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Posted 12/16/15 at 10:15 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Creating Christmas Traditions When You Don’t Have Kids

Can you create Christmas traditions as a couple BEFORE you have kids?


Today’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage here at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. And recently I received this question from a young wife:

We don’t have kids yet, and all the Christmas articles I see on Pinterest about making Christmas meaningful all have to do with children. What can we do when it’s just the two of us to start Christmas traditions or make Christmas fun?

I thought that was a great question, so I put it up on Facebook and asked my readers: Any ideas for Christmas traditions as a couple? We had a whole lot of great ideas, and today I thought I’d share 10 ways to make Christmas meaningful before you have children (or to make it meaningful even if you never have children!). FULL POST

Posted 12/8/15 at 11:09 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Do I Have To Live with a Sexless Marriage?

How are you supposed to live in a sexless marriage?

I like to post a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it. Today’s is from a woman whose husband has given up on sex altogether.

My husband has gone to the doctor and tells me it’s because of his age that he is having “erectile dysfunction” (he is only 41)…when I bring things up he gets very mad and says that I am obsessed with sex. It makes me feel so undesired. Our last conversation he said that he was sick of hearing me. Granted, I do bring it up every few months because I think maybe we can try. If he tried it would mean the world to me. I feel like since he doesn’t try, not even with kissing, that maybe I should just give up. I am so frustrated, I have been so patient and understanding not to overstep boundaries, but really!? I didn’t get married to live with a roommate, he is my husband and I love him but I feel alone. I wish he was willing to talk about things, to maybe seek counselling, but that is not the case. He is so focused on work and money and not us. FULL POST

Posted 12/8/15 at 2:06 AM | selwyn perry


Passion is like a forest fire,
Roaring through the forest floor,
Flames leaping high and higher,
Devouring all that was before.

But love is like a gentle breeze,
Caressing forest leaves and trees
And like a hidden stream
Watering everything.

Passion is spent by its own excess,
Leaves only charred remains;
No more heat, no more flames,
Breathless, no more air, no more care.

But loves gentle breeze
Leaves everything the same,
Unspoiled, unscorched, unspent,
Undetered to breathe loves air again.

Passion is like strained tea leaves,
In a sieve weak, tasteless, spent,
Or like a cigarette, puffed and blown,
Gone, to ashes went

Posted 12/4/15 at 8:37 PM | Julie Miller

A Simple Guide to Dating Outside Your Faith

(c) Fotolia

When religion plays a significant part in your daily life, it may seem that your only option when it comes to dating is to choose someone who shares the same spiritual outlook. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to find that special someone in your religious circle. If you meet someone from a different religion and find yourself interested in dating them, there are several simple steps you can take to bridge the differences between your faith and theirs and build a meaningful relationship that encompasses both of your religious points of view.

Avoid Assumptions

No matter what you've heard about the religion of the person you're dating, take time to seek out the truth. When it comes to religion, fallacies abound. You may have been misinformed about certain aspects of another religion and end up looking foolish when you reveal those wrong perceptions. Pick up a book that covers the basics of the religion, visit the official website of the organization and study its tenets or make an appointment with a religious leader from that faith so you can clarify your understanding of it. Gather facts, not fiction, when you learn about the faith and avoid accepting stereotypes that may or may not be true. FULL POST

Posted 12/4/15 at 1:20 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Why Do We Think We Can Change Bad Boys?

Sheila’s Marriage Moment: Let’s Stop Trying to Change Bad Boys!

Every Friday I like to write a quick, 400-word inspirational marriage thought. Here’s this week’s on our propensity to want to change our husbands–to change bad boys.

The other night I was home alone, bored, so I checked Netflix to see if there were any good movies.

It told me I’d give The Rewrite with Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei four stars, so I clicked play.

Fifteen minutes later I turned it off.

Basically, Hugh Grant’s character was a pig. He used women, he was shallow and selfish, and he had no redeeming virtues. But you know the way the story was going: he’d meet Marisa Tomei, and she’d be so amazing and so what-he’s-always-needed-but-never-found and he would change.

Why is that the plot of most love stories?

Why are we so drawn to the idea that our love will be enough to make a bad boy good?

God’s love is enough to make a bad boy good, but a woman’s love isn’t. And too many of us get married thinking that we can “fix” our husbands.
Christian romance novels are awfully guilty of spreading that, too. FULL POST

Posted 12/3/15 at 8:56 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Can Sex Be Hot and Holy at the Same Time?

Can sex be hot and holy at the same time?

Every Monday I like to post a reader question and take a stab at answering it, and this week’s is all about our attitudes towards sex–and what we think God thinks about sex.

I received this really fascinating question earlier this year:

I need your help to correct my thinking patterns! I have been doing your 31 Days book and have been reaping benefits already. I am trying very hard to embrace my sexuality and learn that it is good to receive pleasure from my husband. But then, God brought some scripture to mind that seems to…not contradict…but I don’t understand how to embrace my sexuality, while still be this meek and quiet woman of God. FULL POST

Posted 12/2/15 at 1:31 PM | Karen Kramer

Tebow and Culpo Breakup over Sex

Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Mark Sullivan/WireImage

When a sexually abstinent young man and 2012 Miss USA Olivia Culpo connect for a chaste relationship, how long will it last? Not long. Tebow professed his love in the old-fashioned way—writing long love letters and sending special notes. After a couple months, Miss Culpo decided it was enough.

Having just exited a serious relationship with Nick Jonas, Culpo seemed to reject the notion of the "waiting for sex" ideology. Tebow remains adamant that marriage is where sex belongs, but not enjoying the sexual part of their relationship (after two months) wasn’t ideal for her. The rumor mills are grinding out all sorts of half-truths about Tebow and Culpo. But the reality is this: God's truth is always right. It was His idea that sex belonged within the boundaries of marriage.

In a culture that now readily accepts immediate sexual hook-ups, random sexual relationships, and instant gratification, Tim Tebow stands out. If Miss USA rejects his love it just means that God has someone else in mind. Keep looking Tim, she’s waiting too.

Posted 11/30/15 at 11:08 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

How Do We Manage Expectations About Sex?

Expectations about sex can seriously affect our enjoyment of marriage.

It’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can link up at the bottom with your own marriage posts.

And today I want to share a personal story and then some things I’ve seen on the web that have got me thinking. I’m hoping that we can all have a good discussion about this, because I’m not completely sure what the answer is.

So let me tell you my story for a bit of background.

Before we got married I picked up a Christian book on sex that was written by a guy. It doesn’t matter which one it was; but let’s just say that it made me a nervous wreck. It was all about how to have an orgasm your first time out, and it explained in detail what he was to do (rub this part 213 times, for instance) and what she was to do (basically nothing, just let him touch you in every way imaginable when it’s all brand new), and I just about died. FULL POST

Posted 11/27/15 at 8:22 AM | Veronica Philips

Can I Say It Now?

My Joys
This is My Most Wonderful Time of The Year
Can I say it now? Can I now officially regress to that little girl, whom has a love for all things Milk of Human Kindness....The girl, who decorated the little white tree with red soft lights, and copper ornaments? Can I be the lass, who stood in the doorway, while my namesake was still struggling to awaken itself, and gaze upon the wonders of all the brightly colored packages? Grandma struggling to make her coffee and eagerly anticipating, HERSELF, the opening of the gifts. The very girl who received an Atari 2600 console, hidden behind the television floor console, with the rabbit ears and knobs that only pliers could change......the Ozarkian girl...... CAN I SAY IT NOW?
I don't care. Merry Christmas. Come all ye who are still young at heart and play in my Holiday Wonderland. Come all ye who giggle with giddy elation as the trees go up in Kmart in November. Come all ye, whom look at a blightful soul and offer a blessing for their Daily Bread. Come out, come out, where ever you are, and join me in what is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. I've patiently waited through the Naysayers, I've endured the Bah Humbugs of the Thanksgiving Season, I've read, watched, IGNORED the posts begging we don't shop on the Day of Thanks.....I've done all that out of RESPECT, and NOW I can be has Joyfully Obnoxious as I want.....Frankly, I don't care if you say Happy Holiday's, Merry Christmas, or Go Away, because this isn't about's about me...and my RELATIONSHIP with a baby, a manger, a family, and a work out your mess....leave mine alone.

Love it or hate it, Christmas is no apathetic season. It's running in the snow covered streets, getting a second chance at life while realizing what's important....well...that DOES kinda sound like, "It's a Wonderful Life", but it IS a Wonderful Life....Tony Bennett said best, It IS the Freaking Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and by GOLLY I waited......I WAITED to say it, so go pound sand if you don't like it......Merry Christmas Friends. May the Joy, Peace, Magic and Promise of the Season......greet you and yours today and every day we celebrate the birth, the beautiful immaculate a manger. The first friend that mentions that Jesus was born in the Spring gets to stepping....because I will not....tolerate any harshing of my mellow this season. This is my horse, I'm riding this stud, go troll someone else. Can I say it NOW? Merry Christmas's get my Joy On. Be Blessed. Remember you set the Tone, you ARE the Example. BE KIND to each other. Show GRACE and MERCY to all those who cross your path today. With your Daily Affirmations complete, Merry Christmas....enjoy your Friday.

Posted 11/23/15 at 2:20 PM | Sunny Shell

There's Nothing More Loving Than The Gospel

God's timing is always perfect.

Needing to recover from a recent irruption of verbal friendly-fire (Christians assaulting Christians), where I was greatly discouraged for sharing the Gospel with anyone the Lord leads me to (family, friends, neighbors, strangers, etc.), the Lord provided me with abundant comfort and strength through His Word, my darling husband, and oldest son. And as if that weren't enough, my ever gracious Father also provided me more encouragement through soundly biblical and exhorting books*, sermons and articles. One of the articles (below) was shared today, at Ligonier Ministries.

During this recent verbal attack, it was intimated that I was an unloving person because I didn't always seek to first "love" people through acts of service before I "earned the right" to share the Gospel with them. FULL POST

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