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5 Secrets Spouses Keep That Hurt Their Marriage

April 1st, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Lifestyle
Problems below the surface eventually show themselves, many times in ugly or explosive ways. One of those problems is when you are married with secrets that you are keeping from your spouse. If love, trust, and intimacy are the oxygen that fuels your marriage, having secrets is like putting faulty wires in the tank. The results can be catastrophic. On the surface, it may seem like your marriage is smooth sailing, but one minute later, it’s in a fight for its life when those secrets blow up. Here are 5 secrets spouses keep that hurt their marriage.

  1. Unhappiness in the Marriage

Many people wander into a place where they are discontent with their marriage. The reasons for keeping it a secret could be fear of hurting feelings, thinking the problems will eventually sort themselves out, or maybe they just don’t want to admit that they have become unhappy. Sometimes it’s no one’s fault in particular. Sometimes bad habits have developed by both that just need work. In the end, though, the problem(s) is (are) not going to go away by themselves. They have to be brought into the open and dealt with. Otherwise, you and your spouse will continue to separate.

  1. Fulfilling Intimacy Desires from Someone or Something Other Than a Spouse

It’s easy to see how an affair is hurtful to a marriage. But it’s the subtle things that are easily missed or justified long before an affair starts that lay the groundwork for disconnection. Sex is designed to build intimacy between a husband and wife. Sexual satisfaction and fulfillment are reserved for a spouse. When sex is lacking, it needs to be addressed, talked about, and resolved. Counseling should be sought. When a spouse secretly seeks to satisfy him/herself sexually through masturbation, pornography, or an affair, it destroys intimacy. The soul bonds with those other things rather than the spouse. With every sexual engagement apart from the spouse, the desire for that spouse gets duller until the fire finally goes out.

  1. Financial Decisions

No matter who is the primary breadwinner, in marriage, the money belongs to both of you, unless you have come to some sort of divided monetary agreement. Disagreements need to be talked about and worked out, not hidden. When one party makes financial decisions in secret that violate the couple’s agreement, it is a form of financial infidelity. One of the most important ingredients for a thriving marriage is trust. Keeping spending secrets is a major violation of trust and a fast track to disaster.

  1. Disagreement

Quietly disagreeing with a decision a spouse makes undermines the relationship in two ways. First, it’s a silent lie. Dishonesty equals disunity. Second, feelings of disagreement have to settle somewhere, and when they are unresolved, they usually turn into resentment. Third, a married couple should always think of themselves as having one brain. Working through disagreement causes us to make more informed decisions, even when it is frustrating. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsberg couldn’t have been more opposite as recently deceased Justice Antonin Scalia. However, in a moving tribute to Scalia, she said that when they disagreed her final opinion was always better because he was able to clearly state all of the weak points in his dissent. Silent dissent makes the relationship and the spouse weaker.

  1. Past Relationships

Our past relationships significantly impact our current ones. We bring all of the wounds, baggage, and dysfunction they have caused into the marriage. Hiding it only leaves a spouse confused and separated. It is like a wall between one another. Do you have to share with one another all of the things you did physically in previous relationships? No. But it is important for them to know the level of intimacy and how you were affected by it. It’s good for them to know what went right and what went wrong. It helps them to know you better and how your past relational experience has formed you.

7 Ways Moms Should Cut Themselves Some Slack

April 1st, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Encouragement
Hi there, Perfectionist Mom. We know you well. We know how hard you try to hit the mark in every area of life: mothering, your career, homemaking, and serving your community. And we know how upset you are when one of the balls you’re constantly juggling tumbles to the ground in the form of a missed deadline, a drive-through dinner, or a ten-day backlog of laundry. The fact is—you’re hard on yourself. A little bit too hard.

As moms, we often cut others slack when we know they’ve tried, even if the outcome isn’t ideal. Why can’t we do the same for ourselves? Perfectionist moms live in a prison where tiny hiccups feel like disasters. It’s time we gave ourselves the same grace we extend to others. Do you need to cut yourself some slack in the following 7 areas?

  1. Picture perfect homes

Repeat after me: the houses in the magazines (and the blogs) have been professionally styled for a photo shoot, and don’t look like that on a daily basis when real people are actually doing life in them. That home organization blogger? Her label maker may be her only friend. Moms can place a lot of pressure on ourselves to keep up a standard of domestic perfection that isn’t realistic. Chill out. It’s a place to live, not just a place to look at.

  1. Nutrition guilt

We all want our children to be healthy and know that good nutrition is key. But what we need to shoot for is a good overall picture, where the majority of your child’s meals are healthy and well-balanced. Beating yourself up because once a week you shoot through a drive-through between a myriad of practices and lessons just to be able to feed them something isn’t necessary. And every meal you cook doesn’t have to be a culinary triumph. Some nights were just made for mac and cheese, and we like it that way (so do your kids).

  1. The glamour gap

The media loves to laud celebrity moms and the way they make breezing around Manhattan and Beverly Hills with their adorable tots in tow look fashionable and effortless. We even drool over the super-fast pace at which famous moms get back into their skinny jeans after delivery. Hey, guess what? If you had a nanny, a personal trainer, a chef, and a stylist at your disposal, you could, too! Comparing yourself to those who have unlimited resources is a silly and defeating proposition. Out here in the real world, things take time. Strive to be healthy, and your best appearance will follow.

  1. Craft deficit

True confession: I am not a crafty person. I hate hot glue guns, felt, colored paper, pipe cleaners…you get the picture. And having children didn’t miraculously change this about me. I’d rather be reading, frankly. So when you’re looking at Pinterest and thinking, Am I really supposed to make groundhog cupcakes using fondant icing and Chiclets for groundhog teeth for my kid’s class for Groundhog Day??…the answer is no. I promise you, there’s some crafty mom in the class who’ll be ecstatic to pick up your slack, and will probably make matching construction paper groundhog hats. And that’s okay.

  1. “Mommy Wars” guilt

Whether you’ve chosen to pursue a full-time career, work part-time, work from home, or pour all of your energy into your parenting and homemaking, you really don’t owe the world an explanation. There are lots of factors that go into each family’s decision regarding work-life balance, and the only people you’re accountable to are your husband and children. So if your arrangement is one that all of you are happy with (even if it’s hard sometimes—because everything is hard sometimes), don’t waste your time fretting about the opinions of others.

  1. Volunteer avalanche

You’re child is a Girl Scout? Great, we need another troop leader! They need a fall festival chairman at the school—why don’t you take it on? You’d be great! Time for VBS at church—calling all moms! It’s great to pitch in around the community, and everyone should find some way to help out. But some moms believe that every need is their personal calling, and wind up drastically overloaded with volunteer work. It’s okay to say no sometimes! Only you know what other commitments you already have on your plate, and whether you can handle anything more. If you find it impossible to say “no” altogether, try starting with, “I can’t commit to that right now—maybe next year/season/semester.” Baby steps, mom.

  1. Parenting perfectionist

So you forgot to check your 3rd grader’s homework last night. Trust us, the world will not end. The kids watched a movie that had a scene in it you didn’t expect, even after reading the reviews. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Even the most committed and faithful parents drop the ball every now and then. If you never do, you may be wound a tad too tight. Parenting is about doing your best at a job in which the target is constantly moving and the variables are constantly changing—and that’s hard for anyone. Do your best, learn from the mistakes, and move on.

Where do you need to cut yourself some slack? Leave us a comment!

Source: imom.com

6 Questions for your child

April 1st, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Family
Our kids are filled with a wealth of ideas, passions, views, and perceptions just waiting for someone to explore. It should be us, their parents, who blaze the first exploration. With genuine interest and the right questions, we can get them to open up their souls. Here are 6 good questions to ask your child.

  1. What would you do if you were me?

If you want to get your kids talking more, give them a voice in your life. This builds trust and lets them know that you value their thoughts and opinions. Next time you have a situation or decision that requires some thought, ask for their opinion. Calling them to a higher level of thought is an exercise in wisdom. You don’t need to heed their advice, but just asking will honor them.

  1. What do you think would make the world better?

First, you will get an idea of the things about the world they think are wrong. Be prepared, you may get a glimpse of some painful stuff that has happened to them you may not know. This is especially true if they start by eliminating something negative in the world. Second, it gives them a vision of the type of person they want to be. The follow-up question to this one is what do you think we can do to help make that happen?

  1. What do you love most?

We all end up as servants to what we love the most, and sometimes we even become a slave to it. Career, drugs, family, sex, money, relationships, power, self, fame, God; whatever you love the most you will serve. Naturally, the follow-up question is, is that thing/person worthy of your service and devotion? What does it produce? This line of questioning will get them thinking about the consequences (good and bad) of where they invest their heart. What should we love the most?

We all end up as servants to what we love the most, and sometimes we even become a slave to it.

  1. If you could describe yourself in three words, which words would you choose?

This is a good way to get an idea about how they view themselves. You will learn where they find their identity. Pay attention to whether those words are positive or negative. Follow up this question with why did you choose those words?

  1. How can I help you?

We can’t always assume we know what they want or need. It’s important to hear from them. Sometimes they know best what they need from us. What they need may even be a little space for them to explore, dare, and fail on their own.

  1. Why do you think your mother and I had kids?

The answer to this question is central to their origin and affects their sense of identity. The reason we had kids is to have someone to love. They were created in love. Their sense of identity is that they are loved. They need to know and understand that well or they will live with a hole in their lives.

Adopted from www.imom.com

Upcoming Christian Concerts

April 1st, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Concerts

10 Quick Brain Exercises You Can Do Right Now

April 1st, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Encouragement

Add up the alphabet

Give the different letters of the alphabet the numerical values 1–26 (A=1, B=2, etc.). Try to think of words in which the sum of the letters is 40 (or 45, 50 etc). Only math geeks can figure out this crazy numbers riddle. Can you?

Study the phone bill

Take a look at your phone bill and try to recall to whom each phone call was made. If you rely on your cell-phone full-time now, look back at your recent call log and try to remember what you and the other person spoke about.

Mess with your mouse

Flip your computer mouse, so that moving the ball left and up makes the cursor move right and down. Or, work your non-dominant hand by plugging the mouse into the opposite side of the computer.

Reminisce

Try to recall the names of teachers or fellow students in your class at school. See if you can remember details such as what they wore or what kind of person they were. Next time, think about a past workplace or a street where you once lived. You will be surprised at how much you can remember.

Read upside down

Turn a book or a newspaper upside down. Read the page from the bottom to the top. Notice how much more effort is needed to make sense of the structure of sentences. Can you find the missing word in this tricky brain teaser?

Test your vocab

Write down as many words as you can starting with a certain letter of the alphabet in 2 minutes. Try letters such as M, T, and C or challenge yourself with O or Y.

Clock yourself

Concentrate on the second hand of a watch or clock for 1 minute. Now close your eyes and see if you can time a minute exactly. You might be surprised how off you are.

Take a new route

Driving, running, or biking the same way every day allows your brain to go on autopilot. Stimulate your mind by trying a new route. You’ll have to visualize the roads in your head, which activates to cortex and the hippocampus.

Memorize a picture

Look at a photo online and try to remember everything that appears in it. Cover the photo and list those things. Now look at the photo again and see how many you got correct. For example, can you find the robin hidden in this photo?

Eat with chopsticks

Similar to switching up your computer mouse, this one forces you to slow down and take in what’s happening. As a bonus, doing this will help you savor your food even more. An MIT professor called this ‘the hardest puzzle ever.‘ Can you solve it?

10 Sharable Images for Spring

April 1st, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Lifestyle
The power of social media – it is a wonderful tool to share encouraging words and uplift others. With Spring finally here, it’s a perfect time to talk about renewal in our lives. That is why we have created 10 sharable spring images focused on renewal to uplift you and your community! Share them on your social platforms, or print and post around your home for your own personal encouragement in your family.

CHRI’s 21st Anniversary is Here – A Message from General Manager Bill Stevens

March 2nd, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in CHRI