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:

  


 

101 – Marriage Advice to Ignore

Common sources of advice that could ruin your marriage

Welcome to episode 101 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss marriage advice you should ignore.

When your marriage begins to struggle, it’s natural to seek help and advice. Unfortunately, many look to all the wrong places for marriage advice. In today’s podcast, I’ll share a few place and people to avoid when seeking marriage advice.

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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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099 – 7 Benefits of Journaling

And why you should start journaling today

Welcome to episode 99 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the benefits of a regular journaling routine.

Most people of skeptical of the journaling. Its practice is often viewed as the odd behavior of the social recluse or means of practice for the professional writer. Few actually recognize journaling for the value it brings to one’s life.

In an effort to get you off the fence and into the practice of journaling regularly, let me share with you my personal experience. I’ll spare you the bore of statistics and scientific studies. I’ve practiced several types of journaling for several years now. Let me describe the benefits I’ve seen in my own life directly related to journaling.

Also in this episode – email question
From: Jay

I appreciate your articles about high and low desire spouses. I was hoping you would address the topic of frequency. What do you feel is an acceptable frequency for sex in a healthy marriage?

Part of my answer to Jay’s question can be found here.

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Power of Gratitude

It isn’t just for the Thanksgiving holiday

The power of gratitude seems to be well known these days. However, gratitude is seldom practiced. Why do so many people neglect this simple practice when it has so many benefits?

Gratitude has been proven to increase happiness, health, productivity, relationships, and so much more. Gratitude isn’t exactly a magic pill easily taken with a glass of water, but it is rather simple to practice. In this article, I’ll share with you a few of the many benefits of gratitude and how you can easily incorporate gratitude into your daily life.

Let’s first talk about the benefits.

097 – Real Men Connect

Interview with Dr. Joe Martin

Welcome to episode 97 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss how real men can connect with other real men.

I’m honored to share with you an interview I had with Dr. Joe Martin. Dr. Martin is an award-winning international speaker, author, educator, and certified “man builder.” He’s authored or co-authored nine books, including Are you the Man: 201 Lessons I Wish My Dad Would Have Taught Me, The Real Man Spiritual Leader Blueprint, and Gifts & Handkerchiefs: A Lesson in Servant Leadership. Joe has spoken to more than 750 businesses, organizations, churches, colleges & universities, and K-12 schools/districts, and he was voted “National Speaker of the Year” by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. He’s also the host of “Real Men Connect,” the #1 top-rated podcast on iTunes for Christian Men. To find out more about his remarkable story of redemption from abject poverty, abandonment, abuse, and addiction, visit him on the web at www.RealMenConnect.com.

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096 – Should A Christian Drink

My personal story

Welcome to episode 96 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the question of should a Christian drink.

This isn’t my typical podcast episode at all. You will notice the difference from the very beginning. I know it’s a touchy topic that offends many, but I hope you’ll listen to my personal story and know that I share it with love – not judgment or condemnation.

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Complete Apology

Final elements of apology

So many apologies inside a marriage fall short. Maybe the apology is sincere and unconditional, but that isn’t enough. A complete apology establishes a restoration of the relationship, not just expresses remorse or sorrow.

In many of my opportunities to apologize to my wife, I’ve often fallen woefully short of completing the apology that results in restoration of our marriage relationship. It’s important to understand every offense creates a division in the marriage relationship. The offense may be small, therefore the division is small, but over time the relationship can really struggle from death by a thousand cuts.

A complete apology is the only resolution to the divisions created by offenses. Time can enable us to somewhat forget about offenses, but time will never remove the divide created by an offense. These divisions in a marriage relationship can only be removed by an unconditional and sincere apology that includes these final three elements.

Art of Apology in Marriage

Apology is becoming a lost art, especially in marriage

I’ve done it so much in our twenty-three-year marriage you’d think I’d be an expert by now. However, I still struggle with genuine apologies in my marriage. Unfortunately, an apology is an art, not a science that can be repeated with predictable results.

In one case, I found myself in the situation that I owed Jennifer a sincere apology. I had messed up big. My mistakes had put her in a lonely and stressful situation. I was grossly neglecting my responsibilities as a husband. Additionally, I was abdicating all parenting activities to her. She was in the all too common position of having a negligent husband and absent father.

It took a pivotal moment and gut-wrenching conversation with Jennifer to open my eyes to my mistakes. I had made the mistake of putting other really good activities before my family. The church became my stumbling block. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting church is a bad thing. My mistake with the church was allowing it to so infiltrate my personal calendar that I had no time or energy remaining for my marriage or family.

That pivotal and gut-wrenching conversation with Jennifer came at a time I was trying to commit to even more activities within the church. Through her tears, Jennifer was finally able to get me to understand how badly I was failing as a husband and father. She didn’t call me a miserable failure, but I finally realized the mistakes I was making and how badly they damaged my family. I felt like a miserable failure.

Upon this realization, I really had only one option. Apologize. Let me share with you the elements of a proper apology. The elements won’t turn an apology into a science, but they will remove much of the mystery in the art of apology.

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.