The lesson on the other side of marital humiliation

In all of my years of writing about relationships, there’s no story that has resonated with readers like the infamous baby monitor story. Here’s what happened: Early in our marriage, my wife, Raquel, and I got into a disagreement while visiting a family member’s home. We went to the guest room to hash it out privately but we had no idea how badly we were about to embarrass ourselves.

I have a confession to make — actually, a lot of them

If you’ve been reading my writing for any length of time, you know that my goal is to find God in the ordinary of life — especially married life. There’s just so much material He has to work with. I spent 18 months writing my observations in a book called Confessions of a Happily Married Man: Finding God in the Messiness of Marriage. It’s being released on December 17 and you can find it anywhere books are sold — but I need to ask a favor: Can you please go ahead and pre-order it from your favorite retailer?

I was on national TV talking about my happy marriage — but my wife knew the truth

It was 9:20 a.m. on a Monday morning and I was about to appear on Fox and Friends for an interview with Steve Doocey. The interview happened after FoxNews.com published an op-ed of mine called “What happened when my daughter saw me kiss my wife” and it went viral. Two days later, I was sitting in front of a camera listening to Steve prep me for the interview. When the conversation began, Steve and I talked about the op-ed; but eventually, I shared how my wife, Raquel, and I had struggled for control during our marriage. I talked about the…

Today, I opened the package I’ve waited on for months

Today, I was in the car with my wife, Raquel, and the kids when she pulled out a package that had just arrived. “Go ahead and open it,” I said, knowing what it was. Raquel tore off the top of the envelope and pulled out the hardbound copy of Confessions of a Happily Married Man: Finding God in the Messiness of Marriage, the book I’ve been working on for over a year and a half. We came to a stoplight and Raquel handed it to me. I took a deep breath and opened the book, flipping the pages and watching the words…

After a series of surprising signs from God, I knew what I had to do

 I have never heard God’s audible voice before, but last year, He came pretty close.    On Valentine’s Day 2018, my cousin was visiting from out of town, and after a family Valentine’s dinner, he made a random suggestion: “Have you ever thought about taking your articles about marriage and making a book out of them?”  The idea seemed so far-fetched. My dad had just died, I was constantly drained from working overtime and I was depressed. But my cousin insisted so we kicked around some ideas for what a book on marriage might look like.

I thought I wanted to marry her — but a catfish dinner left me in shock

I grew up in the Deep South and in my family, there was an expectation that women should always be “ladylike.” That meant, in part, that a woman should never burp in front of others (seriously, I’ve never heard my mom do it). Another thing about the South is that the secret ingredient to 93 percent of entrees is grease, so if you’re someone who avoids fried foods, that requires building up a certain intestinal fortitude to digest the lard that permeates the Southern diet.

Jesus appeared in two courtrooms — one in Mississippi, one in Texas

On the night of February 7, 2003, Coco and David Treppendahl got the news that no parent ever wants to hear: their 19-year-old daughter, Laura Treppendahl, had been killed by a drunk driver as she drove home from a Bible study. The driver, one of Laura’s fellow students at the University of Mississippi, had just driven away from a bar in an SUV with eight passengers inside. Within minutes of leaving, he sideswiped one car and then ran head-on into Laura, who died at the scene of the accident.

My mom played a board game with me — and changed my life

I’ve spent a lot of time on the floor with my kids playing with all kinds of toys, including blocks, baby dolls and board games. The kids love being there with me and I love being with them too. One person they can thank for that is my mom. Mom never had a prestigious job; she didn’t feed me organic foods; and she didn’t enroll me in a Spanish immersion school. We didn’t have a lot of money, so she didn’t give me lots of toys either. But here’s what she did give me: her time, her attention, herself.  And in doing so, she gave me a…

What happened when I finally confronted my sixth-grade teacher after 28 years

The sky was dark outside of Petal Middle School because of a torrential rainstorm that was bearing down on our small town. All of the students were rushing to avoid the rain – all of them except me. I stopped by the gutter where water was gushing over the edges, put my head under the waterfall, drenched my hair, and then slicked it back. I thought it was hilarious. My teacher did not. When I walked into class, my teacher saw my soaking wet hair and loudly ordered me to get out of the room. I walked across the hallway…

My wife and I made a big mistake — and I learned a valuable lesson

We should’ve listened to the woman across the counter at the visitor center of Gorges State Park: “You probably shouldn’t take a three-year-old on the hike to Rainbow Falls. It’s a three-mile round trip with steep climbs.” My wife and I ignored her, figuring that our three-year-old would be the exception. Plus, we had our girls, eight and nine, to help along the way.

I plummeted down the mountain and found a father figure below

I was lying flat on my back in the snow on the side of a Colorado mountain feeling thoroughly disoriented. I had overestimated my ability to ski down a more challenging blue slope after learning how to ski the day before.  Everything went downhill from there (literally) when I unexpectedly came around a bend and plummeted down a steep slope. The next thing I knew, I was sprawled out in the snow and my skis were scattered several feet away.