Category Archives for "marriage"

Sometimes Things Don’t Go As Smoothly as You Think They Should

Last night, we hosted the second night of our marriage group. I’m still scratching my head a little bit. It didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. Here’s a note that I wrote to the group following our meeting.

Good evening everyone! Thanks for coming and being part of the group last night. Here’s where my honest assessment comes in – I should preface this by mentioning that I’ve led small groups for several years. Honestly, last night felt very “flat” to me. I’m not sure if it was my lack of energy, difficult curriculum, a tough subject matter, or just the fact that we’re all still getting to know one another. At any rate, I want to apologize for not helping to make last night’s conversation more engaging. I just want you to know that Leanne and I are committed to molding this thing into something that will be a positive, growing time for all of us. So… we’ll be working diligently between now and next Wednesday to find ways to make this the best possible experience for all of us, and we’ll trust that each of you will come ready and prepared to talk about the saboteurs of our marriages. Deal?

Here’s your homework for next week: Read Chapters 4 & 5 from the book. Do Exercises 9-14 from the workbook.

We look forward to seeing you all next week!
Jon and Leanne

Have you ever experienced anything like this? I’d love to hear your story (it might make me feel a little better).

Until the next post, I’m glad I belong to the God of second chances…

Marriage Group Week 1 Recap

For those of you interested, we had a great first night on Wednesday with our marriage home team. This week we specifically talked about how are expectations coming into our marriages were sometimes unrealistic. We also talked about how important it is to communicate about these expectations with one another, so we can work things out. I know that many of the expectations that I had coming into my marriage have been shattered – and this has not been a bad thing. If you want to keep up with our groups homework assignments in the I Love You More book and workbook by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot, here’s the group assignment for this Wednesday night:

Read chapters 1-3 in the book.
Do exercises 1-8 in the workbook.

Until the next post, what did you expect…?

Marriage Group Starts Tonight

Tonight is the start of our marriage group based on “I Love You More” by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot. Hopefully, all will go well.

Until the next post…

Marriage Group – I Love You More

Over the past few months, Leanne and I have noticed marriages crumbling around us. We are both committed to making our marriage the best it can be; we are also interested in helping others out in making their marriages better. As a result, Leanne and I are starting a marriage group at our home. Here are the details as we are advertising them:

Does your marriage need a shot in the arm? How about trying this six week marriage group that is sure to give you a boost? Meetings will be every Wednesday from January 23, 2008 through February 27, 2008 and will include discussion based on a DVD and book tiled I Love You More by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot. The one and a half hour weekly sessions will start at 6:30PM at the home of Jon and Leanne Stolpe. The cost for the series is $30 per couple and includes a book and two workbooks (childcare is NOT provided). Space is limited, so sign up today by contacting Leanne at Here’s some more information about this exciting upcoming series:
Even the Best Marriages Have Problems. The question isn’t whether struggles will arise, but how will husbands and wives handle them when they come.

1. Love is not enough
2. Tackle this problem first . . . and all others get easier
3. The subtle saboteurs of every marriage
4. How to solve any problem in five (not-so-easy) steps
5. Joining your spirits like never before
6. The good that comes from a problem-solving marriage

In this six-session small group edition DVD curriculum, authors Les and Leslie Parrott show you how the same forces that can chip away at marriage can become a catalyst for new relational depth and richness—provided you make wise choices. Whether the problem is major or mild, you’ll learn how to transform nettlesome issues into loving opportunities. After learning the invaluable principles the Parrotts reveal in this small group kit, you’ll never look at everyday problems in your marriage the same way again.

Let us know if you’re interested.

Until the next post, “Love is the Seventh Wave…” (Sting)

Going All the Way by Craig Groeschel

This morning I finished reading Going All the Way by Craig Groeschel. If you recall, I had posted about this book previously. Well, here’s my take on this new book that should be sweeping the nation. The book is obviously written primarily to a single audience. The book offers many valuable tips to help prepare for a marriage that will go the distance. After talking to many people who have entered marriage without a strong foundation, I’m convinced that singles need a resource like this one. Here’s an excerpt from the book to help you get the feel for what I’m talking about:

If God has a marriage planned for you, think about this: you have already been created to “go all the way.”
When I say “go all the way,” I’m not talking about the “I Wanna Sex You Up,” people-disposable games man settle for. I’m not talking about taking what you want sexually (or giving away sexually what someone else demands) in a relationship before marriage. Instead, I’m affirming God’s plan for a marriage that goes all the way in sexual, emotional, and spiritual fulfillment. And that goes all the way through the years and decades of life.
Most people, Christ followers or not, deeply desire exactly this. But a closer look at how many of us pursue this goal before and after marriage shows that, while our desires are normal, our methods are routinely misguided. Turns out, how we set about to go all the way in our most important human relationship takes us only partway.
So what do you do when you want a marriage that soars in a world where most crash before takeoff? What do you do when you have a dream for intimacy, but most married couples you know are strangers to each other? What do you do when you desire a marriage that goes all the way?
I propose that you do something different.
In this book, I’m going to show you that your desire for life-long intimacy is a God-given desire. And I’m going to help you prepare for that relationship. But we’re not going to travel the typical path. Ours will be delightfully different. Oddly godly. I won’t try to fool you – a good marriage is never easy. But it is absolutely possible.

This is a book that I would recommend for my own kids as they approach adulthood. This is also a book that I would recommend to couples who are serious about their marriages. Sometimes it can be refreshing to look at a book like this and be refocused on thoughts and ideas that can help our marriages flourish. Finally, I’m thankful for a wonderful wife who is committed to going all the way.

Until the next post, I’ll be trying to live an oddly godly life…

Going All The Way

In the wake of our parenting discussion group, Leanne and I have been approached about considering a marriage group. Whoa! That’s humbling. God has been good to us in our marriage, and I think much of that has to do with the marriages of our parents for which we are so grateful. Having said that, I know that we have also traveled through our own rocky times. Nothing marriage ending thankfully. But certainly challenging.

I recently came across the attached resource which I am hoping to read for my own sake. Going All They Way is a new book that was recommended through connections to Vince Antonucci’s blog. If you’re interested in learning more about this book, click here. Who knows? Maybe we would use it for a marriage discussion group in the future.

Until the next post…
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