Category: Family

Birthdays and Family in Eternity

One year ago today, my mother turned 99. Today she is in heaven. We often talked about her living to be one hundred. But I knew that was not her desire. She talked about going home, and I knew she was not talking about her earthly home. Two weeks before she died she prayed, “Lord, take me home. My work is done.” On March 9th this year, God answered her prayers.

My mother’s name was Grace, and that has been her spirit though all these years. She gave her heart to Christ as a teenager and has walked with Him ever since. My dad and sister are both in heaven. I can only imagine the reunion they are having. I thought about singing “Happy 100th Birthday Mom”, but I don’t think that matters in eternity. On this day, I’m extremely grateful for a Christian family.

Real Men Speak 5 Languages

Guest Post by Zack Williamson (Chapman Team)

Recently I was watching an episode of the new NBC show Losing It with Jillian. This particular episode featured the Vivio family who were learning to overcome some obstacles in regards to their weight. Along the way, a few relationship issues came to the forefront. One of these was Mark’s (husband/father) mentality that real men don’t let their emotions show. Originally instilled from his father, Mark was taught to just “suck it up” and provide for the family. At one point Mark even made this statement about his dad, “To this day he still can’t say it [I love you].” Unbeknownst to Mark, this attitude was having a negative effect on his son, Elijah.

Sometimes the way we think we show love best is not actually the best way to show love. Let me explain. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, everyone has a primary way in which they prefer to receive love called their primary love language. When someone speaks this love language to them, it fills their “love tank” to the brim and, inadvertently, they feel loved. Chapman has revealed five distinct languages from which our primary can be drawn—Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, and Quality Time.

If we do not know, or understand, that the “love tank” of others might be filled best through a language other than our own, we often default to showing love in the way we prefer to receive love ourselves. In Mark’s case, he was speaking Gifts by providing for the material needs of his family. But when he found that, due to some physical issues, he was no longer able to provide to the same degree he once could, Mark struggled with how to show love to his family.

Through a conversation with his wife and Jillian, Mark realizes that Elijah needs more than just provision—he needs Words of Affirmation from his father. During a heartfelt chat with his son, Mark tells Elijah that he is proud of him. A smile appears on Elijah’s face and the video cuts to Elijah saying, “When my dad told me how proud he was of me, I was happy.” In that one powerful moment Mark learns to speak his son’s love language and what a difference it makes for Elijah!

When you learn to speak love languages you are not necessarily comfortable with, you are showing a form of selfless love that speaks for itself. It shows you are genuine and that your love is real. Mark learned this, and his family is better for it.

Mark, thanks for caring enough to step out of your own comfort zone to love your family well. Real men speak 5 languages.

Mom’s Choice Awards Presented to Love Language Books

The Mom’s Choice Awards has named Dr. Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages Singles Edition (Northfield Publishing, 2009), as well as The Five Love Languages of Children (Northfield Publishing, 1997) among the best in family-friendly media, products and services.

The esteemed Mom’s Choice Awards seal helps parents, educators, librarians and retailers wade through an overwhelming number of choices to select quality materials for families.

The Five Love Languages Singles Edition has proven itself a must-read for single adults in all walks of life. This special edition helps readers successfully navigate relationships in the workplace, friendships, and the dating environment. The Five Love Languages of Children explores how speaking the right love language affects and transforms a child’s attitude, behavior, and development.

To learn more about Mom’s Choice Awards, visit www.momschoiceawards.com.

Mom's Choice Awards Presented to Love Language Books

The Mom’s Choice Awards has named Dr. Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages Singles Edition (Northfield Publishing, 2009), as well as The Five Love Languages of Children (Northfield Publishing, 1997) among the best in family-friendly media, products and services.

The esteemed Mom’s Choice Awards seal helps parents, educators, librarians and retailers wade through an overwhelming number of choices to select quality materials for families.

The Five Love Languages Singles Edition has proven itself a must-read for single adults in all walks of life. This special edition helps readers successfully navigate relationships in the workplace, friendships, and the dating environment. The Five Love Languages of Children explores how speaking the right love language affects and transforms a child’s attitude, behavior, and development.

To learn more about Mom’s Choice Awards, visit www.momschoiceawards.com.

Apologizing – Learning to Express Regret

What most people are looking for in an apology is sincerity. But how do you determine sincerity? Research has revealed that there are five basic elements to an apology. I call them the five languages of apology. For an apology to be accepted, you need to speak the language that conveys to the offended your sincerity.

The first language of apology is expressing regret, or saying, “I’m sorry.” It is expressing to the offended person your own sense of pain that your behavior has hurt them.

Specific
Without the expression of regret, some people do not sense that the apology is adequate. A simple “I’m sorry” can go a long way toward restoring goodwill. An apology has more impact when it is specific. The details reveal the depth of your understanding of the situation and how much you inconvenienced your spouse.

“But…”
Sincere regret needs to stand alone.  It should never be followed with “But…” One husband said, “She apologizes, then blames her actions on something I did to provoke her. Blaming me does little to make the apology sincere.”

When we shift the blame to the other person, we have moved from apology to an attack.  Blame and attacks never lead to forgiveness and reconciliation.  When you are apologizing, let “I’m sorry,” stand alone. Don’t continue by saying, “But if you had not yelled at me I would not have done it.”

Regret!
For many people, receiving a sincere expression of regret is the strongest language of apology. It is what convinces them that the apology is sincere. Without it, they will hear your words but they will appear empty.

Featured Resource: The Five Languages of Apology

Apologizing – Learning to Express Regret

What most people are looking for in an apology is sincerity. But how do you determine sincerity? Research has revealed that there are five basic elements to an apology. I call them the five languages of apology. For an apology to be accepted, you need to speak the language that conveys to the offended your sincerity.

The first language of apology is expressing regret, or saying, “I’m sorry.” It is expressing to the offended person your own sense of pain that your behavior has hurt them.

Specific
Without the expression of regret, some people do not sense that the apology is adequate. A simple “I’m sorry” can go a long way toward restoring goodwill. An apology has more impact when it is specific. The details reveal the depth of your understanding of the situation and how much you inconvenienced your spouse.

“But…”
Sincere regret needs to stand alone.  It should never be followed with “But…” One husband said, “She apologizes, then blames her actions on something I did to provoke her. Blaming me does little to make the apology sincere.”

When we shift the blame to the other person, we have moved from apology to an attack.  Blame and attacks never lead to forgiveness and reconciliation.  When you are apologizing, let “I’m sorry,” stand alone. Don’t continue by saying, “But if you had not yelled at me I would not have done it.”

Regret!
For many people, receiving a sincere expression of regret is the strongest language of apology. It is what convinces them that the apology is sincere. Without it, they will hear your words but they will appear empty.

Featured Resource: The Five Languages of Apology

Parenting Together?

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Two Approaches to Parenting?

Is it possible for two parents who have very different approaches to child-rearing to find a meeting of the minds? The answer is an unqualified “yes.” In my marriage we discovered that I tended to be the quiet, calm, “let’s talk about it” parent, while my wife Karolyn tended to be a “take action now” kind of parent. It took us a while to realize what was happening, analyze our patterns, and admit to each other our basic tendencies. When this was done, we began to concentrate on the question: “What is best for our children?”

Using Love, Words, & Actions

No pattern of teaching and training will be highly effective if the child does not feel loved by the parents. Love really does cover a multitude of sins.

The two wheels upon which the chariot of parenting rolls are teaching and training–using words and actions to communicate to the child. It is not uncommon that one parent will emphasize words and the other actions. One will want to talk the child into obedience, while the other will simply make the child obey. When taken to the extreme, this can lead to verbal abuse on the part of one and physical abuse on the part of the other.

The better approach is to bring words and actions together. Tell the child exactly what is expected and what the results will be if they disobey. Then if they do not obey, kindly but firmly apply the consequences. When you are consistent, your child will learn obedience. Of course, all of this works best when the child feels loved by both parents. Parenting is a team sport.


Agreeing on Principles of Discipline

Mature parents are always seeking to learn. Administering discipline is a point where many couples have disagreement. Talking about and agreeing upon some principles for discipline can be helpful. For example, how about agreeing that all discipline should be done in love, and the word love should always be used while administering the discipline. Love and consistent discipline, accompanied with information, is the road to responsible parenting and a growing marriage. You owe it to yourselves to be teammates in parenting.

I want to conclude our week with two principles of discipline. The first is that positive discipline must always seek to explain. Tongue lashing does not correct behavior.

The second principle is that we deal only with the matter at hand. Don’t bring up past failures. Make room for your child’s humanity. Agree on the principles and you can be teammates in parenting.

An Intimate Marriage

We did not get married in order to find a convenient way to cook meals, wash dishes, do laundry, and rear children. We married out of a deep desire to love and to be loved, to live life together, believing that together we could experience life more deeply than apart.

How can we experience this? Let’s look at the five essential components of an intimate relationship: sharing our thoughts (intellectual intimacy), discussing our feelings (emotional intimacy), spending time with each other (social intimacy), opening our souls to each other (spiritual intimacy), and sharing our bodies (physical intimacy).

Intellectual Intimacy
From the moment we arise in the morning, our minds are active. Intimacy requires that we share some of our thoughts with each other. I am not talking about only highly intellectual thoughts; they may just be ones focused on finances, food, or health. When two minds link, they build intellectual intimacy.

Emotional Intimacy
The sharing of feelings also builds emotional intimacy. Be willing to say “I’m feeling a lot of fear right now,” or “I am really happy tonight.” In making such statements, we are choosing to be intimate with our spouses, to reveal to them what’s going on in our emotional world. Learning to talk about emotions can be one of the most rewarding experiences of life.

Social Intimacy
Social intimacy has to do with spending time together around the events of life. As I share these events with my spouse, our horizons are broadened. Another part of social intimacy involves the two of us doing things together, alone or with others. A picnic in the park or even on the deck can add excitement to an otherwise drab day. The things we do together form some of our most vivid memories, and they also build social intimacy.

Spiritual Intimacy
Spiritual intimacy is often the least developed of all the intimacies of a marriage, yet it has a profound impact upon all other areas. It is fostered not only by verbal communication, but also by shared experience. One wife said, “There is something about experiencing worship together that gives me a sense of closeness to my husband. We hold hands during the prayers. We share with each other what we liked about the service.” Intimacy flourishes as we share our spiritual journey. Next week, we will discuss physical intimacy.

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