Tag Archives: marriage

10 Things I Wish I’ve Learned About Teen Purity

1 Oct

Celebrate Purity Gala Night 2013

My son Miguel just turned 14, and it was very timely that we were invited by our good friend Mark for a Purity Symposium and Gala Night last September 21. This event was offered by The Master’s Academy (TMA) for home-schooled students. Since his son Nathan is also fourteen, and a good friend of our son, we figured now was the best time to have these two young men go together.


My husband Gerard and I take parenting seriously. We know that it is our divine calling to guide our children, support them, and to teach them to know all about Christ.  Our parenting is very intentional. We seek instructions not just from the Word, but from experts and other parents who are as devoted as we are to our God-given vocation. 


The Purity Symposium is one of those events we were eager to attend. This in effect is one way of setting up walls of defense for our children, and one of the many teaching  opportunities for us to let them know how they can glorify their Lord and Savior.

 

Miguel and Nathan, buddies for the symposium, buddies for life.


During our time, our own parents were not exposed to a valuable tool such as this. We learned everything about sex and purity through our classmates, friends, and sadly from TV shows and movies, which were not the best sources, and not the standard we should be looking at for our moral compass in purity.

 

O great young men for God!


Attending two half-days’ worth of seminar, here are the 10 things I wished I have learned during my teen years about purity:

1. Gods design for purity is a gold standard, 100% pure, and flawless. (1 Peter 1:15-16)

What does it mean to be pure? From a biblical perspective, purity is a virtue of single mindedness, the moral excellence evident in life as you do consistently what is right. One foundational truth is that God is holy and pure! Purity is embracing God’s standard in all things. 


Man’s efforts won’t be enough to satisfy a holy and perfect God. Man’s dilemma is that God’s standard is 100 percent pure. God’s dilemma is to bring us to perfection thru John 3:16 by sending Jesus to die for us

 

Gerard and I signing the Purity Covenant, committing to supporting and guiding him in his battle for purity.


2. God created male and female in His own image. (Matthew 19:4-6)

God created us in his own image means we are reflecting his character: we can reason, be creative, have purpose, speak the truth, have goodness, and blessing. God made two different sexes for a purpose, equal before God. There is no third sex. In Genesis, God saw that it was good! We are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139) 

3. God created us for a purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11) 

God has plans to prosper us and to give us hope and a future. In John 10:10, He came for us to have abundant life. Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder said, “What you can build can change the world!” In 1 Chronicles 11:22, stories were told of the great exploits of David’s 30 men. So is Tim Tebow’s great exploits in sports. 

Find your purpose in God, not your own. Here’s a video to show how one can triumph against all odds just by finding his purpose in life in God. You may be dealt with all 5 cards but God has all the chips.

 

How amazing for Nick Vujicic: “Even the worst things in your life can come together for good. So stop looking everywhere and just look up – you’ll be unstoppable!”

 

4. Our body is not our own. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

We must honor God with our body.  We do not belong to ourselves. God has bought us with a price. There are many issues that beset the youth today –  smoking, drinking, and drug abuse. In Romans 1: 18-32, there is a downward spiral for godlessness and wickedness of men. Futile thinking and foolish hearts are darkened, there is sexual impurity, they have exchanged God’s truth for a lie, they worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator. So God gave them over to a depraved mind. What we see and read in the newspapers today are all clear examples of godlessness and wickedness of men that resulted from the abuse of their own bodies.

 

Our son Miguel signing the Purity Covenant, committing to living a life of purity.

 

5. The mind is powerful. God wants us to control our thoughts. (Proverbs 23:7) 

God wants us to protect our mind from the deceptions of life. It is a battle of the mind. For the rest of our life, the more of these impure images we see, the more of these pictures we will store in our brain. 

 

The way to our head is through our heart, we build emotions in our heart. There are songs with catchy melody but very bad lyrics – and very deceptive! The danger of music can be seen clearly in the music “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. Watch out for what is written and sung, because great is the power of the subconscious.

What man thinks for himself he will be. Romans 12:2 advises us not to copy the customs of this world. Like polvoron, the world squeezes us to its mold to be what we shouldn’t be, to forget about God. Let us allow God to transform us into a new person by changing the way we think, then we will know what God wants us to do, which is His will, pleasing and perfect.

 

We need to practice self control – to control what goes on in our minds, to take control of our thought patterns with Scriptures. We are encouraged to study and read the bible, pointing out to Proverbs, to keep our minds focused on the good things. Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.” Our objective is not just to flee, but to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. Philippians 4:8 shows us the 8 stage filter for our thoughts and to dwell in these things. 

 

Purity Ceremony, a milestone for us in teen parenting.

6. God desires that we see only what is good. (Psalm 101:3)

Matthew 6:22-23: “The eye is a lamp for our body, it lets sunshine in to our soul.” What we allow our eyes to look at really matters. We need to refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar! Have nothing to do with them.

 

When we pass by and see some of the billboards in Edsa, we should “do the boing boing”  – turn our head the other way. It is fleeing with our eyes. We can’t run, but we can turn our head away! Train ourselves not to look at worthless things, such as pornography and violent movies.

 

7. God wants a heart that loves him above all else! (Psalm 37:4)

In Proverbs 4:23, we are told to guard our heart because it affects everything we do. It is the source of life. We live out our hearts.  Delight in God principle is “to delight in God, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Know only affection, not love! We need to learn to control our feelings, emotions,  or affections (our likes).

 

Ring Ceremony – putting on the ring as a visible symbol and a constant reminder to keep himself pure.

8. Pursue God, not romance. (Song of Solomon 2:7)

We are advised not to awaken romance or love, until the time is right, when we are ready for marriage.  We need to spare our hearts from needless pain, from heart break. While waiting for the right time, we can:

– pursue friendship, not exclusive relationship

– stick to our priority, be an excellent student!

– practice the rule of head over our heart. Don’t follow our heart!

– avoid reading romantic novels, movies, music, heartthrobs 

9. Prepare now for a great future. (Galatians 6:7)

Enjoy the golden age of opportunity, to enjoy this time with God, the time of discovery, growth, building interests, strengths, fun and new experiences, and new skills. We need to work hard at life  – “do hard things, ” because the easy life is not real:

1. Be God’s best first. Be everything God wants you to be.

2. Obey the “hard things”. Obey your parents on what they would like you to do, on varied interests and you will see how those dots connect when the time comes! 

3. Practice hearing God in the Scriptures.

4. Be useful.

 

There is no such thing as teenagers! After being a child, you become an adult right away. Teenager is just a marketing term. The Spartans are the perfect example. When one turns 7, the child is sent to fend for himself, to be trained and educated to do battle.

The challenge is to wait till marriage, and we’ll be there to see him through. He will give this keepsake to his future mate.

10. God designed the home as the place where purity is nurtured. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

 We are told to commit to God’s teachings and for parents to teach these things to children. The circle of blessing “umbrella” happens when we put ourselves under the protection of our parents during our teen years. To improve relationships at home, we need to discover each other’s love language, and engage in lots of conversation, to make small talk special.

Science says that it will only be after the teen years that the frontal lobe of the brain will be fully developed. For this reason, teens need their parents to guide them, to put fences and boundaries for their safety and well-being. We are encouraged to confess, not to hide things, and protect ourselves.

Families that support and help their children win the Purity War.
Our family’s purity code.

If you want to know more about how you and your child can attend a Purity Seminar, call TMA (The Master’s Academy) Homeschool at +632 234 0432 or +63 917 849 1409.

Life is Amazing!

Leny

 

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3 Secrets To A Successful Marriage

5 Sep

Research shows that a couple’s retreat or couple’s seminar extends the marriage to the next 5 years. So if you have been attending a couple’s getaway yearly, then you are definitely assured that you will stay married for a long time!

In the couples’ retreat we attended just recently facilitated by Victory Fort, aptly named “They’re Playing Our Song,” I have been reminded that all throughout your relationship with your spouse, you could actually be playing different songs. In the beginning, you might be singing, “You To Me Are Everything”, then in another season of your marriage, you or your spouse might be singing “Sana Dalawa Ang Puso Ko” (How I Wish I Had 2 Hearts). And then again, you also might be playing “Please Release Me Let Me Go,” or then again maybe “Love Will Lead You Back” in a few years. 

In the couples retreat, I have learned that the greatest songs in marriage starts with the Key of C, the 3 secrets to a successful marriage. Here are some of the most important things to note for  your own marriage:

1. COMMUNICATION

Pastor Sonny and wife Malou really hit the mark with this one.
  • Miscommunication breeds misunderstanding. Miscommunication happens because men and women differ from one another:
  • Men want to talk because there is a problem. Women talk only because they want to be heard. They just want to spill out words while organizing things or thoughts in their mind.
  • Men are conditioned to listen actively – they want to talk to tell you what they want to happen, or to take action, or to solve a problem. Women only want them to know what’s in their heart and how they’re feeling.
  • The purpose why couples need to talk to each other are:
    • to better understand each other and situation; not to blame and not to complicate the situation,
    • to enable people to resolve differences; not to disagree and not to fight,
    • to build trust and respect; not to be suspicious and not to judge, and
    • to create a caring environment, to love and to flourish for creative ideas to be revealed.
  • Communication is NOT just to understand information, but to understand the EMOTION behind the information.
  • To communicate effectively, we need to understand the power of words, which involves a lot of work.
    • The Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:6  is telling us that speaking the same language will result to achieving almost anything.
    • The devil’s goal is to confuse the husband and the wife. There has to be a goal or a purpose to talk to each other: NOT just pouring out our hearts and emotions, but to address conflict and arrive at a solution.
    • Going away or retreating to our caves is NEVER the solution.
  • There are 3 ways that we can communicate effectively:

1. Words. We say what we mean, and mean what we say, yes, even in sex. We can only retain 7% of what is being said to us through words, or even LESS especially with words we don’t want to hear. When we talk to our spouse, we need to communicate and consider each other’s convictions, true emotions, standard and values, and our hearts. Let us not allow them to guess what we want to say. Reveal the depth of who we are and how we truly feel.

Power Verse:
  • Proverbs 31: the woman of noble character wants to bless and not to bluster, to heal and not to wound, to create a world of order and beauty and not chaos. In her tongue are the words of kindness and instruction.
  • Proverbs 18: on the other hand, warns us of a fool’s lips that incur a beating caused by hurting words.
 
2. Tone. Consider how you say your words. 38% of the things we say are retained through our tone. Verify and confirm what we say. Let us consider the right pitch to use, the highness or lowness of pitch of our voice.
Power Verse:
  • Matthew 12: 32-37: a good heart brings forth good things. What is in our heart affects the tone of our voice. All our sentiments and hurts in our hearts affect how we say things.
 
3. Non verbal. 55% of retention is through our body language. Our actions affirm or deny what we say. What do we communicate through our eyes, our facial reactions, our body language? What do we always need to communicate to our spouse?
  • For the husband: that she is the most important person in your life. This gives her security.
  • For the wife: that you respect him and are proud of him, and that you appreciate everything they do, especially in the presence of his family and in front of other people. This gives him validation.
  • Here are the 5 most important statements to say to your spouse in order of importance: 
    • #5. “I am proud of you!” (to husbands)
    • #4. “What do you think?” (to wives)
    • #3. “How are you?” (to wives) with “I just want to reply or return your call.” or “I am sorry, please forgive me.”
    • #2. “You matter to me.” (to wives)
    • #1. “Thank you.” (to husbands)
Power Verse:
  • Proverbs 4:23: warns us to guard our hearts because it is the offspring of life.

2. CONNECTION

Pastor Tito and wife Carol reminded us of these barriers to emotional intimacy, and yes FB is one of them…
  • The biblical foundation is found in Genesis 1:27, that male and female have a unique need for emotional intimacy. But in Genesis 3:5-7, they were tempted. Man has fallen, out of his own selfishness.
  • God himself is the missing piece of the human heart. As Mary Farrar says it, “there should be a healthy connection: first be connected to God, then be connected with each other.”
  • Barriers or disconnectors to emotional intimacy between couples:
    • 1. Busyness and weariness
    • 2. Sloth or laziness with marriage (auto pilot)
    • 3. Social media (FB, Twitter…)
    • 4. Personal baggage or hang up
  • Connectors for emotional intimacy:
    • 1. Discover and understand your spouses emotional expression. Men are like waffles (thinking in boxes) and women are like spaghetti (thinking in interconnection and relationships of things). Marriage is like a coin. It has two sides, but it is STILL only ONE COIN. We relate and connect to each other based on our themes or individual wiring, temperament, love language, or birth order. Here are some practical tips to discover our spouses emotional expression:
      • 1. Non negotiable weekly date night
      • 2. Laugh together
      • 3. Try new things together
      • 4. Play together
      • 5. Rejuvenation at the end of workday: halt for husbands and talk for women
      • 6. Pray and believe together. God has joined us divinely.
  • 2. Devote and delight in sexual intimacy. (Genesis 2:24). Here are some practical tips:
    • 1. Do not deprive each other. Consider and appreciate the blessing of God’s innate wiring of husband. In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, there is a marital glue. Wives, remember that men are more fragile and vulnerable. They are mortally wounded when repeatedly rejected. Husbands, remember to do it ASAP, not as soon as possible, but as slowly as possible.
    • 2. Schedule a day for sexual intimacy
    • 3. Put awe ( Affection, Warmth and Encouragement) in your intimacy
    • 4. Share what pleases you most.  

3. COMMITMENT

Pastor Raymond and wife Malou reminded us that Jesus is the only source of the living water.
  • Ephesians 5:31: to be united (cleave) together to be one flesh. To cleave means to stick together like glue
  • Commitment is a decision to love and stick with the other person no matter what
  • According to Timothy Keller, the meaning of marriage is facing the complexities of marriage with the wisdom of God. Love now becomes a covenant, NOT a renewable contract that expires.
  • Investing with time brings the love. Emotion follows the motion, the action.
  • Stick together!  There’s a turnaround. It is a matter of declaration for the future. “No matter what.”
  • John 4:13-17: people will be thirsty again, but with Jesus you won’t be thirsty again. This verse is also speaking about second and third marriages: you would want to be quench with the need you didn’t find in your marriages, but it is ONLY through Jesus that your thirst will be quenched. God is the source of water in our life. We are asking for something from our spouse that God can only supply – unli!
  • The vow is both is noun and a verb:
    • Listen.
    • Encourage: make a prophetic declaration
    • Co-build: you need support and mentors
  • Vows:
    • I will love you no matter what.
    • I will bring out the best in you no matter what.
    • I will believe the impossible no matter what.
    • I will be faithful to you no matter what.
    • Our foundation will be the word of God at all times no matter what.

Power Verse:

  • Psalm 127:1: We will pass on a legacy of commitment to the next generation no matter what.
  • Judges 2:10: God is more committed to our marriage than us.
Here are the many ways we have learned to apply the 3 Keys of C during the day:

 

Are you ready for the challenge???
The Great Date Challenge: Love Art
The Great Date Challenge: House of Straw
And the prize for the Great Date Challenge? A movie date with popcorn and drinks!
Awesome couples for support!
And another couple partner in our marriage journey, Milona and Bensie.

These are the many bonuses of our couples getaway that made it all the more worthwhile:

Matching his and hers pens! Adorable, right?
“Making sweet music together” cupcakes we found on our beds for the night was a sweet surprise!
Breakfast in bed room service with flowers!

We were floored with how well organized and how well planned this couples getaway was. And only for P3,990! We thank Victory Fort pastors and the many volunteers for their commitment and dedication for the many marriages of all the couples who were blessed with this retreat. 

We hope someday, we will have the greatest and most romantic love story ever told! 

Life is Amazing!
LENY

25 Ways To Protect Your Marriage

11 Jul

Let’s talk about hedges in our marriage. Hedges are boundaries. In Mark 12:1 Jesus said, “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it.” First, the man planted a vineyard. Think of your marriage as a vineyard. You “planted” it the day you said, I do. Next, the man in the parable placed a hedge around his vineyard. Why? Several reasons: to protect it from intrusion by animals and thieves; to keep his vines inside his vineyard; and to separate his territory from his neighbors.

A hedge makes the statement, “Private Property, No Trespassing.” The symbolic hedges around our marriages serve the same purposes. As a married couple, our goal, as co-owners of our vineyard, is to keep the good things in—and the bad things out. The only way to ensure that our marriage survives – and thrives – is to plant hedges of protection around it.

hedges-loving-your-marriage-enough-to-protect-it

In his book, “Hedges: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It,” author and family speaker Jerry Jenkins, provides captivating, practical, and no nonsense ways to build hedges of temptations around your marriage.

These HEDGES consist of simple principles that will protect your marriage from external invaders and internal discontent. Here are 25 interesting hedges I have discovered:

#1. Don’t think that your marriage can’t become a casualty.

Look around you and consider how many people you know who have been through separation and ultimately, divorce. Understand that, unless you constantly nurture your marriage, it is destined to decline and die – just like plants that are neglected. Decide that you will take the risks seriously.

#2. Plant early before problems take root.

Know that if you plant hedges in your marriage before you find yourself in a threatening situation, you can prevent many problems from taking root and nip affairs in the bud. Decide to proactively make decisions to protect your marriage. Anticipate danger, plan, and plot your escape before you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

#3. Realize that temptation has only one effective response.

Whenever you’re faced with the temptation of attraction to someone other than your spouse, realize that there is only one response that will work – to flee! RUN! Any other approach, such as trying to rationalize your way out of it, is doomed to failure. Decide to run from the situation as from a contagious disease. Recognize that the right time to act is as soon as you start to notice your attraction to another person. 2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

#4. Don’t blame God for what’s really your own responsibility.

It’s all too easy to blame God for making it possible for you to feel sexual attraction toward someone besides your spouse. But your responsibility is to choose to channel your desires properly. If you ask God to help you do so, He will strengthen you for the task.

#6. Rely on God’s strength rather than your own.

Realize that, as a human being in a fallen world, your best resolve and inner strength can still fail you when you need it most. Choose to rely on God’s unlimited power to help you keep your marriage strong.

#7. Remind yourself of biblical bases for hedges.

Read and meditate on the Scripture verses that address the importance of hedges to protect something valuable, purity, etc. Look up 2 Timothy 2:22, Proverbs 4:23.

#8. Quit kidding yourself.

Understand the tremendous capacity of every human being to deceive himself or herself when not connected to God. Know that, once you start making excuses for wrong behavior, each excuse will sound more plausible, and you will sink deeper and deeper into sin and ruin. Admit that you can’t trust your own self apart from God, and decide to stay close to Him.

#9. Make it a threesome. Two’s Company; Three’s Security.

Whenever you need to meet or dine or travel with an unrelated person of the opposite sex, make it a threesome. Should an unavoidable last-minute complication make this impossible, let your spouse hear about it from you first.

#10. Be careful about touching.

While you might shake hands or squeeze an arm or a shoulder in greeting, embrace only dear friends or relatives, and only in front of others. Also, be sensitive to the attitudes and interpretations of those you choose to touch.

#11. Watch the nature of your compliments. Some compliments don’t pay.

If you pay a compliment to someone besides your spouse, make it on clothes or hairstyle, not the person himself or herself. Allow yourself to be friendly, outgoing, and encouraging, but don’t run the risk of having the person assume anything beyond that.

#12. Speak well of your spouse to other people.

Never make your spouse the butt of jokes or discuss your marriage problems when talking with others who might use that as an invitation to come between you. Guard your tongue, and say only positive things about your husband or wife when you’re with others.

#13. Tell your love story to others.

Keep retelling the story of how you met, fell in love with, and married your spouse. As you do, you solidify in your mind the things that attracted you to your spouse in the first place.

#14. Remind your spouse – and yourself – of your wedding vows.

Take the time regularly to remember your wedding vows. Reaffirm them through love notes to your spouse, in romantic conversation, and in other creative ways.

#15. Remind yourself of what you could lose if you’re unfaithful to your spouse.

Imagine yourself having to confess to your spouse that you’ve had an affair. Then imagine the price you might pay for that – losing your family, the future of your dreams, even your relationship with God. Know that it’s definitely worthwhile to do whatever it takes to protect your marriage.

#16. Forget the myth of quality time; give your family quantity time.

Make it a top priority to spend as much time as you can with your spouse and children. Arrange your work schedule around your family, rather than vice versa. Be available to your family whenever they need you, and enjoy sharing experiences with them everyday that can’t be scheduled into small blocks of “quality” time. Know that doing so will naturally build a strong bond between you and your spouse, as well as give your kids the sense of love and security they need.

Plant any other hedges that either you or your spouse need to protect your marriage. Get to know what specific weak areas you and your spouse each have that could threaten your marriage. Work together to do something practical and concrete about them. Then celebrate your victories together!

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.” Proverbs 4:23

My husband and I are celebrating our 15th year together and I realized that we have already been practicing some of the recommendations outlined by Jerry. Some of these have been shared to me from the wisdom of both our moms and largely from the biblical study and marriage retreats and seminars we have attended throughout our marriage. These have greatly contributed to the continued success and enjoyment of our marriage.

I am sharing here some of our own hedges that we have been able to plant to ward off temptations: 

#17. Choose wisely.

My husband and I avoid unnecessarily spending more or longer time with someone of the opposite sex. For instance, when I’m looking for a personal trainer at the local gym, I chose someone of the same sex and vice versa. We avoid giving or asking advice from someone of the opposite sex. We choose to ask advice or give a crying shoulder to the same gender. This way we avoid any misunderstanding, jealousy, hurt, anger, or miscommunication to everyone.

#18.  Share carefully.

I wouldn’t want to share things about myself or my marriage that I haven’t or wouldn’t share with my  spouse. But if I do, then that would be a red flag. This is what is oftentimes called emotional infidelity. Not all affairs are physical – an emotional affair is just as damaging. So if I can’t share some emotional things with my husband, I’d look to my girlfriends instead. In the same way, my husband turns to his brothers or male friends in our community for “unloading” time and for support and encouragement.

#19.  Stay in large, public settings.

We determine ahead of time not to meet one-on-one with anyone of the opposite sex. If any of our coworker asks if he or she can join either one for lunch, we simply ask a third person to join as well. We don’t hesitate to share the boundary my spouse and I have agreed upon in our marriage, especially if it’s necessary. We remind ourselves that we might just lead by example. We both agree that there should be no one of the opposite sex to be allowed to sit in the passenger side of the spouse’s car. We include in the agreements regarding dining and traveling prohibitions with anyone of the opposite sex.

#20. Don’t be naïve.

Most people who end up in affairs don’t set out to have one. Infidelity usually begins with an innocent relationship that, in time, moves to an emotional depth that crosses a line of fidelity. We both agree to be on our guard and if one of us is remiss, we remind each other occasionally. If either one of us feels that a coworker or a friend from the opposite sex is “too close for comfort,” we call each other’s attention and try to remain to be plainly friendly, not overly friendly.  We try to stay away from people who are very “touchy-feely” and very flirtatious.

#21. Increase your investment at home.

Solid marriages are built by spending time together, laughing together, and playing together. We make sure we set up dates weekly and we make spending time together a priority. We schedule our recreation time together so we can play together, like playing squash or running in the morning or afternoons.

#22. Pay attention to your thought-life.

When all you think about is your spouse’s faults, any other man or woman will look better. To make sure we fall in love with each other over and over again, we make a list of the strengths that initially attracted us to each other. We remind ourselves why we fell in love. We celebrate our anniversaries every month without fail. We increase our encouragement and we decrease our criticism.

#23. Don’t play the comparison game.

We all make mistakes, have bad habits and annoying behaviors. We try not to compare our  “new friend” or some other husband or wife. It would be an unfair comparison because we aren’t seeing that person in a “living under the same roof, taking care of kids, struggling to make ends meet” reality. Instead, we focus on our good side.

#24. Seek help.

Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. A Christian counselor can provide valuable perspective and help set new strategies for a marriage that can go the distance. We choose to spend our time with like-minded couples who believe in the same values as we do, and we encourage each other through small care groups, seminars, and marriage retreats to help us preserve our I Dos.

#25. Meet each other’s needs.

I have discussed this lengthily in my previous post: His Needs Her Needs. Aim to know your partner’s needs and endeavor to meet them. Here are the 5 top needs of a man: 

  1. Sexual fulfillment
  2. Recreational companionship
  3. An attractive spouse
  4. Domestic support
  5. Admiration

Here are the top 5 needs of a woman:

  1. Affection
  2. Conversation
  3. Honesty and openness
  4. Financial support
  5. Family commitment

If you think that your marriage is strong and you don’t have any use for hedges, then this is all the more reason to practice some of these recommendations. This will ensure that your marriage will remain strong, joyous, and healthy.

My hedges may not bey our hedges. If some these apply to you, then plant it. If not, you may develop some of your own where you need it. Do you have hedges? What’s yours? I appreciate if you can add your bit of wisdom here. If you want to share, leave a reply in the comment box.

Life is Amazing!

LENY

Building An Affair-Proof Marriage

7 Jul

If you have followed what I have posted on small care groups, it is a mini discussion amongst couples on some of the most important concepts and tools to help us enrich our marriage. 

Here’s the second CG Bites we are discussing this quarter: His Needs, Her Needs – Building An Affair-Proof Marriage, taken from the best-selling book authored by marriage counseling expert, Dr. Willard F. Harley Jr.

The concept is hinged on the idea of being aware, to understand, appreciate and to meet our spouse’s needs to reduce marital conflict and avoid the risk of an affair in our marriage.

The key to meeting our needs lies in our Love Bank: it is an inner scoring device we never knew we had.

The Love Bank underscores that we affect each other emotionally after every encounter; be it pleasurable or painful. 

The accumulation of positive and negative experiences determines our emotional reaction to those we know. We are not actively aware of this but the love units keep coming in or going out, withdrawn or deposited, and keeping scores.

There were promises we made that we only allow our spouse the exclusive right to meet our most important needs, and these needs are strictly reserved for the marriage bond.  

If these needs are not met in our marriage, then we face the powerful temptation to fill it outside of marriage, and enter into an affair, even though we may have very strong moral, ethical, or religious convictions. 

It takes skill and practice to be aware and to learn to meet each other’s needs. 

According to Dr. Harley, in order of its importance, here are man’s most important needs:

  1. Sexual fulfillment
  2. Recreational companionship
  3. An attractive spouse
  4. Domestic support
  5. Admiration

In the order of its importance, the woman’s basic needs in marriage tends to be:

  1. Affection
  2. Conversation
  3. Honesty and openness
  4. Financial support
  5. Family commitment

Married couples like us need to be aware of this most important principle. We need to be less incompatible and be more irresistible to each other. 

We need to PUT IN the effort, AND put our effort in the RIGHT PLACES.

Let us examine how to become more irresistible. 

The Irresistible Husband:

  1. Affection. The husband tells his wife that he loves her with words, cards, flowers, gifts, and common courtesies. He hugs and kisses her many times each day, creating an environment of affection that clearly and repeatedly expresses his love for her.
  2. Conversation. He sets aside time everyday to talk to her. They may talk about events in their lives, their children, their feelings or their plans. The topic is never judgmental, always informative and constructive. She talks to him as much as she would like, and he responds with interest. He is never too busy to “just talk”.  
  3. Honesty and Openness. He tells her everything about himself, leaving nothing out that might later surprise her. He describes his positive and negative feelings, events of his past, his daily schedule and his plans for the future. He never leaves her with a false impression and is truthful about his thoughts, feelings, intentions and behavior.
  4. Financial Support. He assumes the responsibility to house, feed and clothe the family. If his income is insufficient to provide essential support, he resolves the problem by upgrading his skills to increase his salary. He does not work long hours, keeping himself from his wife and his family, but is able to provide necessary support by working sufficient hours. While he encourages his wife to pursue a career, he does not depend on her salary for family living expenses.
  5. Family Commitment. He commits sufficient time and energy to the moral and educational development of the children. He reads to them, engages in sports with them, and takes them on frequent outings. he reads books and attends lectures with his wife on the subject of parenting and child development so that they will do a good job training the children. They discuss methods and objectives until they agree. He does not proceed with any plan of training discipline without her approval. He recognizes that his care of children is critically important to her.

The Irresistible Wife:

  1. Sexual Fulfillment. The wife meets this need by becoming a terrific sexual partner. She studies her own sexual response to recognize and understand what brings out the best in her; then she shares this information with him, and together they learn to have a sexual relationship that both find repeatedly satisfying and enjoyable.
  2. Recreational CompanionshipShe develops an interest in the recreational activities he enjoys most and tries to become proficient at them. If she finds she cannot enjoy them, she encourages him to consider other activities that they can enjoy together. She becomes his favorite recreational companion, and he associates her with his most enjoyable moments of relaxation.
  3. Physical Attractiveness. She keeps herself physically fit with diet and exercise, and she wears her hair, make up and clothes in a way that he finds her attractive and tasteful. He is attracted to her in private and proud of her in public.
  4. Domestic Support.  She creates a home that offers him a refuge from the stresses of life. She manages the household responsibilities in a way that encourages him to spend time at home enjoying his family.  
  5. Admiration. She understands and appreciates him more than anyone else. She reminds him of his value and achievements and helps him maintain self-confidence. She avoids criticizing him. She is proud of him, not out of duty, but from a profound respect for the man she chose to marry.

Our society needs to train people on meeting the needs of others, especially our marriage partner. If you need to make your married life a priority, let’s start!

Let us be irresistible! Are you incompatible or are you irresistible???

Blogger’s Note: If you want to learn how to become irresistible to your spouse, you may want to read the book His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. Willard F. Harley Jr. and discover in detail how identifying and meeting your most important need will deepen your love and desire for each other.


Life is Amazing!

LENY

Discovering and Speaking The 5 Love Languages

6 Jul

My husband, Gerard, and I have been blessed with knowing many tools and concepts in the course of our being together for 14 years. I think that it would be helpful to share the concept about the 5 Love Languages.  Our experience is a living proof that this does works!

When couples like us have problems in communication in our marriage, we try to solve it by reading books or attending seminars. When we go home, we are unable to implement the principles. We just ultimately give up and go back to life as usual. 

The real problem is we forgot one simple fundamental truth: people speak different love languages. 

No matter how hard we try or sincere we are, we will never understand how to love each other. We become confused when our spouse does not understand what we are communicating. We express love but the message does not come through.

The 5 Love Languages define that each one of us have different ways of expressing our love and feeling that we are loved. 

These acts of love fill up our love tank. Our love tank is filled when our emotional needs are met.

The 5 love languages seek to express our heartfelt commitment to our mate. 

Dr. Gary Chapman, bestselling author and marriage counseling expert, define one by one the 5 love languages:

1. Words of Affirmation – you receive and express love by saying encouraging words, verbal compliments, words of praise, kind and humble words.

2. Quality Time – you receive and express love by giving your undivided attention, sharing your thoughts and feelings, listening and making conversations about events in your day, and your plans for the future. 

3. Receiving Gifts – you receive and express love by giving gifts as visual symbols of your love; it could be gifts of things, money or self. 

4. Acts of Service – you receive and express love by doing things your spouse loves such as cooking a meal, washing the dishes, changing diapers, fixing the house or computer or just keeping the house clean.

5. Physical Touch – you receive and express love by gestures such as back rubs, kissing, holding hands, hugging or back massages.


In all our years together, I have watched my husband evolve in his love language. For most of his life, his love language is receiving gifts and words of affirmation. 

His love tank is filled whenever I remember to give him gifts during our special occasions or even when there is no reason to give or celebrate. 

He also feels most loved whenever I fill him up with words of praise and encouraging words. He seems to be ‘on top of the world’ when he hears me affirm him with kind words. 

These days, his love language is quality time, as he feels loved when i spend my waking moments with him, when I accompany him to watch his favorite movies or just to jog with him in the early evening or morning. 

The couples in our small discussion care group, including me and my husband, aspire to learn to speak our spouses’ love language. 

We play the game of Tank Check. At the end of the day, we ask our spouse these questions: “How is your love tank today? How do I fill it up?”

We aim to discover ways on how best to make them feel loved. This way, we enrich and strengthen our love for each other. Choosing to speak the love language of our spouse can heal all wounds, provide a sense of security, self worth and significance.

We intend to ‘give, then it will be given to you – a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over’ (Luke 6:38). This is the principle we would like to live by in our married life.  

How about you? How is your love tank? 

What is your love language? What hurts you deeply? What makes you feel loved the most? What do you desire most of all?

What is the love language of your spouse? How do you make your spouse feel loved? 

Are you and your spouse speaking the same love language?


Blogger’s Note: I encourage you to read the New York Times bestseller book, The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. Many couples have been inspired to learn simple ways to express their feelings of love and bring back the joy in their marriage. Discover what your spouse’s love language is and how to make him/her feel loved.


Life is Amazing!

LENY

Casting A Family Vision

6 Jul

“A goal without a plan is just a WISH!” 

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer, “The Little Prince”

We don’t want families today to just be wishers, but DREAMERS and MOVERS.

With this direction, the Couples Missions of the Light of Jesus started the first batch of the Seminar on Raising Smart Families. Two of the most important things for a family to do are: (1) first, to make a family vision, (2) and second, to help this vision come true, to learn how to manage their family finance.

We gathered some of the couple leaders in our community, the Light of Jesus, for a seminar in Valle Verde Country Club one Saturday morning last January. 

Couples Missions leaders took a break to learn about Raising Smart Families.

The day flowed into two parts: Module 1 focused on Casting Family Vision and Module 2 centered on Managing Family Finance.

Here are the important take-aways for this one-day only short course.

CASTING FAMILY VISION

It is fundamental to make family vision because it accomplishes 4 varying goals: (1) survival, (2) stability, (3) success, and (4) significance. It allows us to create new options, new alternatives and new goals.

family vision, as defined by the Business Dictionary, is an aspirational description of what a family would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid or long term future. It is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current or future courses of action.

Ben Stein, a popular actor and author once said that “the first indispensable thing to getting things you want out of life is to decide what you want.”

There are three steps to creating your family vision:

1. Explore what your family is all about. 

Discuss as a couple or a as a family what your goals or purposes are. What kind of relationships do you want from one another? How do you want to treat and speak to each other? What things are truly important for you as a family? What are your family’s highest priorities? What are the principles and guidelines do you want your family to follow? Who are your heroes? What is it about them that you would like to emulate? What families inspire you and why do you admire them?

2. Write your own family vision statement. 

A family vision statement defines your family’s PURPOSE and VALUES. It communicates directionmotivates, and inspires family members to behave and do their best.

To create a balanced family vision statement, you need to include these seven areas:

1. work and career

2. finances

3. recreation and free time (or hobbies)

4. health and fitness

5. relationships

6. personal goals and

7. contribution to community and society

Here’s a sample vision statement:

“To love each other, to help each other, to believe in each other, to wisely use our time, talents, and resources to bless others. To worship together…Forever.”

3. Make your vision board. 

Use it to stay on track. Update it regularly. Two of the most powerful psychological forces that imprint the brain is visualizing and writing it down. List 10-20 things you want to dowant to have, and you want to be.

Convert your life’s purpose, needs, and desires into measurable, specific goals. Since the brain is a goal-seeking mechanism, whatever you give to your sub-conscious mind, it will work night and day to achieve it. 

So make sure you write it in detail – date, model, make or amount. Include by when, and how much. Think of it as a request to God. Then transfer all of your ideas in a vision board. Look for pictures in a magazine or in the web and make a collage in your vision board. 

“I would like to own a nice home.” is a good idea, but “I will own a 1,000 sqm property in Valle Verde 1 by December 2015” is a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound) Goal!

Starting off with a family vision is the best thing you can do for your family.

         My husband Gerard and I started the leaders with their expectations and their reasons for attending: their Why’s and Wishes.

Our feast builder, Brother Obet Cabrillas, welcomed and encouraged the leaders.

Have you started your family vision yet? Did you make your vision board and have you updated it regularly?


Life is Amazing!


LENY

 

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