Monday, September 1, 2014

Three Things to Which Every Child is Entitled

"THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity."



In our society and world today there is an entitlement mentality that runs rampant. We all hear phrases on a daily basis like "they owe it to me" and "it's my right!"

This sense of entitlement is especially pervasive in younger generations who have never truly tasted sacrifice and hardship. We often forget that rights come with responsibilities. In my opinion it's time that we hear more about our responsibilities and less about our rights.

That being said there are three things to which every child is entitled. It does not matter where or when they are born; their language, race, and nationality are irrelevant.

Every child is entitled to:
  1. Be born within the bonds of matrimony
  2. To be reared by both a father and a mother
  3. For their father and mother to honor their marital vows with complete fidelity
Marriage was instituted and is ordained by God to give each child these three things. 

It is true that there are cases where children will be born into situations less than ideal where either father or mother is not present or where father and mother are not married or living their marital vows as they should.

However, while this can be the case it should be the exception and not the rule. I came across a great public policy argument in defense of marriage made by scholar Ryan T. Anderson. This is a video of an address he gave at Stanford University. It's a little long but let me know what you think.


Marriage is ordained of God. Every child is entitled to be born to a husband and wife who love one another and honor their marital vows with complete fidelity. This is the situation best suited (and dictated by God) to give children what they need to be successful.



Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How Do You Cry? 3 Common Types of Crying

I hate it when women cry. Especially women that I care about deeply like my mom, mother-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, and close friends. Unfortunately I don't have any daughters (yet!) but if I did I am certain they would be included in this group as well. 

But most of all, it breaks my heart when my wife cries.

Especially heart rending is knowing that I made her cry. And through the years I have observed several different types of crying. 


The Pressure Release Valve

Sometimes it's something trivial and silly that makes her cry but it has been an unusually taxing day and the tears just flow. Generally she'll begin to laugh through the tears because she can see just how silly it looks to be crying because a pancake is a little overcooked. 

This type of crying serves the purpose of simply letting the emotions flow. That's it. It's like an emotional pressure release valve that keeps her from exploding like a hydrogen bomb.


Sheer Emotional Exhaustion

Another type of crying is from exhaustion. This has been the crying that has most confused me. I remember several times during our first year of marriage where we would retire to bed, read scriptures, pray together, and turn off the light. I would immediately drift into unconsciousness and wake up an hour or two later by sobbing next to me. 

I would ask what had happened (she had seemed fine before I fell asleep) and she would answer "nothing." "Then why are you crying?" I would inquire. "I don't know. I just needed to."

Huh?!?

Women and married men everywhere know what I am talking about. Sometimes a woman just needs a good cry. It helps them process feelings--happy, sad, and otherwise--and somehow releases tension and stress from their psyches. I don't understand it, I just know that it works.


The Pained Cry

A wise man and someone I look up to once said, "Men, take care not to make women weep, for God counts their tears." (Thomas Monson)

I expand that to say that God counts all tears we shed that find their origins in pain. Not physical pain but emotional, mental, and spiritual pain.

These are the tears we have all shed when someone said something unkind to us, disrespected or insulted us, or flippantly disregarded our thoughts and feelings.

The number of times I have done this to Cami is beyond my ability to count. I recognize that I am far less sensitive and understanding than I need to be and I am working on it. 

Just the other day I was rushing to finish a task at work so that I could come home to my family and my phone rang. It was my beautiful wife. I hesitated knowing that if I answered it would delay my departure from the office. However, I instantly repented and answered the phone.

As Cami began to speak I could tell something was wrong. I asked her what it was; she sounded like she was on the verge of tears. She began to tell me about her afternoon and how difficult the children had been, how she had big plans for dinner but was too exhausted to make it and was now failing to make a simple recipe, and how much she missed me and needed a hug.

Logically, I took a millisecond to process what she told me and told her I would be home in a few minutes if I could just finish this one task. It came out a lot nicer than this sounds but far harsher than I intended.

She apologized, said goodbye, and hung up the phone. I tried to refocus my attention and realized I had blown it. I stood up, locked the office door, and hurried home. When I arrived (it only takes about three minutes) she swore she hadn't been crying but I'm certain she was.

Once again, it is especially heart rending knowing that I made her cry.

This is the kind of crying that we must strive to avoid causing. While men don't like to admit it we also cry out of pain. It happens to me each time I lose my temper with my family (see my post The Monster is Me).

The pained cry is bad. Enough said.


Recap

While there are certainly many more types and variations of crying for all of us, men included, these are the three that I most often encounter in my marriage. 

The point here is that not all crying is bad (even though I don't like any of it). But the pained cry is to be avoided at all costs. Let's not cause each other to cry. 

I am certain someone will be tempted to comment that making your spouse cry is unavoidable and we shouldn't try to avoid it because we're human and we make mistakes. With the fact that we're human I do not argue. 

What I am saying is that rather than embrace our weaknesses and shortcomings we strive for more. Let's set our sights on the moon. If we fail at least we'll land in the stars. I resolve today to try harder not to cause my wife to shed tears of pain and sorrow. I challenge and invite you to do the same.



Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Five Ways to Love Your Spouse Today

Is there a panacea for all of the problems in the world? I don't know of one.

Can we prevent the challenges and struggles that those close to us face? Nope.

In the face of a seemingly endless onslaught of evil influences and destructive practices is there anything that we can do? Yes, a resounding yes!

So what can you do? What can I do? In one word: love.

That's sounds a bit cliche and I'll admit if we left it there it would be so let me narrow it down. Love your spouse. Love your husband. Love your wife.

Pretty simple...at least to say it. But how do we put it into practice and how will that make a difference in stemming the tide of evil influences in the world?

Here are five things you can do today and each day to love your spouse.
  1. Tell them you love them and tell them a lot!
  2. Express physical affection. Kiss, hug, hold hands, snuggle. Doesn't really matter.
  3. Learn their favorite things. Then help them indulge. If a peanut butter milkshake is your wife's favorite milkshake then surprise her with one. It is the small and simple things that make the biggest difference.
  4. Tell other people how much you love your spouse. Don't be overbearing and make people feel sick but they should be aware. My coworkers know that I adore my wife. She's the best!
  5. Spend time with your spouse. We often talk about quality time. Well, quality time happens when we're spending quantity time with our spouses and families. Spend time with your spouse.
The second thing to address is how this will make a difference in the war against evil. The family is the fundamental unit of society. When it is strong then communities and nations are strong. When it is weak so are the communities and nations.

The core, the heart, the foundation of the family is the marriage. The stronger the marriage the stronger, healthier, and more stable the family will be. Healthy families raise good citizens protecting them from evil and degrading influences longer than others and allowing them time to build up their resilience and determination.

Good marriages provide loving environments for children to grow up in and examples for them of what they should be seeking when they get married. If you have a good marriage then the next step is to make it great. It takes more time and effort but the payoffs, for the couple, family, and community, are enormous.

Can we solve all of the problems in the universe? Not a chance. But starting today we can combat the evil around us and ward off the fiery darts of the adversary by strengthening our marriages. It's easy to do. Let's work together to fix struggling marriages and help good marriages become great by applying the five principles mentioned earlier.

Strong Marriages = Strong Families = Strong Communities

Here is today's invitation: let's impart more love in our own homes.



Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Three Dozen Imperfections

"Of all the people in the world, your dad knows better than anyone just how many flaws and imperfections your mom has," my dad's friend commented to me. "But of all of the people in the world your dad speaks and acts like your mom doesn't have any flaws and imperfections. To him, she is perfect."

What a neat compliment! I was so proud of my dad that day many years ago. I was reminded and reassured that my dad loved my mom so much that to him she was perfect. And to make it even better, everyone around them recognized that he loved her that much.

I resolved then that I wanted a marriage like that. What a cool way to approach marriage.

Today I can honestly and confidently tell you that Cami is perfect. If she has any flaws or imperfections I cannot see them. And I won't ever agree with you if you tell me she does.

I stumbled on an insightful and true statement recently and would like to share it. "We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly." (author unknown)

How do you find a perfect person and fall in love with them? Start with loving an imperfect person and change the way you see them.

My dad often says "When men get married they hope their wives will never change. When women get married they hope their husbands will change. They both end up disappointed."

One's outlook is everything, especially in marriage.

Here are the three dozen imperfections (okay, it's not really that many) that keep us from seeing the perfection in our spouses:

  1. Pride
  2. Arrogance
  3. Selfishness
  4. Laziness
  5. Self pity
  6. Regret
  7. Lack of energy
  8. The media
  9. We never thought it of that way before
  10. Pettiness
  11. [add your own reasons]
I have made a decision to see my beautiful wife as perfect. I love her all the more for it. It requires me to be humble, selfless, work hard, and be dedicated each and every day. But it is worth it. 

I love having a perfect wife!

My invitation and challenge to you is to change your perspective and, if you don't already, start looking at your spouse as perfect. When you both do this I promise that you will experience greater happiness, joy, and satisfaction in marriage.



Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Monster Is Me

I only remember my dad getting really angry with me a couple of times.

Once when I was little, probably five or six, he picked me up and put my back to the ceiling and chewed me out. I wasn't hurt but it was pretty scary being eight feet off the ground with the only thing between me and safety being my angry dad.

Another time I was in my later teens. I had realized by that point in my life that if I wanted to verbally hurt dad I had to attack mom. It was the fastest and most effective way to make him angry. I said something about her or to her that must have been extremely out of line and next thing I knew I was bent over the back of a recliner in the living room with my dad reading me my rights.

I had never seen him move so fast in my life. I was too shocked to be angry for the first few seconds.

As a child I could never understand how my dad managed to keep calm and exercise so much patience with us children and with everything else going on all of the time. Now that I am a father and providing for a family with similar demands that he faced I am even more amazed at his self restraint.

There are times as a parent, and every parent will understand this, when you just feel like you are going to explode. It could have been a rough day, the kids (usually just one in particular) have been nuts, disobedience and disrespect have been rampant, and some little thing pops up and you just go supernova.

This happened with me about a week ago. I am not saying that it was right or even that it was okay for me to lose my temper. I am an adult, a man, and a father and I should be better than that. I should be able to maintain my composure. But this day I had had enough.

I had put in a long day at work dealing with auditors, new and returning students (who hadn't done what we had asked them to 100 times and were upset that we charged them a late fee), problems that other employees brought to me to solve, and worrying about some family financial issues.

After collapsing on the living room floor to play with my boys and unwind I am laying there resting. One of my sons begins to play with me, I play back, and, as usual, it becomes pretty rough and tumble. Just the way we like to play.

I announce I am too tired to go on and he backs off and sits down on the coach nearby. Cami comes into the room with the other children tagging along behind her and we all start telling stories about our day. Then suddenly the son with whom I had been rough-housing comes over to me, swings his arm, and scratches me in the eye.

In less than time than I took me to realize what I was doing he was pinned to the ground and I was yelling at him for scratching my eye. It really hurt my eye, I didn't physically harm him in any way, and Cami came to his rescue. All of this in less than a millisecond.

Instantly I regretted my actions. I got up and excused myself from the family fearing that I might snap again. After several minutes went by I had calmed down enough and the pain had sufficiently subsided that I began to wonder who that person was that had just grossly overreacted.


Certainly it wasn't actually me. It couldn't have been. I don't act like that. I'm too old, too experienced, and too in-control to lose my temper like that.

As I stood in the bedroom thinking about this I turned and saw my reflection in the mirror. I was looking right into my own eyes, and I realized that the monster I had just witnessed was actually me. I was the monster.

Of course I already logically knew that but emotionally it was a big moment. Often we try to rationalize away our actions blaming them on factors external to ourselves when really it is our own fault. We lost control. We acted poorly. We failed. We are the monsters and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Here are three things I have learned about controlling my "monster":

  1. Stop blaming other people and other things. It is my own fault that I lost control and let myself become Mr. Hyde, no one else's.
  2. Apologize as quickly as you are able to regain control. The longer you wait the harder it will become and the less likely you are to do it. Do it now.
  3. Learn from your Mr. Hyde. Identify what set you off, how were you feeling, what had been happening at the time or just prior to it. If you can learn the warning signs you can better avoid situations where Mr. Hyde could visit.
The other day wasn't the first time that my Mr. Hyde visited and I am certain, unfortunately, that it won't be the last. But I know that I can gain greater control over my own monster (myself) as I apply the three things I described above.

I challenge and invite you to apply these three suggestions so that your monster will visit less and less often. Good luck!




Don't miss your chance to get a copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great. This book will not only help you show your husband that you love him it will help you improve your entire marriage!

You think you're happy now, and I'm sure you are, but I challenge you to read Uplifting Love and apply what you learn today to make your marriage awesome! Don't wait another minute, start taking your marriage from good to great today!

Purchase your copy of Uplifting Love: Secrets to Making a Good Marriage Great right now and have it delivered to your inbox immediately! In just a matter of minutes you'll be on your way to having the marriage that your friends and family envy. Don't delay, get your copy today!
Buy Now