Love Defined: Loving Others the Way God Loves Us

Everything God does is for our own good, and the Bible says that He is quick to forgive. We live in a culture, however, that is self-absorbed, loves to argue, and is quick to burn bridges when it comes to hurt and offense. So when Jesus taught us to love others the way He loves us, He was calling us to something radical, something completely counter-cultural. Continue Reading

Love Defined: Four Things That Will Destroy Love

Paul begins his definition of true love in 1 Corinthians 13 by telling us what love is…patient and kind. He goes on to tell us, however, what love isn’t. There are four things can and will destroy love if given the chance. Allowing these “weeds” to take root in our hearts and minds may not seem like a big deal, but they can easily become major problems in our lives if we allow them to grow. Continue Reading

Love Defined: It's More than a Feeling | alyssajhoward.com

Love Defined: It’s More than a Feeling

Love is such a cliché word these days. I can love God, love my family, love my life, and so on. But I can also love shopping, cooking, and being extremely organized. In all honesty, the word “love” is seriously overused in our American culture today. Continue Reading

The Truth About Marriage: It's a Covenant, Not a Contract | alyssajhoward.com

The Truth About Marriage: It’s a Covenant, Not a Contract

We live in a culture that is very contract-minded. We make promises to one another, often in writing, but if one person doesn’t hold up their end of the deal, the contract is canceled. In other words, the contract can be broken if one party decides not to keep their word. We do this to protect ourselves. We don’t want to have to hold up our end of the deal if the other party is unwilling to hold up theirs.

A covenant, however, is a much deeper agreement – one that is binding. Covenants aren’t common in our culture today. We like to know that we can back out of an agreement if we’re not getting what we need or want out of it. In a marriage situation, we like to know that if our needs aren’t being met, we can choose to walk away and find someone else to meet them. Continue Reading

The Truth About Marriage and Our Call to Submit | alyssajhoward.com

The Truth About Marriage and Our Call to Submit

In today’s modern culture, submission in marriage is fairly controversial. We’ve been taught for generations that man is the “head of the household” and women are called to “submit to him in all things.” Many churches today teach that men and women are equal in God’s eyes, but they each have different roles to play. And in the end, the husband has the final say.

But I can’t stop thinking about this term “submission.” Because in my mind (and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way), submission by the world’s standard means blind obedience. It requires me to put myself under the authority of my husband in a way that dismisses my thoughts and feelings. I can’t help but envision the way a dog submits to his master. He obeys, honors, and respects the wishes of his owner. It’s this mentality that makes it so difficult for many wives to accept that this is God’s perfect will for marriage. Is this really what Paul had in mind when he called wives to submit to their husbands?
Continue Reading

Good and Bad Communication: 9 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Marriage | alyssajhoward.com

Good and Bad Communication: 9 Ways to Resolve Conflict in Marriage

My husband and I took a cruise for our honeymoon. During one of the shows, they brought a couple up on stage who had been married over 50 years. And when asked how they did it, the husband replied, “Two words… I’m sorry!” Then the wife replied, “I forgive you!” We all had a good laugh at the time, but their advice proved to be incredibly wise. Marital conflict is inevitable, but a lot of it could be avoided if we would simply learn to listen, communicate effectively, and admit when we are wrong. Continue Reading

3 Negative Attitudes That Will Destroy Your Marriage | alyssajhoward.com

3 Negative Attitudes That Will Destroy Your Marriage

The Bible tells us to fix our thoughts on “what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” (Philippians 4:8) This outlook on life affects every aspect of our lives – including our marriage. The enemy likes to use our negative attitudes and thoughts to suck the joy out of marriages. But the good news is that we don’t have to let him. Continue Reading

The Truth About Marriage: Love is a Choice | alyssajhoward.com

The Truth About Marriage: Love is a Choice

As crazy as it sounds, divorce is almost seen as a rite of passage in today’s culture. It’s certainly seen as a viable option when our marriages hit rough times. The problem with this thinking is that ALL marriages hit rough times. So based on our culture’s standard, all marriages have times where divorce could be on the table as an option. Continue Reading

A Realistic Look at the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31

When speaking of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, Bible teachers often focus on the attributes that make her a good mother, wife, and keeper of the home. But this passage goes far beyond that. It describes her as a woman who is well-rounded with a good head on her shoulders… smart and resourceful. The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 provides both food and clothing for her family as well as her servants, manages the home and its finances, takes care for the needy, sells her own handiwork, and speaks wisdom and teaching to others. (She is one busy lady!) Continue Reading

The True Purpose of Marriage (according to the Bible) | alyssajhoward.com

The True Purpose of Marriage (according to the Bible)

We all know the statistics. Marriage is hard. But the truth about marriage is that with the right perspective (and help from the Holy Spirit), it can be one of the greatest blessings of our lives. One of the first things we have to remember about marriage is that it was originally God’s idea. (Genesis 2:18, 21-22) Not only that, but He outlines the true purpose of marriage in His Word. Continue Reading