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Getting to Know Me Questions

Recently, my friend Danny and I were talking when he suddenly stopped me and asked, “Mark, how are you wired?”  I replied, “Well, I have to write down just about everything to make sure I do it. Let’s put it this way, if I need to encourage someone, I have to write it at the top of my calendar.” Danny couldn’t believe it. “You are really that robotic?” he said. “I never knew that about you.” He then suggested that...
Oct 07, 2013 / Relationships and Communication

What Every Relationship Needs

I was dropping my daughter Emily off at school and then going to speak to a group of men about being better dads. On the way, my daughter said, “Dad, why do you teach men to be better fathers when you haven’t mastered it yet?” That hurt, but it was a good question that I wanted to answer. So I said, “I want to share with the men the mistakes I’ve made and the things I’ve learned as a father over the years.” My...
Oct 02, 2013 / Relationships and Communication

What Kind of Friend Are You?

My guess is that it’s people who accept you as you are…who don’t try to change, critique, or control you.  Have you ever thought about whether other people really like to be around you?  If not, maybe it’s because they feel, right or wrong, that deep down inside, you really don’t love or accept them for who they are…you’re always trying to change the way they do something, you’re constantly criticizing them for...
Sep 16, 2013 / Relationships and Communication

What Attitude Are You Wearing?

You know what will really make you look good?  To clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Attitude is everything. When we put on compassion, we become more aware of the needs of others and have a desire to do something about it.  Kindness helps us to speak and act in a way that is understanding and considerate.   When we dress up in humility, we put others first.  Gentleness...
Sep 09, 2013 / Relationships and Communication

6 Ways to Help Your Kids Connect with Their Grandparents This Weekend

My kids like to communicate with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My parents, and Susan’s parents, like phone calls and “old fashioned" hand-written notes. Since their grandparents don’t live in the same city as us, how can I help bridge the gap between my kids and their grandparents?  Well, with Grandparent’s Day this Sunday, I’ve thought about a few ways to do that. First, help them find common ground. For...
Sep 06, 2013 / Relationships and Communication

5 Ways to Filter What You Say

I recently thought about some filters our words should have to pass through before they come out of our mouths.  If they don’t make it through all of these 5 filters, they probably should never be spoken. Filter number 1. Do I have good motives? In other words, is my reason for saying it beneficial to the listener or only for selfish purposes? Filter number 2. Does it build up? Words are not neutral. They either...
Aug 28, 2013 / Relationships and Communication

The Compliments Your Kids Need to Hear

When someone gives you an unexpected compliment, it can make your day.  So, why not do the same for your kids?  Observe the little things they do every day and let them know they’re appreciated.  For example, compliment your child’s character.  In today’s world, they need all the encouragement they can get.  Point out their integrity, dependability, or loyalty.  Second, let your child know you’re happy to have...
Aug 08, 2013 / 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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