December, 2019
Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY) Newsletter
As we close out 2019, we want to thank you for being a part of this ministry.

In the coming days, may the light of Christ's unending love bring you and your family, peace, joy, hope and blessings.

Grace and peace,

Penny and David
Communication and Conflict Resolution
A simple way to an awesome marriage. Four secrets backed by research.
Professor John Gottman, PhD -- the leading marriage researcher, says these four things will get you 75% of the way to a happy marriage.

  • Calm down. Monitor your stress level and ask for a break if you need one.
  • Speak non defensively. Go in with an attitude of praise and admiration. If the argument starts with you already convinced they're demon spawn, don't be surprised when it doesn't end well.
  • Validate. Nobody likes to be treated like a crazy person. Until they feel you understand them and take their concerns seriously, nothing good will happen.
  • Over learn. Communication skills are not something casually read about; they are something you need to practice.

Are you wondering what the other 25% is that you can do to reduce the negativity? It is boosting the positive.

One Thing to Grow Your Marriage Each Day

A couple recently shared they were doing this 31-Day Plan to intentionally grow their marriage.

Each day you have the option of watching the "One Thing" video (very short) or reading the devotional.

This plan and video content are from Dr. Kim Kimberling and Awesome Marriage.

So if you want to take your marriage up a notch, click here
Sponsored  - Intimacy in Marriage
God deeply cares about how we love each other. He has given us the gift and challenge of sexual intimacy in marriage as a real-life, inescapable way to experience and strive for the kind of love He has for us.

But without effort, time and attention, sexual intimacy can easily and quickly become mundane, a dreaded necessity to place on the "to-do" list, and even non-existent in your marriage. But you must work on it and make it a priority.

Greg and Erin Smalley want to give you real, practical help in this area of your relationship through a free four-part video series called, “Intimacy in Marriage”.

This video series will encourage you and give you real-world ideas about making adjustments to your life so you can connect more deeply with your spouse.

For more information, click here
Upcoming Marriage Events
Love Talk
Tuesdays, January 7 - February 11 - 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Over and over couples consistently name "improved communication" as the greatest need in their relationships. Love Talk is a deep, yet simple plan full of new insights that will revolutionize communication in love relationships. The first steps are to identify your fear factors and determine your personal communication styles.

A book for each participant will be required. Cost for books is $15.00 per couple.

Love Talk will be facilitated by Bob and Carol Esham and Brian and Kara Barrett.

MERCI Indiana
8510 Highway 111
Memphis, IN 47143

To register, click here
Broken to Blended
Workshop 1 -Friday, January 17 - 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Workshop 2 -Friday, April 17 - 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Workshop 3 - Friday, July 17 - 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Workshop 4 - Blended Family Blueprint - 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
The journey of becoming a blended family is unique and filled with challenges. Broken to Blended will explore areas of blended family life that can appear to be difficult to navigate. This program will provide practical advice and information on how to have a Christ-centered blended family.

This is a four-part series that will be held quarterly throughout 2020. Each session will include dinner and will cost $25 per couple.

Tim and Brandy Gibson, founders of "In the Blender," will facilitate this series.

MERCI Indiana
8510 Highway 111
Memphis, IN 47143

To register and/or to see the topics covered in each session: click here
Grace Marriage
January, April, August and November 2020
Grace Marriage is a ministry designed to enrich, protect and grow your marriage. It is a marriage maintenance model that will encourage and equip you to know and follow Jesus together.

Four times a year husbands and wives meet with other couples to explore different aspects of marriage.

Specific dates and times vary by campuses of Highview Baptist Church. You do not have to be a member of Highview, or attend there, to participate in this marriage event.

Cost: $299 per couple, per year. This cost includes coaching materials, lunch and other refreshments.

Registration deadline is December 29, 2019.

For more informatio or to register, click here
Choices- For a Successful  Marriage
Scissor cut the paper to change the word IRRESPONSIBLE to RESPONSIBLE. Conceptual.
What to do When Your Spouse Acts Irresponsibly

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, if you live with an irresponsible person, the first think you need to do is try to understand why they are displaying these character traits. Here are four common reasons Chapman says we often overlook.

  • They are following the model of their parents. What you consider laziness or irresponsibility your spouse may consider freedom or personal liberty - because that's what was modeled.

  • They are rebelling against a negative model. For example, if your spouse grew up with an alcoholic father who never had time for his kids, he or she may believe it is better to err on the side of irresponsibility than workaholism.

  • They may have developed a self-centered attitude.

  • They may be expressing resentment toward you. What you may find is that the areas they are responsible in are the areas they get more affirmation or praise for what they do - praise that may be missing in your relationship.
Mark and Susan Smithson are once again offering their Choices retreat. Journey with them to explore how to make choices everyday to enhance your marriage.

Friday, January 31 at 7:00 p.m. -
Sunday, February 2 at 3:00 p.m

Cost: $300 per couple
This fee includes overnight accommodations, five delicious meals, a beautiful peaceful setting and your workbook.

Location: Agape' Wilderness Retreat Center
831 Barebone Road
Bedford, KY 40006

Limited to 10 couples.
Call (502) 255-7676 to register or visit  click here for more information
Retrouvaille - Help for Troubled Marriages

Retrouvaille is a program to help couples heal and renew their hurting marriages.

If you are struggling in your marriage, it is our prayer you will consider attending this weekend program.

Retrouvaille is an international program and is only in our area a couple of times a year. On February 7, 2020 it will be presented in Louisville, KY

Am I the Problem in My Marriage?
angry couple

Ashley Willis, with Marriage Today, recently wrote an article called "Am I the Problem in My Marriage?" Here are the key questions she asked us to ponder:

  • Am I a poor listener?

  • Am I often critical of what my spouse has to say?

  • Do I often respond to my spouse with accusing words like "You NEVER" or "You ALWAYS'?

  • Do I often use one-word responses like, "Fine" or "Whatever" or "Okay"?

Willis has a lot more to say on this topic. If you would like to read her complete article on this subject, click here