Love & Marriage


Date Nights In

With a little creativity, preparation, and thoughtfulness, date night can once again become a much anticipated part of your week right from the comfort of your own home.


How to Lift Up the One You Love

A message came in from my husband. Glancing down at my new phone, I wondered what it would say. He needed me to pick up more paint from Home Depot? His meeting had been canceled? Or he would be late for dinner? But no. It was none of those. Something rather different altogether. “You encourage…


Timeless Marriage Advice from “I Love Lucy”

I’ll never forget the time Lucy — the zanier half of America’s favorite 1950’s sitcom couple — decides to cut the grass using an unfamiliar riding lawn mower, after her husband Ricky puts it off to go to a ball game. With the judges for Lucy’s big tulip garden competition due to show up the…


What’s a Wife to Do?

Week after week, Cathy came to church — every service, Bible study, and activity. Beside herself in a roller-coaster of up-and-down emotions, she shared her heartache of being married to an unbeliever. Many tears were shed for her situation, both by her and church friends. And Cathy was not alone in her struggle. Our church…


An Old Problem

It’s been six months since our child was born and my husband and I have been intimate exactly 2.5 times since her birth. Can I just tell you how my heart breaks as I write that sentence? It screams of my brokenness. It tells me that I am not healed as I once believed. Memories…


Ask Arlene: Spiritual Parenting as a Team

Hi Arlene! It is important that our children see a healthy relationship between their parents. And I want them to see their Daddy spending time reading his Bible and praying, not just watching tv. He is a God-fearing man and I hope our children see this. How do I encourage my husband without coming across…


Ask Arlene: Encouraging an Unemployed Husband

Hi Arlene! My husband is unemployed and it’s driving us both crazy. What can I do to encourage him without being critical? Thanks! Amy Dear Amy, Being unemployed or underemployed is generally more difficult for men to cope with than women. So before you open your mouth to say, “Honey, have your tried this?” or…


The Real Couple Behind “The Vow”

It was November 24, 1993. Newlyweds Kim and Krickett Carpenter headed west from their home in Las Vegas, New Mexico, toward Phoenix, Arizona. They planned to spend their first Thanksgiving as a married couple with Krickett’s parents. But they never made it to the house that night. There was an accident. Their white Ford escort…


June Cleaver Syndrome

Through my readers I’ve come to learn that so many of us want to be a good wife and mother, but we can’t help feeling that we never meet our own expectations, let alone anyone else’s. We make plans and schedules that we follow for a while with the best of intentions, but too often…


A Confident Choice

Several years ago, there was an ongoing debate within one of the largest denominations on the issue of wives submitting to their husbands. Tuning into the conversation, it was clear to me from scriptures such as 1 Peter 3:1 and Ephesians 5:22 what the Bible had to say on this topic. Coincidentally — or not…


Underneath the Steeple

Esther Imler Schmidt, my maternal grandmother, always wanted to be a writer. I never knew this about her. Well, maybe I did. Truth is, as a child, teenager, and young adult, I may have been too self-involved to take notice of her life-long dream. It came as a surprise to me, then, when my mom…


Always the Last to Apologize

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but whenever my husband and I get into an argument I’m almost always the last to apologize. If given enough time, I eventually fumble my way towards an apology, but the process is rather slow going. My husband, on the other hand, consistently takes the high road and…


William and Kate: Glimpses of a Marriage to Come

News wires reported that more than 2 billion people around the world were watching when Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton exchanged vows. A royal wedding between a king-to-be and the girl down-the-street. A fairy tale story come to life. Included in those 2 billion were three of my daughters and myself. Up before dawn…

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