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.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 8, 2011

Marrying Your Soul-Mate?

This article was written by our friend Heidi Barrier.  Heidi is a pre-marriage counselor and works with our Twogether in Texas couples.  She is also a certified Prepare/Enrich provider.  We appreciate her insight and know you will to.  We look forward to your comments.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Have you found your “other half”?

Your “soul-mate”? 

Many of us long to feel the excitement of finding the one person in the world that was made specifically for us.  The idea of a soul-mate is very romantic.  Novels and movies often tell of two lovers, tragically separated, that spend their lives searching to find one another.  Then, when they finally meet again, there is a rush of excitement and joy, because we all know that they will go on to enjoy a perfect life together.  But do they, really?

The belief in marrying your soul-mate has invaded popular culture and has replaced the traditional idea of marriage.  Traditional (or institutional) marriage is based on a union of respect, duty, obligation, and shared values.  Spouses believed that family cohesiveness and success was more important than individual desires.  This type of union encouraged stability and longevity.

The soul-mate model of marriage is based more on the ability of a person to experience an intense emotional relationship.  The spouses’ emotional desires are paramount, even if it negatively impacts the family unit.  The problem with this marriage model is that is it impossible to maintain that high emotional intensity experienced in the beginning of a relationship.  Once the fire of love is no longer roaring, a spouse can become disappointed, disillusioned, and start desiring to experience that romantic high again…often with another “soul-mate”.

During the 1960’s, the traditional view of marriage slowly began fading in the culture.  With this change came ramifications that effected marriage, children and society.  For instance, in 1970, the marriage quality experienced by both spouses had fallen and the divorce rate had significantly risen.  Since 1974, over 1 million children a year have seen their parents’ divorce.  Furthermore, cohabitation has dramatically increased over the last 40 years-from 439,000 in 1960 to 6.4 million in 2007.

While the idea of marrying your soul mate may seem ideal, it is also unrealistic and could have serious consequences.  What is realistic is having a marriage based on mutual respect, shared values, and putting the family first.  With the effects of divorce being so devastating, having a lasting and stable marriage sounds pretty romantic to me.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 1, 2011

“Connecting” – 4 times a day

There are four crucial times for daily connection in marriage

Visit any dealership and within minutes you’ll be faced with the temptation to run your hand along the body of the brand new sports car parked prominently in the center of the sales floor.  It’s sleek, shiny, and undeniably attractive; but any true auto aficionado will tell you it’s what’s under the hood that matters.  Those fancy foreign models are fun to drive, but they need extra attention; and if the engine isn’t firing on all cylinders, you’ll soon find yourself just spinning your wheels.

A great marriage is far more precious than a sports car; and it shouldn’t be just a fantasy.  Daily maintenance is a necessity.  Let’s look at four points of daily connection that will keep the relationship between you and your spouse running smoothly – and in the same direction!

Connection #1

The first time is before you even get out of bed in the morning.  What does it look like?  It’s before you’re really even out of the sheets.  Perhaps one of you awakens and thinks about the other person, and then says it out loud – “Lord, thank you for my spouse.”

Connection #2

When one or both leave for work in the morning.  A kiss goodbye, a hug, and perhaps a simple prayer that God will give them a glorious day. You’re connecting, building a resiliency that will be needed in times of conflict and difficulty.

Connection #3 

It’s that critical time when we’re coming home from work.  You’ve been in the workplace all day, or accomplishing that impossible list of twelve things, and now you meet for that first time in over eight hours.  Some call it the Valley of the Shadow of Death, somewhere between 4PM and 7PM.  Things can go either way, it’s very touch and go.  We don’t want to take the wrong step here because it can cost the rest of the day, and perhaps tomorrow.  What do you do?  What do you say?

Try this:  “I’m here for you, what can I do to help?”   

The first 60 seconds that a husband and wife connect at the end of the work day is the most significant part of the day and set the pace for the evening.  Shut down the Smartphone, take a deep breath, and focus on each other for a moment.  You’ll never regret it.

Connection #4:

Right before you go to bed at night.  What woman doesn’t want to be kissed before she goes to bed?  Kiss your wife.  Go to bed at the same time.  Pray out loud – and it doesn’t matter who starts the prayer.  Hold hands discover that oneness together…When I think about those four times of connection and add them all up – by the end of the day, you’re growing deeper, more intimate, and more emotionally connected in your marriage.

When you are building that connection within your marriage, do you realize that you are building a resiliency for times of conflict or when marriage is really hard?  And it will be from one time to another, you count on it.   Build up your bank of connections now so that when times are tough you’ll have the credit to stop the foreclosure!

Take a little time to view the clip below as Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg go into more detail about these four “connections”.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | June 27, 2011

We Need Your Input!!

The Bible tells us that there is “nothing new under the sun”.  When it comes to dealing with difficult marital situations that is certainly the case.  Have you ever worked with a couple dealing with money problems, anger issues, sexual intimacy difficulties?  If so, please pass along your insight and share it on our blog.  Contact me at to get your article posted.  In order to keep building strong marriages we need each other, please take the time to share your wisdom.

Marital Conflict?

Posted by: Alton Rocker | June 21, 2011

“Connecting” with your wife

“However, each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself.”
Ephesians 5:33

 It happens without warning; static invades the conversation.  Missing every other word, you strain to hear and struggle to be understood.  Before long, you’re raising your voice, repeating key phrases – but it’s no use.  You’ve dropped the call, and you might as well be talking to yourself.

The limits of cell phone technology are all too familiar; but that frustration pales in comparison to miscommunication in a marriage.  Whether it happens in the middle of a crucial conversation or at the same spot every day, husbands can have a difficult time “connecting” on the right levels.  Women need connection on three levels, Emotional, Ideas, and Solutions.  Too often husbands jump to the solution level before the other two and the connection can get full of static.  In the video clip below, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg (America’s Family Coaches) help couples strengthen their signals and take their communication to the next level.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | June 16, 2011

Congratulations Shara!

Congratulations to Shara Pierce for winning the drawing for the Dave Ramsey best-seller, “The Total Money Makeover”.  Stay tuned for more surveys, contests, drawings, polls, etc……  To keep up with other news on Marriage 101 go to and at  Getting marriages started out right and keeping them strong is our goal.  Your prayers are appreciated.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | June 9, 2011

Weddings = $$$$$$

The Total Money Makeover

Join the drawing for this Best-Seller!!

Let’s face it.  As a man with three daughters I’ve had my share of experience with the cost of throwing a wedding.  To be honest, we are a very frugal family and our daughters are not extravagant so their requests were not a great burden.  Nonetheless, a wedding can be a serious financial commitment and if not carefully planned can put parents, and the “happy” couple, under monetary distress.

Let me first share a story.  A close friend had a daughter that had always dreamed of the perfect wedding.  His wife also believed that nothing was too good for their princess. So he borrowed (and mortgaged) to get the money needed to make his daughter and wife happy.  The wedding was an amazing event, bridesmaids and groomsmen filled the sanctuary.  Ice sculptures and centerpieces were breath-taking.  A fully catered reception dinner with band and open bar at a beautiful ski lodge overlooking the valley below.  All the best for daddy’s little girl.  But soon enough the party was over, the band went home, the bar closed and the bride and groom were on their way to an all expense paid honeymoon to remember.

Great story, now here’s the “rest of the story”.  Within two years the couple had filed for divorce, Dad was still paying for the wedding and Mom was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  The moral?  The amount of money spent does not translate into the longevity of the relationship.  Too many times I’ve witnessed the “event” take precedence over the significance of the “commitments” being made.  A simple public ceremony in front of family and friends, where the couple fully understands the vows that are stated, is far more meaningful and lasting than an extravagant, lavish affair that can overshadow the reason for the event in the first place.

I’m not trying to sound “Grinch-like” and throw a wet blanket on a young girl’s dreams, (and many Moms).  It’s just that I have watched too many couples focus on the event instead of the relationship.  My advice is to slow down, take a look at what’s really important.  Is it really that important what shade the tablecloths are compared to the napkins?  Will it really matter 10 years from now if we went with the chicken instead of the prime rib?  Focus on the relationship, get some solid premarital counseling, pray together and don’t let the many distractions overshadow the meaning of the ceremony.

By the way, I would really like your feedback on this article.  Comments, suggestions, or opinions will be placed in a drawing for a copy of the best-seller, The Total Money-Makeover, by Dave Ramsey.  Keep those comments coming and you could be the one to get this great book.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | May 25, 2011

Cohabitation Poll

Please participate in our poll about Cohabitation.  Check below to place your vote and opinion.

Posted by: Alton Rocker | May 25, 2011

Give us your opinion.

A few weeks ago one of our staff, Monte Strother,  posted an article on showing appreciation to your spouse.  We think our friends may have some opinions on what works best.  Give us your thoughts. What do you feel is the best way to show appreciation to your spouse?

1.  A hand written letter.

2.  A romantic dinner

3.  Cleaning the house

4.  A couples massage

5.  Other: What works for you?

You may have tried some things that went over well and some others that didn’t.  Take some time and tell us your story.  We know that learning great communication skills early in marriage can be priceless over the years.  Have your skills improved over the years or are you getting a little rusty?  I’ve included a clip that I think expresses the frustration that can come for a lack of appreciation. 

Thanks for your participation,

Alton Rocker, Operations Manager, Marriage 101 – Back to the Basics.

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