March, 2020
Newsletter from The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)
Did you know that Americans are some of the loneliest people in the world? Did you know that 62.5% of people who reported being lonely were married and living with their partner?

Have you heard the phrase, "You must be friends before you can be lovers?" We recently heard a message called "What Does a True Friend Look Like?" It was based on Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. According to this message:

  • A true friend helps you when you are down.
  • A true friend provides support.
  • A true friend will protect you and your reputation.
  • A true friend will help you grow spiritually.

Does this describe your marriage? If not, each day we make choices that results in oneness or isolation. Having a spouse as your best friend can be one of the greatest benefits of marriage.

Grace and peace,

Penny and David
A New Beginning is a turn-around weekend designed to help couples who feel stuck in an unhealthy marriage, couples who are frustrated and unhappy, and couples considering divorce.

To learn more about A New Beginning workshop, click here
His Temper May Be Fiery, But Your Criticism Is Explosive Fuel
We like Shaunti Feldhahn's advice. She is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships.

Following is a letter a lady wrote about her husband. We found her answer quite interesting and enlightening.

Dear Shaunti:
My husband has an anger problem, and I don’t know how to handle it. We’ve always had “intense discussions,” but lately he’s been getting furious and walking away. Last night, we got into a fight on our way out of a restaurant, just because I told him that he shouldn’t have eaten so much, and he definitely shouldn’t have had dessert. He actually walked away and left me standing at the door! It was a good thing I had my keys in my purse or I would’ve been stranded, as well. He is like a little kid who can’t handle criticism and throws a tantrum. How do I get him to handle his anger better?
-The Only Grown-up

Here's Feldhahn's answer:

Dear Only:
I just have to ask: have you ever considered that maybe-just maybe—it isn’t only your husband who needs to handle things better?

I’m not saying you’re to blame, but you can’t just continue to sit back, cross your arms and say that your man needs some Anger Management 101, without examining why he’s getting so angry. A lot of women don’t realize that a man’s anger is often very legitimate: an outward signal of very real internal pain.

In my research, I’ve seen that anger for men is like crying for women. When we are hurt, we women often find tears leaking down our cheeks – and we want to be able to cry without being judged for the tears. In a similar way, anger is often a man’s signal of being hurt — and they don’t want to be judged, either.

What “hurts” our big, strong men? Well, underneath that outward strength they often have a soft heart and a deep need to be respected. So what hurts, usually, is the feeling that he’s being disrespected by those he most cares about. In my surveys, more than 80% of men agreed that this was the source of their anger during a fight with their wives. Above all, a man wants to measure up in her eyes. And it is excruciating when he feels that she is saying, instead, “you’re inadequate” or “you failed.” Or, even, “grow up.”

Ahem. Read More
Five Rules for Serving Your Spouse
Jimmy Evans reminds us that marriage requires a Christ-like love, which means we should love each other with the character of Jesus. Jesus was humble. Jesus sacrificed for us. Jesus came to serve. Evans says, "I am convinced that marriage has become broken in America because we are not Christ-like people."

Here are five rules he suggests for serving your spouse using the acronym SERVE.

S - Supply what your spouse needs in spite of what you need, want or understand.

E - Enjoy serving your spouse and do it with a joyful attitude.

R - Reject Scorekeeping

V - Vigilantly protect the priority of your marriage.

E - Expect to be blessed.

Evans has a lot more to say on this subject, so to read the entire article, click here
Upcoming Marriage Events
Grace Marriage
Grace Marriage is a marital group that is intentionally designed to help couples stay healthy and invested in their marriages.

Groups will meet twice a year for six weeks at a time.

Cost: $59 per couple for the entire year. This will include all four participant guides, as well as bonus videos and emails from Grace Marriage founders Brad and Marilyn Rhoads.

The first semester begins March 17 and the second semester begins September 1.
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Taught by Nathan Thompson Family Pastor - Southeast Christian Church - Blankenbaker Campus
920 Blankenbaker Parkway
Louisville, KY 40043
ATCR 200/202

For more information or to register  click here
I marriage
I-Marriage is a six-week marriage series by Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church. Andy will drive home some terrific points and principles you can employ in your own marriage providing a renewed awareness of how our selflessness can actually work to connect you better than when you were dating.

Begins Thursdays, April 2, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

8510 Hwy. 111 (closer to Sellersburg near Intersections of Hwys. 111 & 60). Memphis, IN

Facilitators: Greg and Tammy Ward

Cost: $5 book purchase

To register, click here
All you'd like is a little peace, right? However sometimes what you get is chaos or, at best, someone is not happy.

More importantly, you want your marriage to thrive in the midst of confusing or confounding situations.

These common situations, faced by most married couples in blended families, will be addressed and solutions will be offered that can help.

Tim & Brandy Gibson will present tips from the ministry they founded "In the Blender" and drawing from their own blended marriage experience.

Friday, April 17, 6:30 - 8 pm
8510 Hwy. 111, Memphis, IN

To register click here
Good Morning Texts by Mark Gungor
Happy girl texting on a smart phone in a train station while is waiting
Staying connected is what it’s all about in marriage. One simple way to do that is by sending a fun, sassy or romantic text message! It can go a long way to get your husband’s day off to a great start or give your wife a boost to face the tasks of her morning. It always makes us feel all warm and fuzzy when we know the one you love is thinking of you, and a good morning text is sure to put a smile on your spouse’s face. Start today and do it any day or every day!

Here's a short list to get you brainstorming ways to send your sentiments, but with some creativity and imagination, you’re sure to find multiple ways to say, “I love you and am thinking of you. Have a great day!” in your own way! And don’t forget the emojis!  😘😍💐❤😉

  1. I love you more than anything else. Good morning!
  2. Your morning kisses make my day.
  3. Good morning to the one that I’ll love forever. Hope your day is as bright as the sunshine.
  4. Good morning. My coffee may be hot, but you’re hotter. You’re the best part about waking up.
  5. Waking up next to you is another reason to be thankful for today.

If you are like me, Penny, if a video is more than five minutes I probably will not watch it. That is why we have made our "Moments with a Counselor" clips less than three minutes. We hope you will watch.
Moments with a Counselor

In light of Ephesians 5, what is a healthy view of submission in marriage?