up a depressed and oppressed people, validating lives, bringing them back to life, returning people to God through Jesus.

Jesus made us valid again. He renews us, restores us, quickens our spirit, gives us strength, and brings us back to a loving God who sincerely cares for us. The first church in Acts was literally “acting” on the Holy Spirit. They were reviving the people. It was the first-ever revival.

Reading, The Prayer of Jabez, author Bruce Wilkinson makes a profound declaration about that first revival. He confesses that without the Holy Spirit, that revival would have never taken place. Imagine, just for a second, had that revival not happened. Seriously…think about this. What do you think the world would be like? What would your life be like today had Jesus not “revived” you?

Just as Christ revived you, it’s now time to invite the Holy Spirit into your marriage, into your home, and into your family. It’s time for a real revival in your life!

ACTION PLAN: Let’s break down this scripture in real time/real life:
Make the Word of God prosperous in your marriage. Study scriptures together, welcome the Holy Spirit into your prayer time as a couple, and let God know that He is our family’s main source of life, hope, peace and joy. He is the center.

Work together as disciples for Christ. Start volunteering together and watch your blessings increase dramatically. Host a bible study in your home, and make your home a place of worship.

Be witnesses to others so that they, too, can submit themselves to the Jesus and revive their own relationships. Encourage others and watch how your relationship will blossom.

Brim with God’s grace and energy, do wonderful things among the people, and watch God do unmistakable signs among those you encounter.

GO FURTHER: Start your own relationship revival challenge with your friends and family. Tell them about this blog and how it’s helped. Encourage them to participate and take the weekly challenges. Start a Relationship Revival Home Group, and support one another in an effort to revive love, marriage and family.

FACT: The Holy Spirit is like a well of water that will never run dry. Go to it often and drink plenty!

If you start a home group based on my blog, please let me know. I’d love to hear how it’s working and what others are learning! My husband and I would even love to participate via Skype; or if you’re local, make a visit every now and then.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Get Ready for a Relationship Revival

Scripture to reflect upon to start your relationship revival: Psalm 85:10-13
Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.

For many years now, Jared and I have had a longing in our heart to share with other couples the things that make our relationship work so well. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect or we don’t have issues; but what we don’t have are “problems.” The problems we do have are typically outside sources, such as finances, family dramas, repairs, etc. These problems are things we share, not argue about.

Every relationship I’ve ever had with a man has always been filled with excessive turmoil and strife, anger and bitterness, and emotional—even sometimes physical—abuse. The last relationship I was in before Jared nearly killed me—literally. It was only when I surrendered completely to God whatever it was I was doing wrong and asked God to heal me, teach me and show me my worth, that I was able to find someone like Jared.

Jared and I do not argue. We do not fight. We almost never raise our voices at one another. We have only had, quite honestly, three instances where we actually fought. Two involved alcohol, several years ago. The other time, not too long ago, involved a smart phone and was entirely my fault, due to my lack of patience and distaste for technology.

We believe that the way we handle life, accept one another, and deal with “problems” are unique but simple actions and ideas. Any couple can easily incorporate them in their everyday living to resuscitate their relationship. This doesn’t mean your relationship is bad, or going down the tubes. Every relationship needs to be revived, or revved up, from time to time. Jared and I are going through a revival process right now, as a matter of fact.

How it Works:

·    Read the scripture and write it on an index card or post-it note. Read it every morning for 7 days. Post it in a place that you will see it often throughout the day. Make a copy for you and your partner.

·    The plan only works if both partners are involved. Make a commitment to one another and God that you will “actively” participate in each week’s Action Plan (AP).

·    I suggest journaling how the Scripture applies to you and your partner, how the AP is working for you, how your partner is responding, and if and how the AP is reviving your relationship.

·    At the end of the week, take some time alone with your partner to discuss how the AP affected you, how it changed you, how it helped you, and how it benefited you as a couple.

·    It’s not required, but it would be so great if at the end of the week you shared your experiences with me/us via email, or by leaving a comment after the original Relationship Revival posting.

Be on the lookout every Friday for a new perspective on how to revive your relationship.


Week 1: Lover of My Soul

Scripture to reflect upon: Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

There are so many exciting places to begin a revival in your relationship, but the first and foremost place to begin is with your personal relationship with God.

I won’t deny that Jared and I had been living in a very dry desert for the past two years, ever since our son Tavin was born.

From day one, mine and Jared’s relationship was entirely God-centered. We knew God anointed us two weeks into it. We had a supernatural experience with God one evening, and knew we were connected for life.

When we decided to have a baby, all we thought about was how it would bring us joy. We weren’t foolish enough to believe there wouldn’t be hard times, or that our lives wouldn’t change, but we had no idea just how much would change and how hard it would be.

From the day Tavin was born, we suffered many heartbreaking issues that consumed my every waking (and barely sleeping) moment. And from that point on, Tavin became my god. I put everything and everyone else on the backburner, including God.

In the process of allowing Tavin’s health, his colic, his teething and his tantrums to utterly consume me, I lost myself completely. I forgot who Tristine was. Who she was all about. Who she was as a woman, a daughter, a friend, a wife, and most importantly, a child of God. So many things just didn’t seem to go right for us with Tavin that I eventually stopped praying, too. A year later, I realized that’s why I was so empty.

I had neglected the One person who knew me and could save me. I won’t deny that it’s only been a few short months that I finally put God back where He belongs: in first place.

God needs to come first. Tell your partner, “Sorry, sweetie, but God comes first.” You see, if He isn’t first, and your partner is (or child, or anything or anyone else), you’re going to face some difficulties in your own life.

If you are desperately hoping that your partner will fulfill your every whim and desire, you are sadly mistaken. Only God can do that; but only when you put Him in first place above all others!

One of the most critical things I lost along the way these past two years has been my passion; mainly my passion for Jared. I still loved him. I still found him desirable. I just didn’t know what to do with it, because my passion for life was gone. I didn’t have a life anymore, or so it seemed. My life became Tavin’s life.

Praying to have my passion revived wasn’t enough. God showed me that I needed to find my passion for Him again first, and everything else would fall into place.

This is not always an easy task, let’s admit it. We feel that if we put God first, we will somehow neglect the ones we love here on earth. But the opposite is true. When we put God first, when we love Him above all else, our love intensifies for those in our life.

Just like your relationship with your partner, you need to nurture your relationship with God, work at it, and make a commitment to it. It means spending time with Him…alone! Quality time: Praying, worshipping, praising, admiring, talking, and listening. Learning how to do these things with God will increase your desire and your ability to do these things with your partner. I often joke with Jared when I escape with God that I’m off to spend time with my First Lover. (God’s smiling at that.) Jared isn’t offended, and neither will your partner if they are truly committed to God, too.

ACTION PLAN: Every day for the next seven days, go to a quiet place alone and sit with God. Tell God that He is your first love and you commit to putting Him first in your life from this day forward. Make him the Lover of your soul. Let Him fill you with His deep and unfailing love. Find scriptures that provide proof of His love for you. Write them down and start each day reminding yourself just how much He loves you, and then return that love back to Him.

FACT: Without God, it’s impossible to truly love anyone else in a healthy way. If you haven't established a relationship with Jesus and made Him a priority in your life, simply confess and surrender to Him and He will gladly revive your soul.

GO FURTHER: The next step is then to make God the center of your relationship with your partner. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to have a talk with your partner.

SINGLES: This very simple and basic Truth should be your first priority in your pursuit for that special someone. If you are seeking a love relationship in the world without Jesus, you will find yourself continually in unhealthy, destructive, unfulfilling relationships. He laid down His LIFE for YOU. No human being can love you like that! This is the ULTIMATE love relationship you need first and foremost. Without it, you are lost in the crazy dating world, filled with people who are only looking out for themselves. Date Jesus for a while. As silly as that sounds, it's one of the most amazing experiences you'll ever have. He will never hurt you, never talk down to you, never betray you, never leave you! Aren't those all the things you're looking for? He will satisfy your soul and fill you with an overabundance of joy. Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).

God wants to make sure that you have already placed Him first in your life, and will keep Him there even when the person of your dreams comes along. Stop moving and acting by the flesh, and instead be content and happy with God as the Lover of your soul for now. When you completely and utterly surrender yourself to Him, He can start preparing you for that amazing person He already has lined up for you! The reason I tell you this is because this is how I met my husband, Jared. God is faithful when you just let go and let Him do the searching for you! In the meantime, find pleasure in His presence. Let God fill that emptiness in your heart. He's eager to do it.

Week 2: How May I Help You?

Scripture to reflect upon: Genesis 2:18, 24
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Let’s start from the beginning…of time, that is. You were created to help one another.

We live in an All About Me society. Facebook and Twitter prove that point, as we are under the assumption that the whole world wants to know our every move, thought, or drama. So we continually post updates about what’s happening in our mind nearly every second of our day.

When we were single (or if you are still single) we were looking for someone to fulfill a fantasy. We had a laundry list of checkpoints our future soul mate needed to achieve in order for us to commit to them. Some were superficial, and others were characteristic. Hopefully we all strived to find someone who believes in Jesus the way we do, otherwise we’ve got real problems, and I already posted on that topic a few weeks ago. But we often search for a partner with this selfish idea of how they can and will please us. It’s the new world idea, “What can you do for me?”

We were not designed to have people serve us, but instead, to serve others. If you’re having issues in your relationship, you’re probably thinking in terms of what you’re getting or what you’re not getting out of the relationship. We are always expecting something. We want, we want, we want. We take, we take, we take. But we never give back in return. I have a feeling that I am extremely guilty of this myself. My husband does a LOT for me, and I’m not quite sure I am fulfilling my role in all of this. In order for me to truly meet his needs, it’s incredibly important that I speak his love language.

If you’ve never heard of or read the book, The Five Love Languages, I highly recommend it. All too often, even when we are trying to do nice things for our partner, we may be doing all the wrong things that don’t speak their love language. Your partner may constantly be telling you how wonderful, or how beautiful you are, but if your love language is Physical Touch, and not Words of Affirmation, you’re going to be frustrated and unsatisfied with their efforts to please you. You will more than likey feel like they are doing everything BUT pleasing you, and you will probably also feel as if they just don't "get you." In fact, the very acts of love they show to you, may be entirely rubbing you the wrong way, so much so, that you may believe they just don't love you at all.

Dr. Gary Chapman came up with this amazing discovery of the love languages, and it honestly works! I just took the quiz at (There is a quiz for singles, too, so don’t be discouraged. This will be incredibly helpful in trying to find the right helpmate specifically for you!) It was no surprise to me that my love language is Acts of Service. Because I’m a very busy mommy, and although I’m home all day, having help around the house is a huge thing for me. When Jared cleans or fixes things around the house, this speaks volumes to me. He’s speaking my love language, and I absolutely feel loved. He also gives me words of affirmation, and I don’t typically respond to it the way I do when he helps around the house or with our son.

The Five Love Languages are as follows:
  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

The problem is that most of us who are aware (either consciously or subconsciously) of what makes us feel loved, try to use that very same love language for our partner, who may not receive love that way. And we tend to get incredibly upset when they don’t or won’t respond to how we are showing our love for them.

ACTION PLAN: I suggest both you and your partner take the quiz and then discuss what your love language means to you, personally. The great thing about the quick quiz is that it will score your love language for each category. That will be extremely helpful in realizing the things that truly don’t do much at all for your partner. (I scored very low in Receiving Gifts and Physical Touch, but very high with Acts of Service. Next in line was Quality Time and then Words of Affirmation.)

Then, get to work! Don’t focus entirely on what your partner is (or isn’t) doing for you—although that’s important, too—but concentrate on how you can please your partner. Make your partner your number one priority this week (aside from God, of course).

FACT: You are no longer single (unless you are, see below). You are no longer living just for you. You and your partner have become one flesh, just as God said. God created us to help one another. If we are only looking out for ourselves, then we will never truly be happy. When we serve others and show them our love, it’s not only rewarding for them, but you will reap the benefits knowing that you are blessing your partner. Being married no longer allows you the luxury of living a selfish and greedy lifestyle. Consider what your partner needs…always.

GO FURTHER: Practice showing your love for your partner by accommodating your partner’s two highest scoring love languages.

SINGLES: You were created specifically for someone special to share your life with. Before moving on in any relationship, it’s important to know what makes YOU tick and what makes you feel loved. If you don’t, then all you will continue to do is spin your wheels getting nowhere fast. Start learning how to be a blessing to others. Put yourself out there by thinking of others first and foremost. Don’t always think about what you want, but focus on others around you and what they want or need. This will properly prepare you for the person God has lined up for you.

Week 3: Zip It!

Scripture to reflect upon for Relationship Revival: James 1:19-20
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

If you follow my blog, you’ve heard me say before that Jared and I have only had three arguments in our four year relationship. One thing I credit for that is we unknowingly follow this scripture to a tee. Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. We are not perfect in any way, shape or form…especially me!

I’ve always been an outspoken person, and even when I try to speak my mind civilly, it typically comes out all wrong. I have a tendency to offend and hurt without even realizing what I’m doing.

I think it’s important to express yourself, and I think if someone has hurt you, you have every right to say so. But let’s get one thing straight: people don’t like confrontation, and when they are confronted on something they did wrong, they will always attack and try to turn it around on you somehow. Admit it. We all do it.

The problem is that sometimes we only listen to key words that trigger an emotion in us. I may not be saying what I need to say in a tone of anger, but if it sounds like an attack on the other person, they will typically respond by attacking back. And we all know how that story ends.

If we are quick to listen and slow to respond to what’s been said, you can honestly avoid getting angry. I know it works because Jared is the king at this, and it has benefits for me, too.

When I get upset and say something, usually not in a very pleasant tone, Jared hears it but doesn’t react to it. Why? Because he knows that what I’m feeling is legitimate to me, but it’s nothing for him to get all bent out of shape over. So he doesn’t say anything! Nothing! And let me tell you, his silence rebukes me quickly. I am instantly aware of what I just said and how I said it, and almost immediately I am apologizing.  And it’s over just like that. No argument. No name calling. No doors slamming.

Now on the opposite end of this, if we would truly listen to our partner, we could almost always avoid any and all types of disagreements, outbursts, and tirades.

We were craving pizza the other night, and rather than order one for $25, Jared offered to go to the store and get a frozen one. I asked him to get a particular brand. The last time we did this very same thing, the store didn’t have my brand. This is what I said to him the first time: “I want Carlo’s pizza with sausage. If they don’t have Carlo’s, then get anything else but with pepperoni. Carlo’s is the only pizza I like with sausage. I don't like sausage on any other pizza.” That first time he couldn’t find Carlo’s sausage he ended up buying a Home Run sausage pizza, which I absolutely hate! I got a bit bothered the first time and explained how I despise Home Run's sausage in particular. But the other night, he did the same exact thing! He couldn’t find Carlo’s and bought the same Home Run sausage pizza again. This time…I lost it! Jared stood there with a confused look on his face and asked, “What are you getting so mad about?” And I replied, “You say you always want to do things to please me, but yet it seems you don’t listen to me.” I’m sure he will never ever again buy a Home Run sausage pizza. At least I hope he won’t.

ACTION PLAN: This week zip it! Keep your mouth shut when your partner vents. Sometimes that’s all we need: to vent, get it out and get it over with. We are not looking for a fight, nor are we looking to deliberately hurt our partner. Let each other vent, but listen closely. Pay attention to what they are really upset about. If your partner is mad that you don’t put the dishes in the dishwasher, put the dishes in the dishwasher from now on. It’s a small act you can do to eliminate stress or anger in your partner, or a possible argument over something trivial that can easily be fixed.

If you are the one who is angry, let it out, but don’t use your partner’s name and do not direct your frustration at them. Focus on what is making you mad. You are not mad that your partner doesn’t put the dishes in the dishwasher, you are angry because you don’t like dishes in the sink. So instead of saying, “James, why can’t you ever put your dishes in the dishwasher?!” instead say, “I really hate dishes in the sink!” Partners: LISTEN UP AND ZIP IT!

If your partner did not respond with an argument when you spoke out of anger, convey your apologies, express yourself in a more well mannered tone, and move on.

FACT: We all have our pet peeves that rub us the wrong way. We all want to be heard when we have something important to say, especially concerning our feelings. Whatever bothers your partner is important to them, even if it seems ridiculous to you. Zipping your lip will avoid silly arguments that can escalate into something much worse than dishes in a sink. 

GO FURTHER: Sit down with one another and make a list of things your partner does that upsets you, and then discuss it together. Jared and I did this not too long ago. He didn’t close the shower curtain when he was done showering. I would just get upset when I saw it, said nothing, and then I’d shut it. It wasn’t a big enough deal for me to get mad at him. It was something that bothered me. After nicely discussing it, he now makes a conscious effort to shut the shower curtain. Does he do it all the time? No, but at least 90% of the time is better than never. It’s the effort that matters. What bothers you may not bother someone else, but in a relationship we should always be aware of our partner’s pet peeves and make sure we don’t do things that will rub them the wrong way. We may have to adjust our own behaviors in the process, but if it means eliminating frustration in your partner’s life, then I think it’s worth it! Pick and choose your fights. Jared not closing the shower curtain was not worth my own energy getting angry about and/or starting an argument over. Making the list together and then talking about it is an easy and fun way to talk about things that bother you. During this process, you may even end up laughing hysterically at how silly it all sounds, while also realizing that it means something important to the other person. Post your list to remind you and your partner how to keep peace with one another.

SINGLES: You can easily apply this lesson in almost every area of your life and in all of your other relationships. One thing to focus on this week is to make a list of your own pet peeves. Think back to previous relationships and the things they did (or didn’t do) that upset you. Take note of things that you do from day to day that might be someone else’s pet peeve. Start correcting the behavior now.

Week 4: Who Are You?

Scripture to reflect upon for Relationship Revival: Psalm 17:3 (The Message)
Go ahead, examine me from inside out, surprise me in the middle of the night—You’ll find I’m just what I say I am. My words don’t run loose.

Who are you, really? Are you living a lie? Are you telling your spouse one thing and doing something else? Are you claiming to be something you’re not?

I want to tell you a personal story about something that happened a few months ago. It was incredibly upsetting, and nearly destroyed our marriage.

For a couple of months, each night I would notice Jared slurring his words and excuse it as just being overly tired. But there was more to it than that. I sensed something was off with him. It eventually turned out that he was privately drinking and trying to hide it from me, but all the while acting like nothing was wrong. I’m sure that must have been incredibly difficult for Jared to do—for anyone to do, for that matter. Because it’s hard to keep pretending to be the person your partner knows you to be, when you are no longer that person anymore. But if you have a strong connection and bond with your partner, they will always, always, ALWAYS know when something is amiss.

One night, trying to enjoy my evening with Jared, I actually felt as if I was with a total stranger. I was uncomfortable and nervous. He wasn’t abusive or anything like that, but I just didn’t recognize his behaviors, his movements, or even his voice. And at that moment God had me ask Jared if he had been drinking. Jared denied it and acted as if I had lost my mind for even asking such a thing. But when he finally passed out, God was mad that Jared lied to me and led me directly to his stash. Directly to it! God told me exactly where it was. And I confronted Jared the very next morning, and Jared began dealing with his problem from that moment on.

Shortly after I discovered his secret, I recalled many of those drunken nights of him talking about how he was such an upstanding guy who would never mistreat a woman, and he just didn’t get “those kind of guys.” Two or three nights after we learned that his secretive drinking was indeed a serious problem of alcoholism, we sat down together one night to discuss “things.” I reminded him of those conversations and told him that he had become the very man he claimed he disliked so much. He had become a man who purposely lied to his wife. It was not only devastating to me, but Jared had to take a hard look at himself, and what he saw was not pretty. Jared immediately got involved in AA and Freedom Seekers (a Christ-based 12 step program at our church, Kenosha First Assembly).

Fortunately, this problem was found out in the birthing process of it all. Had I ignored it, or not confronted it, we could still be living in the lie. Not only should God be the one to examine us, but God will also ask you to examine yourself and your partner.

ACTION PLAN: If I were to ask you, “What is your character?” how would you describe yourself? Is your answer the true you, or the persona you are trying to project to others? Or is it even the kind of person you wish you were?

Ask God to examine you to find out if you are “just what you say you are.” Allow God to search your heart and show you the truth of who you are. Now ask yourself who you are as a couple. Pray together and ask God to reveal how He sees you as a couple.

GO FURTHER: You are absolutely accountable to one another and should always pay close attention to any mixed signals. If your partner asks you something and you are untrue, God will show your partner the truth. If you are hiding anything from your partner this week (big or small), come clean and don’t let anything prevent you from being who you are, and who you are to your partner.

FACT: When your words run loose, you will find yourself in a lot of uncomfortable predicaments.

SINGLES: Read tomorrow’s blog. I’ll be using the same scripture in a different context, but very similar in principle!

Week 5: Fact vs. Fiction

Scripture to reflect upon for Relationship Revival Week 5: Proverbs 29:11
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

Years ago I used to watch Dr. Phil faithfully! That famous phrase he uses is still a perfect reminder that most things we do in life don’t bring us happiness: “How’s that working for you?”

One thing that sticks out more than anything he ever spoke about was this idea that our feelings aren’t always truth. Most of us already know that but have no clue how to let that settle into our spirit and everyday living.

So many of us react to our “feelings,” that we end up causing more problems in an already bad situation. This happens a lot in relationships, and not just in our marriages, but with our children, friends, parents, or even co-workers. When we have a conflict in our lives that need to be resolved, we go about it all wrong. We tend to act (in)appropriately to our feelings.

Our feelings have no real cause for reality. Our feelings have a way of ballooning out of control until it pops! When we sit and stew on something, we suddenly start coming up with all these images and ideas about the situation that more than likely are only a figment of our overactive imagination. We start coming up with all these ridiculous notions of why so-and-so did this-or-that, and all of a sudden we’ve made so-and-so out to be an evil villain from one of those daytime soap operas. We watch way too much TV.

We believe we have the other person all figured out and know their motives. Next thing you know we’re acting on that…not reality. Most of the time, people don’t even realize they may have offended or hurt you. So to start overanalyzing someone and accusing them of being from the dark side is a bit self-defeating, and it will usually end up making you look a tad silly, and no one likes looking like a fool.

What I’m saying does not nullify our feelings at all. The problem is our approach. When we come at our partner with words like, “You did…” or “You make me feel…” we are in a lot of trouble. This instantly puts the blame on the other person, and whether or not that’s the case, we should always resist pointing fingers at one another.

This one phrase Dr. Phil suggested has helped me in so many potential arguments over the years: “This is how I feel. It may not be fact, but it’s how I feel…” How many times have you caught yourself saying, “He does this on purpose…” or “He does this because he knows it upsets me…”? I highly doubt our partner is doing anything on purpose to deliberately upset or hurt us. If they are, then you need more help than my piddly blog, but don’t automatically assume they are. This is what always gets us into deep, troubled waters—way over our head, out of control, no hope in sight.

These simple words can help you express how you feel without making them a fact in your mind, and without making it an attack on your partner.

ACTION PLAN: When your partner has done something that has upset you and you need to discuss it with them, instead of pointing your finger, using blame words, or making accusations, tell them how the situation makes you feel. Explain to them that what you feel doesn’t make it true, but nonetheless, it’s how you feel. This can’t be done by yelling or screaming or fists in the air. This has to be done calmly, otherwise your words and actions won’t agree and your partner will feel like they are in Crazytown.

GO FURTHER: Once you get the hang of explaining how you feel in this healthy manner, try stopping those obsessive, soap opera thoughts before they even begin! We have to look at our problems logically. To automatically assume someone is purely evil and only does things to set you off is 98% ludicrous. That’s not saying that some people aren’t doing things to upset you on purpose, because there are a few people out there who are like that, but they are a very small minority. But if you are in a Godly relationship, you can be sure that they are not maliciously out to hurt you, so stop allowing those deceiving thoughts to even enter your mind anymore. Those are lies of the enemy, so stop him dead in his tracks before he even begins to fill your head with vicious lies to accuse your loved ones.

Start analyzing how you mindfully react to situations that upset you. Journal what thoughts immediately come into your head so you can be aware of them and start learning how to keep them at bay. Negative thoughts will only cause more damage. It does no one any good to act upon those ideas or thoughts. Change your mind, change your thinking, and change your approach.

FACT: What you feel isn’t fact. It’s merely what you feel.

Week 6: Linger Looking

Scripture to reflect upon for Relationship Revival: 2 Samuel 11:2
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful…

I love Jared’s analogy of this scripture. Jared always says that David’s real sin was looking at Bathsheba. This is so true.

Jared works on a boat in Milwaukee and is surrounded by young guys in their 20’s. In the boating industry, there are usually a lot of single, attractive ladies that take boat rides. The company he works for also does “party cruises,” and some of these rides get a bit out of control, particularly when it comes to the young women and their aggressive flirtatious behavior.

Many of the other deckhands Jared works with will gawk and drool over these girls and try to bait Jared into looking too. Jared just says, “Why do I need to look at them when I have a beautiful wife at home?” And their response: “It doesn’t hurt to look!” Well, I beg to differ, and so should you.

If you are living by this secular viewpoint that it doesn’t hurt to look, you are only fooling yourself. Many people end up getting in a lot trouble when they look and think nothing is wrong with that, because next on the list is a little “harmless” flirting. And what’s the harm in that? PLENTY!

I knew a married woman who had befriended a very attractive man. She kept her friendship a secret from her spouse as to not upset him or make him jealous. She claimed they were just friends and that it was nice to have someone to confide in. Well, I don’t know about you folks, but that to me is adulterous behavior! The minute you begin to confide in someone else other than your partner, you are headed for a heartache. Those types of intimacies will eventually open a floodgate of temptation that you may or may not be able to resist. Eventually, her husband found out about this so-called friendship and it put a heavy strain on their marriage. Six months later they were filing for divorce. Shortly after the divorce was finalized, she was dating the friend.

See, you start with just a look. Then you move on to harmless flirting. Now you’re in territory that starts getting dangerous. Before you know it, you’re keeping secrets from your partner and sometimes even telling lies to cover your tracks. Is any real friendship worth all of that?

A look usually becomes an act. It stirs something up inside of you that makes you think of someone else in a manner that you should only be visualizing you and your partner doing. Those impulses, those urges, can ultimately lead to something physical, and then you are in way over your head. What started out as a glance, has now escalated into a full-fledged affair.

Now let’s flip the coin. Let’s say someone hit on you. What do you do? I recently had someone “harmlessly” flirt with me and it made me incredibly uncomfortable. Although it’s always flattering to have someone find you attractive, we have to be careful how we respond to that attention in return. I handled it with a polite, thank you, and changed the subject almost immediately. I also told Jared about it. I refuse to keep any secrets from him, even if it seems trivial. I didn’t like the idea of keeping something like that from him. I also told him how it made me feel; that it was nice, but it also made me uncomfortable. Jared was incredibly pleased that I loved him enough to tell him about it.

Some will argue that it’s hard not to look. I guess that could be true. But quite honestly when I see an attractive man from a distance I do not linger on it. I don’t go out of my way to get a better view. In fact, I go out of my way to make sure I don’t look at him at all! Jared does the same thing. So if Jared and I can do that, so can you and your partner.

ACTION PLAN: First of all, never think that anything is too trivial to tell your partner. If they think it’s silly, so be it. You need to always be honest and up front with your partner about incidents or situations that could possibly lead to something else. It’s better to say someone flirted with you or hit on you, rather than two months down the road you have to tell your partner that a friendship has gotten a bit out of hand because it wasn’t dealt with properly.

GO FURTHER: Don’t look! Seriously. Turn away. Do not linger on looking. I don’t care how good looking the other person is, look away. Do not let your thoughts take you somewhere that suddenly has you replacing your partner. Anytime you start to think, “Wow, that woman is so sexy,” your next thought will probably have you wondering what it would be like to kiss her. Trust me. That’s how the flesh works. So nip it in the bud before the thought takes root!!

FACT: There’s no such thing as harmless flirting, and it does hurt to look!

Week 7: Are You Ready for some Football?

Scripture to reflect upon for Relationship Revival: Proverbs 21:19
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

So ladies, it’s football season again. Many of you are going to find yourself in a tithy every Sunday afternoon and Monday night. You are going to be angered and feel rejected. You will start arguments and find ways to disturb your husband while he tries to enjoy the games. I will read many, many facebook statuses from women professing their absolute loathing of football. I must admit, I don’t understand why.

Many years ago (in my twenties) I dated an avid football fan. I used to get so angry every time he would tell me that he was going to spend time with his friends to watch the games. See, I worked full time during the week and he went to college full time. The weekends were our only time together. I hated that he devoted so much time and energy into such a silly thing as football.

Well, I got to thinking: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. It was my only hope of spending time with him. So I asked him one Sunday if he would come over with his friends to my house and teach me the game. Let me tell you something, he was so excited and so thrilled to talk about football that he jumped on the chance to actually teach me the sport. (We all know how men like to tell us what to do; I mean, teach us things.)

Him and his friends came over that Sunday and sat with me and told me all the rules, all the plays and all the players. Who to watch, what to watch, what the penalties are, and so on. Truly, I still hated it at first, but only because I didn’t get it right away. But they came back the following week and went over it again with me. Three weeks later I actually found myself enjoying the game just as much as the guys did! (I’ll admit, I was originally a Redskins fan. My reasoning for liking them at the time was because one of their players helped pick up the opposing team’s player after he knocked him down. I wised up soon enough…)

Today, I’m a huge Packers fan. I liked them even when they weren’t so popular. And honestly, my ex-boyfriend from my twenties hated them because he was a Bears fan. So you can only imagine the heated discussions we’d get into, but that’s what made it even more fun!

My son, Josh, who really didn’t have much of a male influence on his life, ended up loving the sport because of my love of the game, too. Although, I was a bit angered by the fact that he chose the Cowboys as his favorite team and went out of his way to shove it in my face. All in fun, of course.

Listen, you can sit there and moan and groan all you want. That is not going to change your husband! You can whine, cry, complain, stand in front of the TV…whatever. He loves the game. Let him love the game! What is the harm? I mean, really…what is the harm? Don’t you have things that you like to do that he doesn’t? I’m sure he doesn’t like to go high heel shopping, or boot shopping, or purse shopping, does he? Does he complain to you about how you love to cook, or love to read? Does he stand in front of you and moan and groan and whine about how you’re not spending enough time with him?

I have to confess, I spent so many heart wrenching years trying to change men. I cried so many useless tears over trivial things like football, or camping trips, or looking at cars. But our guys can teach us a lot if we would only let them. If we only showed an interest in their interests. Why is that so hard for us to do?

Jared’s father loved opera and theatre. He never once played ball with them, or encouraged them to watch or participate in any kind of sports. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but when we first started dating, I had a real issue with him not liking football. He just didn’t get the sport and the idea of being a “fan”. That was extremely foreign to him.

What was so great about Jared, was his willingness to learn something he had absolutely zero interest in, solely to please me. He knew it was an important part of my life in the fall and winter. He knew he was either going to have to learn the game or sit miserably by waiting to be with me on Tuesday. So he asked me to teach him about the game. Josh and I spent many Sunday afternoons teaching him all about football. By the end of our first season together, he still didn’t quite understand the hoopla over the sport. He liked it fine enough. It was something he could “tolerate” in order to spend time with me and Josh. What he enjoyed more than anything was our excitement about the game. He would get so tickled by my joy or disappointment. It connected him to me on a deeper level, because he allowed himself to discover something about me that I loved.

Today, Jared is MORE of a football fan than I am! There are times now when he will watch football and I’ll be in the other room doing my own thing, and I’m quite alright with that. I love that Jared has found something that makes him so happy and gives him such joy. I would never want to take that away from him. I would never even ask. And if I did, then SHAME on me!! How dare us try to rip the simple joys of life from our partners merely for our own selfishness. What would you do anyway? Have him mow the lawn? Oh, fun! Or have him go dress shopping with you? Yee-ha! Make him tag along miserably with you grocery shopping? Or worse yet, would you make him do something he may hate, too, like going to a chick flick?

Guys, don’t get me wrong, this goes both ways. Men should be open to discovering what their partner likes too. You’d be surprised at how good some of those chick flicks are!

Jared loved the BBC TV show, Doctor Who. I thought it was utterly cheese ball and silly. I would laugh at him whenever he watched it, and eventually just go to our room and read during the show. One day I sat out in the living room with him, and although it was still cheesy, I got a bit hooked. I didn’t want to admit it at first, because I made such a big stink about it in the beginning, but four years later I can’t wait for the new season to start, and I’ve even joined a facebook Whovian fan page. Yeah, I’m that nuts about it!

One thing that I learned over the years is that I don’t need a man to complete me. I don’t need to be with him every waking moment. I drove myself insane trying to get men to spend time with me when they had other things they had or wanted to do. And I can’t tell you how many ridiculous arguments I started in hopes of changing their minds. It never worked.

We put such an enormous burden on our partners when we demand that they be consumed with us at all times. You will never be fully happy if you keep forcing the issue, whether it’s football, golf, or hunting. We have to learn to accept the fact that they have other interests besides us, or use it as an excuse to have “me time,” or better yet, admit defeat and learn to like their interest too.

ACTION PLAN: Stop acting so silly! Quite honestly, anywhere is better than being around someone who is endlessly nagging and complaining about something. Stop being miserable and making everyone else miserable in the process. It’s time for you to start doing things you enjoy doing when your partner is doing things they enjoy doing. You can’t fully depend on your partner to fulfill your every need. You have got to learn how to be a bit more independent in that sense. If you ask me, there’s no better time to spend with God then when your partner is busy doing something they enjoy on their own.

GO FURTHER: This football season decide to sit with your partner for a few games. Ask him (or her) to teach you the game. Tell them that you want to understand it so it can be something you share together. Jared and I make a big deal out of game day. We plan menus around it and everything. It becomes a very special day for us to spend together, and something we really look forward to throughout the week. Invite your partner’s friends over for game day and make it a special day for your partner. If after a few weeks you’ve discovered you still hate the game, let it go and let your partner have their day. Just ask them if they would be willing to make sure to do something special with you later during the week so you can have some time together.

FACT: Learn to accept your partner as they are. Don’t try to change their interests. It’s impossible. They have to want to change, and they have to make the efforts…but remember, so do you!