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ADJUSTING TO BEING A STEPPARENT

16 Oct

family

ADJUSTING TO BEING A STEPPARENT

If you or your spouse have children from a first marriage, you are taking on a very difficult task.

I have taken a portion from the book,”Helping Children Survive Divorce” by Dr. Archibald D. Hart.

Your family will need to make a series of important adjustments.

These adjustments fall into three clearly identifiable phrases.

First, there is the “honeymoon” phase.

Everyone is polite to each other.

The atmosphere may be a little strained, but no outward friction is evident yet.

Second, there is the “conflict” phase.

The  honeymoon is over and reality emerges.

Everyone is short-tempered, impatient, and intolerant even of small mistakes.

Little things irritate, and at times it seems as if the family will blow apart.

Third, There is the “contented” phase.

If the marriage survives the second stage, a final contented stage emerges.

All the necessary adjustments have been made, the corners have been knocked off tempers, and the irritating habits of the new spouse have become acceptable to all.

At last, familiarity brings comfort.

Making it to the third stage requires careful attention to the following points:

*  Do not force a new spouse to become a substitute parent to your children, even if your ex-spouse has totally abandoned this role.

*  Don’t rush the second phase of the remarriage process.

*  Keep communication with your children open at all times.

*  Don’t take sides, either with your children or with your new spouse.

*  Remind your new spouse that it is very normal for children, especially in the early stages of remarriage to feel a sense of betrayal and to be angry.

*  Keep all discipline free of anger.

Please note that we make every effort to encourage people not to divorce.  Children suffer even through adulthood.  This is to help those who have already remarried or are thinking of remarriage.  It is a long hard road and there is a 74% divorce rate.  This is to help those who have already remarried.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage be a success.

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DON’T FORGET THE LAUGHTER

15 Oct

DON’T FORGET THE LAUGHTER

Did you know that laughter can cure the disease of self-importance?

It’s hard to puff yourself up to weather-balloon size if you deflate yourself with a good prick of self-directed humor!

How many laughs are you having–and how many at your own expense?

God commanded His ancient people to enjoy a regular “day of…gladness” and sealed its importance with the reminder, “I am the Lord your God” (Num.10:10).

Before the wedding ceremony, couples should have a bold objective for their first year of marriage, “We will be found guilty of having too much fun rather than too little fun.”

That’s not a bad objective for any year of marriage!

Courtship usually entails joy and romance and laughter, but this joy can quickly dry up after marriage.

After we get married, our focus splinters in many directions, especially after children come along.

That’s why we need to make it a priority in marriage to find ways to participate in the fun, laugh-generating antics we did when we first dated.

That requires us to flee from the television, telephone, and computer, in order to focus on each other.

Find the time to laugh and seek to please each other.

NOTE:  This article was from the book “Family Life Marriage Bible” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage be a success.

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER

14 Oct

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER  

Question #1.

My parents lost custody of me when I was a young child.  I am now married with two children but find myself neglecting my husband to spend time with my kids.  We both work and when I get home, I am so busy with dinner, and household chores.  I neglect to spend quality time with my husband.  Lately we have been arguing constantly and I know it’s because he doesn’t feel that we get enough time together.  I feel my childhood plays a big role in our life because I want my children to have more than I did growing up.  I fail to realize that I have a husband that requires so much of me as well.  My question is, how do I balance everything out and be able to spend that quality time we both want as well as not feeling guilty about not spending so much quality time with my children?

Answer #1.  

There are many different ways of handling this.  The best would be for you to be honest with your observation to your husband.  Let him know you know he has been neglected.  This will touch his heart more than anything to know that God has shown this to you and that you are prepared to rectify it.  You can’t go backwards, but you can promise him it will never happen again.  He can be a part of the solution and help you solve it.

I will make some suggestions that you might be able to implement into your lifestyle.  Try to have a date night at least twice a month.  The more children you have, the more date nights you need.  Don’t take the kids with you on these date nights.  In order not to feel guilty, have a great family night with the kids the day before.

Do not cook every night.  Have a pizza night so you don’t have to cook and clean up.  Cook something that will last two nights.  If you are a perfectionist at housework, don’t be.  Let some things go.

The best thing that you can do for your kids is to give them their dad.  If he leaves the family because of neglect, your children will grow up miserable.  Set your priorities.

Arguing takes two and also takes pride.  Humble yourself.  Listen to your husbands concerns.  It is the only way you can feel fulfilled as a helpmeet.

I have to listen to wives every day who wish they could do it all over again.  They are left with children who are fatherless and regrets.  You are blessed to be able to turn the whole situation around.  Don’t wait till it is too late.

Now is the time!

THE PATTERN  FITS

13 Oct

sewing

THE PATTERN  FITS

If you’ve ever sewn a dress, you know how a pattern works.

When you begin, you don’t have a garment, but only some scraps of cloth.

When it’s properly fitted together and made usable with buttons, a zipper, or snaps, however, these incomplete pieces make a whole dress.

Every pattern has pairs of parts: two sleeves, two bodice pieces, a front and back skirt; even the collar and facing pieces usually come in twos.

That’s how it is in marriage.

God has designed a master pattern for husbands and wives that, when followed, will create a whole, usable, beautiful marriage.

I have experienced many frustrations in trying to fit in my part of the marriage pattern with my husband’s.

At times it felt too hard.

Yet I know by faith, and am convinced by experience, that God’s pattern for me as a wife is not meant to restrict my creativity in expressing who I am.

If I trust the pattern, the finished products reflects the full beauty that its Creator intended.

When this becomes a reality in my life, I experience oneness with God, oneness with my husband, and a real freedom to be all that God made me to be.

NOTE:  This article from the book “Family life Marriage Bible” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage be successful.

LET YOUR HUSBAND FAIL

12 Oct

tripping

LET YOUR HUSBAND FAIL

A man’s greatest need is to be honored, especially  by his wife.

Almost any woman is willing to honor a man who succeeds and is doing well.

What separates a mature wife from the rest is how she responds when her husband fails.

This is the test of true honor.

During a marriage, every husband is bound to do something wrong.

He will fail in some capacity.

If a wife cannot still honor him at those times, she may have end up with a wounded and dishonored husband.

I’ll never forget the Sunday I asked an older couple in our church to share their testimony about marriage.

After 30 years of marriage, they were madly in love.

I just knew everyone would benefit from their story.

The woman began by saying something that stunned me.

With her loving, sacrificial, distinguished husband right next to her, she detailed how, at the beginning of their marriage, he was such a lousy husband!

He didn’t know how to manage money.

He never spent any time at home.

They were broke, and he worked all the time.

He was insensitive to her needs.

He never prayed or led the family spiritually.

She said even more than that, letting loose all those negative comments with her husband right there by her side.

And he was smiling the whole time!

I couldn’t believe it.

As she concluded her remarks, this godly woman said something every woman needs to hear:

“When my husband and I began to have all our trouble early in our marriage, I knew I had a choice to make.  I could nag him and try to change him, or I could even leave him.  But in my heart, I knew none of those things were right.”

She continued:  “So I finally decided to let him fail and let God correct him as I honored and loved him.  After a period of time of praying for him and letting him fail, I saw God begin to change my husband right before my eyes.  Today, I have a righteous husband who loves me and meets my needs.”

The man she was standing with was not the man she married.

He was much, much better.

He didn’t get that way because she nagged him or demanded that he change.

He got that way because his wife treated him with respect.

What a powerful testimony!

Seldom will we make progress in a relationship by dishonoring a person or trying to force them to change.

The only way to do it is through prayer and treating them better than they deserve.

Ladies, don’t get me wrong:  You should absolutely feel free to express your disagreement to your husband at any time and about anything.

The last thing you should become is a doormat or an emotionless robot.

But when you tell him how you feel, do it with kindness and respect.

Treat him the way you want to be treated.

Honor him and pray for him.

Don’t nag.

Don’t become manipulative.

Don’t become irritable.

You may win a few battles with those tactics, but you’ll always lose the war.

Let your husband fail.

If you honor him even when he knows he doesn’t deserve it, God will use it in a powerful way.

He will deepen your husband’s love for you as He changes your husband’s heart.

NOTE:  This article written by Jimmy Evans.  (Jimmy Evans Ministry)

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

AVOID EMOTIONAL ADULTERY

11 Oct

FireExtinguisher1

AVOID EMOTIONAL ADULTERY

From the very beginning, God warned His people about the dangers of going astray (5:12).

It was a very real possibility then, and it remains so today.

Know that when you find yourself connecting with another person who starts becoming, in even the smallest way, a substitute for your marital partner, you’ve already started to travel a dangerous road.

Emotional adultery occurs when we reserve an inappropriate place in our hearts for any person other than our spouse.

So, how do you protect yourself and your marriage?

Here are some principles many have found helpful:

1.  Know your boundaries.

Put fences around your heart and protect the sacred ground reserved only for your spouse.

Barbara and I are careful to share our deepest feelings, needs, and difficulties only with each other.

For us, this is a non-negotiable boundary.

2. Realize the power of the eyes.

The eyes are the windows of your soul.

Pull the shades down if you sense someone is pausing a little too long in front of those windows!

Good eye contact may be necessary for effective communication, but you must reserve that deep type of look for your mate.

3.  Beware of isolation and concealment.

One strategy of the enemy is to isolate you from your spouse by tempting you to keep secrets from your mate.

Barbara and I both realize the dangers of concealment in our marriage.

We work hard at bringing things out into the open and discussing them.

Our closets are empty.

4.  Extinguish any chemical reactions that may have begun.

You must quickly end any friendship with the opposite sex that seems to have begun meeting needs that your mate alone should be meeting.

A simple rule of chemistry is this:  to stop a chemical reaction, remove one of the elements.

It may feel painful or embarrassing at first, but it doesn’t inflict nearly the pain that comes when temptation gives birth to sin.

5.  Ask God to remind you how important it is to fear Him.

The fear of God has turned me from many a temptation.

It’s one thing to think a friend might learn that I had compromised my faith; it’s quite another thing to realize that God’s throne would have a knowledge of my disloyalty to Barbara faster than the speed of light.

It has been well said that, “a secret on earth is open scandal in heaven.”

My Heavenly Father and my earthly father are there right now—and the mere thought of disappointing either of them, helps keep me pure.

NOTE:  This article from the book, Family Life Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage to succeed

YOU GET WHAT YOU PLANT

10 Oct

cucumber

YOU GET WHAT YOU PLANT

ONE OF THE LAWS OF NATURE is that you never harvest one thing when you’ve planted something else.

You don’t get watermelons by planting cucumbers.

Whatever seed you plant “grows of its own accord” (Lev.25:5).

Marriage is a lot like that—we never get out of marriage what we do not put into it.

One man confessed, “At work I concentrate on winning, and as a result, I am a winner.  At home, however, I concentrate on just getting by.”

It’s no wonder he is losing.

The seed he planted, neglect, grows of it’s own accord.

Americans normally think of themselves as winners.

We are used to winning, but too many times, in the wrong places.

As a result, we end up losing in the important places, such as at home.

The late Vance Havner once said, “Americans  know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.”

If a business goes bankrupt, the president or the chairman of the board is to blame.

Similarly, if our homes fail, you and I are to blame.

We must master the ageless art of leadership and apply it to our families.

If we ever hope to win at home, then we must consider what kind of harvest we want in the end.

If we plant seeds of commitment, to Christ and to one another, along with seeds of forgiveness and respect, we might well expect that God will grant us a great harvest.

NOTE:  This article from “Marriage Life Family Bible” by Dennis & Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help make your marriage a success.