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Mon, March 18

A happy home is worth the effort

Here at Coffee Cup Counsel, we are in a series of tips for making marriage work. And, for creating a happy home. 

We should not have to endure years of unhappiness for the sake of the children, or other valuable reasons, but to really make it a happy state of being for all concerned.

Some of you have shared your secrets for happy wedded bliss. Others have shared memories of happy times at home. I have enjoyed hearing from you.   Let's look at a few more.

What message did you leave today?

I have been thinking about those who died on 9/11.

We have all heard of precious stories of people on the top floors of the Twin Towers, and those in the doomed planes that tried frantically to get last minute calls to their loved ones.

Of all the reports I have heard, not one person called to say, "I'm still mad at you for what you did."  Nor did they say, "Shame on you for the life you are living."

Instead, they spoke words like, "I love you.Thank you for the life you have given me. I hope you will be happy and have a good life."

I can only imagine how those last words are treasured by those who lost loved ones that day.

What was your last words to your loved ones this morning? We never know when we say goodbye to our family if that will be our last words to them.

I know one wife so angry at her husband that she stormed out of the house into the street in her bathrobe screaming at him as he drove away to work.

That picture stayed in his mind all day, and he sorely dreaded to go home that evening.

On the more positive side, I know a mother who kissed her children's hands every morning as they left for school, leaving her lipstick print to remind them, "I love you."

We are all making memories, good or bad. Memories are something that can't be changed no matter how sorry we are, or how badly we would love to erase them.  Memories are there forever.

Learn to forgive.

Not only is it important to say, "I love you" every day, but know when to say, "I'm sorry," too.

When you quarrel (and you will), the Bible says, "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath." Settle your issues as quickly as possible.

Be big enough to say to your loved one, "Honey, I'm sorry. Please forgive me."

Once those words are said, forgive each other, and don't bring it up again.

Once something is truly forgiven, whether it is overdrawing the checking account, or having an affair, it should be settled.

Large or small, when it is truly forgiven, it may not be forgotten, but the healing can begin.

Larger issues take more time, but the healing is possible.

Starting today, make the last words to your loved ones something they will treasure as the years go by.

Commit to each other for life.

Many people live together because they don't want to truly commit to one another. Perhaps they want a quick get-a-way if things don't go well.

They buy into the lie that says, "I don't need a piece of paper to prove my love."

Living together without marriage gets your life off to the wrong start. It has contributed to the moral decay we are seeing in our country. It also sets a bad example for kids who are watching us.   

If you truly commit to one another, you are going to grow old together with a security that nothing else can compare. No one wants to grow old alone.

Whatever your differences are, work them out by not seeking divorce proceedings too soon.

Take your time going into marriage, and certainly take your time if you feel you must get out.

There are times when divorce is the only answer. In situations of abuse, or repeated unfaithfulness should never be tolerated.  

But if your marriage has just turned boring, or lacking in respect for one another,  those are issues that can be repaired. Making the marriage work is well worth the effort.

True commitment will be a major anchor for you to live happily ever after. It will also be a solid security for your children.

Don't believe the lie that children are not effected by a broken home. It shakes their very foundation.

Parents often ignore the damage done to the kids thinking, they'll get over it.   But the children bare the scars of their parents behavior far more that parents like to admit.

Nothing should ever come before your home. No job or career, no outside friendship.  Nothing.

Jan Kolb is a speaker and Bible teacher.   She and Bill teach Bible Studies in the Prescott area. To contact her, email:  biljankolb@aol.com.

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