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Similar to the wisdom of Proverbs, every Monday I will share a practical wisdom quote.  I pray this quote will make a difference in your personal life and relationships.  

“Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.”  James Dobson

10 Helpful Homework Ideas


Parents can play a major role in parenting their children for a successful school experience.  Here are 10 ways that parents can support and supplement what takes place in the classroom.  I will also post these homework ideas again next August. 

1.         Allow your child some time to unwind after school.

2.         Avoid the pressure of school by making homework a comfortable activity.

3.         Determine your child’s biological clock.  When is their best time for studying – before dinner or immediately after dinner.

4.         Create a quiet, study environment for your child to do homework, with good lighting and             necessary supplies. 

5.         Help your child with learning how to break major homework assignments into manageable chunks.

6.         Look over the homework after it is completed to see that it is neat and totally finished.

7.         Show interest in your child’s school work by displaying it on a bulletin board or the refrigerator.

8.         Help your child learn to study effectively for tests by:

            *          reviewing notes several days before the test

            *          asking the teacher what the test will cover

            *          save past quizzes because they are great study guides

 9.         Make sure your child gets enough sleep every night.

 10.       Compliment!  Compliment!  Compliment!  When your child works hard at their homework always reaffirm them with, “I really appreciate your wonderful effort!”

 Today:  Begin implementing these 10 helpful homework ideas. 

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10 Ways To Build Up Your Spouse  

Encouragement and affirmation are essential qualities for every spouse to possess.  It is important to seek ways to lovingly build up your spouse.  Shown below are 10 Ways to express regard and praise your spouse.

1.  Tell your spouse that you are proud to be their marriage partner.

2.  Talk often about things that your partner is interested in.

3.  Through your words and actions create a home atmosphere of peace and joy.

4.  Avoid being a “nag” or a “demanding boss.”

5.  Appreciate your spouse in one specific way each day.

6.  Let your partner know your expectations in a sensitive and loving manner.

7.  Never interrupt during a conversation.

8.  Take your spouse’s hand or arm when you walk together.

9.  Regularly show your partner your sense of humor.

10.  Never let a day pass without saying “I love you.”

Today:  Use one of these 10 Ways or create your own ideas for building up your spouse. 

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7 Foundational Aspects Of Your Marriage That Are Essential

I have had spouses, pastors, and even other counselors ask what I believe are the foundational aspects that matter the most for a gratifying marriage.  Counseling and written materials that provide skills and tools in 7 major areas can help build a strong, wholesome relationship for lifelong marital happiness.   

When couples are effective in the 7 essential components shown below, the probabilities for a gratifying relationship are significantly increased. 

1.  Expectations: Very simply, expectations will either create a strong emotional connection or deep disappointment and hurt.  Whenever a couple is satisfied in their relationship, the simple reason is expectations are being met.  Whenever a couple is disappointed in their marriage, expectations are not being fulfilled.  

2. Disagreement Discussion Guidelines: Disagreements are natural occurrences in happy marriages.  Couples in satisfying relationships certainly have disagreements—but they rarely have fights, arguments, and conflicts.  So a disagreement is never the problem, it is how a couple handles a disagreement while finding a solution.

3.  Apologizing and Forgiving: The Bible has nearly 125 references to the importance of forgiveness for interpersonal relationships. When spouses have the momentous goal to apologize and forgive one another for marital hurts or sins that substantially improves the chances for a gratifying relationship. 

 4.  Finances:  70% of couples fight over finances.  Couples need a budget and financial guidelines to produce financial harmony.

5. Communication: Words and behaviors can either build up or tear down a relationship.  Couples need basic skills for improving daily communication in both verbal and physical aspects of a relationship. 

 6.  Boundaries:  Healthy couples set limits with unhealthy behaviors.  Those “guards” make a significant difference in generating a satisfying relationship.

 7.  Faith Life:  Worshiping on a regular basis, praying at meals, and simply praying together for blessings, the needs of others, or personal requests of almighty God can strengthen a relationship. Striving to please God usually leads to healthy behaviors and nurturing words. 

 This Week:  Discuss with your spouse what steps you can take together to strengthen or improve your relationship in all 7 major aspects of a marriage.    

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7 Steps To Prevent An Affair

Of the marriages that I have seen end in divorce, I estimate that a third of the time an affair is the reason. Due to the newness and false passion with an affair partner, the marital couple often has little chance of restoring the relationship.  Shown below are 7 Steps to hopefully prevent an affair. 

1.  Understand that every spouse is capable of being unfaithful.  We read in the Bible that King David, “a man after God’s own heart,” committed adultery.

2.  You can never have 100% trust in your spouse.  From betrayed partners I have heard numerous times, “I thought my spouse was 100% trustworthy.”  The goal is always the upper 90th percentile but no partner ever achieves 100%. 

3.  Relationships are bank accounts with deposits and withdrawals.  With affair partners, there are almost no withdrawals.  Limit your innocent deposits with friends of the opposite sex. 

4.  Watch your social media deposits.  Text messages, emails, quick phone calls, etc. can easily lead to unfaithfulness.  Due to social media, I have actually seen affairs start with old friends in another state resulting in a divorce. 

5.  Never have any secrets in your marriage.  Secrets hurt relationships and affairs start in secrecy.

6.  Know your spouse’s passwords.  One of the best ways to overcome secrecy is to know each other’s passwords and make your cell phone and email an “open book.”

7.  In Proverbs 4:23, God tells spouses to “guard your thoughts.”  Continually be on your guard against words and behaviors that may lead to unfaithfulness.  

This Week:  Sit down with your spouse and discuss together the 7 steps to prevent an affair.  

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7 Essential Goals For A Healthy Parent

A healthy parent desires to lead and guide their child to be a motivated, responsible decision-maker.  A wholesome parent also attempts to do their very best in order to help their child be successful in every area of life.  Focusing on 7 Essential Goals can assist a parent in achieving those objectives. 

1.         Provide unconditional love both verbally and physically. Daily, tell your child “I love you no matter what” and give numerous loving physical touches.  Unconditional love is always important but especially once your child is in double digits.

 2.         Only give your child positive labels, NEVER negative labels.  Your child will fulfill whatever label or reputation you place on their forehead.  Use the words “I appreciate” when giving the positive label.  For example, “I appreciate your positive attitude” or “hard work” or “great decision-making,” etc. 

 3.         Treat your child like they are 3 years older than their age.  Expecting your child to be 3 years more mature than their age will instill confidence, produce a positive attitude, and build excellent decision-making skills. 

 4.         Compliment more than you correct.  Unfortunately, most parents falsely believe the goal is to focus on just correcting errors. Instead, compliment your child’s efforts more than their outcome.  Search for what your child is doing right and give many “I appreciate” compliments. 

 5.         Be consistent, decisive, and have firm limits. It is so easy to give your child a second, third, fourth, and even fifth chance.  However, by not expecting your child to respond the first time, you are being inconsistent and indecisive which can create various difficulties for your child.  

 6.         Lead and guide your child by being brief.  Don’t try to influence your child’s heart by talking and reasoning way too much.  Talking a lot, debating, and arguing with your child will usually create “parent deafness” where they turn off the volume. Simply, be brief, be decisive, and have firm limits!

7.         Be a role model.  Example is not the best teacher, example is the only teacher.  More things in life are caught than taught.  As both an individual and parent, be operating at a higher level in all aspects of life than your child. 

This Week:  Discuss with your child’s other parent or a significant family member where you can improve for the sake of your child. 

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