Know your source.

Make certain you and your spouse know the source of your marriage. One of my favorite questions to be asked is, “How did you meet?” Because it reminds me of our source.

The Lord Jesus Christ came into our lives and turned us into what we are. For every challenge, struggle and obstacle in married life He has been our source of strength. I know I can make it through any day because I see how he works in my wife, and our marriage.

What is the source of your marriage? Why does it work? Does it work only when the income is large? Does it only work with the kids in the equation? Does it only work with alcohol? Seriously, what is the source of your marriage working?

If your marriage is working or not working this Sunday in the final message of Salvaged I am going to talk about the things that will help your marriage. It’s time to get back to the source of what works. Let healing reign over marriages. Let couples come back together and remember the love and grace that is upon them. Let’s be reminded of our source, Jesus Christ.

He can repair, recoup, save, rescue and salvage any marriage, no matter the state. To do it, you have to recognize that he is your source.


Pass the SALT. I am going all acronym on you today…

S is for SOLVE:
When I approach Melinda to talk about something I let her know up front if I need her to solve it with me. For instance, if I am faced with a difficult circumstance I’ll approach her and say, “Do you have 5 minutes to help me solve this problem?”

A is for Advice:
Instead of needing a solution I need her advice. The difference is that in the case of solving something I am looking for her solution, but in the case of advice I am receiving her input and adding it to what is already rolling in my head.

L is for Listen:
For me this is the biggest one, and I think there are times where this is huge for most guys. Sometimes I just need to talk it out, vent it out or let it out. I am often faced with stuff that has huge implications depending on the path I choose, so I need to talk out the many options with her.

Here is the key to the “L.” Really listen. Don’t listen to respond. Don’t listen to solve of give advice. Simply listen, and ask clarifying questions. It helps both of us know where we are headed. Usually at some point in the listening process I will ask for advice, but Melinda doesn’t give it unless she is asked. Do you know how helpful it is to have a legit sounding board. By legit I mean unbiased, no agenda, but just listening for content and understanding. My personality is that I often need to “talk stuff out” instead of “think it out.” The L is big for me.

T is for Talk:
This is about dialogue. We want each other to talk. We don’t necessarily want to solve it or give advice, and if we do find solutions or give advice we write that down as a potential idea. In reality we to talk it out without an end in mind. This works great in talking about our future strategies like should we send Seven to public or private school, where will we vacation this summer, building messages, strategies for family things, and etc.

Hopefully the SALT can help your communication. Here is the secret to implementing it. Set boundaries around your communication, especially when it’s about challenging subjects like money, advice, raising kids, your relationships. Identify time frames and stick to those time frames. For Melinda and I we spend about 5 minutes on S and A, 30 minutes on L and an hour on T, though there is not prescription for time.


OK, I tend to feel a lot of things, sometimes they don’t even exist. For example, I can have a disagreement with a friend and feel bad, or guilty or some how I feel ashamed by real and/or imagined thoughts. In this circumstance, my WIFE is absolutely fantastic at helping me process through those things by helping me realize that I am only responsible for me. Here’s how she does it…

She listens. She listens to me tell the story. In the story I share the facts, my feelings, my hurts, my pains, my fears and so forth. She listens to the whole thing.

She waits. She waits to hear the whole story, and even asks clarifying questions.

She pounces. Like a tiger, the second I begin to feel guilt about someones words or deeds, she stops me and says, “You didn’t do that! You are not responsible for how they responded to you. You are only responsible for you.” Do you know how important that is? Huge.

She Encourages. When she hears something that I need to own she gently tells me and encourages me to own it and make it right. I trust her in that correction cause she has my best interest in mind all the time.

She loves. Most of the time I get to the end of the process, but can still feel a bit lousy. She walks to me and picks me up and reminds me that I have a heart of gold, a sensitive spirit and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt anyone.

She repeats. I’m the type of person that sometimes needs to process the same story more than once. If I need to go over it again, she is right there to listen, wait, pounce, encourage and love. This makes her the most amazing person to be married to.

Try this in your marriage. Instead of saying, “Get over it.” Or, “Grow up.” Try to really listen for the content. Separate the content into two categories, “things we are responsible for and things we are not.” Then love. Sometimes it brings healing immediately, sometimes you’ll need to work it again. But every time Melinda helps me put what I need to in perspective. After all, as a husband, father, pastor and friend I can only do what only I can do. Everything else doesn’t belong to me, and that is a great relief.