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.~

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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

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Have you seen this going around?

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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…

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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.

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?

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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

Never Say… Never Say Never

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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

What Do You Want Your Kids To Say About Your Marriage?

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What do you want your kids to say about your marriage?

Scenario: You wake up one day, you meet Prince Charming, fall in love, get married and live HAPPILY ever after.

Aw… ❤

Truth:
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Anyone who has ever been married can speak to this with enthusiasm. We wish it did! We see the movies and hear the songs and long for the easiness of life in love. Then, after the first year of marriage, we find ourselves in marriage counseling wondering what went wrong and how to fix THEM. The partner. Because we surely did no wrong.

A huge part of our healing came when we asked ourselves this very question with full intent on changing the generational curses for our kids’ heritage.

So.. What do YOU want your kids to say about your marriage?

Someday when they are grown and have families of their own, they’re going to look to YOU and the values and memories you instilled in them to run their household.
They are inevitably going to say things like “I don’t know why I yell so much, my parents did so I guess I can too.”
Or maybe it will be “Divorce is no big deal. It runs in the family.”

If you don’t think that you play a major roll in the future of our society, think again. This is the future! Your Marriage should be the number one relationship in your life… besides Jesus, of course. If you don’t have a good marriage, it is likely that your kids won’t either. Conflict resolution and intimacy building are learned skills, not usually natural ones. And with the parents being the first and most important influence on a child, you can be sure your kids are getting a message. What kind of message are you portraying?

I’d like to introduce a few not-so-common-sense ideas my husband and I have learned in our marriage. These are the things my kids will say about their parents’ marriage someday.

1. My kids will say that their parents NEVER said the big “D” word.
We learned a long time ago that introducing that one little, but powerful word into a fight was a death sentence. Once we took out the option, of getting out, it was like we HAD to figure things out. Turns out, not everyone goes into a marriage -a covenant- with that kind of thinking. Seems to me we need to be better educating our youth about what marriage means… But that’s for another post.

2. My kids will say we fought.. In front of them
I hate when people tell you to never, ever disagree in front of the children. Like, ya, let’s bubble the little suckers up as much as we can and then throw them to the wolves. Nope. That’s not my job. My job is to train up my children in the way that they should go so when they’re adults they won’t part from it. How do I do that without modeling? My husband and I disagree. We’re different people. Arguments happen. We don’t throw things (anymore). We don’t name call but we do use ridiculous amounts of “I” statements. We model a good conflict resolution and *bonus* they grow up learning that no one is perfect and the person is more important than the issue. They don’t grow up thinking that they’re entitled to a perfect marriage.

3. My kids will say that we were super affectionate in front of them
My hubby loves to grab or pat my behind as much as he possibly can. I do the same to him. We kiss, we hug, we hold hands, we snuggle… And we mean it. Because my body is no longer my own and neither is his. My kids will never say their parents weren’t affectionate. But we definitely have a lock on our door for those more intimate moments that are appropriately saved because we also don’t want our kids to say that we scarred them for life! 😀👎

4. My kids will say that we made financial decisions…together

This is certainly one of those harder subjects in marriage and, let’s be honest, sometimes we still disagree in this area but we have modeled for our kids that it pays to be on the same page with the financial issues. My kids will value this when they look back at all the trips we made as a family and the variety of sports and lessons they got to do while not living in a cardboard box.

5. My kids will say that we put our marriage first
We have no problem ditching the kids for a weekend away because if we don’t put *us* first, then our household cannot be fortified and that is the most important thing. I understand this can be especially difficult for moms… But LET THEM GO! Cling to your spouse, the person you CHOSE to spend the rest of your life with! They deserve it. And so do your kids.

What things do you hope your kids will say about your marriage when they grow up? How are you going to make that a goal today?

Make good choices,

Becky