By Stan Crippen
Wednesday: It's the Little Things That Count - Spouses
Surgeon generals warning - the scriptures advise dispensing education week counsel in wisdom and order, line upon line, here a little, there a little, as you return home to your family that has been living in the world this week.
In other words, don't give them a drink out of a fire hose.
Principle 1 -
If you want to change your relationship, start by changing yourself.
If something is bugging, pray for a soft heart
Principle 2 -
By small and simple means shall great things come to pass (alma 37:6)
In a forest, it's not the trees that trip us, it 's the vines. If w can change little, practical everyday things it will make a big difference. Instead of making large changes.
It's the little things that matter - praying together, reading scriptures
Satan’s greatest desire is to take your hope away. Christ wants to give you hope.
Marriage is practice for the Celestial Kingdom - or whatever kingdom you're working for.
Hopefully we are making our home life to be like a heaven. That's what we are progressing towards.
Our relationship with our spouse should exemplify our relationship with our Savior.
Little things to do-
Listen - eye contact, not interrupt, responding appropriately, we learned to communicate in our home family then had to mesh with someone who communicates differently
Speak highly of each other
*Don't take offense easily - lots of scripture references
Choose your arguments
Fight fair (no harmful words, tones) focus on resolving, not winning
Cleave to each other
Schedule time to be together (it's like a houseplant that you don't water)
And not do!
Make Thoughtless comments
Take each other for granted
Point Fingers - don’t assess blame, assume there is a reason for the behavior
Leave important acts undone (anything your spouse thinks is important)
Leave important words unsaid
Focus on little irritations
Use annoying tones of voice (teasing, sarcasm, insults, not just what you say but how you say it)
Cleave to other things
Let relationship go stale
Hinckley - "Husband and wife are companions. She neither walks behind him nor ahead of him but at his side."
If we think we have all the answers, we begin to walk ahead, which gives our spouse permission to walk further behind. We don't have all the answers.
Hinckley again "You can trace all marriage problems to selfishness, thinking of oneself instead of one's companion. I am satisfied that happiness in marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well being of one's companion. Any man who will make his wife's comfort his first concern, will stay in love with her..."
Things husbands can do to meet the needs of wife
Ask more what can I do? And then do it
Go to bed together, early.
Be on time for work
Enjoy food prepared for you and say thanks
I love it when you lead out spiritually
Talk with me about more than our normal daily life
What wives can do
Save time and energy for me and us
Help me feel like I'm superman and I will be
Make my lunches with oomph!
Have snuggle time with the kids
Wear perfume and lotion
Play catch with me
Plan temple trips
Read books together
Speak positively of me to others
Learn each other's differences
150 years ago, you had to cleave for survival - today, we don't need each other for survival. We have so much leisure time that we fill up that we can cleave to other things. Ask if your first cleave is unto your spouse?
Picture of an Amish bucket, made of wooden strips held tightly together with iron bands so that it is watertight.
Give love and affection freely
Be the kind of person that can be ravished for
Stay out of the rear-view mirror
You can't drive looking only in the rearview mirror, you'll crash. In marriage, we can get in a mode that we are always looking back. We need to more forward, have hope, look to the future, or we will crash.
This gospel is a gospel of the second chance, or repentance. Do not insist on remembering what god is willing to forget. Our mistakes should be remembered as guides to better lives in the future. Hugh b. Brown
It's the Little Things That Count - Families
**Note to self - try making the boys hug when they are fighting. Also, give them lists of jobs, detailed expectations of their jobs
2nephi 32:3,5 - two things that I should do - feast on the word, listen to the spirit, those things will tell you what you should do. No need to have an exhaustive list of things we need to do, rely on scriptures and spirit to tell us what to do.
Advice should fall like snow, very softly.
Church pamphlet - getting the bugs out of your marriage - through distribution center.
Key to strong family is having a strong husband/wife relationship.
Self-esteem in topical guide - doesn't reference scriptures but references man, spirit child of heavenly father, potential to become like heavenly father, the worth of souls.
Crumpled dollar bill still worth something. Sometimes we look at our worth and see the crumples, but god sees in their hearts. Self-esteem is on the outside, how we look, our trophies, and letter jackets.
Help children see that their worth doesn't come from outside things. Hope kids don't have abundant good looks so they don't rely on their outside worth, experience poverty so they appreciate what they have.
Kids want to be/have something different. If they can remember that they are a child of god, their worth on the inside, it will help them.
Family proclamation on parenting - should be defining document for our family.
First we should love and care for each other, and our children. We have kids and feel the need to meet their needs, but neglect our marital needs.
Used forced service (anonymously) as one of their chores, to teach them service.
How do we integrate the teachings of Jesus Christ in our family? Don't feel guilty, but what can we do to improve:
Are organized sports supporting your family?
Brethren should lead out in prayer, fhe, should preside
Parents help as equal partners
Parenting styles -
Teach correct principles and allow choices
Children may -
Learn to make choices
Develop appropriate self-confidence
Make decisions and live with consequences
Overly controlling and dominating:
Children may -
Do what they're told
Don’t learn to take risks, scared
Don’t think for self
Don’t trust their judgment
Children may -
Grow up thinking anything they do is fine
Think won't be accountable for actions
Feel they aren't expected to live by same rules as everyone else
Adam and eve are told what's there, are told about the temptations - given choice and consequence.
Hinckley quote - use the discipline of love rather than the heartbreak of the discipline of terror that children might experience. I know that your patience wears thin but I hope that you would restrain your anger. Among all the assets you possess nothing is so precious as your children. The greatest thing to have is the love, confidence, and respect for your children.
We are the custodians of our children - the lord lent them to us, and has not given up his interest in how our children turn out. Fathers, control your tempers. Mothers, control your voices. Ensign July 1997 Hinckley
Focus on teaching correct principles
Rear them in admonition of the lord - teach them the words of god, the guidance from the scriptures so they know where to turn.
They are not a mirror of us, where when they do something wrong it means we did something wrong. We make mistakes just as often as they do, but god doesn't spank us, does he?
The lord’s arms are not just open, they are outstretched, ready to receive. We need to emulate god. We have not failed as long as we have tried.
Hinckley - sept 1998 - husband, live worthy of the priesthood. Wives, give encouragement to husband. Children, listen to parents. Let there be peace in the homes of our people.
Pure hearts in pure homes are within whispering distance of heaven. McKay
Three most important meetings for healthy families
1. Sacrament meeting - for self - we can't lift someone up if we aren't lifted our selves.
2. Weekly Date Night - spouse
Also, get always once or twice a year. Sometimes it takes the first four hours just to melt and remember why you love them.
3. Family home evening - family. Try to create a memory, it doesn't matter if it's only ten minutes or in your pajamas.
Family executive meeting - scheduling, alleviating irritants in time management
Family Council meeting - what we want to do, family goals
Personal Visit - listening more than talking
Pinpricking - we do it with our words and actions. We don't draw blood, but we don't uplift.
Sometimes we get caught up in the thick of thin things. Elder Holland called them spiritual Twinkies, the things that take our time but give us nothing in return.
Trying to push someone from underwater, when we try to push them up, we push ourselves down farther. We need to be on solid ground to pull other people up.
Yearly Planning Meeting
1. Family activities I'd like to do this year.
2. Areas our family could improve.
3. Personal goals I have this year.
4. Personal improvements I want to make
5. Things I'd like to do with Mom and Dad
You can be a kids' advocate or cheerleader when they have their own goals
What children like their parents to do:
Snuggle in bed and talk
Say I love you daily
Be a friend at times
Singing around the piano
Talking about day
Listen without getting upset
Family bike rides
Lay down on the floor
Play together not just watch
Personally made gift at Christmas
Be kind to each other
Help with project
Praise and support
Training our families requires our presence our time, our best efforts.
Sometimes we put our best effort in things that give us immediate feedback instead. Have time for counseling and guidance.
There is a little bit of heat and a little bit of pressure in this world today that can share into something that we are not. What is the heat and pressure shaping your family’s' life into something you don't want.
(Chicken and golf ball story)
Feb 11, 1999 1st pres letter
Find one things we can change in our family
Friday: Enjoying the everyday journey of life - measuring success, priorities, and happiness
elder Marvin J. Ashton conference address - "the tongue can be a sharp sword."
none of us need one more person bashing or pointing out where we have failed or fallen short.
We need to be our family's cheerleaders - the world will humble them, we need to be there to shore our family up. Root for each other.
"Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped."
dc 115: defense and refuge from the storm in our home
do anything you can do to uplift others.
Js - happiness is the object of our existence - path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, keeping commandments
Our kids do drugs, have sex, etc because we think it's going to make us happy.
so many people are so busy with their church activity that they aren't active in the gospel. Happiness is the aim of the gospel, David o McKay 1984.
joy is sweeter than pleasure. Pleasure is gratification of senses.
3 Nephi 27:11 - if something is built on works of man or devil, have joy *for a season* (like kids in summer, over so fast) we can do something wrong and think we're having joy, but it doesn't last. We end up in a personal hell.
Pride by PreS. Benson - Pride is when we choose to do our will over god's will. May 1989 ensign, beware of pride. If you are having problems with pride, read that article.
What is success?
achieving a goal
mosiah 3:19 - definition of success
natural man is what we feel when someone cuts us off on freeway, or we see scantily clad people. Natural man will be with us forever.
We need to dot he things to keep the Holy Ghost, yielding to enticings puts off natural man. Atonement is the key to letting go. We need to be as a child, meek, submissive, humble, patient, full of love.
It's not the qualities the world will look at as a successful person, but it's the lord's definition of success.
We need to see our trials as an opportunity for growth, not just an infliction.
David o McKay - ppi with savior
1. Accountability about relationship of spouse.
2. Each child individually.
3. What you've done with talents.
4. Church assignments, how you've served other men.
5. Not how you've earned a living, but if you were honest in all your dealings.
6. Contribute in a positive manner to community, state, country, and world.
Changes are made personally, one-on-one, not just in a class setting. We change lives individually. The lord's favorite number is one.
Christ didn't condemn the woman taken in adultery. He just wants you to stop, not hate themselves and beat themselves up.
Matthew 6:33 - if we had faith, happiness, peace, progress, prosperity will come
we have to row our boat, but the lord is pulling the other oar.
Happiness comes from forgiveness, forget yourself and help others. Being offended is an anchor, sticking you in the mud, and not moving. Satan loves to create offense.
"whosoever will lose his life (not focused on own life) for my sake shall find it."
do we turn too much to dr. Phil? To the world? We need to look to the Lord for light and strength and comfort.
Sometimes we are so busy doing the things that matter, that we neglect the things that matter most.
What matters most for me right now? Sometimes it's personal fulfillment, sometimes it's being a parent. What matters most in bringing back from Ed week that we can do different, which will have a ripple effect through our family.
Kimball, faith precedes the miracle
price of happiness: 1. Life gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity and simplicity, not half-hearted compliance
2. Forget yourself and love your companion more than yourself.
Exodus 18:13 - get people to god, let them seek out god, teach them the gospel, put able people to be stake pres, bishop, rs pres, quorum pres, home teachers. We all have to do our part, or they will wear away. We all bear burden, then there is growth and endurance and peace.
We are training leaders in our children. God doesn't care about Wednesday activities, just about growth in our youth so that they can be successful in missions and life.
Matthew 6:7-8 - we need to ask him what we need
ether 12:27 - weakness is a gift from god, so we'll be humble, and obedient, which makes us teachable and prosper.
thoughts of Martha and Mary poem by launie severnsen