Monday, June 29, 2015

7 Ways Marriage Equality Can Change Your Workplace


Policies, Procedures, and Prejudice

As a new week begins, workers in the largest economy on earth will have the right to be married to one person regardless of where they live. More than 1,000 benefits are tied to marriage so more people may have the potential to increase their well-being. Problem policies, procedures, and prejudices are likely to persist for many.

1. Changing forms is no big deal when it comes to the basics unless you use software based forms permitting only restrictive entry parameters. Of course, those problems will soon be overcome.  Businesses and schools that operate in multiple states can simplify their employment forms and all the benefits accorded married employees.

2. Policies that protect employment status can take longer to revise. In the U.S. people will be married or single when it comes to many benefits but there are those in transition. Converting from civil unions to marriage may take time. But the greater challenge will be to trust an employer. Many states do not protect sexual minorities from discrimination. Firing a sexual minority could be seen as a badge of honor by those quick to assert their rights. The reactions of many politicians and Christians in the last few days made it abundantly clear they do not like the change in marriage rights granted by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). Of course, large companies will face social retribution if they practice discrimination but smaller firms may not hesitate—especially in conservative enclaves.

3. Prejudices are slow to change. Negative attitudes toward ethnic minorities last for centuries despite changes in laws. Women continue to struggle for equal pay. Coming out of the sexual closet as married, garners benefits. Coming out is still risky when a substantial percentage of the U.S. population does not support same-sex marriage.

4. Party on? Showers are common for workers getting married or having children. It’s fun to celebrate events—except for some. Things will change in time. People are creative and most people want to be nice and get along. But it will take some thought. When it comes to social skills, many folks are clueless—perverse without a purpose.

5. Religious organizations won’t change anytime soon. Just take a look online at how many people of color head a U.S. church or religious organization. Churches are largely segregated in the U.S. Take a look at women for a second example. Even those groups that changed their policies to welcome women as equal to men in leadership roles have few women in high leadership positions. Religious organizations and schools are free to conserve their traditions. Think exemptions. Think integrated and segregated congregations and schools.

6. Will the Hobby Lobby factor limit change? I wonder how many businesses might consider becoming religious so they can maintain policies based on religious convictions. SCOTUS found that Hobby Lobby was able to maintain a contraception policy based on the religious convictions of its owners. SCOTUS blog.

7. Sexual harassment programs ought to include same-sex scenarios. The few I have seen over the years were heterosexist. Schools and work places need to be safe from sexual harassment. Women are not safe in the military or on U.S. campuses. How will sexual minorities be safe?

Related Posts

Friday, June 26, 2015

Same-sex marriage divide: U.S. Supreme Court Rules


U.S. Supreme Court finds
same-sex couples have
a constitutional right to marry
Friday 26 June 2015
(Wall Street Journal).

Most people in the U.S. identify as Christian.

Most people in the U.S. support same-sex marriage.

Christians have been outspoken about same-sex marriage in recent years. Although most Christian churches officially support only marriages between one man and one woman, some churches have come out in support of same-sex marriage.

A few Christian leaders  recently made news when they announced support of same-sex marriage.

The arguments provided by Christians include explanations of Bible passages and moral arguments. I take a look at the arguments opposing and supporting same-sex marriage in two posts.

If you want details, see the links provided in the posts. Click the links below to see several of the main arguments.

Arguments SUPPORTING same sex marriage

Arguments OPPOSING same-sex marriage.

Text link to the arguments of the U.S. Supreme Court

Religious liberty and the U.S. Supreme Court Decision

U.S. Evangelical Leaders Respond to SCOTUS Ruling

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why Christians Support Same-Sex Marriage



The why question is problematic because Christians give different answers. I’ll not wax too philosophical here. But I think it important to keep in mind that Christians have different beliefs about a lot of things. Here’s a few common answers to the why question.

Bible Answers

1. Godly love supports diverse marriage arrangements. The foundation for Christian morality can be found in Jesus’ summary of the law requiring followers to love God and love one’s neighbor. Since the Bible does not condemn loving relationships between same-sex persons, there is no reason to assume any of the small set of oft quoted Bible verses prohibits same-sex marriage.

The Genesis verses describe a God blessed union but do not address marriage. Polygamy has a long and accepted position for the people of God. The Hebrew households included many wives and concubines who bore children for the tribal leaders. God’s laws included having sex with a brother’s wife to produce heirs. Polygamy continued within Christian groups in recent years and is supported by Muslims who like Jews and Christians also trace their ancestry to Abraham. The primary point is only that a God-blessed marriage was not limited to one man and one woman.

2. Sinful sex answer. The Hebrew Bible identifies male-male sex as an offense worthy of death (Leviticus 20:13). And Paul condemns same-sex activity in most translations of Romans 1: 26-27. The Bible does not condemn loving relationships between same-sex persons nor does it comment on same-sex marriage. Bible scholars disagree on the way the words and phrases are translated. Bible scholars also disagree about what rules Christians should obey—it’s pretty obvious that most Christians do not follow the biblical rules about sacrifice, dietary regulations, or honoring God on the Sabbath as Jews did. Moreover, Jesus only allowed divorce for reasons of adultery but most Christians justify divorce for other reasons, including spouse abuse. A strict interpretation of the Bible means that most divorced and remarried Christians are living in adultery—this is the traditional understanding of biblical marriage, divorce, and remarriage (Read Matthew 19:9). The point is, Christians interpret the texts in different ways when it comes to marriage and sex. It is reasonable to believe the apostle Paul was concerned about abusive and exploitative same-sex activity and was not thinking about same-sex marriage when he wrote to the Romans or the Corinthians.

Moral answers

Moral reasoning can be classified in different ways. Research from Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues identifies six categories. Some categories do not appear in some articles supporting same-sex marriage. Some categories have features that overlap with other categories. An important point to make is that moral reasons often appear to be motivated by emotional reactions of fear, anger, and disgust rather than derived from cool and rationale analysis commonly found in philosophical works on ethics. I used similar subheadings so you can compare the arguments opposing same-sex marriage in the previous post.

3. Same-sex marriage is based on caring relationships. Laws and policies prohibiting same-sex marriage cause long-term harm to LG (lesbian, gay) persons who love each other. Many government and business benefits are tied to marital status. Denying same-sex couples access to health, education, and economic benefits and exposing them to social condemnation can cause measurable general health, mental health, economic, and social harm. Benefits of same-sex marriage. Over 1,000 benefits in the U.S. are linked to marital status.

4. Same-sex marriage shows respect for authority. The fact that some governments and some Christian organizations support same-sex marriage indicates that people in authority positions disagree about which authority to respect. The fact that Bible scholars disagree about what the Bible says about same-sex marriage also makes it clear that Christians are not disrespecting God or the Bible when they support same-sex marriage.

5. Supporting same-sex marriage becomes an act of loyalty. Arguments are not clearly made about matters of loyalty when it comes to same-sex issues but it is clear that people in religious organizations are required to be loyal to their policies and to the position papers of their church leaders. Because Christian groups disagree about same-sex marriage, Christians in nonsupportive faith traditions may struggle with loyalty issues. This is unfortunate but there are Christian traditions that welcome new members.

6. Same-sex marriage is linked to honor and commitment. Christians who support same-sex marriage point to the importance of a committed monogamous loving relationship. Christians  oppose promiscuity, sex abuse, rape and other forms of exploitive sexual relationships.

7. Same-sex marriage is a choice. The concept of choice is crucial to morality. Christians supporting same-sex marriage agree that marriage is a choice but it has not been a choice for LB persons in most nations. The point is that all marriages ought to be a choice regardless of a person’s sexual orientation.

8. Same-sex marriage laws can promote freedom of religion and conscience. When laws do not prohibit same-sex marriage, Christians are free to marry or not based on their religious beliefs and conscience. Laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying violate the religious beliefs of those who believe the sanctity of marriage includes same-sex marriages.

9. Same-sex marriage is about equality and fairness. This equality argument focuses on the unfairness of discriminatory practices that prevent LB persons from enjoying married life and the benefits that come with marriage.


Marriage Posts

Christian Leaders and Groups Supporting Same-Sex Marriage

Evangelical Pastor Rob Bell

Evangelical leader and sociologist, Tony Campolo

Church leader, Brian D. McLaren explained his views to NPR. He also led the commitment ceremony for his son’s relationship with his same-sex partner.

Pew Research facts about the same-sex marriage positions of churches and other religions as of March 2015

From the Pew list, supportive Christian groups included:
Presbyterian Church USA
Society of Friends
United Church of Christ
Evangelical Lutheran
Same-sex unions may be blessed by the Episcopal Church

My website Geoff W. Sutton

Nine Reasons Christians Oppose Same-Sex Marriage




The why question is complex because Christians give different answers. I’ll not wax too philosophical here. But I think it important to keep in mind that Christians have different beliefs about a lot of things. Here’s a few common answers to the why question.

Bible Answers

1. Genesis marriage answer. Most Christians refer to the creation narratives in the Hebrew Bible. Genesis describes God’s creation of the first couple—Adam and Eve—a male and a female. And Christians point out the blessing on sex to fill the earth—some think the purpose of sex is to have children. And they point out the importance of a male and female to reproduction. (Example: Catholic teaching on marriage.) Christians also point out there are no scriptures affirming same-sex relationships or marriages.

2. Sinful sex answer. Same-sex activity is explicitly banned in the Bible. Most don’t think about same-sex couples living together without having sex, although Christian sociologist, Tony Campolo, once mentioned the idea of celibacy in relationship. Same-sex activity was unlawful for Jews. And the apostle Paul also wrote about the sinfulness in a letter to the Romans (Chapter 1: 24-27). Christians vary in how much weight they give the laws of the ancient Jews but most give a lot of weight to the writings of the converted Jewish teacher—the Apostle Paul. So, the Romans text is a key to understanding why many Christians oppose same-sex marriage. There are other Bible verses Christians cite to show that same-sex activity is sinful.

On a more basic level, many Christians believe what’s in the Bible is the Word of God. This means that what Moses or Paul wrote is what God wanted them to write. If God says something is wrong, it is wrong. For many, there is hell to pay for going against God’s commandments.

See the Southern Baptist statement about homosexuality condemned by the Bible as sin.

See the LDS instructions to leaders on same-sex marriage dated 10 January 2014.

Moral answers

I see articles and posts that offer reasons for Christians to oppose same-sex marriage. The points made illustrate various categories of moral reasoning, which I take from the research of Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues. Some categories do not appear in some articles. Some categories have features that overlap with other categories. An important point to make is that moral reasons often appear to be motivated by emotional reactions of fear, anger, and disgust rather than derived from cool and rationale analysis commonly found in philosophical works on ethics.

3. Same-sex marriage is harmful. The answers vary but usually focus on harm done to children and the structure of society. Christians argue that children need a mother and a father rather than parents of the same-sex. Traditionally, the nuclear family consisted of a mother, father, and children for thousands of years. Easy divorce was one factor destroying the family in the 20th Century. Christians now see same-sex marriages as an additional threat to the importance of family. The emotion of fear is aroused when people perceive a threat. Benne and McDermott argue that gay marriage harms the definition of marriage.

4. Same-sex marriage shows disrespect for authority. One way or another, Christians refer to the authority of the Bible and the long history of traditional beliefs about marriage. Obviously, if God is the author of the biblical texts then no reasonable Christian is going to win an argument against God. Of course, many reasonable Christians realize Christians often interpret the texts in different ways. But on matters of marriage, Church tradition has consistently supported a one man and one woman view of marriage.

Christians also argue based on traditional views of what constitutes a marriage in history, which does not include same-sex unions. Traditions can become authoritative when people accept the transmitted values and find additional reasons to support those long-held values. Arguments based on definitions of marriage reflect traditional ways societies have viewed marriage. (Example of argument from tradition.) Psychologically, people are motivated to support the socially recognized authority of their group, which overlaps with loyalty concerns. Anger often motivates leaders to enforce obedience and thereby show respect for authority.

5. Supporting same-sex marriage becomes an act of disloyalty. Arguments are not clearly made about matters of loyalty when it comes to same-sex issues but it is clear that people in religious organizations are required to be loyal to their policies and to the position papers of their church leaders. Clergy who are ordained by conservative groups can expect to lose their jobs if they are disloyal to the official position of their group. Loyalty is a virtue. And disloyalty is a moral issue. The powerful emotion of anger is stimulated when people betray their biological or social family. Disloyalty overlaps with respect for authority when the expectations of loyalty come from people in authority positions.

6. Same-sex marriage is linked to degradation. Christians argue that same-sex activity is unnatural and therefore degrading. The apostle Paul refers to moral arguments based on that which is natural (See example about hair 1 Corinthians 11:14). Philosophically, this argument appears akin to saying if something is a certain way then it ought to be that way.

Related to degradation are notions of deviance. Physicians did identify homosexuality as a disorder a few decades ago. Although this is no longer the case, Christians aware of the change in diagnosis sometimes argue that physicians bowed to cultural pressure. (Link to an APA Monitor article explaining the removal of homosexuality from the diagnostic manual published by the American Psychiatric Association.)

Psychologically, many people find things disgusting. A person’s face reacts when people perceive something disgusting. Culture is a factor but some sights and smells evoke close to universal disgust. For example, human waste, blood and other bodily fluids evoke disgust. The emotion of disgust may be fundamental to laws against some forms of sexual behavior. You can recognize the disgust factor in arguments linked to purity/impurity (Romans 1:24 is often cited regarding purity.), dishonor and degradation.

7. Same-sex marriage is a choice. The concept of choice is crucial to morality. How can you hold people responsible if they cannot choose to behave otherwise? At the root of the choice issue is a belief that sexual attraction is itself a choice. Educated Christians who use the choice argument point to research that fails to clearly establish that people are born with a same-sex attraction. The extended argument moves from the idea that since people are not born attracted to same-sex partners, then same-sex marriage is also a choice and therefore, people could choose to marry people of the opposite sex. (APA response to causes of sexual orientation and the idea of choice.)

8. Same-sex marriage laws violate freedom of religion and conscience. This argument focuses on the morality of freedom from oppression. The arguments here assume that people have certain rights, including freedom of religion and conscience. Many societies grant religious people the right to practice their faith in ways that violate the rules that govern many others in society. Some religious groups are exempted from military service because of their moral opposition to war. Most societies also set limits on freedom. Obviously, you cannot do anything you want to do regardless of what your religion says. Christians use the freedom of religion and conscience argument when they assert their faith teaches that same-sex marriage is immoral, against scripture, or a violation of their long-standing tradition of marriage. Psychologically, people have powerful desires to be free from restraint and are motivated to escape restrictions. (Example of freedom of religion argument by Djupe et al. related to same-sex marriage.)

9. Same-sex marriage is NOT about equality and fairness. This equality argument is a reversal of an issue presented by those who support same-sex marriage. Supporters argue that same-sex couples are discriminated against in matters of employment and government benefits, child custody, and other benefits that come with being married. Christians opposed to same-sex marriage argue that policies and laws against same-sex marriage are not unfair because governments and organizations ought to support that which benefits society. Marriage is a good thing for couples and their children. Sexual minorities are no more discriminated against than are single persons. (An example that same-sex marriage is not about discrimination.) Psychologically, people are quick to perceive that which is unfair or unjust. Young children are quick to identify playmates who violate the rules of a game. Fairness and equality are basic human motivations.

See the next post for reasons Christians give 
in support of same-sex marriage.


Marriage Posts

Christian Leaders and Churches Opposing Same-Sex Marriage

Franklin Graham Evangelical leader and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Albert Mohler, President of the U.S. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Evangelical Leaders respond to SCOTUS Ruling

Council of Christian Colleges and Universities
Pew Research Report: Churches that do not support same-sex marriage
American Baptist
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
Roman Catholic Church
Southern Baptist Convention
United Methodist Church
See the article for details

Sunday, June 21, 2015

5 ways to make peace with fathers


When the Faith of Fathers Interferes with Relationships

How do you celebrate father’s day when your memories don’t allow you to say, “You’re the Best Dad ever?”

Perhaps your casual glance at social media suggests so many people had better father’s than you did.

Do you notice the silent posts—people who don’t comment on their fathers and how great they were? Perhaps you knew the fathers of friends and wish your father could be more like theirs? Perhaps your father wasn’t there for you and you wonder why he was not in your life?

There are fathers who only merit the name in a biological sense. I’m not writing about those. Apparently some father’s walk on water—at least that’s the impression I get from reading posts by many young women. I’m not writing about those fathers either.

There are ordinary fathers who have delightful and troublesome attributes—it’s those I write about.

And in particular I am writing for this blog about Psychology and Religion and the ways I made peace with my father and his fundamentalism that I found so annoying and even destructive at times. His strict beliefs were more restrictive than those of church peers and he had a severe problem with anger until he mellowed with age. I did not suffer physical abuse but his angry words cut deeply and a he destroyed property.


1. Redeem the good times

With my dad at Trafalgar Square
Unless your father was a total loser, there were good times—a time when you felt loved. You did fun things together. 

Perhaps you have pictures or stories from others that can help create a balance when tempted to dwell on those troubled moments. Most of us are hard to live with some of the time. Our unique qualities can be annoying to others. Living with parents is a 24/7 experience for children so we are going to see what other don’t see. Dwelling on the troubling experiences can put the good ones out of focus.

As I look back at old photos, I am reminded of the things dad and I enjoyed together. I enjoyed trips to the beaches in England and South Jersey, going to work with him, walking in the woods, tossing a ball, playing games, listening to stories, and watching some TV shows together. As a father and a grandfather I now savor those moments I have with my own son and enjoy with my granddaughters. The good memories help me set aside the troubled conflicts I had with my father over his strict religious lifestyle and ill temper. Thanks dad for the good times we had together.

2. Embrace the good memories of others

Most people are a mix of good and bad attributes. As children we are dimly aware of the people our fathers mix with on a daily basis. There are school friends, co-workers, folks in the neighborhoods, and relatives. People have different memories of our parents than we have. Our fathers like other people, often said or did something to make others’ lives better even if they were missing from or messing with our lives.

My parents did not divorce but I recall wishing they would when they would fight. Some psychologists have even suggested kids would be better off if parents divorced so their lives would be more peaceful. Looking back, I’m glad my parents did not divorce because in their later years they seemed to really enjoy their lives together. Others have different experiences—I have no doubt divorce was a good thing for some.

And since my dad died, I learned that many people appreciated what he had done for them or said to them. I know he annoyed others. But I also know that his faith, generosity, acts of kindness, and sense of humor blessed many relatives and friends. That’s a good feeling. And hearing the snippets of experience from others reminds me of those good things I’d forgotten. Thanks dad for being a blessing to others.

3. Add humility to troublesome memories

One thing I learned as a psychologist is that our memories are dynamic and contain unreliable records. By dynamic I mean memories change when new information comes along. As humans, we fill in missing information with new information. Others present at an event will remember things differently than we will. If we talk about an event, we can easily incorporate those shared memories into our own memories. In some cases, memories contain events that never happened.

our memories are dynamic and contain unreliable records

 By unreliable I mean that our memories of the past are imperfect. Adding humility to the memories of our fathers can cut them some slack when it comes to memories of their imperfections.

I am stuck with the memories of some scary events involving my father’s ill temper. I have no doubt he had a bad temper, which left me feeling scared when younger and angry when older. I’ve learned that angry people—including me—can misperceive what people say and do. By adding the problem of misperception to the problem of memory and I cut my father—and others—some slack.

I’m not saying we need to condone, excuse, or endure violence. I’m thinking more of living with or remaining in relationship with dads who pose a challenge because they have an anger problem, an extreme form of religious faith, or some annoying habits that just make them hard to live with.

4. Practice forgiveness

I’ve written a lot about forgiveness but not made it personal. Here I say that I had to forgive my father for some offenses—times when his outbursts were particularly scary. It helps me to know that my view of things may not be accurate. And to remember that as I got older I’d hurt him too. I was fortunate to have had some good times with him as a child and as an adult. I think we both worked at the relationship in our own ways. I'm sure he had to forgive me too.

My Christian faith commands forgiveness but forgiveness is not just about duty. Forgiveness is also an emotional experience. We have to let go of the hurt feelings if we are to fully embrace our fathers. And even if we cannot repair a damaged relationship it’s good to forgive for our own well-being. After all, carrying the burden of a grudge damages our own souls and keeps us from engaging with others. Forgiveness is rarely easy but it can be done.

5. Embrace diverse spiritual experiences

I have friends that have rejected the faith of their fathers to such an extent that they are atheists or minimally engaged with faith. I understand that. At times I’ve wondered what makes sense.

My father experienced a dramatic conversion to Christianity in the 1930s when he attended a small Pentecostal Church (Elim) near our home in West Finchley (a borough of London, England). I heard that he ostracized some family members with his new found zeal for God.

Pentecostal Christianity was a combination of three things: Fundamentalist Christianity (think lots of rules about right beliefs derived from a literal view of the Bible) plus holiness (not enjoying sinful things like dancing, movies, alcohol) and beliefs in miracles (sometimes to the extreme). We were immigrants to the U.S. in the 1950s. The U.S. church we attended shared similar beliefs but my father strove harder on all three fronts so life wasn’t much fun!

A phrase from the title of Brian McLaren’s book title sums up my thinking, Generous Orthodoxy. I now embrace a big tent approach to faith. I see my father’s restrictive spirituality as redemptive for him. Over the years I have seen how people derive much comfort, energy, and sustenance from their faith. My father’s faith was part of his identity. By all accounts he was a changed man. A generous orthodoxy challenges us to find the value in Christian diversity. That works for me.

Dad lived long enough to enjoy some precious moments with his grandson.
His finger illustrates his habit of pointing out the right way to live.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Four Tips for Building a Better Relationship

Journey to a Better Relationship

Four Things to Pack

Couples often seek counseling to improve their relationship. The general goal is something like satisfaction, which can be quite vague unless you flesh it out with some specifics. But that’s where things can get pretty negative if couples and therapists aren’t careful.

Getting to relationship satisfaction can be an arduous and discouraging process of identifying areas where each partner is unhappy. The usual culprits are ways of spending our money, spending enough time together, enjoying sex, sharing responsibilities, and agreeing on parenting strategies.

Enter Jen Ripley and Ev Worthington—two experienced couples’ therapists from the Eastern U.S. I’m reading their recent book, Couple Therapy for a book review I’ll be sending off in a few weeks.

My focus in this post is on four goals they suggest for couples’ counseling. What I like about these ideas is how they fit with trends in psychology I’ve found helpful in the past couple of decades. More about these trends as I list the four goals. The authors refer to the couple counseling experience as a journey so I’m suggesting we think of these four ideas as things to pack for the journey.


1. Warmth
Relationships need warmth. The authors are referring to a warm and loving bond between the partners. Years ago I was supervised for my license by Clinical Psychologist Dr. Julianne Lockwood. She and her colleagues at the University of New Mexico had studied child attachment. The goal was to discover the nature of the attachment relationship between parent and child. Since then many studies have focused on understanding attachment between partners in couples, among family members, and between individuals and God. People in relationships characterized by warm and secure attachments enjoy spending time with each other. The journey to a better relationship includes activities that build warmth.

2. Virtue
You might wonder what virtue has to do with couple’s counseling. But consider how we respect people who live virtuous lives. And notice how disappointed we are when we discover the failures of close friends. I’m not necessarily talking about gross immorality. As the authors note, four cardinal virtues have a long history—justice, fortitude, temperance, and prudence. We naturally want to be around people who treat us fairly, display inner strength, demonstrate self-control, and are wise. An important influence on my own thinking has been the Positive Psychology movement with its emphasis on building personal strengths. It’s true we cannot ignore our failures and mistakes (probably why I find forgiveness so interesting) but the focus on developing virtues offers a life-long quest to become better and concomitantly learn to show respect toward others in our lives—including our life-partners.

3. Health
The authors are writing about relationship health. As with any health focus, good health requires some effort to increase healthy habits of communication, respect, and caring and cut back on those opposing habits that can be so destructive (think Gottman’s four horsemen). Healthy habits require a commitment to regular exercise. If we need skills, we can find ideas in the book or from many skilled clinicians.

4. Happiness
Happiness can be elusive. But when people are in a loving relationship they can be really happy. Sometimes you just want to sit down with your partner or enjoy a walk. Most of us prefer to be around happy people. Happiness is contagious and builds strong bonds. The authors include a quote from Les Misérables:

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved—loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” Victor Hugo

Related Posts

My only “payment” is a free copy of the book; but that came from the journal editor by way of the publisher not the authors—though you should know, I’m friends with the authors.


Ripley, J.S. & Worthington, E.L. Jr. (2014). Couple therapy: a new hope-focused approach. Downers Grove, IL: Intervasity.
*Note: This particular book integrates Hope Focused therapy with Christian spirituality. Hope-focused therapy is helpful for both secular and Christian couples.

Sutton, G. W. & Mittelstadt, M. W. (2012). Loving God and loving others: Learning about love from psychological science and Pentecostal perspectives. Journal of Christianity and Psychology, 31, 157-166.  Academia Link