The Case Against Bribing Children

Has this ever happened to you? You’re riding in the car and your toddler starts screaming for reasons only God knows. She’s fine, everything’s fine, you know she’s just testing You. You can’t get her to stop so you bribe her with a lollipop.

 Maybe your kids are older and they just don’t “feel like” going to school. Instead of parenting them, you bribe them telling them that you will give them something in exchange for their obedience. Does this sound familiar,”If you get straight A’s mama will buy you…”?

I think there is a fine line between teaching a child ethics and bribery. I see these scenarios all the time and they make me crazy for reasons most won’t understand. You see, at my core all I care about is the big picture. I’m a big picture thinker and in that picture where there is a parent just tired of fighting the kid so they give them whatever the kid wants, I see a world where those kids grow up to be out of control adults. I see these kids not finding self motivation to contribute their part in the world. They lack patience and are complete narcissists. I theorize that this is where those reputations came from about the millennial generation. The parents of this generation made a collective decision that they didn’t want to go with the status quo and adopted the belief that every child must find their own way in the world. This parenting style is referred to as “individualistic parenting.” Maybe this style of parenting came from the social issues from their perspective at the time. Back in the 60s and 70s they had plenty of things taking away the full attention of the parents. While parents were off trying to earn a living or change the famous gender and race issues, kids were left on their own, literally and emotionally. This is not much different from the way many parents raise their kids today. The products of those family scenarios are now raising their own kids passively (that is the definition of individualistic parenting, by the way). There are plenty of books out there and podcasts and the like but how do we know for sure which ones work? Or which ones are RIGHT? 

I don’t claim to be a parenting expert in the least but I do see the big pictures no one else seems to. 

When we bribe kids to get them to do what we want (or just what they’re expected to do in the first place) we relinquish all control into their immature and totally incapable hands. How do we not see this as an issue?? How can we not possibly realize, with all of the science out there about the human brain and how it develops, that this might not be a smart choice? This might be more harmful to society than helpful. 

Discipline does not take away individualism from the child. It actually hones it and refines it. Teaching them how to live in the world verses offering a simple (and seemingly innocent) bribe forms and shapes the next generation, but most of the time not in the way that is the healthiest. 

Oh I have been there, trust me. I get what it feels like to be in a very public place while my kid throws a Texas sized fit only to have judgement slinged at me from complete strangers… Or so it felt like. My son is a redhead and lives up to the cliché characteristics well. He is GOOD at it. 

It’s in those moments that our kids learn social expectations, respect and dignity. Kids are turds. They’re supposed to be…THEYRE NOT DEVELOPED. They are supposed to test the world around them. But that doesn’t mean we let them control it. Those are learning opportunities for them to experience why it might not be a good idea to act in such ways. In these moments it is absolutely our jobs as parents to teach these kids. It’s also our job to decide which way we want our kids to grow. There’s a fork in the road each and every single time an opportunity arises to bribe the kid… This is where #parentingainteasy comes from. Its not supposed to be! 

Teach a child about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Do you want your kid to grow up expecting the world to take care of them? Do you want them to always be thought of as inferior to society? If so, then by all means… Bribe away. Because bribing kids teaches them that they are not valuable enough to have our full attention of the matter. It teaches them that we are not the ones in control, that they are… And that’s NOT actually what they’re looking for in the moment. Kids need to know that you are the stable rock leading them. 

 If that is not the goal for your family (and by the way, everyone should have a “family goal”) and you would rather teach confidence and humility, characteristics that are kind of essential to adulthood,  then it would be a great time to think on a big picture level the next time little Jimmy loses his mind in aisle 5. Don’t bribe him. Train him with the mind and maturity of your fully developed brain because it is your job to use it for such a time as this. 

How? 

1. Decide that you love your kids “too much to let them act that way.” This is a common saying in our house when our kids are raging. We said these words many times a day to our toddlers way back when. So much, in fact, my daughter once repeated it back to me while witnessing a kid throwing a fit in Wal-Mart. 

2. Surround yourself with people who you think raised good people. Humble yourself to receive some teaching from them. 

3. Take some parenting classes and seek out those books and podcasts on this subject. I personally recommend Love and Logic. Family life changing, yo. 

Believe it or not, you are your kids’ first and most important teacher. Don’t leave this important job to a lollipop
What are some ways that you have overcome bribing your kids? I’d love to hear them! 

Advertisements

To Fight in Front of the Kids, or Not? 

   My husband and I can FIGHT. Like, we are GOOD at it. We don’t feel the need to use gloves because we don’t want to cusion the blow. If you have ever been in a mentoring meeting or have taken a class with us you know the story of the police being called on one of our loud, escalated fights. It’s not a moment we’re super proud of, although it is funny to look back on now. 

    We all know how the story ends in our marriage (GOOD, thank you Lord!) but the most intense fights we ever had were during the years when our kids were still tiny. 
   Did you hear that? We had KIDS IN THE HOUSE during these moments! What we’re we thinking?! 

   You may be in the very same situation as you read this. You may have just had a big blow up with the spouse that has you feeling defeated or like you have ruined your kids for the rest of their lives. 

  Nope.

  Kids are resilient and get over things a tad better than we think they do. We like to protect them from every little thing but in reality, those solutions backfire. Hear me out.

  Everyone has heard that it damages kids emotionally to witness their parents fight. Because of this thinking, new-aged, modern parents try to protect little Jimmy from every conflict, not just outside the home, but inside as well. We have been told that if they see the adults in their world in conflict, it will make Jimmy aggressive and a ruined member of society. 

  The truth is Jimmy needs to see his parents fight. Two people do not come together to share their lives till death do they part without a conflict here and there. Its impossible. That’s not realistic. And when we teach unrealistic values such as this in the home the kid never learns to resolve problems (at least not without extensive help, and isn’t it our goal to train kids NOT to be dependant…)?

  You may be thinking, “but do we really want to have our kids witness the intense fights about money?” 

 How intense are we talking? If the fights escalate the way ours used to it may be time to get some outside help. How enjoyable of an environment is that for YOU let alone the kid? Of course, abuse is NEVER to be tolerated. 

  The most important point here is that the fights themselves don’t actually matter. Studies suggest that you can basically have a knock-out, drag-out of a doozy (but let’s not, ok?) and the kids will be just fine as long as you follow through and FINISH IT. 

  Ok, that was not a plug for the mob. Kids need to see their parents make-up. On average, children are witnessing their parents bicker about 8 times a day and only giving affection 3. What do you think that does to their sense of security? 

  Working on your marriage, being able to have a respectful disagreement and working through it with affection… in front of the kids… Builds healthy kids. One study found that children’s emotional well-being and security are more affected by the relationship between the parents than by the direct relationship between parent and child. 

  Have your fights but learn to have them wisely and let the kids see you resolve them. That’s how we change the future. 

   And when you stop to think about it, that’s really the entire point, isn’t it? 
~If you need help in this area of your marriage; learning to respect each other, learning to communicate better, learning to resolve those pesky fights, contact me. We have resources for you.~

Boyfriends don’t get Husband Privileges

You know me. Or maybe you don’t. But I take everything.. EVERYTHING to a deeper level. If I feel something, I feel it greater than you can ever understand. I believe this is for a purpose and I intend to use this purpose to the calling I have. So if this offends you… #sorrynotsorry

***

Have you seen this going around?

image

I LOVE IT. Obviously it means Sex. But what else? How much deeper can we go with this? Let’s see…

We are seeing a crazy high rate of broken hearts this generation. More than any of the gens from the past. Our young people are moving from one partner to the next at epic speeds, never satisfied and thinking they deserve better. Why? Because we give too much of our hearts away too fast. Period. Not only are we millenials giving away our bodies, but the deepest part of our being to someone we’ve known for a good month, maybe.

Is there something that you know a lot about? Something that when you see it used the wrong way it sends you up the wall? It offends my SOUL when I see young women (And men) calling their boyfriend their “other half”, their “everything”….. Their SPOUSE. A boyfriend is NOT a HUSBAND. A girlfriend is NOT a WIFE. I firmly believe that a couple can live together for years, “know” every thing there is to know about the other and still not be a spouse. There’s something that happens when that marriage CONTRACT is signed. It’s kind of like…

image

We have such an epidemic of young people trying to grow up much faster than they are meant to. It is parents’ job to let them grow at the rate they are supposed to but instead we let the media raise our kids. Even Disney Channel (which we watch carefully in our house) has kids acting and looking older than they should.

“What does that matter? Who cares?”

I care! Because I KNOW ABOUT THIS. Because I see its effects on society every single day. These kids are no longer satisfied with the things they should be. Instead of playing with tangeable items made to invoke imagination, our kids are thrown iPads and told to be quiet… Which is super ironic considering how many parents these days are against the whole “Children are to be seen and not heard” thing.

On these iPads, children are exposed to things they shouldn’t be. Even if it’s a locked shut device, there are images the manufacturers put in place to make sure they have future customers. It may sound a bit conspiracy, but that’s marketing!

Exposed to new bigger ideas, these kids are no longer happy with regular things. They need more. And this transfers into their relationships.

Fast forward a few years when they think they are ready to date.. Nothing is good enough for them. Even if they are happy in the relationship, they can’t can’t even be content enough to call it what it is… They have to take it a step further and start referring to their mate as their other half.

I’m speaking out of experience. I’ve been there. And if you’ve ever taken our one-on-one marriage mentoring, you know what it did to my current marriage. It was a mess and made the water so murky, inconsistent and difficult to overcome that divorce was an easy option. Luckily we made a conscious effort, together, to progress through the mess to the other side. But many… MANY do not. And our society has changed through the expectations we hold our kids to.

If you are a parent of one of these “situations” or are an elder in any way close to this, listen clearly: do not let your kids go down this road. Do not stand idley by, passively watching your kids be defeated by this nonsense. Instill in them from an early age just how important their hearts are and what the difference is between a teenage romance and a TRUE Marriage. They need to hear it from you consistently and thouroughly.

They will thank you for it someday. Oh, and so will your grandkids.

Or… Do the dishes

Have you seen the guilt memes for moms? Man they’re good! They really do their job! I think that they work so well because when you’re a mom, in the trenches, completely responsible for another human life and what that human will turn out to be, you can’t see much further than the baracades themselves. Were all searching for answers because we don’t want to make a single mistake in this war on family life and childhood. Did you know that Gen Y is known for parenting “by the book”? There are more books than ever before on parenting, and more parents reading them than ever before! The problem is, the more that we search, the more we mess things up.

image

This is a common theme amongst moms today. It’s a nice sentiment to moms that might be a bit Type A. It serves as permission to let the dishes or laundry or floors or dusting go… For a bit… To live life. Marthas need permission to not “do it all..

But while this cute little meme sounds great and provides healing to some, it quickly becomes an excuse for moms that aren’t on top of things to let their house go… Which isn’t all that bad. Unless you’re the kid or husband that might like a clean(ish) house. The same permission is twisted to make for unhealthy family life. I know what you’re thinking. “Gosh, Becky! You always make tiny things into big things!” Just keep reading.

Marthas can take this advice and use it the way it should be used. They can put the toilet brush down for now. But something that’s missing is that MARTHAS DON’T NEED TO BE TOLD TO PICK THAT BRUSH BACK UP. They just will because something inside them tells them that it is important, even if they don’t know why. Marys need permission TO do. Sometimes we just plain have to be motivated or told to do something. That whole living life thing comes a little too easy to us (I’m such a Mary)!

Let me tell you what it’s like to be a Mary in a Martha world. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and chose “what was better” but Martha got stuff done. Mary had some great qualities that Jesus was using to teach Martha. But What About Mary? (Ha! Get it? No??) Mary lives in Martha’s house because she was so good at living life she didn’t seem to be such a productive member of society. She was a lovely little… Mooch. People liked her reguardless but she didn’t offer much beyond a good laugh or “good feelings.”

Here’s my point, and you know it will always come back to this: We hide cookies and eat them in the closet so our kids won’t see. One reason for this craziness is because we don’t want to share. But the big reason is because we want to be a good influence, and when you’re telling your kid to eat his carrots you can’t exactly be munching cookies, amiright? What kind of children are we raising when we “choose what’s better” too many times? When we NEVER do the dishes or laundry what are we teaching the kids? Things still have to get done! And this is the way that we teach these kids this very lesson!

It’s comical to me that parents truly want their kids to be good people that can actually do things for themselves when they grow up… Yet they don’t do the things they should be teaching those kids to do in the first place! Gone are the days of changing your own oil because we have a guy for that. No longer do we have to learn how to darn and sew because we just buy new.

When are the dish-doing fairies going to be invented?

Not likely. So who’s going to do them?
What kind of an adult are you wanting to raise? Guys, this issue goes much deeper than some silly dirty plates.

Recent stats by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the percentage of high school seniors who had a driver’s license fell from 85% in 1996 to 73% in 2010. Coincidence? No way.

We are teaching this generation that instant gratification (i.e. YOLO!) is perfectly fine. Kids no longer have to work to get the things they want. Let me re-word that; they no longer have to be patient and put forth any effort to see their friends… We have face time! The things our parents used to use to motivate us (um.. Chores!) no longer work. Could that be because we have been giving ourselves permission to make these things less worthy?

Think about it. But while thinking, do your dishes!

image

P.s…. don’t even get me started on stories about being that kid that was always too embarrassed to have friends over. Or the fact that your hubby more than likely likes to be comfortable in his own home. Or… The fact that kids NEED to learn that they are not always #1. But that one is for another time.

Make Good Choices,
Becky

With love, Becky

Let’s talk about SEX!

image

It’s here! It’s here!

This has been a year and a half In the making, you guys! In about 6 weeks, the educators of Life Choices, a non-profit pregnancy resource and medical center, will be holding a very special “Parent Talk” event! Our Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialists, such as myself, will be educating the public on the matters of what this generation is learning when it comes to sex. We will cover what the Colorado State Standards are and what is being taught in the schools across our state. Then, we will introduce simple concepts to implement in your own home. It is our first priority that you as the parent be the first and most important role model and sex ed teacher for your child. We will cover what ages to start “the talk” as well as tips to keep that intimate and important conversation going. Other topics to be covered are: apps, social media, sexual exploitation, and more! After we cover the what, when, where, why and how… We will introduce a who, explaining the importance of accountability to teens.

Be there or be..hind! Your kids need you to know these things, and you do too!

It is recommended the kids stay home during the conference, especially the little ones, due to subject matter.

Light refreshments will be provided. Come ready to take good notes!

No RSVP needed but if you would like more info, you are welcome to call Karen, Education Dept Director at the number and ext listed on the poster.

If you are a parent of a child under college age, I am personally inviting you to be a part of something BIG in Colorado. Parents, you have more power than you know!

Make good choices!

With love, Becky

Sexting and the dangers of Hidden Apps

Recently, I was blessed to be sent to a meeting with a local detective for a NoCo police department. Most of the things he was presenting didn’t seem to have much to do with my area of concern but then… someone brought up the question about kids and Apps. And the legal ramifications of sexting and child pornography….

Before going much further I want to make a point… Did you know that our number one “issue” in Northern Colorado that detectives are fighting right now is child porn and sexual exploitation? He also linked the two together noting that kids who are involved in sexting, thinking it’s no big deal and that nothing big will ever come of it, often times end up being thrown into a prostitution scandal against their will and unable to get out. Hard to hear, right? Well that’s the main thing we are dealing with in this area and most of us have no clue.

Those Apps are a BIG deal. You can read more about which Apps to watch out for on your kids’ devices and why they are such a pressing matter HERE

In my opinion, I don’t think parents are as worked up about this issue as they need to be. Maybe they think that “it will never happen to OUR kids” or “We raised them better..” but the truth of the matter is simply… YOUR KIDS HAVE THEIR OWN MINDS… AND THEY’RE NOT DEVELOPED YET. We’ve gone over this before a bit in THIS POST but it all breaks down to how your kid makes choices. Teens are made to make choices in the moment, to not worry about the future, to constantly live in a place of taking risks. This is good for their development… if they make it that far. You see, they tend to have mental blocks against the things that can REALLY damage them and instead worry about the social implications. This is where basic exploiting originates. They’re too worried about what could happen in their social sphere, they throw away their world in trying to protect or improve it. It is a parent’s job to see that they LIVE and thrive. We cannot afford to allow our kids to be put on autopilot, especially when it comes to their social influence.

Parents of tweens and teens, I am calling you out! If you are simply “stuck” and may not feel like this is something you can deal with on your own, please seek counsel! Know you are not alone and that it is worth it to fight this fight! Life Choices education department will be holding a *FREE* (How much better could it get??) Parent Talk on this very topic in April (Exact date and time TBA). Keep your eyes out for the info and BE THERE!

 

Make Good Choices!

~Becky~

PHILEO Love

As i was preparing for our weekly Marriage group’s homework, I came across something I think is important to share this week…

Do you study Love Languages? I’m sure you’ve heard by now of the wonderful book by Gary Chapman but what I’m talking about are the original meanings of LOVE in the Greek. God struck me this week as I stumbled upon a verse… Titus 2:4. It says… “Then they (the older women) can teach the younger women to LOVE their husbands….” That sounds all well and dandy but the word used for LOVE here was actually the word PHILEO… it means, in Greek, a friendship type of love. When we think of marriage, we tend to think of the EROS love (Passion and romance) or even AGAPE (unconditional, selfless). But that PHILEO doesn’t seem to come up as often. You see, God knew that it would be hard, among the daily duties of life, to purposefully befriend, over and over again, our spouse. This is something that sometimes needs to be taught. And sometimes, we forget that that part of a marriage is a God-given RIGHT and privilege. YOU deserve to like your spouse in a friendship type of way. That’s where true intimacy in marriage comes from! DSC_1818I want to challenge you to truly get to KNOW your spouse. Initiate conversations that help you to truly understand each other.

Start here: “What is one thing you have always wanted to do WITH me?”

Let the conversation take you on a new journey to discovering your spouse… as a friend. Do something together that you have never shared as a couple before! “LIKE” each other! This stuff matters…

Watch THIS for more on this subject. So good!

And as always… Make Good Choices!

~Becky

Marriage is not the problem… We are.

The more I study marriage, the more offended by society I become. I don’t think people realize how much influence the media and other outlets has on our personal relationships.

I consistently see memes and quotes about marriage that are down right terrible but in our American, let’s face it, selfish society, we eat that stuff up! I’m talking about the quotes about DESERVING happiness, DESERVING sex, DESERVING being taken care of with no reciprocation… I promise you’ve seen them too. These are the lies we let into our circle of influence. And I’m convinced that the selfish society we have created has dramatically influenced, for the worse, what marriage means in America.

My daughter and I are OBSESSED with Married at First Sight. Have you seen this show on TLC? Basically strangers are matched by experts and then without ever even meeting, get legally MARRIED!  What does this sound like… Arranged marriages, anyone? You may be thinking “How terrible!” “Why would anyone…!!” But let’s upack this for a moment shall we?

image

Arranged marriages actually have a much lower percentage for failure (yep. That’s the word I chose to use). Can you guess why?

Here in modern, first world America we sure love… Ourselves. We love convenience and quick results and whatever makes us feel good. And we’re told that’s how to live a happy life! So essentially, your spouse is only here to wait on you hand and foot and you are perfectly within your rights to take, take, take. Congratulations, America. We have successfully made a nation full of narcissists, terribly entitled people that are entering into a very SERIOUS convenet.

Back to the arranged marriages… In America we “feel” like we should be free to marry who we “love”. Don’t get me wrong! I’m definitely all for that! But something we need to start realizing…and effectively teaching the next generation, is that LOVE IS A CHOICE. It is NOT just a feeling. Anyone with gray hair who has has a SUCCESSFUL marriage will tell you that there are days when it’s so much easier to hate your spouse over choosing to love them. But the people who know the secret to marriage know that you have to choose to love your spouse every single day to make it through the rough parts.

In our 8th and 9th grade classes, we teach the diffference between love and lust. This has proven not only important to the students to be taught, but we also get TEACHERS and other adults that have no idea… And we can’t teach what we don’t know. Something to think about. These are a direct circle of influence and we learn from these and other places!

I will have more on this subject later. But for now, I want YOU to think seriously about the real happiness in your marriage. And then ask yourself, is any part that is unfulfilled a direct result of the influence of lies I let into my relationship?

Make Good Choices!
Becky

With love, Becky

The P31 Woman is Not the ONLY Woman

Do you know that God made you? We tell our kids this but do we actually believe it? I think Christians have an impressive way of making the bible suck. We are known for being judgy buttheads… because we ARE!

(I’ve have already lost a few of you with that statement… but for the rest of us who personally feel that judgement, keep reading.)

We, Christ followers, know there is a better way to do everything. We are like the mother-in-law (not mine!) of the religious world. No matter what we are dealing with, there is an answer for our situation, and if we’re really good, we can twist it enough until it suddenly makes complete biblical sense that we don’t vacuum the house that day! Come on! The human mind is such a wonderful, powerful thing that gains momentum when coupled with other thoughts from other people (insert social media HERE).

But what do we say about ourselves in all of this?

I was recently talking with a good friend of mine… a good, kind-hearted mom who just wants her kids to grow up strong and healthy, as you can imagine any mom would. She was telling me how horrible she felt every time she lost her temper with her kids.

*SIGH*

Moms. How many of us have been THERE?! How many of us struggle with this very thing on a daily basis?? I’m not talking about the ACTUAL temper. I’m talking about the way we see ourselves, the struggle with feeling like we never measure up? For this very reason I have grown to dislike the Proverbs 31 wife reference. Perfectly well meaning women (and men) love to throw that in our faces any time they may think we “need” it but what I think us moms and wives and sisters and daughters need is a little freedom FROM the Proverbs 31 Wife. She’s so perfect. She never has a lazy day. She always looks outstanding. AND SHE NEVER LOSES HER TEMPER. Some of us don’t do well with that sort of pressure.

I want to offer you a differing approach. What if… God made us the way we are… on purpose? We love to walk around and say things like this to other people in hopes of raising spirits but we don’t really believe it do we? If we did, there would be much less talk about how awful we are at whatever job we’re doing at the moment and more talk about accepting differences in others. Do you think God, The Almighty, The All Knowing, All Powerful, Great I AM made you solely for the purpose of changing everything about you? Do you think He really wants you to be like the other mom that makes the best meatballs known to man (that’s me, by the way…)?

Now if the foot should say, “because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being a part of that body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts of the body, every one of them, JUST AS HE WANTED THEM TO BE.

-1Corinthians 12:15-19, NIV

Just as He wanted them to be. We’re so quick to quote growth and change from the bible… and don’t get me wrong, I think God wants us to grow to be all that He wants us to be… but I don’t think He wants us to change every aspect of who we are.

I just so happen to be a bit loud. I have been called obnoxious in my day. But wait! God wants a GENTLE spirit! God ONLY wants and uses quite, submissive women. I have spent the better part of my entire life apologizing for being who God made me to be. I was even medicated to repress some things in my nature throughout adolescence.

How do I know God made me to stand out (for lack of better words)? Because when I suppress my natural tendencies to express and be joyful and spirited, something totally opposite happens and I FEEL the evil. I feel anxious and miserable. Not only that, but the people around me feel the “off” that’s happening in me. Suddenly I become this completely different person and it HURTS. Deeply. I have had my dear family beg me to bring the real me back when I’m in those “moods.”

Do you think God has a sense of humor? ABSOLUTELY! Do you see the above picture of a Llama!? They’re hilarious! Do think He wants us to be an army of robots? I’m pretty sure He does NOT. He wants creativity. He wants boldness. He put them there. Just like He put the stars in the sky. Everything He does is on purpose and for a purpose. 

So what about all of the “bad” personality traits that seem to just come with the territory? For example, I am bold. And Loud. And super animated. I’m also a great big feeler. Satan sees this and tries to use it for his agenda. I have a bad habit of taking responsibility for things that are not mine to take (Sound familiar? Like, moms do all the time for their kids? We’ll talk about that one later). I have this theory that God placed that in my heart to help me grow to be MORE of the person He wants me to be but He did not place it there for me to constantly feel shame. That is Satan using his techniques to his advantage.

Me not being naturally gentle is not a bad thing. I am gentle when I need to be but most of the time I’m… me. And contrary to popular belief, God likes me 😛 He made me on purpose FOR a purpose and He put those in our lives that He did on purpose, too. We need to stop unintentionally attacking ourselves with doubt and shame and comparison. We can all stand to learn a little something from everyone, but let’s work to not forget who we were made to be.

You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

Make good choices,

Becky

Never Say… Never Say Never

image

That is not a mistype, ladies and gentlemen. Never say “Never say never” has been on my heart for a few months.

I was talking with a sweet friend of mine about the marriage mentoring my husband and I do. I may have even been bragging a bit about our story and I’m sure she didn’t recieve that very well. You see, only a few minutes after telling her that I believe every single marriage has a chance, she told me her story.

My friend was married to a pastor. They were just as on-fire for marriages as my husband and I are. They had children and an entire life together and were dedicated to their works in marriage ministry as well. Guess what happened? They divorced. I’m not going to share the reasons for their divorce but I will say that the way she ended her story to me was by saying, “Never say never.”

It was like she was speaking death into my marriage and I felt fear. I was completely consumed in that moment by visions and memories of my past, my family’s past and the couples in the present we have not been able to help. She was right. It could happen to even me..

Despite what any law says, there is no such thing as a No-Fault divorce

Wait a minute! Let’s back up a second and ask a pertinent question. Why? Why do couples divorce? Why did my friend divorce?

I deeply believe in reeping what we sow and despite what any law says, there is no such thing as a no-fault divorce. That conversation left me asking myself what I’m sowing in my marriage? The fear I was feeling was from the experience I have already known from others as well as my own experience. I know that it’s possible. I know that Satan attacks where life isn’t fortified. I also know that Satan attacks where we feel safe.

I feel safe in my marriage.

My marriage is GOOD. Amazing. FORTIFIED.

But it is not safe. When we start to think of our marriage as a safe place that no one and nothing can get to, we are putting ourselves and our spouses… And our legacies in jeopardy.

On the other side of the coin, I still don’t believe divorce just happens. I think it begins with Never Saying Never.

I WILL say never. Because I will choose to replace the big “D” word with whatever pertains to the reason I might want a divorce in the moment. Maybe that word is “forgiveness” or “apology” or “love” or “vow” or “COMMITMENT.”

I want to give you permission to never say “never say never” and then truly mean it. It’s ok to not give up on the commitment that you made a little or a long time ago. Its ok to not fall into society’s “blame everyone else” mentality when things get hard. Because it will get hard (that, by the way, would be the perfect time to take responsibility for your own actions, contrary to what society says). That is guaranteed. But that never has to mean it’s over. It never has to mean that all of the hard work my husband and I have put into this marriage gets to disintegrate. And it never has to mean that I have to live in fear that someday my friend’s words will take us down.

I will choose to never say “never say never.” And you should too!

Make good choices,

Becky