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Marriage & Family


By Lisa May, | 3 Jun 2021

Each season (winter, spring, summer, fall) has a brief window that we look forward to. It’s appreciated, and then at some point we arrive at a place that we are thankful for the next season to come along. For me it’s summer leading into fall. There is something about those dog days of summer that can seem grueling here in the tropics. But when the first whiff of cool air comes or the humidity drops as you exit your house that first morning of fall, you sense a change of seasons. Oh, how good it is! Whatever your preference, the space and time between the seasons, however brief, is an excellent place to have a healthy pause.

By Lisa May, | 11 May 2021

When someone asks me what I’m afraid of, the song “Spiders and Snakes” by Jim Stafford always comes to mind. I can hear the tune and sing the lyrics of a boy walking a girl home named Mary Lou. They stop at a water hole, and as typical of a young boy, he picks up a frog and shakes it at her. She responds with “I don’t like spiders and snakes and that ain’t what it takes to love me. I wanna be loved by you.”

By Lisa May, | April 5, 2021

Most of us don’t ask enough questions of our loved ones. The reasons are many; for some, it’s awkward, you don’t want to stir up any issues, and it keeps us in the safe harbor of see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. We’ve embraced the political statement, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”  Some people are apathetic and don’t care enough to ask questions. Others are selfish and never think to ask others questions, and they only talk about themselves. Some are fearful that they’ll be perceived as rude. Social media has also influenced our lack of questioning.

Ready or Not Here I Come

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | March 3, 2021

Running and hiding as fast as you can from whoever was “it.” Then, preparing to be discovered with anticipation? It’s an exciting game, but playing hide and seek as an adult is not nearly as satisfying.

By Lisa May, | February 25, 2021

The last two months we’ve explored communication and it being the thermometer of your marriage. We discussed the daily touch points of the Daily Temperature Reading (DTR) and items we should communicate. We’ve talked a lot about talking, but two people talking with no one listening is just noise.

Trust Builds Love

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | January 12, 2021

For months we’ve had rioting in the streets, elections at the highest level in our nation inundated with accusations of fraud, churches fractured over leadership decisions, a news media that’s increasingly biased by personal opinion, a pandemic that’s gripped the world, and a tragic suicide bombing on Christmas morning.  Fear and lack of trust are rampant. How did we get to this point? 

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | December 17, 2020

Family, the stuff we’re made of. Where do we come from? Where do you feel most at home? “The Hillbilly Elegy” is the top 10 movie on Netflix.  It’s a story of a Yale law student that receives an urgent phone call that pulls him back to his Ohio hometown, where he reflects on three generations of family history and his future. The movie opens with a cast of characters such as Glenn Close, Amy McAdams, and the first words are “it’s the year of our Lord.” We all have a story.

Does Loving Myself Have Any Bearing On Loving Others?

Lisa May, GoodNews Florida I November  12 , 2020

“Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?

“Jesus declared, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40). Think about that; if we wholly love God and love our neighbor as ourselves, we are unlikely to murder, steal, covet, lie, disrespect our parents, take the Lord’s name in vain, have idols, defile the Sabbath or commit adultery! We talk about the first half of this verse a lot, but what about the second half?

Pause or Pursue

by Lisa May| October1 , 2020

It’s Fall! A glorious season full of family, celebrations and romance! Hannah Felding, a romance novelist, recently sent out a survey polling the readers’ choice for the most romantic season of the year. Fall came in at 43 percent, followed by Spring at 31 percent. Of all the brides surveyed, a whopping 28 percent got engaged on a holiday or other special occasion. So while others are thinking about pumpkins and turkey, I’m encouraging those that are hoping this will be a season of romance to pursue clarity in your dating relationship so you’ll have discernment regarding whether to hit pause or pursue marriage. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; in other words, it’s easier to stop something from happening than repair the damage afterward.

Protecting Your Relationship in the Shadow of Corona

by Scott Stanley | September 8, 2020

Corona virus raises new challenges for our most cherished relationships. There are three keys that my colleagues and I have stressed in our work to help couples.1  They are simple to remember and potent. They may help you, now. Do your part. Decide, don't slide. Make it safe to connect.

What's Your EQ?

Lisa May, GoodNews Florida I September  9, 2020

We all know that IQ measures intelligence, but are you aware of EQ? EQ is our emotional intelligence. In the best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman documented the research indicating that IQ intelligence only accounts for about 20 percent of a person’s success in life. So what accounts for the other 80%? Researchers believe a big piece of the puzzle is Emotional Intelligence – the capacity to ACQUIRE and APPLY emotional information. 

The Tale of Two Families

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | August 4, 2020

I was recently blessed to share the mission and history of Live the Life South Florida with a group of people outside of Florida. A wise man approached me afterward and said, “Good job, but remember, you tell them, and then you tell them again.” I laughed and thought, how very true. Studies suggest that repeated statements are perceived as more truthful than statements made less frequently.

Life’s Ledgers: What’s your Balance?

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | July 2, 2020

Our core expectations for close relationships are affected by all of our previous close relationships, whether with parents, siblings, former spouses, lovers or friends. At certain periods in our life significant people, or even life itself through specific events that affected us, ran up a series of debits or credits in terms of what you needed.

Can There Be A Good Fight?

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | June 17, 2020

Good Fight, Bad Fight, Dirty Fight… Can there be such a thing as a good fight? The easiest way to determine that answer is how you feel after the battle is over? Bad feelings usually indicate that you’ve had a bad or dirty fight, and good feelings point to you had a fair fight. 

When Religious Couples Pray

by Hannah R. Herring Mark H. Butler| March 25, 2019

Religious couples report experiencing their marriage as anchored, sustained, and sanctified in what I’ve described in my clinical research as a “couple-God triangle”  that is invoked through prayer. This divine triangle conveys the couple’s view of God’s influence and investment in their relationship. James L. Griffith offered a metaphor for this unseen relationship...

What Stands in the Way Becomes the Way

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | May 6, 2020

I like you, open my email daily and find worthy writers’ devotionals and musings. I often click “delete” for lack of time. I remind myself that I should read my Bible first, then if I have time, read the ponderings of others. This week I came across famous quotes and stumbled upon a quote by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

What do We Do Now?

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | April 7, 2020

As you know, we find ourselves at a time and place that is unprecedented in our generation. Floridians have grown accustomed to the frenzy of the grocery in preparation of a hurricane, but the Coronavirus is a different, more trying challenge. Storms are over quickly, and we can move on with our lives. Both impacts us physically and emotionally, but the difference is the longevity of the impact.

Take Out the Trash

Lisa May, GoodNews Florida I March 4, 2020

One of our most provocative communication tools is Taking Out the Trash. I’ve hesitated to share it in this format because it is also one of the most emotional tools. The Dialogue Guide was designed to facilitate disagreement. It comes with relational intensity, but it doesn’t necessarily generate the same level of emotional depth that the Trash Can tool elicits.

Declining Divorce in Jacksonville

A Report by Philanthropy Roundtable

In 2016, the Culture of Freedom Initiative (COFI), a project of The Philanthropy Roundtable launched an effort to strengthen marriage in Jacksonville, Florida. Working with Live the Life, a Florida nonprofit,

and a range of churches and other nonprofits, COFI sought to improve marriage and family life
in Duval County, the home county for Jacksonville.

Healthy marriage guide making gains in the Florida Legislature

By Mike Vasilinda, Capitol News Service | February 10, 2020

There were 156,168 marriages in Florida in 2018, and nearly half as many divorces. One estimate is that divorce is costing Florida taxpayers nearly $2 billion a year in direct and indirect costs such as court time and welfare payments, but legislation hopes to strengthen marriages by requiring couples read a privately produced guide to a healthy marriage as a condition of getting a marriage license.

Stop, Look And Listen = You Matter

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | February 4, 2020

Whether you’re talking to a child, a co-worker or the love of your life, when we stop, look and listen to them, we’re giving them our full attention, which says YOU MATTER! All three actions are keys to having meaningful, connected conversations which in turn leads to significant, connected relationships.

Maintain And RECL(AIM) Your Relationships

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | January 7, 2020

The Christmas season is over, and the challenge of mastering our New Year Resolutions is upon us. Every year I take some time to reflect on the previous year; my accomplishments, failures, and all that I have to be thankful for.

The Church Really Can Strengthen Marriage

By John Stonestreet | December 2, 2019

Between 2014 and 2017, the divorce rate in Jacksonville, Florida, and surrounding Duval County fell 24 percent. Of course, divorce rates are falling nationally already, possibly because fewer people are bothering to get married. Still, 24 percent is a huge number, especially compared to a 6 percent decline nationally and a 10 percent decline across the state of Florida during the same period.

Is Gratitude Essential?

By Lisa May | November 27, 2019

The season of Thanksgiving is rooted in both religious and harvest celebrations. The Pilgrims and Indians of America celebrated in the 1600s, and George Washington declared it a national holiday in 1779. Several countries celebrate the bounty of the harvest season with a day of thanks, but setting aside periods of thanks and acknowledgment is well documented in both the Old and New Testament.

Lawmakers Want Couples to Read Guide Before Tying the Knot

By Jake Stofan, Captiol News Service | November 5, 2019

Richard Albertson with Live the Life, said the guides would help couples steer couples to the existing marriage resources in the state. “If we give that to them in their handbook right when they get married you can really help couples down the road when they hit that bump in the road and they’re struggling and they’re having a rough time to get some help,” said Albertson.

Cohabitation Versus Marriage

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | October 7, 2019

Last month we explored the trend of Christian couples living together from a faith perspective.  We know what Jesus says about premarital sex…. it’s a big no; it’s a sin. The assumption is if you’re living together, you’re having sex. Let’s explore what the secular, academic communities research reveals versus what we choose or want to believe because it’s convenient and culturally accepted. 

An Inconvenient Truth

By Lisa May | September 9, 2019

I have the privilege of working with couples during the worst and best of times. The spectrum is broad; the worst is when they come because their marriage is deeply troubled and the best is when they are preparing for wedded bliss, full of hope and wonder.

1 in 5 millennials are lonely and have ‘no friends’

By Hannah Frishberg, NY Post | August 2, 2019

All the followers, none of the friends. Social media-savvy millennials make up the loneliest generation in America, according to a new survey by market research firm YouGov. The poll of 1,254 adults aged 18 and older found that 27 percent of millennials have no close friends, 25 percent have no “acquaintances” and 22 percent — or 1 in 5 — have no buddies at all.

U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades

By Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup | April 18, 2019

As Christian and Jewish Americans prepare to celebrate Easter and Passover, respectively, Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low, averaging 50% in 2018. U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s.

Till Death Us Do Part?

By Lisa May | August 13, 2019

Whether we’re married or not, most people can recite the traditional Christian wedding vows; I, (Name), take you, (Name), to be my lawfully wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law, in the presence of God I make this vow.

The Pathway to Choosing Pixels over People: Pornography

By Lisa May | July 15, 2019

The first known use of the word pixel was in 1965. The creation was from pic + element to form pixel. /piksel/ Google defines it as a minute area of illumination on a display screen, one of many from which an image is composed. “The camera scans photographs and encodes the image into pixels.”

The Magnitude of a Man

By Lisa May | June 13, 2019

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement and the empowerment of women over the decades, it appears that the value and esteem of males are diminishing. Young women under 30 in 147 U.S. cities now out-earn our boys. Single young women are buying homes at the rate of two and a half times the rate of single men.

The Waiting Game

The Economist | January 11, 2011

WHEN is it the right time to do the deed? If priests had their way, it would be shortly after the wedding ceremony—but recent studies show such advice is rarely heeded. Roughly 85% of the American population, for example, approves of premarital sex. Faced with numbers like that, what hope do the Vatican and its ilk really have?

PutThe Power of Us: Bonding

By Lisa May, | April 1, 2019

Last month we explored loneliness and its dramatic rise globally in all age groups. In a society that’s more connected than ever before, how can that be? Social media, the internet and mobile phones have provided more access to people and information than any other time in history.

Featured Difference Maker: Richard Albertson

The Jesus Aliance | March 12, 2019

During the past two decades, Richard and Elizabeth Albertson, through their highly effective ministry Live the Life, have helped well over one hundred thousand people with their marriages in their home state of Florida. Today, this ministry is still passionate about teaching couples relationship skills through its regional offices in Florida.

Loneliness Runs Deeper Than You Can See

By Lisa May | March 4, 2019

Live the Life South Florida has a mission to strengthen marriages and families through healthy relationship education beginning in middle school through senior adults. In addition to our marriage programs, we teach social and emotional wellness in the school system as an accredited class.

Speaker Says Cost of Divorce, Other Social Ills Totals Tens of Billions

By Gary White | May 5, 2012

As prominent Lakeland business and political figures dined on scrambled eggs and bacon Tuesday morning, officials from an organization relatively new to Lakeland served up some dramatic statistics.

Divorce and out-of-wedlock births cost the nation $112 billion dollars a year, reported Richard Albertson, president and founder of Live the Life, a Tallahassee-based organization focused on strengthening marriages.

Put a Ring on It

By Lisa May, | February 5, 2019

Pulling the petals of a flower reciting “He loves me; he loves me not” is a sweet memory for many of us beginning on school playgrounds. No matter our age, stage or season of life, we yearn to belong to someone, deeply loved and cherished.

Give the Gift of Listening

By Lisa May, | December 1, 2018

The last two months we’ve explored communication and it being the thermometer of your marriage. We discussed the daily touch points of the Daily Temperature Reading (DTR) and items we should communicate. We’ve talked a lot about talking, but two people talking with no one listening is just noise.

Give the Gift of Love

By Lisa May, GoodNews Florida | December 4, 2019

My eyes still well up in tears every Christmas as I watch the end of the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George Bailey has just realized how precious life is, what a beautiful family he has, and then the bank president and local police come to arrest him. That’s when the magic happens! George’s friends, neighbors, and all the people he helped through the years come to his aid.

Communication – The Thermometer of Your Marriage

By Lisa May | November 2, 2018

Fall in South Florida is challenging for those of us who long for the splendor of the leaves while dreaming of a crackling fire and meaningful conversations. The temperature and humidity are often smothering, so we lower the degree on our AC and light a candle to set the mood.

The Power of Us: Expressing Appreciation

By Lisa May | October 1, 2018

In the previous issue of the Good News, we shared a very common story of Zack and Ally, a couple living the Marriage Selfie life; appearances say they are amazingly happy in their marriage and successful in life. Sadly, social media has allowed us and sometimes pressures us to create “fake news”

Researchers Say Something ‘Significant’ Happening In Duval With Dropping Divorce Rate

By Lindsey Kilbride | Sep 21, 2018

From 2015 to 2017 Duval County’s divorce rate has declined 28 percent. That's leading researchers to say something unique and significant is happening in Jacksonville.

Langer's speech: On Payne, family, and charitable giving

Golf Central | Sep 18, 2018

Watch Bernhard Langer's acceptance speech for the Payne Stewart Award where he mentions Live the Live as one of the most meaningful things he has ever done.

Live the Life: Marriage enrichment nonprofit helps save relationships, reduce Duval divorce rate

By Beth Reese Cravey, The Florida Times-Union | November 19, 2018

April and Tad O’Brien connected online in June 2012 and met in person a month later at a Jacksonville Sharks game, breaking the ice by following the theme of the night and dressing up in ’70s garb.They were both divorced with children, had careers and were seeking a soul mate. They seemed to fit. So they got married...

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Married

By Sarah Treleaven | June 28, 2018

“What is your expectation of how much time we’re going to spend with your family?” to “How do you feel about dishes being left in the sink?”

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