Winning Her Heart Before He Does

Thoughts following our daddy-daughter Valentines date

My daughter is now a junior in high school and has a boyfriend. With a serious sense of panic and feeling that I’m rapidly running out of time, I’m determined to step up my game. I’m focused on winning her heart before he does.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not trying to prevent or disrupt my daughter’s relationship with her boyfriend. I’ve had and continue to have the necessary conversations with this fine young man. I’ve completed the thorough background checks and character assessments mandatory before a relationship with my daughter will begin. He has passed those assessments but knows he will continue to be monitored.

While I have determined allowing such a relationship with my daughter is appropriate, it doesn’t mean I have to make it easy on him. He has competition for her heart – very serious competition. If he perseveres against this competition, I know with certainty he will one day make the unwavering decision of commitment to my daughter necessary for a happy and satisfying marriage. If he buckles to the pressure of competition, he isn’t good enough for her.

Furthermore, by working so hard to win her heart, my daughter will recognize the character and love she deserves. She will have incredibly high standards for any boy in her life because I’ve set the bar so high.

So how will I win her heart? I’ve been doing these things all her life, but with her teenage years ticking by so rapidly, I’m intensifying my game. Let me share with you four ways I’ll work to win her heart.

106 – Resolving Conflict Like An Amateur

I haven’t even reached rookie status

Welcome to episode 106 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss resolving conflict in marriage. More specifically I’ll use my own recent example to explain what to avoid when attempting to resolve conflict.

Conflict in marriage is inevitable. Couples may attempt to abide by an ill-explained version of “don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” (Ephesians 4:26)

Arguing until wee hours of the morning is not the way to resolve conflict. Believe me! It isn’t the answer.

In today’s podcast, I’ll share our recent experience with resolving conflict. My hope and prayer is that you will learn from my mistakes.

Also in this episode – email question
From: Anonymous

How should someone use tough love with their spouse?

Enjoy the podcast.

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The Family Legacy Journal

Do you want more for your family, but just can’t seem

to escape the whirlwind of life to work on those relationships?

Most families are caught up in a whirlwind of busyness that leaves them feeling disconnected. Marriages are stuck in unhappiness and dissatisfaction, struggling with meaningful communication and real intimacy. Parents feel like their children are aimlessly wandering away from the family values as their relationship with them becomes relegated to being their cook and maid. Without a method to slow the pace of life, families drift apart.

With twenty-three years of marriage and three teenagers, Michael Tanner experienced the same whirlwind. In all this experience, he’s discovered only one method to help him build thriving relationships within his family. The best part? It fits easily into our busy schedules.

The Family Legacy Journal equips parents to reconnect with their family in just ten minutes of journaling each day. Through the power of gratitude, reflection, and affirmation, parents are empowered to resist the whirlwind and establish thriving family relationships. Based on timeless biblical wisdom and powerful psychological science. The Family Legacy Journal establishes a personal attitude of gratitude, eliminates negativity, improves family relationships through self-reflection, encourages parents to persevere through the power of affirmation, and builds thriving family relationships that leave a lasting legacy.

All in just ten minutes each day!

Yes, I want a journal


105 – Adoption

Can I love another’s child?

Welcome to episode 105 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss my experiences with adoption and how they align with the real definition of love.

Adoption has impacted my life in multiple ways. In this podcast episode, I’d like to share with you our story of adopting a child. How we arrived at the decision to adopt. Answers to the difficult questions we were asking ourselves. And what finally convinced me to move forward with adoption.

Check out my recent blog article and podcast episode regarding the definition of love. They will certainly give you more background about our life-changing decision of adoption.

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The Family Legacy Journal
Learn more about the journal









104 – Love is Commitment, Not Chemistry

Love also isn’t emotions or feelings

Welcome to episode 104 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the real meaning of love.

I recently wrote a blog article entitled “Love in Killing Marriage” that has garnered significant responses. Some respondents have agreed with my definition of love, while others vehemently disagree with me.

Enjoy this episode of “The Real Family Podcast” and let me know in comments if you agree or disagree with my definition of love.

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103 – My Personal Focus in 2018

What’s your focus for 2018?

Welcome to episode 103 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the New Year and my personal focus for 2018.

Some refer to it as their annual theme or word of the year. Others call it a New Year’s resolution. Me? I’m just calling it my 2018 focus.

In today’s podcast, I’ll share with you the focus I’ve chosen for 2018. I’ll explain the details of my focus and why I’ve selected it.

What is your focus for 2018?

Also in this episode – email question
From: Cassie

You claim to be a Christian and I believe you are sincere in those claims. Though you don’t always mention the Bible references, I recognize much of your advice to be from the Bible. Why do you insist on not mentioning the Bible and even seemingly apologizing when you do mention the Bible?

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Books mentioned in today’s podcast:



100 – A Real Family Podcast Recap

And why I still do what I do

Welcome to episode 100 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the history of the REAL Family Podcast.

In the beginning, my personal goal with podcasting was to publish more than seven episodes. I created this goal for myself because I had read statistics that suggested most podcasters don’t make past seven episodes.

Now here we have episode 100. I’m not sure I really had a vision of what the podcast would look like (or should I say sound like) if I actually made it 100 episodes. Regardless of my lack of vision, I’m certainly excited to be here.

Enjoy this recap episode and I look forward to serving you even more with the next 100 episodes.

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Why Do We Treat Strangers Better Than Family?

It’s common behavior, but it doesn’t have to be

I’ve watched it happen in our family numerous times. We are caught up in a heated argument among ourselves one second, then smiling, shaking hands, and cordially greeting near strangers the next second. As I’ve witnessed this behavior in our family, I ask why do we treat strangers better than family?

Believe it or not, this is a common and explainable phenomenon. Every marriage relationship will eventually experience the reality of being more polite and pleasant with strangers than the spouse. Parents will tend to be more patient and caring of other children over their own.

Let me share a couple quick examples in my own life. Consider the Sunday morning routine in our home. Church for us begins at 9:30 am. No one in our family is particularly high maintenance and require exorbitant amounts of time to get ready for church. Yet, we often find ourselves rushing across town to get there on time.

I have no patience for being late. Well, let’s revisit that statement in just a moment. My frustration with running late leads to a fierce argument on the drive to church. I’m barking orders at the kids to hurry to their respective areas of the church. Jennifer and I have begun a downward spiral of harsh words that only mutual repentance and forgiveness can help.

But then we arrive at the church. As we stroll across the parking lot into the church, we smile and ever so pleasantly greet everyone we encounter. I even cheerfully great those couples that arrive late to our group Bible study. Clearly, my impatience with tardiness only applies to my family. Similarly, I find myself listening intently and conversing deeply with small children I hardly know. I then rise to my feet and give the command to my own children, “get in the van, it’s time to go!”

The explanation of this common behavior is rather simple. It isn’t that our spouse or children have so drastically changed over time that we now loathe them.

093 – Overcoming Negative Beliefs

What they are, where they come from, & how to overcome them

Welcome to episode 93 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss overcoming negative beliefs in your relationships.

Negative beliefs can go unnoticed, but they can hinder good communication in any relationship. In today’s podcast, we will identify what they are, discuss where they come from, and most importantly how to overcome them.

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Also in this episode – email question
From: Anonymous

You seem to believe that divorce is non-negotiable. Why do you insist that those absolutely miserable in their marriage stay married?

How To Be A Good Parent

One simple responsibility of a good parent

Every parent faces these questions at some point. How can I be a good parent? What do I do to raise my children well? I’ve struggled with these and similar questions. Parenting is tough. However, parenting isn’t as scary or mysterious as we make it out to be. That is if we understand the most important responsibility of every parent.

Many parents don’t wrestle with questions of fear and uncertainty until pregnancy forces them to face reality. I, however, had to face these questions long before Jennifer and I were able to conceive. Facing my fears of being a good parent started about nineteen years ago as Jennifer and I were discussing the possibility of adoption.

As we talked through the potential of adoption, we both faced the obvious questions of loving a child that wasn’t biologically ours. Immediately after settling those adoption questions in our hearts and minds, questions regarding our qualifications to be good parents flooded our thoughts. Specifically, I asked myself this question – if I’m going to bring a child into this family, what makes me think I can be a good father to him or her?

What makes for a good parent?

In all transparency, I never really settled on a good answer to these questions before we brought our adopted son, Jacob, home. I wasn’t even able to identify what makes a good parent prior to the birth of our two biological children. However, now with three teenagers and sixteen years of parenting experience behind me, I now understand the one most important responsibility of a good parent.

089 – Killing The Entitlement Mentality

Allow your children to fail

Welcome to episode 89 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss how to eliminate the entitlement mentality in our children.

We hear all sorts of talk about the participation trophy, entitled youth, and the links between the two. We are quick to blame the sports programs for creating the entitled attitude in the youth of today. But what about us parents? Are we contributing to the entitlement mentality?

The entitlement mentality is rooted in the attitude we don’t have to work hard for what we desire. Furthermore, if we fail to achieve what we desire, entitlement causes we give up and demand someone else give it to us.

If parents teach their children to overcome failure, the entitlement attitude will be eradicated – regardless of the trophy policies of local sports and recreation departments. This is why it’s so important we allow our children to fail.

Also in this episode – email question

From: Khaldoun

Does your wife approve of all your blog posts and podcast episodes?

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Podcast Sponsor

This podcast episode is sponsored by the Call to Me Prayer Journal by Jeannine Moffitt. 

How can Christians transform the daily call to prayer, with all of its challenges, into a purposeful, organized, and enjoyable routine?

Call To Me provides an easy to use prayer journal that helps keep individuals on track and allows them to see their entire week of prayer at a glance. They can organize prayer requests, concerns, and praises into labeled columns across a spacious two-page spread. With plenty of room to journal, they can reflect on answered prayers, continuing requests, or even the impact of certain verses, all in one convenient location.

Along the bottom of each spread, Call To Me includes scriptures speaking to everyday topics that help spark prayer life. The journal’s creator, Jeannine Moffitt, has provided example spreads to nudge hesitant individuals past the starting line until they settle into their own rhythm.

With its beautifully laid out design, many find Call to Me a user-friendly tool for combined journaling and prayer. By taking care of the organization, it allows Christians to focus on the prayer itself and truly enjoy an enriched prayer life.

Jeannine is a wife, a mother, sister, mother-in-law, grandmother, friend, recent cancer survivor, speaker and author. Her husband is a pastor, so she can relate to other women who are also pastor’s wives and all that that brings! She is a woman with a lot of life experiences!  She’s worked in the corporate world and legal field as a certified paralegal. She’s worked in the Christian realm and non-profit arena. She (and her husband) homeschooled for 12 years. She is a recent cancer survivor and understands the difficulties and challenges of dealing with cancer. She can identify with women from varied backgrounds, various ages, and all stages of life.  She likes to use her sense of humor and quick wit to drive home truths that may be difficult to hear and even more difficult to apply!  She enjoys speaking to women and encouraging them to reach their God-given potential and become all God intended for them to be.

No matter where you’ve been—fatherless, abused, abandoned, or divorced—or where you are presently—sick, a single parent, addicted, in financial trouble—you can become the person God intended for you to be.  Jeannine will tell you that our past does not dictate our future. God has a plan for our lives regardless of our circumstances. We have a choice in what we do, and that first, critical choice is to trust God with our lives. He promises when we give our life to Him, He will show us how to live victoriously each and every day.

Jeannine has a passion for prayer and created this journal with that in mind, to help others have a deeper prayer walk with Jesus.