Christian Moms and Romance Novels

Christian Moms and Romance Novels - Parenting Like Hannah
Pulling Back the Shades by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery

Normally, these blog entries flow easily. Honestly, I hesitated before even agreeing to do this one. The idea of talking to Christian moms about romance novels and erotica seemed questionable at best. Then I remembered my teen years. A friend at school introduced me to romance novels. Pretty innocent seeming ones, especially compared to 50 Shades of Gray (which I haven’t read).

Over time though, I realized they were creating an image of the perfect man, one which didn’t exist. I was subconsciously comparing the men portrayed in these books to the actual men I encountered. Not surprisingly, the real men weren’t nearly as intuitive and romantic as these fictional men.

Eventually, I stopped reading romance novels and met and married my husband. I thought it was interesting that after I met my husband, I wasn’t even tempted to read a romance novel. I always thought it was strange until I read the book Pulling Back the Shades by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery.

Continue reading Christian Moms and Romance Novels

Quick and Easy Marriage Boosters

Quick and Easy Marriage Boosters - Parenting Like Hannah
The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldman

If you knew your marriage would improve by thanking your husband for unloading the dishwasher or going to work each day, would you do it? If your husband knew you would be happier if he just put his arm around you in Church or held your hand, what would he do? What if you knew your marriage would be happier if you and your husband just spent more time doing things together?

I was absolutely fascinated by Shaunti Feldman‘s new book, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages. Ms Feldman did some intensive research on what behaviors created marriages where both partners were highly happy. I am not an expert in research, but she goes into great detail on her methodology.

Continue reading Quick and Easy Marriage Boosters

Praying For Your Husband

Praying For Your Husband - Parenting Like Hannah
Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe by Sharon Jaynes

Have you ever listened to various groups of people talk? Listen to a group of old people for very long and inevitably you start hearing conversations about various physical ailments. Men? It doesn’t take long for the talk to become sports oriented. Women? Well if they are married, once they finish discussing the kids and/or grandkids, often the talk turns to their husbands. And very often the talk is not at all positive. Complaints, derisive humor, anger and disdain often pepper these conversations.

Surely, that’s not what God intended for our conversations about our marriages to become? Yet, women believe they have a right to criticize and complain. And honestly, many of them are at least partially right. Their husbands are not at all acting the way God intended for husbands to act. Yet even when that is true, I don’t think the Bible condones our constant complaining and whining about our husbands.

Continue reading Praying For Your Husband

Creative Dating as Parents

Creative Dating as Parents - Parenting Like Hannah
Little Book of Great Dates by Greg and Erin Smalley

Do you remember dating your spouse? If you were like us, there was some attempt to be creative and interesting on dates. After all, we were trying to impress each other. Fast forward a few years and with children, you are lucky if you even have a date night. When you do, who has the energy to be creative? So, most of us end up eating out and talking about the kids and what needs to be repaired or falling asleep in a movie theater.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Greg and Erin Smalley have written a great little book, Little Book of Great Dates: 52 Creative Ideas to Make Your Marriage Fun. The book contains ideas for fifty-two different dates you can have with your spouse.

The set-up is a little unique compared to similar books. Each date has a theme, but most include several suggestions for where to have the date. My favorites were the ones that encouraged the couple to step out of their comfort zones during their time together. They even suggested some specific activities and one-time classes if you have trouble thinking of ideas within a category. (They even have ideas for “at home – no money” dates).

Continue reading Creative Dating as Parents

Ten Important Date Nights

Ten Important Date Nights - Parenting Like Hannah
10 Great Dates: Connecting Faith, Love, and Marriage by Peter and Heather Larson and David and Claudia Arp

Remember when you and your spouse started dating? If you were like us, you spent hours talking about everything under the sun. You learned about each other’s families, shared hopes and dreams and eventually decided to share your lives permanently.

Fast forward a few years and now you have a child. Or children. Perhaps lots of children! Each child seems to come with his or her own set of needs and dreams, which often keeps us in constant motion. Some days, you are lucky to give your spouse a quick kiss before collapsing in exhaustion. An actual meaningful conversation seems an impossible dream.

Our marriages aren’t necessarily bad, but over time couples with children can slowly start drifting apart and may even divorce. Yet study after study teaches us children fair better in homes with healthy marriages. I would imagine the stronger the marriage, the better the possibility for positive results.

We know the health of our marriage is important, but that requires work we don’t think we have the time to do right now. All of those meaningful conversations during dating have long sense dissolved into discussions of who will take whom where and what needs to be fixed around the house. You are not even sure you have time to know yourself anymore and your spouse is slowly becoming an acquaintance.

Continue reading Ten Important Date Nights