Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

I came across this article (below in italics) and felt it had many great points for those who are single, have families, and are of any religion. Even though the article is geared to those who have a small-business and family, many of the points apply to all of us.

Personally, family life can be balanced quite well, when one decides that their priorities fall in this order:

Faith, family, and then work.

Unfortunately, for most people today their order looks a bit like this: Work, Work, Work, Work, and somewhere way down the line is family, and quite often no faith at all. No surprise we have a 50% divorce rate, broken families, and youth gone wild is it? The wealthy families are often living no different from poor families when it comes to family life either. Wipe out the material aspect, and just look at the family aspect, and you will understand my previous statement.

All that people are frustrated by financially and politically can be managed by re-setting priorities. The world will fix and heal itself, if we all just refocus on what is important in life. It sounds simple, but for many they just don’t have the character, or will to stand up and fight. They give in to man’s ways and spin in the cycle of unhappiness.

So here is the article. What do you think?

How to Keep Your Small Business Without Losing Your Family by Craig Ford

Unfortunately, work often competes with family.

Ideally, the two would work together, but …

The small business owner always feels this tension. The traits that make a small business person successful in the work place include strong work ethic, creativity, and determination. The book Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures says your greatest assets are also your greatest liabilities. Your leadership strength is also the thing that is most likely to lead to your downfall.

The small business owner who invests 80 hours a week in his or her business – because of strong focus and determination – is also the most likely to burn-out and neglect his or her family.

So how do you keep your family without losing your business?

The 30 Second Commute : The Ultimate Guide to Starting and Operating a Home-Based Business has a list of things for the home-based business owner to consider:

Involve your family in the business plan developing stages – be clear about what will change, might change, and won’t change.

Communicate openly with your spouse – know the answers to the following questions:

What are your expectations during this new phase? – be with the kids during the day? home on weekends?

Are you on the same page financially?

What is your greatest fear as you enter this new endeavor?

What will the family need to sacrifice, for how long?

How do we know the plan is not working? Have an exit strategy in place.

Communicate clearly with the children – what are their new boundaries.

When spouses work together:

Consider this carefully as few spouses can spend such extended hours together and their marriage be blessed.

The game plan
Before starting any new business venture I believe a husband and wife should sit down together and clearly discuss the family implications of a new business. Here’s how:

On a piece of paper write your average weekly, daily, or monthly activities. Then ask, “How will this activity change if I take on this business?” Beside each activity indicate if it will change, might change, or won’t change.

As a couple, ask each other if you are willing to sacrifice those items that will change.

Never Go in it Alone
In the book Moms Needs, Dads Needs: Keeping Romance Alive Even After the Kids Arrive Willard F. Harley,Jr. suggests the following agreement:

Never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse.

This is a rule I often break and the reality is that when I break this rule the results have not been a blessing to our marriage. Most of us operate with the following rule:

As long as you won’t be ‘too mad’, I think I’ll do it.

However, when running a small business a lot will be demanded of your family and your marriage. If you are not both enthusiastic about the choice, that decision will put more and more pressure on your relationship.

The Exit Strategy
In the post on How to Evaluate Risk When Starting a Small Business we talked about the importance of having a financial exit plan. What if things do not work out according to plan?

You must also have a family motivated exit plan.

What if the business starts demanding more time? What if the business is not on track in terms of growth? While one spouse might be willing to make a longer commitment to the business, both must agree when enough is enough and it is time to move on to something else.

I believe there is a broken correlation between those who are highly successful in small business and those who have fantastic families. In other words, it is hard to have both – hard, but not impossible.

Remember the Important Role of Prayer
While God is already with us, prayer is an intentional invitation for God to join you in the midst of your discussions.

In prayer, barriers are removed and anger released.

Commit to spending time in prayer over major decisions. A flesh act is one where we proceed with a plan without first consulting God. Even in business we walk by the Spirit.

Remember, there are some things that should never be sacrificed.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36 NIV)

In the same way I would ask – what good is it if you have a successful small business, but lose your family?How I categorize gains and losses, I would actually call this a loss.

Read more:

Over the years, and through experience, I have learned a lot by observing relations and people. The following are not all-inclusive, or 100%, but they should definitely be looked at when considering being with a person for the long haul, because any negative answers to these questions, can, or might mean character flaws in the person, and problems for you later on. The reality is more often than not, a stable life with success produces a better mate, than an unstable life with chaos and no success. If the person your considering as a life long mate refuses to be open about some questions consider it a red flag.

  1. Does the person come from a broken home/divorce?
  2. Does the person come from a home where alcohol and drugs were used?
  3. Does the person drink heavily or do drugs?
  4. Does the person have a background involving discipline problems?
  5. Does the person have a history of poor school performance?
  6. Does the person come from a home where keeping up with the Jones’s was norm?
  7. Has the person actually supported themselves in the real world, or lived with mommy and daddy waiting for someone to marry to support them?
  8. Does the person save or spend? What is their credit rating?
  9. Does the person like to read, expand their horizons, and enjoy education?
  10. Does the person keep their house clean, cook, and other household duties?
  11. Does the person relate well to others and children in social settings?
  12. Does the person show sensitivity or callousness?
  13. Does the person act domineering, controlling, bombastic, and argumentative?
  14. Does the person have great conflict resolution or are they insecure quitting like babies?
  15. Does the person meet people or spend all their time on internet dating?
  16. Does the person dream and show action, or just dream and do nothing?
  17. Does the person like to laugh and can they take a joke?
  18. Does the person act jealous around friends of opposite sex?
  19. Do they hang around stable or questionable people? Who are their friends?
  20. Does the person have sexual boundaries that align with yours?
  21. Does the person show the ability to lead or expect you to do everything?
  22. Does the person share hobbies and passions with you?
  23. Does the person have a value system that involves integrity?
  24. Does the person want children or not want children?
  25. Does the person believe in God and involve God in their life? Does their belief align with yours?

I read this on news site recently and thought it was excellent. This is great relationship and family advice.

For a Healthy Relationship, Never Say No to Cuddling

When couples come to see me with their first complaint being that they haven’t had sex in several months, there is palpable tension. They panic, and search for reasons why. When sex is going well, it is 5% of the relationship. However, when sex isn’t going well, it may become 95% of the relationship. A recent study reported in the Daily Mail suggested that more important than sex for a couple’s happiness and health is cuddling. Cuddling provides many benefits besides a sense of security and closeness. It also provides stimulus to our olfactory centers (the smell of our partner makes us feel loved) and our touch centers, and it helps to release oxytocin (the feel good hormone that helps us feel love toward our partner).  Cuddling also provides another form of communication that sexual intercourse doesn’t. It allows us to feel closer without draining our energy. Sometimes the best communication happens when couples are holding one another.

Many times, couples’ first homework assignment from me is to begin touching each other more and talking less. When sex isn’t going well, not only do you lose that physical connection but you lose the emotional connection too.  Often you become more critical of your partner as well as irritable and annoyed. The emotional connection is much more important than the sexual one, because the emotional connection determines if the sexual one will happen, and how frequently. Touching and cuddling is the best way to restore and build the emotional connection. When couples touch, they let down their guard, and begin feeling love and acceptance toward their partner. If cuddling is continued, the feeling of love and connection leads to better communication and sex.

Women may fault men saying they don’t like to cuddle and jump too quickly to sexual intercourse. My practice as well as the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction suggests this is not true. According to Kinsey’s research, among couples in committed relationships, tenderness may be more important to the man than the woman; regular kisses and cuddling lead to greater relationship satisfaction in men than in their partners, especially as they grow older. When I talk to couples and ask them to list the number one problem in their relationships, it is men, not women saying the lack of intimacy. When I question further, they talk about missing the touching, caressing, and soft talking they once shared with their partner.

The time to begin cuddling is early in the relationship. If you have let that go with raising kids, or demanding careers, you can still get it back. Adding a little bit of time into your day to hug or touch your spouse will add a closeness you may have felt was gone forever. You may not need to mention it to your partner. Sometimes their noticing changes in you without you talking about makes it more special. However, if you have a partner who feels like you only touch them when you want sex, then communicating with them about the benefits of cuddling may be a better option.  Reassuring them that it is the intimacy and closeness that you want may be enough to convince them to cuddle. Here are a few tips to help you get started with your “cuddle plan.”

1.       You can cuddle anywhere, which makes it convenient, but being captive together makes it more special. Places like airplanes or movie theatres are a great place to begin cuddling.

2.       No one likes to cuddle on a hard surface, so make sure you have a “cuddle sofa,” or overstuffed chair where you both fit comfortably.

3.       No one likes to cuddle with a computer on their partner’s lap, so get rid of laptops, cell phones, iPhones, and iPads.

4.       Smoking while cuddling is not wise. Getting burned or the smell of smoke in your face causes coughing and disgust.

5.       Talking softly while cuddling is desired.

6.       Kissing is not necessary, but is nice while cuddling.

7.       Being a good listener while cuddling is also important, remember your partner will feel more secure and may want to tell you things they have not said before.

8.       Being gentle is part of cuddling.

9.       Cuddling has no objective other than to feel close to your partner…so don’t rush to finish.

10.    Cuddling is helping your partner and you to be healthier with lower blood pressure and respirations. Imagine your ability to heal.

Whenever I talk to a person who lost their spouse and I ask them what they miss most, they tell me many things. At the top of their list is the sense of being held by that person. The hugs, the way their skin smelled, and how that person made their body feel when they were near. Stress, illness, and depression can affect sexual performance, but anyone can cuddle. A couple’s ability to cuddle, not to perform sex, is one of the best predictors of an emotionally/physically close, happy, and healthy relationship. –Mary Jo Rapini

Have An Affair

Sitting at church today, I listened to my pastor read Solomon 2:15 which states,”Catch for us the foxes,the little foxes that ruin the vineyards,our vineyards that are in bloom.” He referenced this passage to stress how little things in a marriage can cause ruin, if we do not catch them, just as the little foxes cause ruin in the vineyard. What are these little foxes?

1. Romance is not important– Romance is important and so is sex, but it is not everything. This analogy was used. Eggs are good plain, but they taste a bit better with salt. A little salt makes that egg tastes so much better, but if you drown it in salt it is ruined. If someone asked you, “What did you eat for breakfast? Would you answer,”Salt?”So with marriage, a little romance or sex every now and then, keeps the flames burning. However, if you just base your marriage on sex, it will be like that over salted egg. Ruined. If you have no romance or sex, it will be like a plain egg with no salt.

2. Good marriage is luck- We have all heard it before. “Man you are so lucky to have your spouse.” Marriage is anything but luck. Marriage takes hard work from both parties, because let’s face it, having the same person around all the time is not always fun. The following verse points to this ideal. Proverbs 4:14 “Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.” So there you have it. If nobody is around just like no ox in a manger, there is no pooh-poo, but if they are around, you will have poo-poo. All marriages have poo-poo at times. The plus is abundant harvests and strength with your mate.

3. Love is a feeling- Love is not a feeling. It is something you do by listening and understanding your partner. You show your love on a daily basis by treating your wife/husband like a guest in your home. Everyone knows how they react when they have guests. They clean, prepare, cook, and offer them just about anything to make them feel welcome. Do this for your wife/husband.

So practice the biblical principles of love, romance, sex, and work hard at having a great marriage. Have an affair with your spouse!

Families are the bedrock of a healthy society. When families are torn apart research often shows a host of problems. We see depression, poverty, broken hearts, lost self-esteem, drug usage, suicide, etc.

Families, man and woman, are the only ones who can procreate. Without semen and an egg, you cannot create life. Semen mixed with semen, nor egg with egg produces a child, a bird, a dog, or any life. You must have a man and a woman. This is the correct way to reproduce scientifically. If all animals were to turn to incorrect ways, all life on Earth would die. There would be no new life.

Research has shown us that when men bond with men they often have a disdain for women, and when women bond with women they have a disdain for men. So what causes a man or woman to dislike the opposite sex, the only person they can create a child with? Are they genetically born with hate, or did they learn this hate? Who are the true haters?

Often Christians and families are attacked for believing in marriage between a man and a woman. They are labeled as people who hate. Why are families and Christians who believe in a scientifically, and historically proven correct term for marriage attacked? For the simple reason that we are stating truths? If you mix blue and yellow, you get green. Are we to teach you get red and distort the truth?

The one tenant that all major religions agree on is marriage between a man and a woman. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. So are all these religious people haters too?

As I state for my blog punchline, Fact or Fiction, The Truth Lies In The Research, and the research proves that marriage between a man and woman is correct, and anything else is false.

This article really hits the nail on lies in marriage.

So what does it take to be a great dad? It takes heart. Everything we do comes from our heart. You either want to do it, or you do not. It’s as simple as that.

Dad’s are more important in the direction their children will take than media, society, or they themselves realize. Having talked with several kids over the years the number one thing I hear is,”I wish my dad were around.” There are literally thousands of adults walking around on any given day wondering,”Why did my dad leave?” There are thousands of children following negative paths because dad left. To be a great dad you must be in the game.

To be a great dad you must lead by example. Your kids are watching and so are their friends. If you are married or single, take time to cook meals, sit down and talk with your children at dinner, spend time with them doing an activity that they love, if you dislike something, do it anyways. Be open and talk them about the hot taboo topics. If you do not, their friends will. These things teach your child or children that you are interested in them, and that sometimes you have to do things that you dislike. To be a great dad you must show interest and lead by example.

Children will often test the waters and see how far they can swim. We know that our abilities only allow us to swim so far. To be a great dad you must discipline. Discipline can be accomplished a variety of ways and there are several books that discuss this. The key is that you let your child/children know in a loving way that you are the leader and that they must follow. I watch National Geographic shows with my kids and tell them,”Look at the animals. Who is leading and disciplining? The father and the mother. Even the animals understand.” To be a great dad you must discipline.

All over the World children starve or lack the material comforts that we are afforded in G8 countries. We buy our kids so much, that often we have sacks of items to give to thrift stores. Teach your children to appreciate and value what they have. Teach them not to waste food. Teach them to conserve. Teach them to care for everything they have. To be a great dad you must teach your child/children to appreciate.

When a child is born they know nothing. Children learn through experience and practice. You must teach your child the path you want them to take. When children fail, dads we have to self-reflect, and ask ourselves,”What are we teaching our kids?” From learning how to ride a bike, swimming, fishing, or the many other things children can do, fathers must teach. To be a great dad you must teach your child skills and challenge them.

At some point you will hear,”Dad I messed up.” During this time it is wise to stay calm, ask questions, and understand the situation. Show empathy and compassion no matter how much you want to explode in anger. Your child coming to you means they want help, dad’s advice, and possibly just an ear to share whats on their mind. To be a great dad show empathy and compassion.

Child: “Dad you forgot my newspaper for my homework.” Dad: “Sorry. I forgot to pick it up.”  Dad’s often make mistakes. To be a great dad admit your mistakes.

Father: “Hello, boss. I am sick and unable to come to work today.” If your child is nearby, and know you are not sick, you just taught them dishonesty. Often we rationalize dishonesty. We take a pencil home from work, yet we feel guilty with stealing a dime.  None of us are perfect, but as father’s we must do our best and make a conscious effort to be honest. To be a great dad be honest.

If your married, honor and value your wife. Husband: “Did you empty the trash?” Wife: “No, I forgot.” Husband: “Do you always forget?”  That word always is a killer. I must admit that I have been guilty of this word. The kids listen. Father’s must make effort to show appreciation for what the wife does, and value her work. When you kiss your wife in front of your children, you show them your love her. Show affection often. Tell her you love her. To be a great dad, value your wife.

In summary to be a great dad you need to be in the game, show interest, lead by example, discipline, teach them to appreciate, teach them skills,  challenge them, show empathy, compassion, admit mistakes, be honest, and value your wife. This will go along way in your quest to be a great dad.

One final thought, which is a preference of mine,  is to follow God’s teachings to the best of your ability, and be an active church member with your family. The reason I state this is we often fall short of the glory of God. I have on many occasions. I have prayed more than once saying,”Dear Lord I have messed up and I am not worthy to be in your presence.” The Bible has so many inspirational stories that give us insight on being a great dad and why we should follow them. It also gives a higher source to look towards than man. I have read many self-help books, psychology books, and I love the resource that all the professionals provide, but the Bible exceeds them all in my opinion. The church provides an outlet to socialize and share with other believers that are working towards, or already on a path of positive change. When my children ask,”Dad why do you love God?” I say,”I have been around the opposite of God. Drugs, alcohol, criminals, and people who practice the opposite of truth, and I cannot find peace, truth, love, or honesty among them. When I am in church, or in prayer, I feel a sense of love, peace, and happiness. God provides, Satan takes away.”