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The Key to a Close-Knit Family

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t want a strong, close-knit family. The question is: How do we move from wanting one to having one? Growing up, I remember seeing a highway billboard over and over again on our road trips. It said, “The Family That Prays Together, Stays Together.” A number of recent studies have revealed that there is in fact some truth to this timeless slogan.  Specifically, research has shown that...
Mar 16, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

5 Ways to Encourage Sibling Love

The term “sibling rivalry” often comes to our minds a whole lot faster than “sibling love.”  Perhaps it’s because of the way the backseat of our car is constantly filled with, “Tell Kevin to stop pulling on my hair,” or “Make Janie leave me alone!”  Teaching your children to love one another is never easy, but is always worth it.  So here are 5 ways to encourage sibling love in your family.  First, encourage warm...
Mar 13, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

How to Create Moral Margin in Your Life

I think of moral margin as creating an extra amount of space between us and immorality—immoral thinking and immoral actions. Here 6 ways to create moral margin in your life. First, build a relationship with a “personal auditor.” Just as a financial auditor would do a complete examination of financial records, your “personal auditor” would be given authority by you to ask you questions about your life and your...
Mar 02, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

Why You Should Not Mix Compliments with Criticism

Several years ago, my son came home from his game and asked me, “Were you there for the first quarter of my game, Dad? I started!” I responded “I didn’t get back into town and to the game until the second quarter...but you did great!” I then added, “But you really need to start eating better.” My son was silent. The disappointed look on his face showed me that my criticism had completely crushed the compliment I...
Jan 12, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

Sticky Situations: How to Handle the Holidays with Family

Every family has relationships and relatives that are difficult. Here are some tips on how to handle these guests in your home. Maybe you have a “Judgmental Judy.” Judy is the relative that is always telling everyone what someone else is doing wrong, usually behind their backs. Be ready to gently remind Judy that you're not going to listen to constant judgments about others. Or, maybe you’ve got a “Profane Paul.” ...
Dec 15, 2017 / Relationships and Communication

3 Challenges with Young Adult Kids Home for the Holidays

When our older kids are home for the holidays, it’s easy to get excited about having everyone together. But our high expectations can sometimes lead to disappointments if not managed well. So, here are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, realize that your older kids are getting more accustomed to managing their life. So give them some space, avoid instruction and just enjoy being with them. Second, know...
Dec 06, 2017 / Relationships and Communication

Avoid These 4 Holiday Mistakes That Hurt Families

Are you struggling to make your holidays happy in your home?  I’m Mark Merrill with today’s Family Minute. The holidays, like life, are all about relationships. And relationship mistakes can kill the holiday mood. So don’t let the good things take your focus off the best things. It’s easy to let the fun, creative, and well-intended trappings of the season cause you to lose your focus on your...
Dec 01, 2017 / Relationships and Communication



The Family Minute is a daily radio feature that offers everyday advice on marriage, parenting, and family relationships.

Mark Merrill

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