We got a new kitten. Anita felt sorry for our adult female cat (named Michael Tyson) being all alone, so we agreed to get a baby kitten. This one is a male and just old enough to separate from its mother. Anita asked me to name him, so he has been dubbed ‘Gizmo’. She asked me what they meant, and I replied that its a nickname for ‘Gadget’.
But Tyson is not about to be consoled by the male Gizmo. She hisses and bats him around. So Anita was sitting on the porch yesterday trying to get them to make friends. Not happening. These two cats are going to have to work out their differences on their own as they carry out their ‘turf war’ and establish their own ‘pecking order’.
I was reflecting on Anita’s vain efforts while mowing the lawn Sunday afternoon, and they Lord spoke to my heart. Over the years I’ve had several situations where parents got involved trying to help their adult married children fix their marriages. Its never been helpful! The only way young married couples work out their own ‘turf wars’ is to verbally bat each otther around a bit until they learn how to find what works for them. Every couple has to work that out and parents need to stay out of it and pray for them.
Parents can give advice to each individually, but to get into the fray is always disastrous. For parents of adult married children, the best advice is to only respond to questions asked. That’s when they’re ready to listen.
Tags: conflicts, marriage, parenting
Monday was my day off and I was enjoying sitting in the family room listening to my 7-year old granddaughter and 3-year old grandson play together.They were apparently playing house and my granddaughter, Lauren, was taking the role of the dominate wife and Reuben was playing the role of the passive husband, ignoring her, just like the real thing.
Lauren said, “Now, Reuben, I know you don’t like buying me Christmas presents, and you really don’t like wrapping them, so why don’t you just not bother. Make it easy on yourself and just make it in tens and twenties.” Fortunately, I had the newspaper up over my face, because I just about lost it. I think those two kids have marriage down pretty well already.
What have you heard a kid saying recently?
Tags: children, Christmas, marriage
A couple of years ago I married a young couple who were expecting a baby. They were both pretty young and naive. When we began planning for the wedding ceremony, I asked about the bride’s parents and was informed they would not be attending the wedding, although they only lived less than ten miles away. It seems that when her father found out she was expecting a baby, he kicked her out of the house and told her never to return.
So, here was a teenage girl who was thrust by her parents into the arms of the guy they did not want her to marry. Doesn’t make sense, does it? I wonder if that caused a little stress between her mother and father, or if they were in agreement. I wonder if they would change their minds later after their grandchild was born. I wonder if the daughter would give her parents the time of day when (and if) they tried to make amends. I wonder if the grandchild would be any wiser than the grandfather. I wonder…
I understand that the father was embarrassed by the teenager’s poor choices, but what the daughter needed at that time was someone who could guide her to Christ in her trouble, not someone who was driving her away.
How would you advise this young lady who had been disowned by her father?
Tags: choices, marriage, rejection
I do most of my sermon preparation in my study at home. Out the widow there are a couple of Ironwood trees that have been there long before our house was built and are now pretty good size. Those two trees have crossed each other (literally). One large branch has grown across another large branch. When the wind blows, they grate against one another. After decades of this grating in the wind, and amazing thing has happened.
Both having their bark stripped away, their sap has intermingled one with the other. Each time they begin to scar over, another wind causes them to dig yet deeper into one another. Now, years later, those two independent trees are nestled tightly against one another as if they were hugging. Although they are still independent, you would never know it from their intertwined appearance. They each provide protection for the other in their injury. Broken, they have become one. And they sing a beautiful song of nature when the wind blows.
Do you think there might be a lesson in that for marriages? If this was a word from God, what would it say to couples in need?
Tags: healing, marriage, trees, wind
Today Anita and I celebrate 36 years of marriage. We were married by Pastors Dennis Kutzner and Rod Hall at the Waterloo Church of Christ, which eventually became Calvary Chapel, and then New Hope Christian Center. Our reception was in the old Waterloo High School cafeteria next door to the church back then.
We left that day on a honeymoon trip to Niagra Falls, and then through Canada, which turned into a spiritual experience.
While we were engaged we had an experience that glued us together. We were attending a prayer meeting in the home of Dick and Joan Kutzner on Center St. across from the church. About 20 people had gathered for fellowship and prayer. After a brief devotional, we all entered into prayer. Anita and I were sitting beside each other on the hearth. Anita and I both began praying in our prayer language – about one sentence worth – when we both noticed at the same time that we were praying word-for-word the same thing. We looked at each other in shock! We had never heard of that before and have never done it since. We both saw that as a sign from God that we were destined for each other.
Over the years, whenever we feel like killing each other, we remember that experience and consider that it is always God’s will for us to be partners in ministry.
Tags: marriage, spiritual gifts
People always have interesting things to say about marriage. For example,
E. J. Graff said, “Marriage is when you agree to spend the rest of your life sleeping in a room that’s too warm, beside someone who’s sleeping in a room that’s too cold.”
Ogden Nash wrote: “To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it
Whenever you’re right, shut up!”
And Helen Rowland observed, “Marriage is like twirling a baton, turning handsprings or eating with chopsticks. It looks easy until you try it.”
What would be your comment on marriage?
Tags: marriage, wisdom
A pastor went speak to a group of fourth graders on the topic of marriage. He asked, “I wonder if anyone of you know what God has to say about marriage?”
Immediately one little boy was waving his hand back and forth and the pastor called on him and said, “Ok, what does God have to say about marriage?”
The little boy replied, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
The truth is, none of really understood what we were getting into when we first married. The number one problem in marriage is unrealistic expectations. We expect the other person to meet all our needs without considering their needs in the process. In my marriage, it took me about 10 years to understand that. How long has it taken you?
Tags: marriage, unrealistic expectations; pastors; satisfaction