Marriage Part 7: The Marriage Triangle

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 0 Comments

I like diagrams. The Marriage Triangle is a favorite diagram of mine because it’s simple and profound. Here’s how it works: As Sharon and I move “north” on the triangle toward the Lord Jesus, we move closer to each other as a married couple. The opposite is also true. Moving south creates more space between us. A critic may object …

Marriage Part 6: What to do with our Money

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 0 Comments

My wife Sharon grew up a saver. I grew up a spender. Inside a spender’s mind a little recording plays over and again: I can afford this, no problem. What’s a dollar or two — or twenty or fifty — in the grand scheme of things? I work hard. I deserve this little “payoff.”Sharon’s counter-voice to this rationale is: “Every dollar …

Marriage Part 5: Choosing to Love

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Gary Chapman’s five “Love Languages” are these: Quality Time Words of Affirmation Physical Touch Receiving Gifts Acts of Service My wife Sharon’s love language is #5, Acts of Service. But it’s not my native language to “speak,” so to speak. I think the Lord has gotten a decades-long chuckle out of this. In what’s known as covenant marriage in the church, my …

Marriage Part 4: Separating Past from Present

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 0 Comments

It’s not uncommon to hear the following phrases from the couples I work with in pre-marriage counseling, as they speak with each other: You always . . .  That would be just like you . . .  Oh here we go again . . .  Why even bother . . .  Such language suggests unfinished business lurking in the background, …

Marriage Part 3: Being Right

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Every few weeks I talk on the phone with my friend, Marion Anderson. She’s 91. She’s also wise beyond her considerable years. Me, I’m just wise enough to ask her advice. On marriage, for example. “Don’t sweat the little things,” is one of her favorite adages. From the perspective of husband Johnny gone on to glory several years ago, she …

Marriage Part 2: Unforgiven

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 0 Comments

In Christianity, one thinks of oneself undeservedly forgiven by God. This fact changes things drastically in marriage, or at least it should. It should make me, a married man, less self-righteous, quicker to forgive. It should keep Sharon and me current on issues of dispute, resolving them and moving on. Not storing them up as leverage to be applied against …

Marriage part 1: Opposites

Rick Mattson Devotion, Uncategorized 3 Comments

Sharon and me, 1982 About six years ago I started a little wedding business on the side. To date I’ve hitched about 30 couples. One of the requirements for my involvement is that couples sit with me for two sessions of pre-marriage counseling. I give them homework and in our discussions we get pretty deep into their relationship and issues. …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 6

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 2 Comments

When my daughter Kelli was in middle school she and her friends often choreographed dance routines — some rather elaborate — to their favorite tunes. A few hours of tumbling and thumping on the upstairs floors of our home would eventually lead to a big dance performance, which my wife and I took in eagerly with much applause. It occurred …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 5

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 0 Comments

My basic point in this series of posts is that when students grow into their “true selves” in Christ, they are likely to remain steadfast in the faith. But when spiritual engagement and church life feel artificial, boring, obligatory or moralistic, there’s a good chance young people will check out (or just drift away). They will look to discover their …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 4

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 0 Comments

How can we keep young people in the church? Seems to me this is not precisely the right question. The better question is how we can help young people love God and grow into their “true selves.” A happy by-product will be their faithfulness to the church. Here’s a start: Teach kids to engage in productive faith.In his two books Culture …