We Have a Choice
If you have been married for any length of time, you realize that your mate is certainly different from yourself.
You may often ask, “Why can’t he [or she] be like me?” The saying around our house is: “Men are weird, and wives are strange.” That is so very true—and God designed us that way!
We are in a real sense “prescription babies” in that God has a custom design for every individual, equipping each for specific achievement and purpose.
As a couple, we can move into our marriage relationship with the confidence that God has put each partner on the earth for a special purpose. As loving mates, our task is to investigate to see what that purpose is and then do all we can to encourage and assist our mates so they can become all that God has planned for them.
We have a choice: We can live in war zones fueled by conflict and frustration or we can live in homes filled with the precious and pleasant riches that come from understanding and accepting our differences.
Make Some Changes, Starting Today!
•Start with yourself. Find out what causes confusion in your life. Establish your own plan on what changes must be made.
• Keep it simple. Don’t make your plans too complicated.
• Have designated places for everything. Avoid piling up papers, toys, clothes, and so on.
• Store like items together. Designate certain places for specific groups: bills, invoices, coffee/tea items, gardening tools, laundry, and so on.
• Get rid of items you don’t use. If you haven’t used the item in the last year, give it away, throw it away, or have a garage sale.
• Invest in proper tools. Use bins, hooks, racks, containers, lazy Susans to maintain order.
• Keep master lists. Keep an inventory of where things are stored in binders, file cards, a computer, or journals.
• Use labels and signs. Label everything—specific items, drawers, and bins.
Make Bedtime Special!
Ah, bedtime! The children have played hard, had a filling dinner, taken a warm bath or shower, dressed in their pajamas, and prepared for bed.
This is the relaxing time, the cooling-down period of the day, just before they fall asleep for a good night’s rest.
The easiest thing to do is shuffle them off to bed with a good-night kiss and a possible short “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayer.
But if you hastily put them to bed, you miss an opportunity to establish a great legacy that will last all their lives. You can impart so much in this short period of time.
Whether you sing with the children, pray, or share a story, you are creating very special memories in those children’s lives.
When you must reprimand your child, do so in a loving manner. Don’t ever try to degrade or humiliate him. His ego is a precious thing worth preserving.
Try saying: “I love you very much but I will not have that kind of behavior. Do you know why I won’t tolerate that? Simply because you are too bright to behave that way.”
Whenever a child does something positive, always take the time to say, “I am so proud of you, bright boy or girl.”
When a child makes a mistake, never call him stupid; simply say “let’s proofread this” or “very good try.”
When the child has a temper tantrum, say to the child, “I don’t know that person who is acting out right now, but I am sure my bright, well-behaved child will return very quickly now. So I’ll just leave the room until he returns.”
Whatever you do to discipline your child, it must be done consistently. Many times we promise rewards for good behavior and never pay up-this teaches the child that your word cannot be trusted.
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