Category: Family

Q&A: What can I do if he won’t apologize?

Question: Our son and daughter-in-law will not allow us to see the grandchildren. It stemmed from something my husband did last summer. He is not willing to apologize. What can I do?

Answer: That question makes me sad. I cannot imagine having no contact with my grandchildren. I am empathetic with this wife. I don’t know what happened, but if an apology would lift the barrier and he is unwilling to apologize, he needs help. I know he is not likely to go for help. So, I suggest you go for help. Tell him something like this: I love you too much to do nothing. I know that you do not want to deprive the grandchildren of their grand-father.

So, If you are not willing to apologize, then I’m going to see a counselor (or a pastor) and try to find help. I want you to go with me, but if not, then I’m going alone.” Then do it. This kind of tough love, may be what is needed to awaken him to reality. Life is too short to live with broken relationships. You might also give him my book, The Five languages of Apology, which gives real life illustrations of how an apology can restore relationships.

Listen to Your Child’s Requests

What do your children request from you most often?

Listen to their requests and you will discover their love language. If your child says, “Does my dress look nice?” Or, “Did I do a good job on my homework?” Their love language is ‘words of affirmation.’ If on the other hand, a child says, “Mommy can I help you set the table?” Or, “Can I help you make the bed?” Then, ‘acts of service’ is likely the child’s love language.

Listen to the requests of your child and you will discover what makes them feel loved. Discovering and speaking your child’s love language is the most effective way of keeping the child’s love tank full. A full love tank makes a child more responsive to instruction and correction.

For more, see my newly updated book: The 5 Love Languages of Children

Listen to Your Child's Requests

What do your children request from you most often?

Listen to their requests and you will discover their love language. If your child says, “Does my dress look nice?” Or, “Did I do a good job on my homework?” Their love language is ‘words of affirmation.’ If on the other hand, a child says, “Mommy can I help you set the table?” Or, “Can I help you make the bed?” Then, ‘acts of service’ is likely the child’s love language.

Listen to the requests of your child and you will discover what makes them feel loved. Discovering and speaking your child’s love language is the most effective way of keeping the child’s love tank full. A full love tank makes a child more responsive to instruction and correction.

For more, see my newly updated book: The 5 Love Languages of Children

Q&A: Are there any books for couples who both have divorced parents?

Question: Do you have any book recommendations for Christian couples who are both products of divorce? We want to create a family life that we were not given.

Answer: Thank God for the thousands of couples who have this desire. Their parents divorced, and they don’t want their children to go through the pain that they experienced when they were children. I do believe that God can help you accomplish this goal. The key is to get a clear picture of what a healthy family looks like.

I spell this out in my book: The Family You’ve Always Wanted. I give the five fundamentals of a healthy family: An attitude of service, intimacy in the marriage, p[arents who teach and train, children who obey and honor parents, and husbands who are loving leaders. The book is filled with practical ideas on how to build such a family.

With God’s help you don’t have to repeat the pattern of your parents.

Q&A: Are there any books for couples who both have divorced parents?

Question: Do you have any book recommendations for Christian couples who are both products of divorce? We want to create a family life that we were not given.

Answer: Thank God for the thousands of couples who have this desire. Their parents divorced, and they don’t want their children to go through the pain that they experienced when they were children. I do believe that God can help you accomplish this goal. The key is to get a clear picture of what a healthy family looks like.

I spell this out in my book: The Family You’ve Always Wanted. I give the five fundamentals of a healthy family: An attitude of service, intimacy in the marriage, p[arents who teach and train, children who obey and honor parents, and husbands who are loving leaders. The book is filled with practical ideas on how to build such a family.

With God’s help you don’t have to repeat the pattern of your parents.

Q&A: How can we acknowledge the true meaning of Christmas at our family gathering?

Question: My husband’s family comes to our house for Christmas. They are not Christians. I want to do something that shows them the real meaning of Christmas. What do you suggest?

Answer: I think that Christmas offers a unique opportunity to speak of Christ in a very natural way. Most of our families know that Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ. They may focus on gifts, food, and family, but behind all of that there is the memory that Christmas is about Christ. Therefore, it would not be out of place or abnormal to recognize that reality.

One of the things that we have done with our extended family is to read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2, and then have one of our younger children sing a Christmas song such as “Away in a Manger.” Then all of us sing, “Silent Night” or some other familiar Christmas carol. Then I pray or call on some other family member to pray. It is a simple way of acknowledging Christ as the center of Christmas.

Q&A: How can we acknowledge the true meaning of Christmas at our family gathering?

Question: My husband’s family comes to our house for Christmas. They are not Christians. I want to do something that shows them the real meaning of Christmas. What do you suggest?

Answer: I think that Christmas offers a unique opportunity to speak of Christ in a very natural way. Most of our families know that Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ. They may focus on gifts, food, and family, but behind all of that there is the memory that Christmas is about Christ. Therefore, it would not be out of place or abnormal to recognize that reality.

One of the things that we have done with our extended family is to read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2, and then have one of our younger children sing a Christmas song such as “Away in a Manger.” Then all of us sing, “Silent Night” or some other familiar Christmas carol. Then I pray or call on some other family member to pray. It is a simple way of acknowledging Christ as the center of Christmas.

Q&A: Is my husband spending too much time with his parents?

Question: My husband goes to his parent’s house every afternoon after work and every Friday night. I only see my parents once a week. My question is: What does a healthy relationship with parents look like for a newly-wed couple?

Answer: This is a question that many young couples can identify with, if you  live in the same town as your parents. The Scriptures say that we are to “leave our parents” and “be joined to each other.” What that looks like may differ with each couple, but the principle is clear. It appears to me that you think he is spending too much time with his parents and that may be true.

What I’d like to know is what is he doing when he goes to see his parents? What motivates him to go there? Is his mother demanding that he come to see them? That’s unhealthy. Or, is he helping his father with a work project? That’s different. Is he sharing his marital problems with his parents? That’s not good. Find out the motivation and then seek a pattern that demonstrates that the marriage is priority.

Q&A: Is my husband spending too much time with his parents?

Question: My husband goes to his parent’s house every afternoon after work and every Friday night. I only see my parents once a week. My question is: What does a healthy relationship with parents look like for a newly-wed couple?

Answer: This is a question that many young couples can identify with, if you  live in the same town as your parents. The Scriptures say that we are to “leave our parents” and “be joined to each other.” What that looks like may differ with each couple, but the principle is clear. It appears to me that you think he is spending too much time with his parents and that may be true.

What I’d like to know is what is he doing when he goes to see his parents? What motivates him to go there? Is his mother demanding that he come to see them? That’s unhealthy. Or, is he helping his father with a work project? That’s different. Is he sharing his marital problems with his parents? That’s not good. Find out the motivation and then seek a pattern that demonstrates that the marriage is priority.

Get the Card

Would you like to teach your family how to handle anger in a positive way? In my book: Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, I suggest that couples write the following words on an index card and put it on the refrigerator. When they feel angry toward a family member, they get the card and read it to the person at whom they are angry. Here’s what the card says:

“I’m feeling angry right now, but don’t worry. I’m not going to attack you. But I do need your help. Is this a good time to talk?”  It brings a little humor into the tenseness and it reminds me what I am not going to do – lose my temper. It also asks for help in dealing with my anger. Try it! It may become a family tradition.

 

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