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November 28, 2018
Weekly Parenting Tip

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips #10: Believe in the Micro and the Micro of Marriage

There are plenty of discouraging statistics out there about the decline of marriage and worrisome public opinion polls showing a shocking rise in the number of people who don’t think marriage is any longer relevant.

And sometimes these kinds of statistics and polls can tend to make us lose hope for the future of the institution of marriage and even discourage us a little about our own marriages and our ability to continue to strengthen them.

But there is another side to this coin. The fact is that the very best marriages in history are happening right now. Today’s good marriages are very good marriages, representing more equal partnerships and the meeting of more physical, mental, social and emotional needs than marriages have ever met before.

For more data and commentary on what is happening to marriage on the macro, and ideas on how you can be optimistic and positive about the future of your own marriage and of marriage continuing as the most important institution of all time:

Podcast Article 1 Article 2 Article 3 Article 4

November 19, 2018
Thanksgiving Cards

Happy Thanksgiving from Our House to Yours

Happy Thanksgiving from Our House to Yours

47 years now, we’ve been sending out an annual Thanksgiving Card
There were four of us on that first one,
There are 50 of us now.
Each precious enough to overwhelm alone,
But synergized into a collective miracle we call family.
Thanks grows with its Giving,
And elevates our perspective of this as the only real legacy.

Sender Sentiments Recognize Recipients,
For you are the Blessings as well as the Sendees—
You are on the Subject: line as well as the To: line.
And we are thankful to you as well as for you.

Because People are the first corner of our Thanks-giving Triangle.
Then Places, trying now for limits—one speaking trip a month,
With routes running through our kids,
And returning always to our beloved nook, perch, and knoll.
Then Purpose with four books consuming us this year…
One on Joy and one on Marriage (two subjects that rub off on each other)
And two on Grandparenting,
Which, if nothing else, have kept our minds on what matters.

We are, today, the undeserving beneficiaries of astounding gifts
That range from inventions to inspiration and from bounty to beauty,
That come from mother earth and fellow men, and God on high.
We Give Thanks.

Wishing you a Truly Thankful Thanksgiving and a Christ-Centered Christmas,
Rick and Linda in Park City, Saren and Jared +5 in Ogden (Ashton at University of Utah), Shawni and Dave +5 (Max at BYU and engaged to Abby Martin, and Elle at BYU Hawaii) and Josh +29 students in Gilbert, Saydi and Jeff +4 in Salt Lake City, Jonah and Aja +5 on Maui, Tal and Anita +1 in Switzerland, Noah and Kristi +6 in Provo, Eli and Julie +3 in Manhattan, Charity and Ian +2 in London

November 9, 2018
Weekly Parenting Tip

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips #9: Make it a Three-way Partnership

To have an eternal marriage, we need an Eternal Managing Partner. When a married couple begins to see a spiritual dimension to their union, it can make a two-way partnership into a three-way partnership and can bring a kind of holiness and perspective into the marriage that lifts it above the daily struggles and deepens the love and commitment.

A large majority of Americans believe in some form of higher power and engage in some kind of prayer. It is only natural to want help from this higher source on the most important relationship of our lives. Approaching marriage spiritually gives it a dimension and a level of commitment that improves its chances of lasting and flourishing.

Getting away together as a couple to communicate and plan and enjoy each other without the kids or cares or distractions of the world can have a powerful strengthening effect, but there is another kind of getting away with a third partner, and it is called prayer. When a couple recognizes not only their interdependence with each other but also their dependence on the Divine, something wonderful happens to a marriage–a new perspective comes, and a kind of help that only the Spirit can bring.

If we think of a husband and a wife as the two lower corners of a triangle, and God as the top point, then the closer we each draw ourselves toward the top, the closer we will find ourselves to each other.

For more ideas and approaches to this spiritual perspective in marriage:

Podcast Article 1 Article 2

Painting by Caitlin Connolly

November 2, 2018
Weekly Parenting Tip

Top Ten Marriage and Relationship Tips #8: The Joining of Two Families

Whether we like it or not, marriage is not just between two people. It is between two families. The more that fact is honored and embraced, the better! We have friends who began to refer to their in-laws as “in-loves” and we liked the idea so much we copied it.

If we are parents, we should think of the marriage of a son or daughter as just the gaining of an additional son or daughter. We should think of the family of that new son or daughter as a merger with our family and make every effort to make them even more than friends. Visits, calls, and every other kind of communication should be proactively pursued so we get to know them and love them. If you are the one getting married, or even if that marriage happened a long time ago, make a point of prioritizing your spouse’s family and thinking of them as your family. Anything less will be cheating yourself as well as them!

For practical ideas on how to do this:

Podcast Article

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