How "Trolls" Holds the Secret to a More Fulfilling Marriage

On May 10, 1775, delegates from 12 of the 13 British colonies involved in the Revolutionary War united in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the Second Continental Congress. Together, they began a process that would result in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the proclamation of the backbone of the American dream: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Little did they know that these words would become an unconscious curse for future generations, not just of Americans, but of anyone who embraced that final phrase, “the pursuit of happiness.” Luckily, almost 250 years later, a film was produced that held the secret to revolutionizing the American dream, and with it, our lives and our marriages. That film? Trolls.

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Paul MoralesComment
Let's Talk about Stress

Your relationship can be healthy, your kids can be sleeping through the night and never whining about anything ever, you can love your job, your house can be clean and if you are a 21st century living human being, you will still experience stress… In these moments, what can we do to minimize the chaos and prioritize the intimacy?

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Carly MoralesComment
Anger, Fear, and Lies

Nothing hangs over our heads. From our past, or in our future, nothing looms large over the sanctity of our souls. Our dignity comes from our Rescuer, and in Him there is only Love that drives out fear of punishment. And amazingly, when I accept that truth, and stop beating myself up for my perceived failures, Jesus’ grace grows large and covers my weakness with His power. But I have to recognize the voices speaking to me. I must be vigilant to name them and call them out. Fear, accusation, shame - not of Jesus. Hope, restoration, peace - His Spirit.

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Carly MoralesComment
When You're Not on the Same Page

I’d like to suggest two principles that will help close the distance when you’re on different pages, or maybe reading in different books. These aren’t a t- do list to make all your problems go away, but like we discussed last week, conflict is a naturally occurring part of life, and we might as well gather some tools to help us meet it in a constructive, healthy way.

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Carly MoralesComment
Conflict for Introverts 101

To avoid the overwhelming hurt that conflict causes in me, in the past I have often found myself not speaking my mind so as not to start a conflict, trying to diffuse the conflict between other people with humor or softness, blurring the lines of honesty if I think the truth will hurt someone else, or holding on to hurt feelings for much longer than was healthy to avoid adding to the hurt with a potential argument.

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Carly MoralesComment
Scriptural Gender Roles in Marriage

There are essentially two questions every couple must ask themselves - What does the Bible say about gender roles in marriage? and What does society & culture say about gender roles in marriage? What Scripture has to say about gender roles in marriage is not negotiable in the life of a Christ-follower, as with any other topic to which Scripture speaks. Once the Scriptural foundation has been laid, you can and should run what society & culture say about gender roles through the filter of that foundation, because Scripture isn’t really exhaustive on the subject. With what remains after filtering, it’s up to the couple to decide what pieces they want to apply to their marriage.

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When Feelings Become Accusations

It’s so important for me to say, off the top, that feelings are not inherently accusations. And we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be manipulated into apologizing for our emotions because someone else doesn’t like them. Your feelings are valid simply by virtue of their existence. You don’t choose your emotional reactions to things. They just happen in your brain. But this forces us to face the question - Why, then, do people often react so defensively when we try to tell them how we feel? I think we’ve discovered an answer. We call them pseudoemotions.

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Paul MoralesComment
24 Hours & More: What Is the Shift?

When Carly and I were first married, she went through a change that we didn’t know to expect and couldn’t have anticipated. As we blindly stumbled our way through how it impacted our relationship, we came to realize that it was a change she didn’t choose consciously - it just happened. Moreover, it was a change that was (unfortunately) never going to happen to me unless I did consciously choose it. As our friends started getting married, we started to notice that it wasn’t just us. Every woman seemed to go through this change, and her husband was completely oblivious to it, and it was never going to happen to him unless he forced it to. We’ve come to call this change “the Shift,” because that’s really what it is: an identity shift. More specifically, a holistic identity shift.

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Paul MoralesComment