Posted by: cathybowers | November 25, 2015

Married for Life…So Far

My husband and I were cleaning out the garage the other day preparing for a big move. I found a box labeled “Pictures 1988” which contained some of our wedding pictures and other events. I made the comment to my husband, “Wow, look how young and cute we were.” My husband replied, “Well, at least I can still tell it’s you.” I laughed. He didn’t mean it the way it sounded because he doesn’t look ANYTHING like the guy I married. Well, both of us have done a lot of changing in the last 28 years and not just in our appearance. Our personalities, our likes and dislikes, our weight, our hair (or the lack thereof) have all changed. So how did we get from 1988 to today and hopefully beyond? Well, mostly a stubborn refusal to quit.
It hasn’t always been easy just like anything else we do that’s worthwhile. The truth is that LOVE, the sappy stuff, only lasts for a little while. Then comes the responsibilities of meeting each other’s needs, the budgeting of finances, the sometimes outrageous expectations, the in-laws, the kids. Being married can become incredibly overwhelming. But if you persevere through the trials, the sappy love becomes a different kind of love. This love is the kind that says, “I made a promise to cherish and love until death do us part and that’s just what I’m gonna do even if you’re driving me crazy!” This kind of love is built over time and with lots of grace.
Another reason that we are still stuck with each other is that we have some great examples to follow. Both of our grandparents were married for over 60 years. His are still going strong, mine are deceased. My grandfather, Jack, died 6 months after my grandmother, Madeline. He just couldn’t live without his sweetie. My parents were married for 55 years before mom died from cancer. The greatest gift that you can give your kids is the constant knowledge that mom and dad are always going to love and cherish each other. When you fight and argue, do so in front of the kids and then resolve the issue also in front of the kids. The kids know when you’re fighting anyway and they need to see how to resolve disagreements. More about this topic later.
Greg and I were blessed to attend a church that required pre-marital counseling before we could be married by our pastor. We were actually told not to get married because we were too different. Since we refused to reconsider our sappy love, we were given in-depth tools to overcome our differences and struggles before we encountered them and boy, did we need them. If you are getting married soon, I strongly advise pre-marital counseling. Conquer your struggles before you encounter them and your marriage is much more likely to last a lifetime. offers a wonderful biblically based counseling online course called “Marriage 101” that is both affordable and convenient. Gary and Barb Rosberg offer professional counsel and tips to consider before saying the big “I Do”. The course has situational video clips that are humorous and entertaining and discussion outlines to make conversation simple. It is online streaming so couples who are in different locations can take the course together at any time convenient to them. View the following clip. (Insert Sample Video Clip here)
Grace Products is a certified provider for the Twogether In Texas program.  Twogether In Texas is a state sponsored program that registers qualified providers to help couples receive premarital counseling.  The State of Texas recognizes the benefit of premarital counseling and the costly effects of divorce.  When couples complete an assigned course, they are issued a certificate to present when they purchase their marriage license.  They receive a $60 discount on their marriage license and can bypass the 3 day waiting period.  Convenient, affordable, 24/7 access, and solid biblically based teaching for just $59.
The M101 Online Course is now an official Twogether In Texas course.
Here’s how it works:
Go to
Put the Online Course in your cart, hit checkout.
Fill out the registration page, enter the code 5ERL1 at the bottom.
Then just check out.  The online course is just $59, a savings of $36.
View the sessions, fill in the course assessment form, and email it to us.
We will verify completion and email back the  Twogether in Texas Certificate.
The $60 discount means you are actually getting the online course absolutely FREE!!
6.8 % of 1000 people get married each year.

3.4% of 1000 people get divorced each year.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | August 20, 2013


quoted from BethMooreLPM

Make peace with people as much as you are able. Even if restoration doesn’t = reconciliation, lay down the sword & let it be. Life’s short.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | December 21, 2011

What is the purpose of Premarital Counseling?

What is the difference between Christian Premarital Counseling and secular Premarital Counseling?

While the two will cover similar topics, Christian Pre Marriage Counseling will also take into account God’s purpose and plan for marriage.

All good premarital counseling will cover the “big 5”:

–         Marital Expectations

–         Communication

–         Conflict Resolution

–         Finances

–         Sexual Intimacy

Truly, no marriage can expect to flourish if the man and woman don’t poses adequate tools for dealing with the day-to-day difficulties of marriage.  If you are seeking pre marriage counseling, make sure the curriculum covers these 5 topics…at a minimum!

If you identify yourself as ‘Christian’, as a majority of US couples do, you may be interested in the ‘big 5’ as well as what God’s Word says about marriage.

During your counseling time, you’ll probably hear things like, ‘One man. One woman. For Life’ and you may discuss the biblical concept of ‘leaving and cleaving’.  You may also be advised that sex and cohabitation before marriage is contrary to God’s ideal for your marriage.

All said, Christian Pre Marriage Counseling has been created in order to ‘line us up’ with the pattern God has established for the covenant relationship of marriage.  Marriage exposes sin in our lives.  It exposes our selfish nature.  It exposes our inability to truly fulfill our spouse.  But, most importantly, it exposes our need for mercy, grace, and forgiveness.  One of God’s purposes for marriage is to show us just how much we need Jesus.

If you’re in searching for quality, Christian Pre Marriage Counseling, check out for some great advice.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | October 5, 2011

Get Your Premarital Counseling Free!

That’s right!! FREE (after the discount)!!

Online Premarital Counseling with free digital workbooks!! Get the BEST in counseling and get all your money back!!

Couples without adequate access to quality, premarital counseling now have this fantastic resource at their fingertips along with the added benefits bestowed by the State of Texas to traditional premarital counseling.

We are very pleased to announce that Grace Products (Marriage 101, Letters from Dad, et al), is now a certified provider for the Twogether In Texas program.  Twogether In Texas is a state sponsored program that registers qualified providers to help couples receive premarital counseling.  The State of Texas recognizes the benefit of premarital counseling and the costly effects of divorce.  When couples complete an assigned course, they are issued a certificate to present when they purchase their marriage license.  They receive a $60 discount on their marriage license and can bypass the 3 day waiting period.  Convenient, affordable, 24/7 access, and solid biblically based teaching for just $59.

The M101 Online Course is now an official Twogether In Texas course.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to
  2. Put the Online Course in your cart, hit checkout.
  3. Fill out the registration page, enter the code 5ERL1 at the bottom.
  4. Then just check out.  The online course is just $59, a savings of $36.
  5. View the sessions, fill in the course assessment form, and email it to us.
  6. We will verify completion and email back the  Twogether in Texas Certificate.
  7. The $60 discount means you are actually getting the online course absolutely FREE!!

The M101 Online Course also makes a great wedding gift.

Of course any organization that is a state certified provider can use the Marriage 101: Back to the Basics curriculum for the purpose of state certification as well.  FREE premarital counseling!

This is the first ever, certified, Online Premarital Counseling Course.

What do you think?  Are you ready to get the BEST in counseling at no cost?

Posted by: Alton Rocker | September 8, 2011

HOME TEAM – Unconditional Commitment

Custom jersey?  Check.

Giant foam finger?  Check.

Neon face paint?  Check.

Even in a crowd of thousands, the bleacher creatures stand out.  No matter what you call them, you always know where to find these fiercely loyal fans – cheering on the home team with everything they’ve got.  Rain or shine, win or lose, the players can count on their unwavering support.

Can you and your spouse say the same thing about each other?

“I am yours and you are mine”.  What does that mean?  It means whatever we are going through – whatever challenges, whatever difficulties, whatever trials – we’re going to get to the other side together.  Every couple needs to know that there is a sense of unconditional commitment to one another.  We are the quarterbacks for the marriage.  In fact, as we stand back think about those issues that get in the way of our marriage, that get in between us, that cause us to go to different corners of the home, we need to realize that the relationship of marriage has got to be far more important than any issue that you’re going through.  When you are going through tough times say these say these words:  “My mate is not my enemy”.  There is a boundary, a sacred hedge, around your marriage and it is there to guard and protect you.  Remember these words – the relationship has to be far more important than the issue.

Below is a link to a powerful teaching by the Rosbergs on the issue of Unconditional Commitment.  Please take time to view it and send us your comments.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | August 16, 2011

Erosion Warning!!

Day after day, year after year, wind and waves beat against a pristine coastline.  Most people who travel the route are too busy enjoying the view to notice the subtle but relentless forces of nature. Then, eventually, the road signs begin to appear: WARNING:  EROSION!  What was once a beautiful sanctuary is now becoming a place of danger.

The same is true of marriage.  The inevitable day to day disappointments of life can erode even the best relationships.  If only a map existed to help couples recognize and avoid the slippery slope.

GOOD NEWS! – IT DOES!  In the video below, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg address the issue of natural erosion in marriage.  Their Marital Map offers an indispensible picture of the downward spiral, from simple disappointment and discouragement to emotional and physical divorce.  Together, they serve as seasoned guides, providing intentional strategies for preventing a serious fall, or climbing back to the summit of marital hope.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | August 5, 2011

50% Divorce Rate!!! Yes…& No

Friends, this is another article written by our associate Heidi Barrier.  Heidi works with our Twogether in Texas couples, helping them get a great start in the journey of marriage.

50% of all marriages will end in divorce, at least that’s what we’ve been told.  Not very good odds.  That may explain some of the reluctance young couples have in “tying the knot”.   While this statistic is basically true (many believe it’s somewhere between 40% & 50%), it’s also misleading.  Details are lacking.  All marriages are not the same.  Each marriage relationship has differing characteristics, such as age, income, education, ethnicity, and so on.  They are not on the same playing field.  You may find that for many couples marriage isn’t that risky.  The odds may be in your favor.

First, marrying at the “right” age can increase your odds for a successful marriage.   For example, men and women who are under the age of 25 are at higher risk for divorce (36% women, 38% men) but after the age of 25 the rate goes down (16% women, 22% men).  Obviously you can’t choose the time when you fall in love, but if you are on the younger side of 25, it may be beneficial to your relationship to hold off a little before you say “I Do”.

Second, the level of education that an individual has acquired may influence marriage stability.  A college educated women who is over the age of 25 has a 20% chance of divorce.  This is an interesting statistic because she has the ability to be financially self-sufficient and is likely not get “stuck” in a marriage due to financial limitations.  Whereas, women who are younger than 25, and do not have a college education, have over 50% chance of divorce.  Statistics show that older and more prosperous (usually college educated) individuals have a better likelihood of staying together.

Since financial stability and education promote marital success, individuals who do not have these advantages are more prone to divorce.  Minorities often fall into this category.  Black and Hispanic women, in particular, can have difficulty maintaining a lasting marriage.  Both have over a 50% divorce rate.

Cohabitation before marriage also increases the divorce rate.  Half of all marriages in the U.S.are preceded by living together.  A study byYale University found that cohabitating women were 80% more likely to divorce than women who had not lived with their partners before marriage.

Whatever characteristics that you and your partner may possess, there is one very positive way to improve your odds.  Studies show that couples who had at least six hours of premarital counseling had a 30% lower divorce rate than couples who didn’t.  We may not be able to change other factors that life has given us, but choosing premarital counseling is one proactive step that every couple can take to improve their odds for a long and happy marriage.

Take a look at this great clip from Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg on what it takes to really make a marriage work.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 27, 2011

Differences: Blessing or Curse?

Question:  How are you dealing with your differences?

Whether you are already married or are in a premarital situation, it is important for couples to understand that our differences are God-given and are meant to compliment one another in Christian marriage.

Differences are a challenging but important aspect of a strong marriage. There are several important attitudes couples can adopt when working through these differences.

These include realizing differences have a purpose, the need to be teachable, the importance of seeking to understand our mate, and then learning to work together as one.

Differences are there for a reason.  God made us different so that we compliment one another.  It’s like a dance we learn over time. With a lot of practice, experience, understanding one another we can get the rhythm down.

The scripture is very clear about marriage and becoming one.  Genesis 2: 24 says:

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

There is a leaving and cleaving and becoming one, united.

To completely become one can take time. It will take adjustments along the way. What we need to have is a teachable heart and a teachable spirit.

As you are working through all these differences and expectations with each other there are a couple things to keep in mind.


You are likely coming from two different backgrounds and that’s important.  Each of you may have very different expectations depending on what you have experienced in the past.  Kind that in mind when you are wondering why in the world your partner is doing or saying something that is totally foreign to you.


Pay Attention!  Stay tuned in.  You need to be an active listener and attentive to needs. What your partner needs one day may be quite different the next day.  So pay attention to their body language, speech patterns, temperament and moods.  No one said it was going to be easy being “one” and overcoming differences but it can sure be very interesting along the way.

For more on this subject click the link below featuring Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 19, 2011

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What It Means To…MEN


Respect – Super Glue for Wives

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Those seven letters catapulted a preacher’s daughter from Detroitto the top of the Billboard charts; and decades later, when the Queen of Soul belts out her signature anthem, everyone knows exactly what she needs.

But what does respect look like for the average husband?

The answer might surprise his wife.

One of the things we know is that women and men do, indeed, communicate differently.   Wives, do you really want to “connect” with your husband?  First, if you want to connect to him emotionally, you need to show him respect.  Some recent research on this area of respect and love cites that a man will choose respect every time over love.  And the Bible talks about that.  Paul knew that when he wrote to the Ephesians.  A man needs to love his wife; but look at the last part of Ephesians 5:33, it says, “And the wife must respect her husband.”

Wives, perhaps this describes your husband:  “He gets beaten up all day in the workplace, he’s a tremendous guy, a man of God, and he needs to be esteemed, encouraged, affirmed and blessed by you.”  But to communicate with him at the end of the day, if you really want to connect, don’t start by trying to engage his feelings.  If you try to unpack what he’s experiencing in his heart, you’re never going to get anywhere because most men don’t know where to go to begin to unpack that.  A man is wired to focus on his thoughts, ideas, visions, and what is going on cognitively.  When you encourage him in that, affirm him in that, and esteem him in that, he feels connected to you.  He will then have more of a willingness to take a risk to go down to the heart area.  He’ll begin to talk about some of those emotions.

Now you may find that he only knows a couple of emotions – I’m mad, I’m sad, or I’m glad – that’s kind of how we’re wired as men.  Yet, as his wife – when you’re completing him, when you love him unconditionally – I want to encourage you to help him explore.  “Honey, are you frustrated?  Are you insecure about something?  Anxious?  Are you apprehensive?”  When you help your husband identify those needs, he will feel safe to move toward you.

So you’ve connected to his thoughts, you’ve connected to his feelings, and now get ready wives – we know that you love this – you’re connecting to his NEEDS.  Just as a husband can learn more about a wife’s needs, when you ask a husband what he needs, be ready to hear something that may be different than you expect.  Maybe he needs some space.  Maybe he needs a hug.  Maybe he needs you to defend him.  Maybe he needs you to just say, “I’m here for you.  We will figure it out together and get to the other side.”

For more on this subject click the link below.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 12, 2011

God is Great!!

Friends, I thought you would enjoy this amazing story that came in yesterday.  We don’t always get to hear how God is affecting lives with Marriage 101.  This story illustrates how our Lord is at work all the time to rebuild marriages and families.  Praise Him!

(Kenneth is using the Complete Couples Package that includes the Online Course, Marriage Kit, Couple Check-Up, and 2 workbooks) 

“My church received a fax about the Marriage Kit you were advertising. My wife is the secretary at the church. The reason I ordered this package is a long story but I will try to make it short. My wife and I are actually divorced. Our divorce was final a short time ago.

Once the dust settled from the divorce, we both began to talk and realize we may have jumped the gun and been too hasty. She got your fax and thought the books and audio CD might be resources that would help us to work toward reconciliation.

I went online and reviewed the Marriage 101 website and decided we needed more help than just the Marriage Kit. I saw the Online Course you provide and the Couple Checkup and felt they would be a great help.

I stayed up until 3am Saturday morning watching the first session twice of the Online Course and really liked the content and the way you formatted the series. I am really looking forward to this and what it might do to help us reconcile.

I want to encourage you folks to continue to fax this out to every church you can. This is material that is so important for couples. If you create anything else in the future, you keep my email address and let me know….I would like to look at it.”

A want to give a big “Thank You” to God for His work in people’s lives and to Ken for his willingness to share this story.  Below is a great clip by Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg on forgiveness that relates very much to this testimony.

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