3. Strengthening Relationships

Time to Rethink Our Attitude to Singleness

More and more of us are single. In the United Kingdom, over a third of the adult population of England and Wales are single, more than half of 25–44 year olds, and singleness is increasing in every age group with 50–64 year olds growing the fastest. Some embrace the single life with joy, others don’t, and both society and church can send mixed messages about it. It’s time to rethink our attitude to singleness. It is neither a curse to be pitied or a condition to be cured but a status with divine dignity. Here’s why. More…

The Hand That Spins the Galaxies Wants You Here. Introducing The Creed

One autumn morning not long ago, I walked to an Oxford cafe, took a window table, and pulled out my journal. I wanted to craft a statement – a creed of sorts – that would pull together what I’d learned while writing my new book The Making of Us. Something that captured what matters most in life. Something to read regularly to guide me forward. After many scribbled phrases and crossings out, I arrived at this: The Creed. Today we release it publicly, crafted into a beautiful video by Tyler Jackson, and ready to download as a print for your wall or smartphone. The hand that spins the galaxies wants you here… More…

How to Deal With Trolls (Hint: Don’t Get Even and Don’t Give In)

Woman typing on laptop

The surprising thing about talking publicly about childlessness, is the level of abuse that’s come alongside the messages of gratitude. While many have thanked me for bringing it into the open, an equal number have seen fit to get nasty. I could let it get to me, or I could hit back – but I’ve found a better way to respond… More…

You’re Both So Different? That Could Be What Makes Your Marriage Work

Couple with Black and White Coffees

After 21 years, I sometimes look at my wife Merryn and wonder how our marriage works. I’m a writer and speaker, Merryn is a statistician. I work with words, she works with numbers. I want beauty, she wants function. And that’s only the start of our differences! Here’s what’s helped us stick together… More…

Not Just Women: Childlessness Cuts Men Up Too (BBC News Video)

For too long childlessness has been seen solely as a female issue. As a result the feelings of men facing infertility have been sidelined. Now new research has shown childlessness can affect a man’s mental health, self-esteem, relationships, masculinity, even his career and finances. And he is often ignored during the treatment process or in follow up support. So let’s be clear: childlessness cuts a man up too. Here’s my interview on BBC News’ Afternoon Live programme sharing my personal experience. More…

Hugh Hefner’s Legacy is Nothing to Celebrate (an Important Guest Post)

Laptop Half Closed

Sometimes a friend of mine will get a fire in their belly and write something we should hear, however uncomfortable. Clare Bruce is a journalist and friend who was more than a bit concerned about the accolades Playboy chief Hugh Hefner garnered recently. Given today is the UN’s International Day of the Girl Child, this post is timely. More…

Need Better Friendships? Here Are Four Things That Make Them Rich

Photo by Felix Russell-Saw www.frsphoto.co

‘Who can you call in the middle of the night when everything has gone wrong?” When I first heard this question some years ago it shook me to the core. I didn’t have an answer. Even recently, I’ve found myself in need of deeper friendships. So I did some thinking and came up with a few keys to building friendships that really, really count… More…

To Help a Friend with Depression, Here’s the Best Thing You Can Do

When I was asked to speak on mental health for BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought segment, I consulted my brilliant Facebook community. They shared deeply and with insight on just how we can be more accepting of those who suffer this way. The starting point? See people as bigger than their illness… More…

How to Help a Friend Experiencing Infertility

Lonely woman with teddy bear

Since going public with our own story of childlessness Merryn and I are often asked how to support a family member or friend going through infertility. So, to mark National Infertility Awareness Week (USA) here’s a video addressing some of those questions. Originally filmed as a live webinar for church leaders, these insights will help anyone who’s walking alongside a couple in the infertility journey…. More…

055 What ‘Turn the Other Cheek’ Means (and Doesn’t) in an Age of Terrorism

The stories come almost every day: terror groups like ISIS destroying lives and using every form of intimidation to get implement their radical vision for the world. How should we respond? I believe Jesus has something powerful to say to the problem, but his words need to be carefully understood before being applied. More…