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Dependence or Independence?

It seems like everything we hear today links strength with independence… it’s the American way, right?  Well, independence is great if you’re talking about things like freedom and finances, but not when it comes to family relationships. There’s only one independent Being in the universe and it is not you or me!  We are made to be dependent.  A child should depend on, and live under, the authority of his mother and...
Apr 09, 2018 / Relationships and Communication

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

5 Ways to Hug a Porcupine

It’s easy to love people who are loveable. But what about those who aren’t? It’s hard to hug prickly porcupine people but I’ve got some ways you can do it. First, hug the porcupine with your arms. This one’s obvious…sometimes a porcupine just needs your arms around them. Second, hug the porcupine with your hands. This is practical love. For example, if your spouse is overwhelmed, take the burden off them by...
Sep 29, 2017 / Relationships and Communication

3 Ways to Love Your Family with Technology

When it comes to relationships, technology has developed a bit of a bad reputation over the years. But before you jump on that bandwagon, consider these 3 ways to love your family well with technology. First, Skype, Google Hangout or FaceTime your college and career kids. It’s a great way to stay emotionally connected despite the physical distance.  Second, post old and new pictures of your spouse or kids on...
May 25, 2017 / Relationships and Communication

FAMILY FIRST PROGRAMS

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

Mark Merrill

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