Is He/She Your Super Hero?

I’m reading Kenn Kington’s book called Super Husband and Wonder Wife.

In Chapter 3 he talks about asking his friend to explain to him why he and
his girlfriend at the time (now his wife) should get married. His friend
replied, “Well, if you can’t figure out the first reason you may have the gift
of singleness.”

He said his friend then came up with the most insightful element he
had ever heard. “I began to see marriage in a whole new light,” Kington

Do you know what he said? Here you go:

“If you are looking for someone to meet your needs, make you happy and make your life worthwhile, you will be greatly disappointed, quickly discouraged, and basically unhappy the rest of your life. But if you will
just be the person God has made you to be and find out how you can give your life to someone else by meeting her (or his) needs and making her (or him) happy, you will discover fulfillment, joy and peace in ways you can’t even imagine.”

When David and I do pre-marital education, I’m wondering if we should
begin or end with this message. Or, perhaps it takes a lifetime to realize
that success in life is not what we get, it is what we give.


Penny and David

Crazy Love

We love to receive feedback from couples we have worked with through MERCY. The following is an excerpt from an email I recently received from one of our couples:

Crazy Love“The biggest impact that I have had recently (and maybe ever) that I would recommend is a book I read a few months back. It is called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It literally rocked my world. I know it was something that you both talked a lot about in our meetings but it hit me over the head with this book and I have been telling everyone about it. It is not a “marriage” book but it has changed my outlook 100% about marriage. It finally clicked that it isn’t all about me or even all about us or the kids. . .it is about helping others and spreading God’s word through money, time and whatever we have to offer. I have now made it my goal to do something good/meaningful for others every day. Even on vacation, we took time and money to those who needed it.

I say this not to make myself feel or look good but that this might help with some of your other couples. This goes right along with what you taught us and it is a good reinforcement. It is something that we all know we should do but for whatever reason this book hit me directly in the heart.

“Lastly, I wanted to let you know how much you both helped us and how blessed we are to have met you. I do thank you from the bottom of my heart not only for us as couple but for our kiddos. You helped save our family and therefore we are going to pay it forward and help others. Thank you for all you do!”

Please know this not about what we did, but what this couple did in working hard and applying the concepts we introduced to them and allowing the Lord to work in their lives and their marriages.

Grace and peace,

Penny and David

June/July 2013 Newsletter

June/July Newsletter from MERCY

The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)

June/July Newsletter from The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)


(Weaving Families Closer, One Couple at a Time.)



Looking for something fun and different to do as a couple?  Is so, we invite you to come to MERCY’S Photo Scavenger Hunt on July 12. 
Just in case you’re wondering, what in the world is a Photo Scavenger Hunt, we want to fill you in.
First, bring your digital camera or phone (one per couple).  Then, register between 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the Kavanaugh Center.  At registration, you will be given a list of things you, as a couple, are to go out into the community and photograph. The theme is wedding things.  For example, you may be asked to take a picture of a couple making a toast.  You could get someone to take a picture of you, as a couple, toasting one another, or you could ask another couple to toast and take a picture of them.  You will have until 8:00 p.m. to take your pictures, and then return to Kavanaugh where points will be assigned to your pictures and you will receive one final quiz. The couple who has the highest points, will be our first prize winner. There will also be a runner-up. First prize will be a $50 dinner certificate to Outback restaurant and the runner-up will receive two movie tickets to Tinseltown.
So get ready, get set and come to the Photo Scavenger Hunt for a night of fun!  See more details below.
We want to say a great big thank you to Julia Vaughan for graciously volunteering her time to coordinate this entire event!  THANK YOU JULIA!

Marriage Tip 

score Is toxicity creeping into your marriage?


Irritated voices, subtle barbs, criticism, snide remarks, sarcasm, harsh comments, not to mention name calling, insults and condemnation, are all hurtful and invite defensiveness.


Why not keep a list of the times that you use a toxic tone of voice or speak with toxic words.  Be honest with yourself. Write down the toxic comment or annoyed tone you projected, then note what was going on that caused you to react, and finally, how could you have responded differently.


You may be surprised how often these moments creep into conversations, but once you recognize these patterns, you can be more cautious of how you came across to your spouse.


In This Issue
Marriage Tip
MERCY’S New Web Site
Working on Relationships
Marriage Education Helps
Coupletime Leader – Saying Goodbye
Protecting Your Marriage
Upcoming Marriage Events
Join our Mailing List!

MERCY’S New Web Site

We told you it was coming.  Well, IT’S HERE! 


The Marriage Education and Resource Center’s (MERCY’S) new web site.


It’s an entirely new and updated look and we think you will find it easier to locate information. We hope you like it.  The new web site address is: However, if you go to you will now be forwarded to this new site.  


When you go to the site, our first page is a blog page that we hope to be able to post new information to weekly – We’re calling it:  “A Monday Morning Marriage Minute.”  We hope you will visit us often.


We are so grateful to John Baker, with the Charis Group ( who redesigned this new web
site.  He graciously volunteered his services to make this happen.  Thank you John!  We feel so blessed.     

Working on Relationships – Perspectives of the Sexes               

Following is an excerpt from Mark Gungor who is one of the most sought-after speakers on marriage and family in the country. Each year thousands of couples attend his Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage® seminars. His take on marriage issues is refreshing. Mark is pastor of Celebration Church in Green Bay, WI.  


“When a man falls in love with a woman, his thoughts go something like this: I love her, she’s great – in fact, she is perfect.  I love her just the way she is and I hope she never changes.  It was this thinking that inspired Billy Joel to write the song, “I Love You Just the Way You Are.”  On the other hand, when a woman falls in love with a man, her thoughts are generally something like this:  I love him, he’s great, but he really needs some work.  This is a disaster in the making.  Divergent expectations always lead to conflict.


“When a woman thinks a man needs work, she is not trying to be negative or demeaning.  In fact, she rather enjoys the thought. Do you know why?  Because women like to work on relationships, and because marriage represents her greatest relationship, she enjoys working on it.  But the thought of working on any relationship makes most men feel ill.  You see, to a man, work is something you do to earn money.  Relationships don’t fit into a man’s definition of work. We think relationships are the one class of things we should never have to work on.”


Mark Gungor


Read more:’t-like-to-work-on-relationships/


As Mark concludes, this doesn’t mean a man doesn’t care – he does.  As women, we just have to be patient and not destructive to the male ego in the process.

Marriage Education Helps Couples Even in the High-Divorce-Risk Years                               

Data from the nation’s largest and most diverse study on the impact of Relationship and Marriage Education (RME) classes show that marital satisfaction improves substantially after participating in Relationship and Marriage Education, a finding with significant ramifications during the high-risk early years of marriage.  Half of all divorces occur within the first eight years of marriage, making this a high-risk time for couples.
At MERCY, we are interested in improving your well-being and the well-being of children by strengthening the relationship of parents through marriage education.  This is where you can help.
1)  Share and promote MERCY ( to your friends and family.
2)  Post this newsletter to your facebook or your other social networks.
3)  Or, forward it to your friends and family.
4)  Take advantage of the many workshops and resources that are available to you.  Ours, as well as others, are listed on our web site.  Invite others to join you.
5)  Show and tell others the difference marriage education has made in your marriage, family or relationship.
6)  Encourage local leaders (faith, community, social services, government, business) to work together and become more active in strengthening the health of marriages and families. 
7)  Receive training to become a facilitator or mentor.  MERCY offers training. 

Coupletime Leaders – Saying Goodbye   


Larry and Leslie We are so grateful to so many people who have worked so hard in helping others have successful marriages.  And one such couple is Larry and Leslie Johnson.  They have been one of our Coupletime leaders for many years and they truly invested in couples lives and marriages.  They are moving and we are going to miss them terribly.  Not only did they lead several Coupletime groups over the years, but Larry actually wrote a lot of material for Coupletime.  Thank you both from the bottoms of our hearts!


Note: If you would like to know more about Coupletime groups, let us know.  They are basically small groups of couples who meet monthly to work on their marriage through

Christian marriage enrichment activities. 



Protecting Your Marriage by Larry and Leslie

As I mentioned above, Larry actually wrote a lot of great material for our Coupletime groups over the years, and we want to share some of his work with you in upcoming issues.  To start, we want to give you highlights from one he recently wrote called “Protecting Your Marriage.”
“Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Mark 10:9 emphasizes the sacredness of marriage and declares that men and women should ‘honor marital vows with complete fidelity.’
Many couples naively insist that they don’t have to worry about infidelity.  “It will never happen to us.”  Unfortunately, infidelity is fast becoming a “norm” in our society.  Conservative estimates suggest that as many as 60% of men and 40% of women will have extramarital sex sometime during their married life.  And the idea that infidelity only happens to bad people in miserable marriages is a myth.   It can and does happen, even to good people in happy relationships.
There are many strategies for preventing infidelity from infiltrating your marriage including the preventive measures below.  Keep in mind that no one-time event or promise will affair-proof your marriage.  Complete fidelity takes constant, conscientious effort.
1)  Prioritize Your Marriage
“The No. 1 cause for the breakdown in marriages today is the same issues that causes infidelity.  People spend time on their careers, their kids, community affairs, hobbies, sports.  But they take their spouses for granted.  It just doesn’t work. In other words, to have a strong marriage, your spouse must come first.
2)  Avoid Temptation
“There are three primary temptation arenas:  the workplace, friends and the Internet.  One recent study showed that 73% of men and 42% of women who have extramarital affairs meet their partners at work.  Be extremely careful with workplace relationships.
3)  Know Your Boundaries
“When you honestly admit what might be a temptation to you, you will know where to draw the line.
“Wondering whether you have overstepped any boundaries?  Three signs indicate that a friendship between people of the opposite sex has crossed the line into infidelity are:  1) emotional intimacy, (2) sexual tension, and (3) secrecy.  Also, ask yourself, ‘Do I say or do things with this person that I wouldn’t want my spouse to see or hear?’  If so, it’s time to take a step back and re-draw your boundaries.
4)  Conflict Resolution
“Faith marriage partners discuss their frustrations openly and honestly and try to reach fair compromises.  For example, be clear.  Don’t expect your spouse to know what you are thinking.  When bringing up a problem, don’t assign blame.  Don’t store up frustrations.  Work out a solution that combines each of your individual needs.
5)  Communication
“Learn to ‘really’ listen when your spouse talks.
“Here is a simple rule to keep you on the straight and narrow.  If you’d have to lie about it – don’t do it!  If you feel an attraction to someone in your office and have romantic or sexual thoughts about them, consider a transfer to a different department, a different site, or maybe you should quit.  No job is more valuable than your marriage and family.”

Upcoming Marriage Events for You!               



Photo Scavenger Hunt – July 12
Check-in:  6:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Scavenger Hunt begins at 6:30 p.m.
Kavanaugh Retreat Center – Dining Hall
7505 Kavanaugh Road – Crestwood, KY  40014
This event is free.  Pre-registration is requested, but not required. 
To pre-register:  call (502)  939-0121; email:
Here’s another fun activity for you.  Check out this “Cozy In Our Canoe,” Play Date With Your Mate at Life Adventure Center in Versailles, KY.  For more information, go to   
Moving From Damaging to Smart Communication
If you ever feel like you can’t express a concern to your spouse without an argument erupting out of nowhere, or you or your spouse avoid
conflict at all costs, we hope you will be with us   
for this workshop.
How we communicate in our relationships plays a large role in the emotional safety and security we feel with our partner.  Communicating in “dangerous” ways, even by accident, can damage trust greatly over time.
In this workshop, you will learn to recognize four communication ‘danger signs’ common in marriages today.  You will learn skills to avoid damaging our relationships by breaking dangerous communication habits.  You will also learn the key to expressing complaints in a way that you are really heard, not ignored, by your partner.
July 13, 2013
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Baptist Health – LaGrange
1025 New Moody Lane
LaGrange, KY  40031
2nd Floor Conference Room
Workshop Leader:  Lauren Battcher, Love S.M.A.R.T. Instructor and Case Manager, Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency.
Registration is requested, but not required.  To pre-register, call: (502)  939-0121; or email: or visit:
The workshop is free, however, donations are always appreciated.  
“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding. . .”  Proverbs 3:13                

Grace and peace,,
Penny and David Hudson
The Marriage Education and Resource Center (MERCY)