November 5, 2013
If God ordained marriage and if God ordained parenting, do you think we have time to do both? The obvious answer is yes. But why do couples complain, “Since the children came, we don’t have time for sex. We had to stop our date nights. We’re too tired to watch a movie. It seems we just don’t have time to do anything together.” The problem is not time, but how we schedule our time. Some couples schedule time to enhance their marriage while others focus on meeting the needs of the children and hope that some day they will find time for each other. Unfortunately for some that time never comes. What could you do this week to enhance your marriage? Why not put it on your schedule?
October 31, 2013
Which is the greater priority: marriage or parenting? That’s like asking whether water or food should be the priority for the human body. The truth is, they are both priorities. Parents who do not seek to be good parents are delinquent in their responsibilities. One the other hand, couples who do not give priority to their marriage are also delinquent.
A couple who neglects their children in pursuit of their own happiness will live to regret their decision. And, a couple who neglects their marriage while focusing all their energy on their children will also live to regret their choice. Your children desperately need a model of what a healthy marriage looks like. If your children do not learn relational skills they will enter marriage with a huge handicap.
October 29, 2013
How do we keep our marriage alive now that the children have arrived? Children are a blessing from God, but children can also bring on marital neglect. When a couple neglects their own love relationship, they do so to the detriment of the children. Perhaps it is time for you to pause long enough to assess the quality of your marriage. If you see yourselves drifting apart, it’s time to make a course correction. Look each other in the eyes and say, “our marriage is important not only for us, but for our children. Therefore, together, with God’s help, we will find a way to rediscover each other.” If marriage is important, then we must make time to cultivate our relationship. It is time well invested.
October 24, 2013
There comes a time in most marriages when two become three. Sometimes, two become four, five, or six. Let’s freely admit that when children arrive, they greatly affect the marital relationship. One young husband said, “I’ve lost my wife.” “What do you mean by that?” I inquired. “I’ve lost my wife to the baby. Her life is focused on the baby; my life is focused on the baby. It’s like the two of us do not exist anymore.” Can a marriage survive children? You bet, but only if you make marriage a priority. Notice I say ‘a’ priority. Both marriage and parenting are priorities. There is time and energy to do both. However, to sacrifice the marriage is not good parenting.
October 3, 2013
If I had one message to give to the parents of teenagers it would be this: Please remember that you still have the greatest influence on your son or daughter. We have heard so much about peer pressure, that many parents have given up on trying to influence their teen. All of the research indicates that parents have far more influence on the behavior of teens than do their peers. Your own behavior is your greatest influence. If you are a person of honesty, loyalty, and commitment, you are greatly influencing your teen. If you give them a model of a loving marriage you are creating for them emotional security. Teens respect parents of integrity. They want you to be their hero.
September 26, 2013
Adolescence is the age of reason. Teenagers are beginning to think logically. We say, they are argumentative. Many parents have said through the years, “I think my teenager is going to be an attorney, he is so good at arguments.” In reality, the teen is developing his mental skills. If parents don’t realize this, they can create an adversarial relationship where the teen does not feel free to flex his intellectual muscles. How do we create a positive atmosphere where we can have meaningful dialogue with our budding philosopher? In one word – love. When the teen feels loved, he still may not agree with parents, but he will respect them; and be influenced by their opinions.
September 24, 2013
Do you ever get frustrated with your teenager? The teenager has a strong pull toward independence and is going through radical physical and emotional changes. They are greatly influenced by their peers. In fact, we often speak of ‘teenage culture’. That culture focuses on music, dress, language, and behavior. This has often created a great divide between teens and parents. So, at a time when the teen most needs moral and spiritual guidance, parents are often rejected. Don’t allow your differences to keep you from loving your teen. Love keeps the door open for your positive influence. Learn your teens’ love language and speak it daily. They never outgrow their need for love.
September 19, 2013
Did you know that 70 years ago, teenagers did not exist? That is, as a separate cultural group. Before the industrial age, teens worked on their parents’ farms until they got married. With industrialization, teens had a choice. They could be a weaver, a cobbler, or a machinist. But they still lived with their parents until they got married; usually in the late teens. In the modern world, young people have high school, college, and often graduate school before they get married. So they are with parents much longer. This is good news, because it gives greater opportunity to influence their lives for good. Remember, the quality of your marriage is your greatest means of influence. They will remember your model long after they have forgotten your words.
August 30, 2013
Q: What are some things I can teach my son about how to choose a good wife?
Gary Chapman: I wrote a book entitled Things I Wished I’d Known Before We Got Married that deals with this topic. In the book I deal with such things as personality differences, religious differences, and learning how to negotiate and solve conflicts. Because people grow up in different homes they develop different ideas. Therefore, I talk about the influence of parents. There are many other topics I also address. I think if you take the time to read this book you will find it a helpful and useful tool in guiding your adult child towards choosing a good spouse.
August 27, 2013
Do you ever wonder what we did before computers? I think we played games with each other. I think we had meals together and talked about what was going on in our lives. I think husbands and wives made love, and children felt secure. I think fathers and sons threw the ball in the back yard. I think mothers and daughters made doll clothes. I think we had families.
What if, just for a week, we said, “NO” to the computer and the television and said, “YES” to the family? What would that look like in your house? You might be surprised. You might even like it. You might even decide to make an early New Years resolution to make family a priority. If so, I think you will have discovered what God had in mind when he instituted the family.