The Fighting of Romance

Post 3 of 4 in our Realities & Fiction of Romance Series

couple-argueGenerally, my kids get along pretty well. Despite their three year age gap they seem to be one of each other’s preferred companions. However, just as all siblings, they also know how to push each other’s buttons and can get screaming mad at one another as well. They know what to say to hurt each other; they know the sensitive spot, and the vulnerable place.

Over the years I’ve stressed to both of them how important it is to protect the trust and bond they have. Making sure not to take public things that are private to the other, things they have the privilege to know precisely because of that trust. No getting mad at one other and then telling those private things to people at school. No revealing the vulnerable places of the other in the ‘heat of the moment.’ I try to instill in them the seriousness of protecting their relationship because if they lose their trust for each other they may forever lose the beautiful bond they have.

The Fiction of Romance

Post 1 of 4 in Realities & Fiction of Romance Series

Last fall we switched our TV provider and with it came access to a new channel—which has sucked more hours from my life than I want to admit. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s many a night was spent with this channel. I am a sucker for Christmas romance movies and this channel had them available in droves throughout the season. Actually this channel has mastered the feel-good, lightweight, family-friendly, romance movie and, as cheesy as they can be, I still keep going back for more!

Bumps in the Road

Getting past relational hurdles

Last weekend I had the privilege of helping my in-laws celebrate 50 years of marriage! This couple represents the bedrock of society. Strong and steady, they personify 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 which says, “…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: you should mind your own business and work with your hands…so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders…”

I came into their life 17 years ago and while I appreciate them a great deal now, the road to get here was not without its bumps. Bumps are a part of any healthy relationship though and it’s through the work that it takes to smooth out bumps that understanding and grace are borne.

What made things complicated for me is something I think causes a great deal of the tension we experience when families combine—be it becoming an ‘in-law’ or becoming a blended (step) family.

That thing?….Differences…

Personality Shouldn’t Be Taken Personally

I love the study of personality. This was by far the favorite class of my psychology undergrad and something that continues to be a focus in my personal reading even now. Ask any friend who knows me well and I’m sure they will recount (perhaps with a sigh) the times I’ve gotten into long dissertations on different personalities, what they look like, how they act, what they are thinking…and generally more information than most probably really wanted. The enthusiasm with which I deliver all this information is the main reason I think people don’t stop and redirect me to another topic…oh, and the fact that I’m not easily diverted!

Personality to me is bedrock information that I wish all people had to learn about and understand, to some degree, as a maturation requirement. It would go a long way in helping people have mercy for one another, and give themselves some grace in the process of living life.

I’ve recently started reading Please Understand Me II by David Keirsey, published in 1992 today it is one of the most widely used temperament sorters in the world. Here is a link to take this personality indicator if you have an interest in doing so for yourself!  While I love the book, and have been swimming in its pages for the last week, it does read like a textbook…so it isn’t for the faint of heart.

As much as I would love to expound on all the different personalities, define them for you and tell you where I fall…there is far more to tell then you would have the patience to read…or listen to. Just ask my obliging husband who has had to listen to me in great detail as we traveled on our recent camping trip, LOL!

My purpose in bringing up this book and area of study is to point out that there are things in life that just ARE…not good, not bad, just IS. Temperament is an IS.  Keirsey relates temperament to computer hardware while character is the software,“Thus temperament is the inborn form of human nature; character [is] the emergent form, which develops through the interaction of temperament and environment.”

Understanding that temperament is innate—even though we can teach and train the weaker parts of it—is important in all of our relationships, but nowhere is it as important as in parenting.

Parenting brings with it the potential for a whole host of guilt and insecurity about the job we are doing or did do in raising our children. While there is plenty to be aware of and work against in raising kids, there are some things I think we make the mistake of taking the fault for when, in reality, there is no fault…there just IS a difference in temperament.

For a change, I will use my husband and my son as an example of what I mean.

The BIG Wedding Day!

3 Things I've Learned in 15 years of Marriage

1378243_10151704484234646_426369673_nToday is my wedding anniversary. Fifteen years ago I was finally getting ready for what I had spent the last 16 months planning—which, for the record, is way too long to be engaged!

I’ve learned a lot of things over the last 15 years. Marriage helps rub the rough edges off of self if you let it.

Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriage says, “If you want to serve God more stay single, if you want to become more like Christ—get married.” Marriage is a spiritual discipline in itself…there is the need each day to take ‘self’ off of center-stage and give 100% to the care of the other. Good marriages, like smooth stones, become that way through years of knocking into each other.

Here are three practical things I’ve learned in 15 years of knocking into Andy.