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.

Mark’s Marriage Minute

Dealing With Conflict...

In the opening chapter of my book you read the following story about Jake and Lisa:

“I can’t believe you’re telling me this!” yelled Jake. He knocked his chair over with a clatter and stomped toward the front door. “What did I do to deserve this?”

“Jake, come back!” cried Lisa, following him out to the driveway.

“I can’t! I have to get away and think,” growled Jake as he tried to contain his rage.

“I’m sorry! Really, I am! WAIT!” Lisa pleaded as Jake drove off, tires squealing, in his ’94 Mustang convertible.

Okay now stop a moment. Imagine this:  you are Lisa…or you are Jake. What do you do next?

Most of us really don’t know. We experience conflict and we hate it – for a number of reasons – one of them being we simply don’t know what to do when it happens!

My heart and passion is to help people find their way through difficult times like the one above. I can only help however, those who are willing to learn.

My challenge for you this week is to do one of the following to further your understanding of how to deal with conflict when it happens:

  • Ask a friend, mentor, pastor, or parent what they have learned over the years to help them deal with conflict well. Start a journal and write down what you discover.
  • Google “conflict resolution strategies” and write down what you learn.
  • Beg, borrow, or – no, don’t steal – buy my book The PLEDGE of a Lifetime and LEARN all you can about how to process conflict well in love!

Remember 3 Things and Get The Most Out Of Your Next Conflict

Most people don’t like conflict, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. In fact, there is much good that can come out of conflict if you know a healthy process to work through it AND you keep the following 3 opportunities in mind:

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1. It is an opportunity to grow in your understanding of each other.

Saying we all want to be understood is like saying we all need air to breathe. But how often do we focus on understanding the person we are talking to, especially when we are in conflict?

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10 Key Ingredients To Living At Peace With Your Spouse

If you have been reading my blog for very long at all, it would hardly be a surprise to hear that most of my life I have sought to learn principles to get through conflict in a more productive manner rather than just fighting. As an adult I formed those principles into a conflict resolution process we call PLEDGE. I use the process personally and teach it to others on a regular basis so that they might truly learn to love well.

10 KEY INGREDIENTS

More recently I have been thinking that to get the most out of the PLEDGE process, some key ingredients are necessary to put into the mix. This blog post lists those ingredients.

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Small Group Study Guide for The PLEDGE of A Lifetime!

I have received a number of requests from people wanting further help in using our conference material and now our book, The PLEDGE of a Lifetime, for their small group study.

Small Group Study Guide

Hence this post today–a beginning point for those who dare! I say that partially in jest, and partially not, knowing that talking about real life with others can be a bit uncomfortable. At the same time it affords some of the greatest opportunities for learning. Studying the concepts of PLEDGE in a group can be encouraging to all, as we discover the similarity of our challenges. It also provides an environment where we can learn different perspectives as we share and listen to each other.

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How to get the most out of The PLEDGE of a Lifetime!

When I wrote The PLEDGE of a Lifetime, I knew I wanted to convey a message that would lead couples and ultimately families down a path of rich and remarkable communication. I know there is more–MUCH MORE–we can experience in our relationships because I see it in the lives of couples I work with, and I regularly enjoy it with my wife and children.

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Zerrin and I just finished up a long weekend with two of our kids home from out of town. Several times we sat for literally hours at a time talking and listening to each other tell about the present story in each of our lives; sharing and teaching each other things we are learning in life and from God; and talking through relational challenges we face at times with each other in order to make our connections as a family even stronger. And this is the norm. I long for others to know the same experience. I believe you can…

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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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How I Chose The Title of My Book

One day I asked my wife and kids to think and pray with me, that together we might come up with a name for my book that would speak forth a message and mean something of significance. One hour later, we had the title! The PLEDGE of a Lifetime!

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The PLEDGE…

A pledge is a spoken commitment, a formal declaration of a promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something. Examples would include a pledge to send aid to a country or a pledge not to go to war.

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4 Reasons Why I Wrote A Book

Well in case you missed it – we are SO excited that we are FINALLY nearing the launch of my book entitled The PLEDGE of a Lifetime! If you missed our announcement and exciting ways to get involved, go HERE. In fact, we would love for you to help us get the word out by joining one of three teams. By doing so we will send you a FREE pdf copy of the book and an invite to our launch party! Go HERE to learn how you can become a part of the team!

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Over the next few weeks I am going to be writing about the book, and answer a few questions you might have.

Today I want to tell you WHY I wrote it.

Every day I awake, I thank God for another day of life–and I seek to spend it most purposefully. I am acutely aware that life is fleeting–we have no promise of tomorrow. Because of that I want to do my best to make each day count the most.

So why spend hundreds of hours writing a book? Four reasons:

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7 Things to Practice As You Deal With The Small Stuff

At a lunch last week I heard a man speak about keeping “short accounts” with his wife – meaning they would talk about most everything that created disharmony in their relationship – even if it was simply an unkind or harsh tone of voice. Does that sound absurd? I hope not. It is probably one of the healthiest aspects of marriage if done well.

7 Tips for Conflict

Here are 7 ideas to keep in mind:

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