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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Honey! I'm Home!


I live about three minutes from my office. When I leave the house in the morning I set out the front door and walk three minutes. At the end of the third minute my key is turning the tumbler assembly in the lock on my office door and moments later I am sitting at my desk.

At the end of the day it's about the same thing. I close my office door and three minutes later I am walking in the front door of my home.

There are numerous advantages to living so close to the office. I can quickly drop in any time and surprise my wife with a kiss. We don't need a second car. I am able to come home for lunch almost every day (which also saves us money!). My family often comes and visits me at work. And the list goes on. It's wonderful!

However, because there is opposition in all things, living so close also poses some challenges. The temptation to linger at home after lunch is pretty huge (sometimes I fall asleep during lunch and have to work a little later at the end of the day to make up for it). When the day is a little challenging forcing myself to stick it out and not just head home can be difficult too.

But the greatest challenge is leaving work at work.

When I'm at work I get pretty consumed by my responsibilities there. Even when I'm not "on the clock" I spend too much time thinking about work. And making the mental transition from "business Tyson" to "family Tyson" in three minutes is a real challenge.

On particularly stressful days I will walk really slowly or take a very circuitous route home simply to give myself more time to make the mental transition.

I have found over the last eight years that when I arrive home still in "business Tyson" mode those evenings don't go as well. I am less patient, attentive, loving, and fun to be around. My family needs me to be "business Tyson" at work to earn a living but when I am home they need "family Tyson."

And, to be completely frank, I prefer being "family Tyson," he's a lot more fun to be.

We all fall victim to this. We get so caught up in something that we're doing (it might not be work, that's just my biggest one) that we forget to "flip the switch" over to the "person" we're supposed/need to be.

To make sure I'm clear, there is nothing wrong with "business Tyson," he's just not the "Tyson" my family needs when I'm at home. He causes a lot of problems at home.

I think of it this way, when I walk in the door and holler "Honey! I'm home!" which person is hollering? Because it should be "family Tyson."

When you walk in the door and holler "Honey! I'm home!" who's doing the hollering?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

My Angel Mother

Mother's Day is tomorrow (in case you were unaware). I'm blessed this year to be able to spend Mother's Day with my mother, my wife, and my mother-in-law...the three most important women in my life. It's going to be a great day!


What are you going to do to make a Mother's Day happy?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Whenever You're Right, Shut Up

Is any argument worth winning?

This is a question I've considered before and have never come up with a situation where winning an argument would justify the contention.

I often hear statements like "it was a pretty bad fight but at least I won." Did you really win? If it was a fight, can there be a winner?

My wife and I read a few verses of scripture with our sons each evening before bedtime. One evening as we read about a battle between two armies the story concluded stating that one of the sides had one but that they had suffered great casualties. One of our sons, with a thoughtful look on his face, asked: "if so many people died did they win?"

Great question. If people were injured, homes were destroyed, and lives were lost was there really a "winner" or did one side just lose worse than the other?

Recently I came across a quote by Ogden Nash. It reads:
"To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up."
While I don't know if applying this poem to international politics would prevent war in marriage it will certainly prevent casualties. In any argument in a marriage both the husband and the wife lose. One may lose a little bit worse than the other but both lost.

I know that because we are imperfect humans trying to do our best there will be arguments in marriage. My wife and I argue from time to time. But next time you're tempted to engage in an argument remember Mr. Nash's sage advice: "Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up."

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

10 Approaches to Proving You Love Your Wife

A question I get asked from time to time is "what are the most important things I need to do to have an awesome marriage?"

This is a great question and there are a lot of possible answers but my response is "the small and simple things."

I've used this analogy before but I think it's apt so here goes.

Why are the small and simple things the most important? Think of concrete. If I were to now ask you to think of some adjectives to describe concrete most people would use the word solid or strong.

And concrete is both, it is solid and strong. 

One of the things I learned about concrete, and really amazes me, when I did construction is that concrete is a mixture of pebbles, sand, cement, and water. Mix the ingredients in the right quantities and quickly it will harden until you have created a new strong and solid object.

Skyscrapers, bridges, mansions, and monuments are constructed on top of concrete. It's strong enough and solid enough to support them.

What's cool is that the cement is what holds it all together. The pebbles and sand are strong but will not hold together when weight is put on them. But mix the pebbles and sand with cement and water (the water activates the cement) and it will hold the pebbles and the sand together.

I hear people say all the time that all a marriage needs is love. If you love each other enough then you'll be okay. It doesn't matter how much cement you have, if you don't mix it with pebbles and sand it'll never hold anything up.

Love is the same way. Love holds together the small and simple actions and expressions of care and concern that we carry out. Love is the cement, the small and simple actions are the pebbles and sand. You need both.

So here are ten small and simple ways you can show your wife that you love her:
  1. Stare at her lovingly with an attitude of thankfulness that she is your wife and with a hint of lustfulness
  2. Pray holding her hand, touching her arm or leg, or hugging
  3. Send her a text message expressing gratitude for one thing that she did the previous day
  4. Leave a note on her pillow describing one of her good qualities and why you love that about her
  5. Buy her her favorite candy bar
  6. Do something on her "to do" list so that she doesn't have to
  7. Email her a picture of one of your favorite memories together 
  8. Spend time with her doing something that she enjoys doing
  9. Praise her in front of other people
  10. Simply tell her. Say "I love you."
Just like the little rocks in concrete are held together by cement, these small and simple things are held together by love.

Pebbles + cement = rock solid concrete. Small and simple things + love = rock solid marriage.

It really is this simple. Go and do something small and simple for your spouse today.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Indispensable Truth About Great Marriages

When you were a kid did you ever dream of doing something great?

I did. I wanted to be the president of the United States. And a filthy rich farmer. Walking on the moon or Mars was on the list. And establishing charities to help people.

We are told that greatness is within each of us and that all we need to do is try. I'm older now but I still believe this to be true.

But as I reflect on my life thus far, what I have accomplished, and what I think I'm going to yet accomplish none of those things (except maybe a charity or two if I happen into some money) are still on the list. I don't really want to even do those things anymore.

On the list of things I've accomplished are earning a bachelor's and a master's degree, getting married, fathering five awesome sons, and serving in my church.

Want to guess what the common denominator is between these things? They're things I'm passionate about. I love education. My wife and our sons are at the center of my life. Serving others and serving in church are part of who I am.

Passion. The key ingredient, the indispensable truth is that I'm only successful at things I'm passionate about. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) said, "Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion."

I have a great marriage and a great family and a great life. That's because I am passionate about my wife, my family, and my life.

Passion leads us to make sacrifices. Passion gives us the courage and motivation to keep going even when it's difficult. Passion provides strength and resolve to persevere. Passion provides vision of what can be.

The indispensable truth about every great marriage is that both the husband and the wife are passionate about their marriage. They have a vision of what they want their marriage to be, they have the strength and courage to make it through the difficult times, they make sacrifices for each other and for their marriage.

Nothing great is accomplished without passion. If you want a great marriage, be passionate it.



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