“OTOY”: One Thing, Once a Year- For Your Marriage


A great reminder to start the New Year from our friends at Family Dynamics Institute:

Doing ONE THING, ONCE a YEAR for your marriage is very simple to do….if you make it a priority.   When we mention this idea of doing one thing once a year for your marriage at speaking engagements and trainings nearly all of the heads in the room nod in agreement.   Yet when asked for a show of hands of how many are doing something once a year for their marriage….only a few go up.

So…..we understand that we should, for most of us we could, now if we only would.

We see our doctors, change our oil, file our taxes, and renew our licenses or certifications if our job requires it, all on a regular basis every year.   Why?  Simply because we know that there are consequences if we don’t and we value the benefits of keeping those items “up to date”.

So why are most of us ignoring the most important relationship that we will have with another person on this planet?

Doesn’t make sense….does it?

We encourage you to get started now and continue doing One Thing, Once a Year, and for those who already are, keep it up and share the positive impacts it has for your marriage with others.

What types of “THINGS” are we talking about? 

While date nights, praying together, shared recreational activities are all great (and should also be a part of your healthy marriage growth)…we are encouraging some things that involve learning relationship skills that you will use every day.

Taking a class for your marriage, a weekend retreat, taking a home study class, and similar types of experiences that provide you with solid information and practical application that you can use every day.  Some couples have shared with us that they set up a getaway weekend with other married couple friends and spend some time going through sections of class materials to grow stronger as a couple and still have vacation time to enjoy with their spouse.

An ongoing mix of these types of experiences is vital to growing stronger together as a couple.  Our lives are changing every day, we learn new things, have new challenges and experiences that impact us in many ways.  Taking time consistently to grow in the relationship with the one we love is the best ongoing preparation for whatever life brings, both good and bad.

We encourage you not to end up in the latter stages of your life looking back with a “would-a, could-a, should-a” feeling about things you did for your marriage.

So…..what are you waiting for….what’s your ONE THING to start with??

– Family Dynamics Institute


Family Dynamics Institute collaborates with Churches, Companies, and Community Organizations to help them provide a Comprehensive Marriage Ministry to help married and engaged couples grow stronger at all ages and stages of marriage.

To Learn More:

Contact Us At:         800-650-9995

Email Us:       info@FamilyDynamics.net

Websites:      www.FamilyDynamics.net


Remembering Where Our Blessings Come From


Read Deuteronomy 8:7-20.

Often when we spend dedicated time communing with the Father, we see ourselves reflected in the mirror of His Word. God’s Word convicts. God’s Word comforts. God’s Word conveys truth.

The writer of Deuteronomy reminded the children of Israel of God’s goodness, telling them that He had provided “a good land,” a vibrant water supply, food, land for mining, and so much more. But he also warned these people in verses 11-14a:

“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God. (NLT)

Then He repeated the warning in verse 18: “Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful.”

Take this warning personally. Take time to once again acknowledge the holiness, the goodness, and the sovereignty of God—in your life, in your family, in your ministry, and around the world. Praise God today so that you don’t forget His loving presence and persistence in your everyday! Compose a list of all the ways you’ve seen Him at work this year: the blessings, the encouragements, the struggles, the successes, the hard places and the places of abundance. Recognize and rejoice that He is God. He loves you. He knows you and holds you in the palm of His hand.


Brenda Harris is a student of God’s Word…and a wife, mother, and grandmother! She loves uncovering truths and promises in Scripture. Brenda serves as prayer coordinator for Kendrick Brothers Productions.

Facing Your Blitz: Turn Your Marriage Around

Ray and Felissia were headed toward divorce. Hear their turnaround story and watch to see the hope and help available for you too.

Game Plan:

“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice [ just ways ] of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” Galatians 6:7, NLT

Time Out:

We reap what we sow. We get out what we put in. Assets grow when we invest. Effort pays off. If this is so, why do we dream that marriage will be easy and automatic? Why think that relationships shouldn’t take work?

Why would we think that ‘struggling and unhappy’ is the best we can get? God invented marriage to succeed when we depend upon Him and follow His blueprints.

Go Deep:

Don’t give up on your marriage or settle for average. Get some coaching and put some effort every year into building your marriage.

There are lots of ways to deepen your marriage…books, videos, mentors and counselors. One pathway has helped over a million people. It’s what we do at FamilyLife where I work…the Weekend to Remember marriage getaway.

INVEST…get away for a weekend of fun and fueling your marriage or tell a young couple or friends that you’ll pay for their registration.


Other Ways to stay connected to Jeff Kemp and Facing the Blitz Resources:

To get this video and devotional guide delivered to your inbox each Monday, SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

To get your copy of Facing the Blitz CLICK HERE

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Christmas, Single Parents, and Immanuel


Christmas. Many of us think of it as a time of celebration of our Lord’s birth; a time of joy, creating and reliving childhood memories; music, family, food, and holiday cheer. This is the one season that seems almost magical- the most wonderful time of the year. For a single parent, however, this can also be one of the most difficult times to endure.

While everyone else is posting pictures on social media and sharing tales of their family gatherings, celebrating all of their children’s funny antics and what their spouse did to surprise them with the perfect gift, single parents often have to rejoice with those who rejoice, all while covering up the pain of loss and loneliness in their own lives. They can feel forgotten or disregarded. I’ve been there, and in many ways, I still hurt during the holidays too. But rather than taking on a spirit of defeat, let’s choose this year to celebrate Immanuel, God with us.

We can know Jesus is with us…

  • When there is an empty chair at the table because this is your first year as a single parent, He is God with us.
  • When we don’t have our children on Christmas Day because they are at the other parent’s house, He is God with us.
  • When everything seems to be caving in financially, and you can barely afford presents for your children, let alone anyone else, He is God with us.
  • When we are choking back the tears because the pain and shame seems too much to bear, He is God with us.
  • When we feel like everything around us is crumbling, including our faith, and no one even seems to notice, He is God with us.

The greatest gift of all…

Even if we relate to any of the examples above, we still have a GREATER reason to celebrate because of Jesus this year: He IS God with us! He is the perfect gift, buying us back into relationship with our heavenly Father. He fills the void no one else can; reminds us that we are on a continual journey with Him, and never leaves us, even when we wander. He fills in all of our tangible needs; calms our hurts and fills us with a peace this world will never provide. The reason Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, is because He created us, has been where we are, and has cleared the path for us to be assured that He is with us- always.

Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. –Luke 2:10-11 (NASB)

Single parents, will you celebrate the holidays with joy this year, knowing that in all circumstances God is with us?


Written by Matt Haviland of A Father’s Walk single dad ministry. Originally posted on December 15, 2015 at www.1Corinthians13Parenting.com