Beyond Marriage

Using PLEDGE In Your Family

One of the questions we are inevitably asked each time we teach the Madly in Love PLEDGE Conference is: Can we use these principles in other relationships than in our marriage? Can we use them for example with our kids or extended family?

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And we always respond with a resounding: YES!!!

Here is what one of our our recent attendees said when she went home from the conference and began teaching her 4 and 7 year old:

“We started implementing this in our marriage, AND with our four young children, right away. My seven and six-year-olds are already responding positively when they see me do the pause sign during the conflict between them! Thank you for this new tool!

This same person said even further: “Even after such a short time, I’ll hear my seven-year-old son comment to himself, pause and shift, when he gets frustrated with his sister!”

Imagine similar experiences in your home:

A mother stops what she is doing when her angry daughter speaks to her. She turns towards her daughter with the intent of really listening. As the mother seeks to understand her heart, the daughter feels loved and her heart softens. Mom disarms the conflict by validating her daughter’s hurt and angry feelings. Both feel closer, thankful for the connection they experience. As the tension in the room subsides, the daughter expresses more of an openness to hear what mom has to say in response.

That same daughter begins to note the destructive nature of her words towards her mother. Convicted, she learns to pause before she speaks. She considers more carefully her words and how to express her anger, but in a loving way.

In another family, two children are playing when a conflict occurs over who grabbed the new toy first. Mom is about to intervene before either hurts the other, but before she can say anything, the older child uses a hand motion to signal they need to pause. Moments later, the children agree to give each other a turn rather than fight.

As the kids get older, each family member learns to listen well and understand each other when communicating. Each one reflects on what the other is saying, clarifying wherever needed, and valuing what is said. Imagine a family where felt love is more common than not because of the way each member relates to the other.

You say: “Is that really possible?” More than you think.

It will not be easy. It will take work. More specifically it will require that you first put the principles into action in the way you relate to your spouse and your children. After doing so, you then teach and train your children to follow after you.

There is no greater joy or satisfaction or calling than pursuing a life of love!

Learn more of the PLEDGE process and how it can positively affect and deepen your relationships here.

Great News: Awesome Dads Aren’t Born Awesome!

My kids are all grown. I miss the days when coming home they’d run to me and want to play. I always wanted to be an awesome Dad. Some days I did better than others. No matter where you are today, you can become that awesome Dad tomorrow. Print off the following and stick it in a place you will read it periodically over this next year. Pick one area to work on this week and BE AWESOME!

Image via Charlie Belvin Designs

(Image via Charlie Belvin Designs)

Fill their emotional tank.

Years ago – even before I was a Dad, I found a book on parenting that has become a classic. We recommend it to every parent. It is called:  How To Really Love Your Child, by Dr. Ross Campbell. The core idea is our children have emotional tanks that need to be filled on a regular basis with:

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You Are Being Watched!

Every day, all day long you are being watched. It is an eerie feeling when you stop and think about it. Someone recently commented on Facebook how they didn’t like ads popping up in front of them of a product they were just searching for online. Makes you wonder.


The watching I am talking about however, is in our marriages. Here is what I mean:

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How To Transform Tense Confrontations Into Rich Conversations

Why is “communication difficulties” the number one complaint I hear from people when they discuss their marriage? Why is really good communication such a rare experience? How many people do you know with whom you would feel totally comfortable to pour out your heart, confident they would truly listen and understand? Even harder yet, is to find someone in whom you trust enough to openly discuss a conflict you are having with them, knowing that in the end, your relationship will be better off as a result.

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Several months ago I confessed to my 26 year old son how I realized I had been listening to him talk about several different subjects with a defensive posture rather than one in which I might truly hear and understand him.

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Better Than Winning The World Cup

I watched the final game of the World Cup this week. No doubt many of you did as well. I must confess I have not been a huge soccer fan, but it is growing on me. Every time I watch I am amazed at how the players keep moving/running the whole game. It looks exhausting. Statistics show a player may run as many as 9 miles during the game! (That’s compared to 2.72 in Basketball and 1.25 in American Football – just in case you were wondering).

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Your Life Is Like The World Cup_

The Greatest Gift For Your Child

Early this morning I was woken with a start as I heard my wife yell out: “Don’t!” Immediately I was brought to attention, looked around, and turned towards her in bed. As I reached out to make sure Zerrin was ok, she mumbled something about how the man from the Cox Cable Co shouldn’t do any plumbing. I knew then, she was simply talking in her sleep as she periodically does. We both began to chuckle. Then she said something that is just like my wife. It was once again humorous and yet remarkable…

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God Spoke to Me 4 Lessons for Your Family!

I was taking my normal exercise walk one morning last week when a flock of birds – perhaps 1,000 in number – flew overhead and followed me down the street flying from one tree to another.  I sensed very clearly God saying to me “Mark, what do you see?”  What I observed was four of the most powerful lessons about family that need to be heard today:

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Learn This One Principle and Change Your Life For The Better!

Driving home from visiting our daughter in Tulsa yesterday, we drove by colorfully adorned fields of green giving way to the auburn milo and back to the green again. The various crops, each with their unique beauty, are part of what makes the mid-west a wonder to behold. They also speak of a very simple but life-changing concept for all who will hear…

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What Helped Me In Saying Good-bye To My Daughter:

I said good bye to my oldest daughter this past weekend as I helped her move to California.I have said good bye to her before, but this time was one of the hardest.  I think it’s partly because of knowing she is going to a school of ministry to prepare for her next move–that of living overseas in India, Africa, and where ever else the Lord leads. On our second day of driving from Kansas to California, I told my daughter there is one thing that makes her journey doable for me…

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Star Trek and Your Marriage!

Over the weekend I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness with one of our extra girls who has become like a daughter. It was a great flick. But it was not until the very end – and I mean the very end – that I really learned something important. You see, while I am ready to leave as soon as the movie is over, she likes to remain until all the credits are over! I could never understand why until this time when I asked. Here is how she replied, what I learned, and how it relates to your marriage and family:

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