Here are my favorite excerpts from ch. 15 of Jill Savage’s My Hearts at Home. And its the last ch for me to put up notes…I know some of you are probably glad.
(Italics are direct quotes, regular text are my comments)
There are two primary goals Mom and Dad need to have: build a strong marriage and parent well.
Sometimes what’s best for a child is for a mother and father to spend some time together–just the two of them.
The absolute best strategy you and I can have is to make our marriage a priority. This gives our kids the security they long for. In a child’s world there is Mom and Dad. If Mom and Dad are okay, their world is okay.
First start with daily dates.
Then there are weekly dates.
In the beginning of a relationship, romance consists of small acts of kindness as a man and a woman are getting to know one another: a love letter tucked into a mushy card, flowers for no reason, a box of chocolates on occasion. As the marriage matures, the same acts of kindness are needed, but they become more personalized as we grow to know each other. (Jill gave a rather long and creative list of real romantic ideas.)
(Ok, its going to get a bit personal here…sorry if it makes you uncomfortable…)
- It eliminates “the ask”
- It increases desire
- It increases anticipation
- It allows for prime-time planning
- It helps couples prepare physically
- It builds trust
Personally…I struggle with the planning idea. I’ve talked to friends who do this and they like it, but I still don’t know if its something I could do. Still seems weird to me…
Protect Your Marriage
We have to put boundaries in place that keep us from stepping into situations where temptation can take place…
- Choose wisely. Avoid unnecessarily spending time with someone of the opposite sex.
- Share carefully. Not all affairs are physical–an emotional affair is just as damaging.
- Stay in large, public settings.
- Don’t be naive.
- Increase your investment at home.
- Pay attention to your thought life.
- Don’t play the comparison game.
- Stay away from pornography.
- Don’t get isolated.
- Seek help.
Partners in Parenting
Being intentional as a parent is one of the most powerful ways we can not only serve our country, but impact the world as well. Many of the evils of our world are a result of a lack of nuturing in the life of a child.
Love and Nuture
Kids need to receive physical affection, love, and encouragement from parents both individually and together.
Kids long for boundaries in their life. They’ll always push the boundaries–which is the biggest challenge of parenting–but they secretly want them in a desperate way. When a child becomes their own authority, there’s a silent message they begin to believe: “Nobody loves me enough to set limits.”
- Say what you mean and mean what you say.
- Do not end your instructions to your kids with the one word question, “Okay?”
- Teach your children to give you a verbal response, such as “Yes, Mom” or “Yes, Dad” anytime you give them an instruction.
- Expect obedience the first time and give an immediate consequence if it doesn’t happen.
- Be consistent.
Present a United Front
The Power of Prayer in a Partnership