By: Kermit Rowe, Encompass Relationship Facilitator
Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. The relationship between a mother and her children has been widely heralded and celebrated, and deservedly so. The women who were divinely chosen to be our gateway into this world are the glue that helps hold our families and nation together.
However, if that parent-child relationship supersedes the husband-wife relationship, trouble in the family usually follows. Picking your spouse over your kids is increasingly becoming unpopular advice as the country increasingly turns away from God and His ways. However, not making that choice goes against the priorities God set up for all marriages. His order of priority when things get unclear: God first, your spouse second, the kids third.
This doesn’t mean that you love your children less. God forbid! But when we decide to accept God’s gift of holy matrimony with the love of our life, we are expected to live our married lives in His holy ways. There’s a reason “forsaking all others” is part of the traditional wedding vows. All means all if push comes to shove.
Why is it important to choose your spouse over your kids if you must pick one over the other? Here are just four of the myriads of reasons:
By: Ronda Nissley
Encompass Connection Center Co-Director
Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty – Anne Herbert, 1982
I am one of those people that can become so focused on my calendar and my “to do” list that I lose sight of other people as human beings. After all, I have important things to do and deadlines to meet. Please don’t get in my way or slow me down! I am constantly at war with time. It’s easy for me to become impatient with others that don’t fulfill my expectations.
By: Ronda Nissley, Co Director
Ahhhh, February- a month of ROMANCE. Each week in February we're discussing the seasons of romance in marriage. After visiting the pre-marital, honeymoon, and "with kids at home," seasons, this week we're ready to find out what happens romantically after the kids leave home! Next week, we’ll finish with the golden years.
Romance…. When the kids leave home
We’ve seen it many times. Kids go off to college, they move out and start their own lives. What was once a flurry of daily activity that centered around the children has now ceased. The days of shuttling kids to school; attending sporting events; washing mountains of laundry; re-stocking the refrigerator and pantry (daily); de-cluttering dropped book bags and coaching our children through life’s challenges eventually do come to an end.
Suddenly, parents find themselves alone again with the realization that they hardly know, let alone like their partner anymore. It doesn’t have to be that way!
By: Kermit Rowe, Encompass Relationship Facilitator
Ahhh February- a month of ROMANCE! Each week in February we’ll be sharing about the seasons of romance in marriage. Last week we visited the pre-marital through honeymoon seasons. This week we’ll talk about romance while the children are at home. Next week will be for the empty nesters and finally we’ll finish with the golden years.
Parent or romantic partner … which comes first?
What is the most challenging time in a marriage? When the honeymoon is over.
The trick of course is to be able to keep the honeymoon attitude alive. But no matter how romantic the two are, that comes to a screeching halt when the two who became one, turn around and become two again, and three, and four, and … well, you get the picture. There are a lot of challenging ‘hoods out there, but none more challenging than parenthood.
My wife and I, and some of you I’m sure, have been there and done that. Our nest is empty, and we don’t mind at all (most of the time). But many of you homemakers are in the eye of the storm, and those winds can howl. As an Encompass relationship facilitator and pastor, I’m constantly seeing the shrapnel produced by kid-induced, divisive war on the home front. It is heartbreaking as it is home-wrecking!
By: Hollie Kowalski, Outreach Coordinator
Welcome to February- a month of ROMANCE! Each week in February we’ll be sharing about the seasons of romance in marriage. Today we’ll visit the pre-marital through honeymoon seasons. Next week we’ll talk about romance with children at home. The following week will be for the empty nesters and finally we’ll finish with the golden years.
❤Romance in the pre-marital through honeymoon seasons:
My husband Joe and I have been married for almost 19 wonderful years, so I’ll have to think back a few years to remember that glorious stage of euphoria that was our dating life. To sum up the two years that we dated, I would use words such as: butterflies, excitement, security, preoccupation, infatuation, insecurity, anxiety (the good kind,) and you guessed it- ROMANCE!
By: Jennifer Michael, Executive Assistant
Does anyone else tend to withdraw from people during those uncomfortable times of heartache, anger, fear, and temptation? Guilty, right here. But why do we do that? What makes us think we can get through those times without having someone to help us along the way? You know, someone to give us just a little bit of shade in the desert, so to speak.
By Kermit Rowe, Encompass Relationship Facilitator
A recent email blast from Family Life came into my inbox asking a question that immediately caught my attention: “Between you and your spouse, who is the one who typically wins arguments?”
The go-to gut reaction for many of us tends to be a lengthy (or maybe not so lengthy) review of the scorecard we tend to keep of our most recent series of arguments – at least the ones we remember. Why is it so important that we win? Because we want things to go our way, and we are willing to forfeit temporarily a little bit of peace and harmony to get what we want. Besides. nobody likes to lose. Right?
That led me to another question: “When we win, do we really win?”
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.