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125 Ash St
Lino Lakes, Mn 55126

(651)263-2930

By providing a safe and effective therapeutic environment, Amanda Nephew Therapy Services is a catalyst of change for men, women, couples and families to engage in personal growth, to create healthy identities and to strengthen their relationships.   

Blog

Engaging in personal growth to create a healthy identity is a journey. Keep checking back here for things I find inspiring and helpful. 

Filtering by Tag: Marriage

Being Sharpened

Amanda Nephew

Cute little wall hangings with quotes or verses on them are so popular right now. They are everywhere! I recently saw one with the words of Proverbs 27:17 so gracefully written on it. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”  I found it a little ironic that the font was cute and the letters were sparkly, when in fact the act of being sharpened can be painful and often times difficult to navigate.

I meet with a lot of couples for premarital counseling and one thing that I am intentional about bringing up is that when we get married, we will learn just as much or even more about ourselves than we will about our spouse. The actual act of sharpening is built into the design of marriage. We now have a sounding board who is always in front of us. Our spouse (and kids) are reflecting back to us our good, bad and ugly. BUT, we can choose whether we allow ourselves to be open to the discovery or not.

When we are open to it, we allow ourselves to be transformed though humbly admitting the yuck and taking responsibility for it. When we choose to not be open, we become hardened and resentful toward the ones who are just doing their jobs. (Assuming it was done in a safe manner). When we harden our hearts, we miss the opportunity for a better way. We miss the opportunity for growth.

In the book Sacred Marriage, author Gary Thomas says, “Couples don’t fall out of love so much as they fall out of repentance.” We need to be honest with ourselves, our spouse, and God about weaknesses revealed to us in order to grow out of them. We are doing it right when we create an emotionally safe space so our spouse can actually say what we need to hear in order to be sharpened and then in return we are led by the Spirit to bring up what we see in our spouse. Iron sharpens iron.

It is a great honor to be transformed in the context of a marital relationship. Let’s live out the Word (no matter how uncomfortable) by sharpening each other out of a spirit of love.

Speaking Each Other's Love Language

Amanda Nephew

Communicating effectively in a relationship can boost affection. But, first you have to know what affection means to your partner and how he or she receives it. Relationship expert Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, breaks down the five ways that people tend to receive love. I’ve found this book to be important in helping understand how to successfully give affection in the way that meets your partner’s needs (since we often fall into the trap of giving how we want to receive ourselves instead of how our partner receives the best). This is also useful with our children! You can usually tell what theirs are by how they love on you. People usually have two love languages that are most important to them and maybe a touch of the other three. Take a look:

1.)   Words of Affirmation (Encouraging words, kind words, noticing strengths)

2.)   Quality Time (Focused attention, doing an activity together, quality convos)

3.)   Receiving Gifts (Thinking of someone, knowing their likes)

4.)   Acts of Service (Doing chores unasked, filling up gas tank, making a surprise dinner)

5.)   Physical Touch (Cuddling, holding hands, stroking an arm in the car)