How Partnering Can Improve Parenting

We don’t often think of how parenting can improve partnering. Usually, we think of just the opposite…how parenting makes partnering harder. We instantly think of all the demands parenting makes on our time, money, energy, and resources, and how those demands complicate marriage.

It’s true that being a parent can make being a partner more difficult. This is why I always tell spouses, “You’re partnering should  take precedent over your parenting.” I firmly believe this to be true for every marriage…

  • Young spouses as well as senior adults spouses.
  • Spouses who have biological children as well as those who have step children or adopted children.
  • Those who have just one child as well as those who have twelve.

No matter the situation, the principle is the same. You’re partnering should take precedence over your parenting, because:

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How Parents Can Bring Out the Best in Their Teenagers

In my last post, How Teenagers Bring Out the Worst in Their Parents, I talked abut the very difficult job of raising teenagers, and how it can effect parents.

In this post, let’s talk about how parents can bring out the best in their teens. It starts when you’re aware of your own issues of control, self-esteem, memory loss, fears, and aspirations. (Check out the previous post for more on this.)

Once you have addressed those things in yourself, there are some things you can do to bring out the best in those opinionated, strong-willed, hormonally challenged aliens we refer to as teenagers:

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How Teenagers Bring Out the Worst in Their Parents

I typically write posts focused on marriage, but this post is going to veer more into the area of parenting. Specifically, parenting teenagers, and more specifically, how teenagers bring out the worst in their parents.

As a former youth pastor, I have a special place in my heart for parents of teens. And, as the father of two grown children, I still have the twitches that can only come from teens or Turretts.

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The Changing Seasons

We’re in the middle of some crazy weather patterns. It’s in the lower 80’s one day, and then the lower 30’s the next. It’s like going through all the seasons in the span of a week or two.

Marriages go through seasons, and each season requires something different from spouses. To have a long and happy marriage, you must learn to navigate seven seasons…

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A Dry Run At Eternity

Sometimes you read thing something that makes you stop and evaluate your marriage, your faith and your life. This guest post from my friend Connie Plummer did that to me, and I wanted to share it with you.

They are like a man who builds a house. He digs down deep and sets it on solid rock. When a flood comes, the river rushes against the house. But the water can’t shake it. The house is well built. – Luke 6:48

In this life, we practice for the important events.

  • A trial run to the hospital before it is time to have the baby.
  • A ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ graduation walk through.
  • A wedding rehearsal.
  • That song you are going to sing
  • That speech you are going to make.

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Is Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity? – Part 2

Gravity is an essential part of life. Without it, things would drift away into space. Likewise, gravity is an essential part of marriage. Without marital gravity, spouses begin to drift apart. And if they drift too far apart, it can bring an end to the marriage.

In my last post, I talked about four things you needed to increase your marital gravity. They were four things that would help draw you closer to one another and keep you from drifting apart. (Check out my last post, “Is Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity – Part 1.”)

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How to Improve Your Marriage Pictures

We’ve all had our share of bad photos. Think back to your fashion-questionable high school days, or those family portraits that looked more like the Adams Family than a happy family. It’s safe to say we all have pictures we would like to delete from the archives.

The other day, I came across The 50 Weirdest Engagement Portraits Of All Time. It’s just what it says…50 very weird engagement photos. They are painful to look at and they leave you asking, “What were they thinking?”

All this got me wondering, “What would pictures of my marriage look like over the years?”

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What Divorce Does to Kids

The other day, I was cleaning out some files and came across a poem, written by a divorced mom on behalf of her two children. The poem had no title, so I’ve given it the title: “My Daddy Doesn’t Live Here.” It’s heartbreaking to read, but it’s a good reminder of how divorce affects kids. 

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Lessons From Living in a Shack

In twenty years of marriage counseling, I’ve seen couples put more and more emphasis on their house.

I’ve seen engaged couples believe they couldn’t get married until they had purchased a three bedroom, two bath home. I’ve seen couples expecting a child purchase a bigger home for more bedrooms, bigger yard, better neighborhood, a pool, or a playroom.

It’s as if we believe we can’t have a good marriage and family unless we have the “right” house.

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What Makes a Good Marriage Story – Part 6: The Action

(The posts in this series have been adapted from the “Relentless Love” marriage seminar, created and taught by David McKinley and Bret Legg at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.)

If you’ve been following this series from the beginning, you already know about many of the parts of a good marriage story. You know about the author, the characters, the obstacles, and the guide.

But just having the parts of a good marriage story does not magically make the story, anymore than having the ingredients for a good cake magically makes the cake. You have to do something with those parts. You must take action and make the most of what you have if you’re going to make a great marriage story. 

Read moreWhat Makes a Good Marriage Story – Part 6: The Action