Are there obstacles in your mind and heart preventing you from experiencing the true freedom in the amazing grace of Christ Jesus? Are you eager enough to serve God that you are willing to take risks regardless of the consequences? Are you prepared to ask Jesus to know your true heart as Peter pleaded for Jesus to know the true desires of his heart? Due to some technical difficulties the sermon audio for this week is unavailable. Sorry for any inconvenience. Passage Luke Questions for thought Why do we seem to get most hurt in relationships that mean the most to us?
With your daily behavior or actions, how often do you find yourself denying Jesus the way Peter did? What parts of your relationship with Jesus scares you to acknowledge it with others? What are you doing with your relationships? Passage John Questions for thought What words would you want people to use to characterize you after you have passed from this world? Are you seeking Glory to honor yourself or to bring honor to God?
What do you use to determine what is right and true for you and your family? What are we doing to be in the world, but live a life different enough without removing ourselves and separating from it? Passage John Questions for thought Are you intimately connected with Jesus on a daily basis?
Are you excited to connect with Jesus on a daily basis? As a branch, where are you connected and what type of fruit are you producing? The challenge for couples is how to rekindle the fires of romance from time to time and cultivate the mature, trusting love that is the hallmark of a lasting relationship. Terry Hatkoff, a California State University sociologist, has created a love scale that identifies six distinct types of love found in our closest relationships. Researchers have found that the love we feel in our most committed relationships is typically a combination of two or three different forms of love.
But often, two people in the same relationship can have very different versions of how they define love. Hatkoff gives the example of a man and woman having dinner. What does this have to do with love? The man and woman each define love differently. For him, love is practical, and is best shown by supportive gestures like car maintenance. For her, love is possessive, and a jealous response by her husband makes her feel valued.
Understanding what makes your partner feel loved can help you navigate conflict and put romance back into your relationship. You and your partner can take the Love Style quiz from Dr. Hatkoff and find out how each of you defines love. If you learn your partner tends toward jealousy, make sure you notice when someone is flirting with him or her. If your partner is practical in love, notice the many small ways he or she shows love by taking care of everyday needs. Take this quiz to find out which style best describes your behavior in romantic relationships.
Even better: Take it with your partner. But those same pathways are also associated with novelty, energy, focus, learning, motivation, ecstasy and craving. No wonder we feel so energized and motivated when we fall in love! But we all know that romantic, passionate love fades a bit over time, and we hope matures into a more contented form of committed love. Even so, many couples long to rekindle the sparks of early courtship.
But is it possible? The secret? Do something new and different -- and make sure you do it together.
Love is one of the most profound emotions known to human beings. There are many kinds of love, but most people seek its expression in a romantic relationship. All romantic relationships go through ups and downs and they all take work, commitment, and a willingness to adapt and change with your.
These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love. Whether you take a pottery class or go on a white-water rafting trip, activating your dopamine systems while you are together can help bring back the excitement you felt on your first date. In studies of couples, Dr. Aron has found that partners who regularly share new experiences report greater boosts in marital happiness than those who simply share pleasant but familiar experiences. The psychology professor Elaine Hatfield has suggested that the love we feel early in a relationship is different than what we feel later.
Where does your relationship land on the spectrum of love? The Passionate Love Scale, developed by Dr. Hatfield, of the University of Hawaii, and Susan Sprecher, a psychology and sociology professor at Illinois State University, can help you gauge the passion level of your relationship. Once you see where you stand, you can start working on injecting more passion into your partnership.
Note that while the scale is widely used by relationship researchers who study love, the quiz is by no means the final word on the health of your relationship. Take it for fun and let the questions inspire you to talk to your partner about passion. After all, you never know where the conversation might lead. Think of the person you love most passionately now, and answer the questions.
The quiz will add up your scores and tell you where you fall on the passion spectrum. Committed couples really do have more sex than everyone else. The main factors associated with a sexless life are older age and not being married. Even though most people keep their sex lives private, we do know quite a bit about people's sex habits. The data come from a variety of sources, including the General Social Survey , which collects information on behavior in the United States, and the International Social Survey Programme, a similar study that collects international data, and additional studies from people who study sex like the famous Kinsey Institute.
A recent trend is that sexual frequency is declining among millennials, likely because they are less likely than earlier generations to have steady partners. One of the best ways to make sure your sex life stays robust in a long relationship is to have a lot of sex early in the relationship. A University of Georgia study of more than 90, women in 19 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas found that the longer a couple is married, the less often they have sex, but that the decline appears to be relative to how much sex they were having when they first coupled.
Why does sex decline in marriage? But a major factor is age. One study found sexual frequency declines 3.
The good news is that what married couples lack in quantity they make up for in quality. Data from the National Health and Social Life Survey found that married couples have more fulfilling sex than single people. Why do some couples sizzle while others fizzle? Social scientists are studying no-sex marriages for clues about what can go wrong in relationships. Some sexless marriages started out with very little sex. Others in sexless marriages say childbirth or an affair led to a slowing and eventually stopping of sex. People in sexless marriages are generally less happy and more likely to have considered divorce than those who have regular sex with their spouse or committed partner.
If you have a low-sex or no-sex marriage, the most important step is to see a doctor. A low sex drive can be the result of a medical issues low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, menopause or depression or it can be a side effect of a medication or treatment. Some scientists speculate that growing use of antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil, which can depress the sex drive, may be contributing to an increase in sexless marriages.
While some couples in sexless marriages are happy, the reality is that the more sex a couple has, the happier they are together. Remember that there is no set point for the right amount of sex in a marriage. The right amount of sex is the amount that makes both partners happy. If your sex life has waned, it can take time and effort to get it back on track. The best solution is relatively simple, but oh-so-difficult for many couples: Start talking about sex. Hatfield of the University of Hawaii is one of the pioneers of relationship science.
She developed the Passionate Love scale we explored earlier in this guide. When Dr. Hatfield conducted a series of interviews with men and women about their sexual desires, she discovered that men and women have much more in common than they realize, they just tend not to talk about sex with each other.
If you are like the couples in Dr. Here are the answers Dr. Both partners wanted seduction, instructions and experimentation. The main difference for men and women is where sexual desire begins. Men wanted their wives to initiate sex more often and be less inhibited in the bedroom. But for women, behavior outside the bedroom also mattered. They wanted their partner to be warmer, helpful in their lives, and they wanted love and compliments both in and out of the bedroom.
Men and women can train themselves to protect their relationships and raise their feelings of commitment. In any given year about 10 percent of married people —12 percent of men and 7 percent of women — say they have had sex outside their marriage. The relatively low rates of annual cheating mask the far higher rate of lifetime cheating. Among people over 60, about one in four men and one in seven women admit they have ever cheated. A number of studies in both animals and humans suggest that there may be a genetic component to infidelity.
While science makes a compelling case that there is some genetic component to cheating, we also know that genetics are not destiny. There are some personality traits known to be associated with cheating. A report in The Archives of Sexual Behavior found that two traits predicted risk for infidelity in men.
The finding comes from a study of nearly 1, men and women. In the sample, 23 percent of men and 19 percent of women reported ever cheating on a partner. Avoid Opportunity. In one survey, psychologists at the University of Vermont asked men and women in committed relationships about sexual fantasies. Fully 98 percent of the men and 80 percent of the women reported having imagined a sexual encounter with someone other than their partner at least once in the previous two months.
The longer couples were together, the more likely both partners were to report such fantasies. But there is a big difference between fantasizing about infidelity and actually following through. The strongest risk factor for infidelity, researchers have found, exists not inside the marriage but outside: opportunity. For years, men have typically had the most opportunities to cheat thanks to long hours at the office, business travel and control over family finances. But today, both men and women spend late hours at the office and travel on business.
And even for women who stay home, cellphones, e-mail and instant messaging appear to be allowing them to form more intimate relationships outside of their marriages. As a result, your best chance at fidelity is to limit opportunities that might allow you to stray. Committed men and women avoid situations that could lead to bad decisions -- like hotel bars and late nights with colleagues.
Plan Ahead for Temptation. Men and women can develop coping strategies to stay faithful to a partner. A series of unusual studies led by John Lydon, a psychologist at McGill University in Montreal, looked at how people in a committed relationship react in the face of temptation. In one study, highly committed married men and women were asked to rate the attractiveness of people of the opposite sex in a series of photos. Not surprisingly, they gave the highest ratings to people who would typically be viewed as attractive.
Later, they were shown similar pictures and told that the person was interested in meeting them. In that situation, participants consistently gave those pictures lower scores than they had the first time around. Other McGill studies confirmed differences in how men and women react to such threats. In one, attractive actors or actresses were brought in to flirt with study participants in a waiting room. Men who had just been flirting were less forgiving of the hypothetical bad behavior, suggesting that the attractive actress had momentarily chipped away at their commitment.
But women who had been flirting were more likely to be forgiving and to make excuses for the man, suggesting that their earlier flirting had triggered a protective response when discussing their relationship. Lydon said. The study also looked at whether a person can be trained to resist temptation. The team prompted male students who were in committed dating relationships to imagine running into an attractive woman on a weekend when their girlfriends were away.
Because the researchers ethically could not bring in a real woman to act as a temptation, they created a virtual-reality game in which two out of four rooms included subliminal images of an attractive woman. Most of the men who had practiced resisting temptation stayed away from the rooms with attractive women; but among men who had not practiced resistance, two out of three gravitated toward the temptation room. But if you worry you might be vulnerable to temptation on a business trip, practice resistance by reminding yourself the steps you will take to avoid temptation and protect your relationship.
Picture Your Beloved. We all know that sometimes the more you try to resist something -- like ice cream or a cigarette -- the more you crave it. Relationship researchers say the same principle can influence a person who sees a man or woman who is interested in them.
The more you think about resisting the person, the more tempting he or she becomes. Focus on loving thoughts and the joy of your family, not sexual desire for your spouse -- the goal here is to damp down the sex drive, not wake it up. Keep Your Relationship Interesting. Scientists speculate that your level of commitment may depend on how much a partner enhances your life and broadens your horizons — a concept that Dr. To measure this quality, couples are asked a series of questions: How much does your partner provide a source of exciting experiences?
How much has knowing your partner made you a better person? How much do you see your partner as a way to expand your own capabilities? The Stony Brook researchers conducted experiments using activities that stimulated self-expansion.
Helping separated families negotiate medical decisions. Frequent, affectionate touch—holding hands, hugging, kissing—is equally important. May 30, Media release: Online pornography exposure causes multiple types of harm to young people — new survey. Long-Distance Relationships. VIC Ballarat.
Some couples were given mundane tasks, while others took part in a silly exercise in which they were tied together and asked to crawl on mats, pushing a foam cylinder with their heads. The study was rigged so the couples failed the time limit on the first two tries, but just barely made it on the third, resulting in much celebration. Couples were given relationship tests before and after the experiment. Those who had taken part in the challenging activity posted greater increases in love and relationship satisfaction than those who had not experienced victory together. The researchers theorize that couples who explore new places and try new things will tap into feelings of self-expansion, lifting their level of commitment.
Every couple has disagreements, but science shows that how two people argue has a big effect on both their relationships and their health.
Many people try their best to avoid conflict, but relationship researchers say every conflict presents an opportunity to improve a relationship. The key is to learn to fight constructively in a way that leaves you feeling better about your partner. Marriage researcher John Gottman has built an entire career out of studying how couples interact. He learned that even in a laboratory setting, couples are willing to air their disagreements even when scientists are watching and the cameras are rolling.
In one important study, Dr. Gottman and his colleagues observed newly married couples in the midst of an argument. In many ways, this is great news for couples because it gives you a place to focus. The most important moments between you and your partner during a conflict are those first few minutes when the fight is just getting started. Focus on your behavior during that time, and it likely will change the dynamics of your relationship for the better.