Category Archives: Marriage

Lessons I Want My Children to Learn: Commitment

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Today’s world makes it really easy to raise a total flake. Promises aren’t worth their weight in salt, and commitment means “I’ll do this until I find something I like better.” People just don’t follow through anymore.

I want to raise the kind of men who believe that their word means something.

The kind of guys from old movies– those who say what they mean and mean what they say and offer a handshake to seal the deal.

When they commit to an event, a group, a job, a person–I want my sons to understand just exactly what that means and how to follow through, if for no other reason than because they said they would.

2012 has been a tough year for some members of our family. Sadly, a couple of close family members are going through divorces, and it has become necessary for us to explain this to our children.

And as our boys grow and interact with more and more children their age who come from broken homes, or they ask questions like “Why is so-and-so not in our family anymore?”, it breaks my heart.

My husband and I have made it an important part of our family mission to have our children understand that while others may get divorced, divorce is painful and it is, in short, simply not an option for us.

We’re faaaaaaaar from being perfect parents, but this past year especially has shown us how important it is to teach our children about commitment, even to each other.

Thankfully I’m married to a man who vowed, even before we were married, that once we said “I do”, that was it– there’s no way out (except murder, he adds jokingly).

My husband comes from a broken home. His parents divorced when he was in college, just before he and I met. Because he was older and able to understand all of the circumstances and choices that led to his parents’ divorce, he was convicted to take his marriage vows seriously in this world where more than 50% of couples, even godly, Christian couples, divorce.

I am so lucky and blessed to be married to him. Even on our most difficult marriage days, I know that the end-game for both of us is to work through any issues instead of simply calling it quits. It’s a very comforting feeling to know that your spouse is in it for the long-haul, no matter what. (And we all know that in a marriage, sometimes that “what” can get a little cray-zay.)

My husband is also a wonderful example of commitment in doing what he says he’s going to do. Even to a fault.

There have been times when he’s sick or busy, but he’ll go out of his way to complete a task, meet with someone, or deliver something if he told someone he would. He’s very much a believer of “my word is my bond.”

Sometimes it drives me nuts because following through on his “word” can be very inconvenient for me, but I wouldn’t change him. I’ve had people tell me, “your husband is the kind of guy I can count on.”

Who wouldn’t be proud of being married to a guy like that?

He’s setting the example for our sons. He’s showing them how to say what you mean and mean what you say. And most of all, he’s a living, breathing example of commitment to his spouse and to his Lord.

We want our sons to be committed to Christ. We want them to understand the seriousness of a daily commitment of walking with the Lord. We want them to know that we realize how difficult it can be to follow through in this world of “do whatever feels good”, yet how rewarding and joyous it is when we hold fast to the Lord.

We want our sons to make commitments that are unwavering because it’s the right thing to do.

So when our kids ask to be put on a sports team, commit to being in a club, make a promise to someone or set a goal for themselves, we want to support them in their follow-through.

This is just one of the lessons we pray will create men of faith and character.

Share with me: Besides your marriage or your Christian walk, what was your biggest commitment of 2012? Did you meet your goal? Will you be committing to anything new in 2013?

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Filed under Marriage, Parenting

Are You in the 53%?

Before I begin my post, I need your help!! I still haven’t heard from a couple of my winners of last week’s Bright Side Blog Bash. If you are connected in some social media or real life way to Dawn Kelley or Heidi Blankenship, please please please let them know to contact me!

Thanks!

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I’m so not a celebrity stalker. In fact, I pretty much couldn’t care less who is going out with whom in Hollywood or who is or isn’t breaking up this week.

Mostly it’s because I give all celebrity relationships a 1% chance of making it for a lifetime.

When the divorce rate among “regular” people is over 50%, I find it hard to believe that those living in the spotlight, in the culture of madness that is Hollywood, can keep their wits about them long enough to make a real relationship work.

When the news came out that Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson, I thought, “I’m so not surprised.” I was only surprised that they made it as long as they did. (Of course, they aren’t married. I know.)

Katy Perry divorcing Russell Brand? That’s not a shock, is it? Really?

Mel Gibson has a love child with some Russian woman? I have to admit that that one made me sad. I had always hoped that ole Mel was one of the good guys. But clearly he’s shown us just what a weirdo he is.

And what about Arnold and Maria? Married forever. One of the ones that might last. And then we find out that he, too, has a love child. One he’s been hiding for a long time. Marriage over.

Tom and Katie? If you thought that one would last, I have some beach-front property in Kansas I’d like to sell you.

Don’t even get me started on Brad Pitt. He cheats on Jennifer Anniston with Angelina Jolie and the whole world excuses it.

Sigh.

I imagine that there is added pressure when you live in the spotlight. The masses expect perfection– and they devour failure.

The public loves a good celebrity divorce because the public wants to think that they are better than celebrities.

But “the public” is not.

I saw a statistic the other day that blew my mind. Did you know that 53% of Christians would have an affair if given the opportunity?

That’s not 53% of people, folks. That’s 53% of the populous who identifies themselves as CHRISTIANS.

And like many of you, I know Christians in that 53% who have acted on that opportunity and in the process, destroyed their families. Some are repentant about it. Many aren’t.

Marriage seems to be an in-and-out status change, one that’s as easy to create or destroy as a simple click on Facebook.

But marriage is hard work. Work that most people aren’t willing to put time and energy into.

Especially those time-strapped, blinded celebrities.

So put yourself in the spotlight right now. Imagine someone is waiting for you in the bushes outside, trying to snap photos of you and your spouse.

Will those paparazzi get the shots they most want– the photos of a failing marriage? Shots of you fighting? Photos of you passing in silence? Photos of you living two separate lives within one marriage? Photos of you making everything in your life more important than your spouse? How about photos of your children caught in the middle of a dying family?

Or will they get the shots they can’t sell– the ones of a couple who makes time for one another? The photos of a couple who puts Christ in the center of their marriage and family? Pictures of an imperfect couple making it work, one day at a time by focusing on what’s good in their lives, instead of what’s bad?

What photos will those paparazzi get of you today?

Share with me: Do you have a favorite celebrity couple?

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Filed under Marriage, Romance

If Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder, We’re In Trouble

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We’ve heard it and said it a zillion times.

We talk about how important it is for all people, not just Christians, to keep from judging one another. We live in a world of political correctness where all are supposed to be equal. We fight for respect and acceptance.

But not for ourselves. It seems we can’t grant ourselves the very thing we fight to give everyone else.

Why is it that we can train ourselves to refrain from judging others, but when it comes to what we see in the mirror, we’re our own worst critics?

I recently read a post on marriage and sex on Sheila Gregoire’s blog, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, that made me pause.

(By the way, if you aren’t familiar with her blog, you should get familiar. I think it’s excellent.)

She did a series of posts promoting her new book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and it she delved into the problem that many women face in the bedroom–accepting their own bodies.

I think I have half-decent self-esteem. I’m okay with myself and the body God gave me. Sometimes. On a good day.

So I was shocked when the challenge on Sheila’s blog that day stumped me.

The challenge was to name five things about your body that you really, truly like.

I couldn’t do it.

I venture to say that there are a very, very small number of women on the planet that can do it, and I’d also guess that most of them aren’t supermodels.

Five. Five things about your body that you can celebrate and be proud of. And things that come in sets don’t count as two.

I’m right there with the majority of women who engage in an unhealthy amount of self-loathing every time they look in the mirror.

And that self-loathing is destroying our relationships–both with our spouses and with other women.

We don’t like what we see in the mirror. We don’t like what genetics, babies, time, and development have done to our bodies. We can’t accept the skin we’ve been given. We want to look like someone else.

We live in a society where beauty is emphasized over character. And that’s so, so messed up.

So, what do we do about it?

Some women turn into recluses, covering themselves from head to toe, hiding. They over-compensate for their looks by drawing attention away from them–covering up, or on the other side, distracting from their looks with funny faces, wild personalities, crazy antics. Then there are those who take matters into their own hands and seek medical correction for the “flaws” they see. Still others, try to “correct” their problems with too much exercise and too little food.

Don’t get me wrong– I think being healthy is incredibly important.

But I don’t think any of these actions are healthy.

I think healthy begins with acceptance. And acceptance begins with learning to like what we see in the mirror, no matter what size, shape, or color we are.

I’m challenging myself and now I challenge you.

Share with me: Can you name five things about your body that you really, truly like?

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Filed under Marriage, Romance