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A Hard and Painful Way to Improve Your Marriage

When I first got married, a good friend encouraged me to interview five people and ask a series of questions that would elicit mostly negative responses about my effect on others. During the interviews, I was only allowed to ask questions and take notes — I couldn’t defend or explain myself.

I was not prepared for what was coming. Read more

Real-life Humans (Like You) Are About to Get Yelped

All your worst fears are coming to an app called Peeple that is being released next month. It allows anyone to rate and review other folks just like they would a restaurant or chiropractor on Yelp. You can’t help but wonder how many broken friendships, verbal assaults and suicides it will eventually inspire. Read more

Explaining the Birth of Jesus to the Kids

This morning, my daughters and I were talking about the birth of Jesus, and I was trying to think of a way to capture the wonder of it. I mean, it’s one thing to say “God became a man” – but I wanted them to get it, to grasp how bizarre it was that the God of the universe humbled Himself and moved into the body of a vulnerable baby boy. Read more

The Danger of Liquor, Buffets, and Self-righteousness

“Margaritas, everyone!” said the worship leader from my new church as she filled plastic cups for the partygoers in her home. I was mortified, and I figured God was too.

Then I walked outside where I found our Austrian pastor making conversation and smoking a cigarette. All I could do was put on my best fake smile, bid farewell, and ease away from the party in confusion. Read more

What our Tone of Voice is Teaching our Kids

One day, I was standing in the kitchen at my mom’s house, and for the first time, it occurred to me that my favorite music was the sound of tinkering high notes on a piano.  So I rhetorically asked my mom, “Do you know what my absolute favorite music is?” Read more

Seven Things Every Man Needs to Know Before Marriage

My wife and I live in Washington, D.C., a city that’s full of single men who aren’t ready to get married. If they’re anything like I was in my single days, their unwillingness to tie the knot has a lot to do with their unrealistic expectations. Now that I’m seven years into a happy marriage, if I could give some tips to all the single men about adjusting their hopes for life after the wedding, here’s what I would say: Read more

The Positive Side of Our Insecurities

Back in college, I was a high maintenance friend.

As I’ve described in my article, “Facing Insecurity, Finding Friendship,” “I always needed a prompt reply to my phone call or email, an enthusiastic ‘yes’ to my invitations. I needed to be coddled and comforted and assured that I was liked.  If someone neglected to call back, it couldn’t be because they forgot — no way, it had to be because they were ignoring me and my all-important need for affirmation.” Read more

What Marriage Might Do to Your Big Dreams

When I first started dating my wife, we were eating dinner one night and she asked a question that I didn’t think was very controversial: “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?”

In my response, I mentioned that I wanted to return to my home state of Mississippi and run for Attorney General, and I also said I wanted four or five children. She looked at me like she was waiting for me to announce that I was joking. I wasn’t. Read more

God and our Kids: It’s About Trust

A few days ago, my wife and I drove our daughters to their first day of school. I hardly noticed that my breathing was becoming shallower as we got closer. I didn’t want to notice it.

“You know,” I said, “I’m not going to cry when we say goodbye to the girls today, but I understand why parents do.” Read more

The Extraordinary Man on the Bus

Last November, I was riding the bus home on a cold winter night, and I noticed a chatty, elderly, African-American man as I walked toward the front.  He seemed to be the only person who was interested in what he was saying, and I felt suspicious.  Read more


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