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?

Madly In Love (1)

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.

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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“I wrote a book too” – God.

I don’t know about you but writing isn’t easy – at least not for me. I labor over the words and word order to do the best I can at saying what is in my heart. And yet I write because I want to make a difference. I want to take what God has given me and pass it on to you in hopes of it being a true source of encouragement. My promise to you, my reader, is this:

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Are YOU Standing For Your Marriage?

Heroes – that is what I think of them.  Men and women who have stood for their marriage when everyone thought they were crazy. I don’t even know how they did it except by the grace of God. I think of two men who stood for their marriage and yet their wives left them.  I think of several women who stood for the same, and God brought reconciliation. I think of another marriage where one spouse has stood for years, even though separated. Things went from worse to worser and worsest. (Excuse the vernacular!) And finally they have taken a turn for the better. It reminded me of the following declaration I once read. I would like to dedicate this to the heroes past and present who are standing for their marriage!

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12 Must Have Marriage Resources

Over the course of my life, God has enabled me to connect with and learn from some of the wisest leaders in our nation when it comes to marriage, family, and relationships. If could deposit all I have come to know and learn, directly in to your heart and mind, I would do it in a heartbeat. I deeply desire for you to know and experience relationships with your spouse and children as I have with mine. Following is my “must ;have” list of resources that give the greatest insights in to what it takes to have a great marriage.

12 marriage resources

As strongly as I can, I urge you to take heed and read/study each one. Make it a goal to get each of the resources and build a library from which you can glean that which you need again and again.

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Three Lessons On Marriage From a Tornado

Saturday I went to Moore, OK with First Mennonite Brethren Church in Wichita, to help with those who lost their homes in the tornado. We worked with a great group of guys from ARC (Allied Response to Catastrophe.) It was a very stirring, overwhelming, and thought provoking experience. Below are two photos (before and after) of Plaza Towers Elementary School and surrounding houses. Following the photos, are three lessons on marriage that emerged from my thoughts:

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