When he comes to me and tells me that one of the kids locked the keys in his truck — again — I see how his shoulders sag.

How life wears at a man, how life weighs at a man.

We do that. We let the bulk of the details of a life press us down, drag us down.

One of the kids keeps emotionally imploding. There was a farm production report to finish. Unopened bills stack on the desk by the phone with its blinking messages demanding answers, taped to the one chalkboard: “Jesus answered them, Do not grumble among yourselves.”

“When does a woman get to sit across the table from the man she gave her I do to — and not think about her to-do list?”

This is hard.

There are 2 kids with volleyball on Wednesday night, and 2 head out for Awana on Wednesdays, and one kid who has get to back to the doctor this week to have his stitches taken out, and when do I just get to take you out?

When does a woman get to sit across the table from the man she gave her I do to — and not think about her to-do list?


When do we get to re-member why we fell in love and re-member us in a world that tries to dis-member us with the sharp edge of a thousand little things?

When do we make it stop: Death by daily things can be painfully slow.

When is there time for us to do what will undo our coupled stress?

Because who needs what the parting celebrities call conscious uncoupling —- when life seems to be trying to unconsciously uncouple us all the time?

What we really need is conscious coupling. What we really need is intentional coupling.

What we really need to do is to make time for each other. 

Yeah, I know: Time is a supreme gift — and the one thing everybody kinda struggles to give to anybody.

But we can slow down and pay attention to each other, because we want to spend our lives on the things that matter.  The way time used to slow down when you looked into him and he looked into you and your hearts about stopped, ridiculously alive. This can happen again.

Because marriage is about making all the minutes tell the truth of the glorious gospel.

There is always time for us to find one another again.

There are hands on the clock but they are always hands bound by our free hands and we always get to decide the day’s only decision — what will we do with the time we’ve been given?



I met a guy last week who refers to his wife all the time as his bride.

It struck me — a man with 4 kids calling his wife of decades his Bride. Like he remembered a moment when he wanted her and he had never gotten over it, never stopped wanting her.

Call the woman that you’re married to your bride — and you remember the moment you kissed her slow.

Remember that you’re a bride — and you make time to kiss your groom back.

Because what does a bride do but seal her promise to love with a long, lingering kiss?  

Ain’t nobody here talking about a quick peck on the cheek either.

Because pecks on the cheek can leave you feeling more hen pecked than anything else.

So we could all be the married fools committed to it now everyday, like our dance step through life’s minefield: Bride. Kiss. A long and slow 10 seconds.

[This the The Real 5 Second Rule — Times Two]

Bills. Laundry. Kids.
Groceries. Kids. Dishes. Kids. Garbage.
No Grumbling amongst ourselves.
Errands. To-Do lists. Kids.
Bride. Kiss. A long and Slow 10 Seconds.

[The Real 5 Second Rule Times Two]

It could be the vow of the married: The 10 Second Kiss for Wedded Bliss.

And yeah, a kiss may not mean bliss — but it may mean a beginning?

So there’s that: Every day we’ll kiss each other 10 seconds or longer — like we did at the altar. Like we have the time to be living sacrifices for each other.

Like there isn’t time to go to sleep at night until there is time for The Real 5 Second Rule Times Two:

The 10 Second Kiss for Wedded Bliss.

Why we didn’t frame it and title the moment before? Because every married mother, every married father, ever married wage earner, mortgage maker, bill payer, needs to remember how they are still a married lover.

I have no idea why we haven’t done this before. No idea why they don’t tell you on your wedding day that there is a ‘disproportionate amount of brain space taken up with processing information from the lips compared to the rest of our bodies,’ how even a light brush of the lips lights up a large part of our brain…

(Read that again slowly.)

How didn’t we know: Cortisol levels, which determines our stress levels, decreases after kissing.

(Read that again, very slowly: Increase kissing, stress decreases.)

Who knew that the 10 Second kiss of Wedded Bliss nixes hours of stress?

Who knew that locking of lips unlocks oxytocin, the hormone that makes us bond and keeps us bonded, keeps us attached, keeps us connected.

(And then sit with that: Locking lips literally, at a physiological level, makes your hearts feel locked closer together)

Taking the time — just 10 seconds a day —— to kiss —- can take our hearts where we want to go.  It’s that kind of Conscious Commitment that keeps us from unconsciously uncoupling.


Really — It Only Takes a Few Conscious Seconds To Ignite Something Better in Your Marriage: 

Conscious Conversation —- you take the one second longer to make sure our eyes linger when you’re talking.

Conscious Servingyou take the two seconds longer to make the bed. You take the 5 seconds longer to rub the back of his neck at the end of the day.

Conscious Gratitudeyou take just a moment to thank him for taking out the garbage, I take just a moment after the kids are in bed to thank you for helping us get through. We take a moment, many, to bite our tongues and not grumble, a moment to bravely focus on gifts.

Conscious Affectionand we take the 10 seconds longer to let go of everything else and to just give each other the ministry of presence, the longing of the slowing kiss.

The Conscious Coupling of the The 10 Second Kiss for Wedded Bliss. [ #ReigniteProject]

We could be the winning fools living this:

Love is more than simply a warm feeling; Love is ultimately a daily forging. Marriage could live the heat of a love like this

The business of life doesn’t get in the way of the business of our marriage, but rather the business of a life becomes the way in which the tender work of our marriage unleashes us into the love and life we’ve always wanted. 

Yeah, life is hard. But our love can be stronger.

And we can slip arm around waists and be conscious about our coupling instead of unconsciously uncoupling, and there is always time to share this locking together of hearts.

This reigniting into an inextinguishable flame.


Books for Soul Healing:

One Thousand Gifts 

Joy is actually possible, right where you are.

Take the dare to discover: Life is not an emergencyLife is a GIFT.
Life is too short to do anything but truly savor it — to count all the ways you truly loved.


The Broken Way 

What if Brokenness is the Path into the Abundant Life?
You don’t have to be afraid of broken things — because Christ is redeeming everything.
There’s no other authentic way forward — but a broken way — right into a profoundly abundant life.


The Way of Abundance 

Journey into a deeply meaningful life with this devotional and take sixty steps from heart-weary brokenness to Christ-focused abundance. The Way of Abundance — is the way forward every heart needs.


Be The Gift 

Be the Gift is a tender intivation into the next step of deeper transformation, less stress, more joy and abundantly more peace & purpose. You only get one life to love well…to Be The Gift.