Marriage Matters: A Tool to Help Spark Your Prayer Life {and Marriage!}

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{Are you new here? We’d love for you to come join us at our new community called The Knot Project. You can find it here!)

For a long time, I thought prayer was a last resort. Fortunately, God corrected my erroneous way of thinking and showed me how prayer is actually my most powerful weapon.

I truly believe that prayer had an impact on how Craig found freedom from pornography AND how I found freedom from control. Not only has prayer transformed our personal relationships with Jesus, but we have found that praying for each other helps us to grow together in ways we never imagined possible.

I admit, there are days that go by where I forget to pray for Craig. There are days when he forgets to pray for me. Life gets in the way, right? It’s easy to get busy, to get sidetracked, even lazy. But Satan waits for us to let our guard down and then we realize how important it is NOT to let life get in the way of praying for our spouse.

To help us remember and to keep us on track for praying for the variety of things our spouse needs, we developed the Marriage Matters cards. Each week showcases a theme that is an important marriage matter. It gives you scriptures to read so you understand why God calls us to pray for these things, some prayer points to help guide you in your prayer life, and then an action. Because as James says, “Faith without works is dead.” 

These actions are designed to help you and your spouse talk about some of the marriage matters that you might not know how to talk about. They also help you step out of your comfort zone and try some new adventures together. All of these things – prayer, reading scripture, and putting our faith in action – build intimacy, which is what God desires for our relationship with Him and with each other.

Each Marriage Matters card deck comes with 52 themed cards, an “about Marriage Matters cards (complete with instructions), and a biography card so you get to know Craig and me a little bit better. They come in a hardshell plastic case, which works well for storage and display.

MMCards

Each deck is $10 + shipping. You can order your deck today by clicking here.

When Your Tool Doesn’t Fix What’s Broken

I’m guest posting today over at Heather Gillis’ place. Thank you so much for having me, Heather! Here’s a little teaser and then you can head over there to find out what tool really does work to fix your marriage.


Prayer Changes Marriages

It didn’t seem like it could be enough. How could simply praying save my marriage? How could words, words that most times weren’t uttered aloud, end my husband’s porn addiction?

For many years, I treated prayer like an “add-on” item to my Amazon cart. Something good, but not something that I truly needed. It was a way I could vent my frustrations, rail at God, and ask Him for healing, but I didn’t really think it had enough power to transform a life. I viewed porn addiction as something that required the “big guns,” though to be honest, I had no idea what those really were. I was in my early twenties and just learning one could be addicted to something called porn.

I had no tools to fix my husband, so I did my best to fashion one using the materials I had. I made one called Control. (Maybe you’ve used this one, too?) My control tool felt comfortable in my hand – tell him what to do and all our lives would be so much better. Though it was a very easy tool to use, it didn’t quite fit the job. I found myself frustrated often. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t follow my simple rules to keep him safe: Don’t close the door to the study, read the bible every day, keep the history so I can check it, tell me when he felt tempted, etc.

One day I realized how much all my drilling him with rules and regulations wasn’t keeping our marriage together. In one of my darkest moments of despair, I heard God right there in my puddle of tears in the middle of my bathroom closet.

To continue reading, please click here. Make sure you head over – we have a new resource for you to help you on your prayer journey!

How One Guy Found the Key to Amazing Sex

SexNotAmazing

A guest post by Andrew Hamlet

I picked up some night shifts at the group home where I worked. Figured it would be some easy money because the residents were asleep. Besides I was going to be working with Chris and despite not getting to work together a lot, we got along.

Our conversation started out very normal that night. Hi. How are you? I’m good.  Standard banter for us. Then Chris got quiet. He moved passed the door that separated the two halves of the house and said, “Can I ask you a serious question?”

“Sure, why not?” I replied.

“You’re a Christian right?”

 “Yes, I am.”

“I’m just gonna come out and say it. I love my girlfriend, but I don’t know…the sex is just ok.”

Chris and I had never talked on this level. I was taken aback just for a moment. And then I responded with an equally serious question.

“I need you to be honest. How often do you watch porn and masturbate?”   His eyes went wide and then his head dropped a little.

“A lot,” he said.

“Chris, I’m not judging you right now. I can’t say that I’ve been perfect in that area at all. But what I’m getting at is this: using porn to take care of yourself is robbing your sex life. You’re creating a fantasy world that your girl cannot live up to and frankly, shouldn’t have to.”

Understanding seemed to flood his eyes at that moment.

“You’re not suggesting that I stop having sex with my girlfriend, are you?  ‘Cause I don’t think that I could do that,” Chris said.

“That would be the best, but how about this?”  The Holy Spirit, at that moment, just filled my mouth with words. “You stop watching porn and masturbating I promise your sex with your girlfriend will be the best it has ever been. Do you think you can do that for a month?” I said

Chris thought for a moment and told me he’d try.

A month went by and the first shift with Chris since our conversation was coming up. I wondered if he had stuck to the deal.   Did he give my crazy idea any thought?   I was also praying to God I wasn’t wrong – that abstaining for porn and masturbating did really make sex better.

We got to the house, did our rounds making sure that residents were settled in.

Chris could hardly contain himself.   He looked at me, grabbing both my shoulders.

“It worked. Andrew, it was the best sex I had ever had!”

He couldn’t wipe the smile of his face. I let him bask in the realization for a moment.

“I wasn’t wrong, was I?” I said

“No. I never imagined it could be like this,” Chris grinned.

“You know what I’m going to say now Chris, don’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Imagine how awesome the sex could be if you waited till you were married,” I said.

“ I know, Andrew. I know, but I can’t do that,” Chris exclaimed.

“I know, Chris. You can’t.  You need Jesus to do that.”

Chris paused a moment, then spoke

“I know what your saying. I’m just not there yet.”

Chris walked to the other side of the group and it remained silent between us for rest of the night.

A few weeks passed and not a day went by that I didn’t think of Chris’ statement. I wondered, Should I have pushed him that night? Did I miss a chance to have Chris meet Jesus?

Another late shift came up and I took it. I was surprised to see Chris since he had already worked the day shift, but it wasn’t uncommon to do a double at our jobs. Turns out, Chris had another reason for picking up that shift.

Just as the house was settling for the night Chris passed through the door and he uttered this simple words: “Andrew, I need Him.” I was so caught of guard by his statement that I answered, “Need who?”

Chris paused and spoke again. “I need Jesus. I need what you have. I don’t want to go another day without knowing what you know.”

Wow, I thought to myself. Is this really happening? Is God about to use to me lead this young man to Christ?

We prayed right there in the group home that Chris would receive all that God had for him, that he would become a son of the King.

Chris got engaged a few weeks later, determined to find some accountability to help him abstain from sex with his fiancee until they became married.

I got call many months later.

“Chris, is that you?” I said “Aren’t you suppose to be on your honeymoon?”

“I am. Just had to call and tell you it was worth waiting for. I had the best sex of my life last night with my wife. You were right. God was right. Thank you.”

I hung up the phone amazed at what God had done. And so, my message to you is this: It’s not to late to abstain from sexual immorality and watch God bless it.   I promise that sex done the way God intended it has no equal. No website, movie or one-night stand will ever satisfy you in the way you seek to be really satisfied. But you can’t do it by your own willpower. Just like Chris discovered, you need Jesus. And no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, He wants you, too.

AndrewAndrew is a gifted story teller and teacher who uses his skills to further the truth of the gospel through his stories.  He’s sung and told stories through 80 songs and countless stories. He wants to engage culture and influence change. He wants to ensure the marketplace is filled with strong stories that challenge people to seek out God, not just pleasure.   Andrew completed a 4 year degree at Cornerstone University with a Communication Arts major. He completed film school at Compass Arts Film Academy, where he focused on creating compelling stories and characters. He resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his wife and four children. You can connect with Andrew on his Facebook page here.


A note from Craig and Jen: Are you struggling with porn addiction? Is it ruining your sex life and/or your relationship with your partner? You can kick this – with Jesus. How do we know? We did it. Read our story.

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