Tuesday Tiny Tips

  • Marriage Tip- Joking About Divorce is Planting Seeds of Divorce

    My wife Carol and I joke about everything.

    When Carol got pregnant with our firstborn I teased her about getting big. We shared great laughs over this.

    Weird. Right ladies?

    Then, a year and a few months later she got pregnant with our twins.

    She got enormous.

    Carol’s girlfriends cornered me at church one morning and said, “You have got to stop teasing Carol about being big! You just don’t do that! You don’t tease a pregnant woman.

    So I stopped.

    One day a week or so later, Carol came up to me and burst into tears.

    I asked, “Honey! What’s wrong?”

    She said, “You don’t tease me anymore about being big!”

    I said, “I was told not to!”

    She asked, “By who?”

    I said, “Your girlfriends!”

    She said, “NO! I love it when you tease me!”

    I said, “Oh… well Goodyear just called and asked if you would fly over the stadium and take pictures of the game on Sunday?”

    She grabbed me with a laugh and said, “I love you!”

    True Story.

    Okay. Two things

    First: Guys, most women do not like to be teased. For that matter ladies, a lot of us guys don’t like to be teased either. DO NOT use this Tip as a license to start teasing your spouse. Carol and I do it in a very safe and loving way and we both love it. If your spouse does not like to be teased, that is normal.

    Most people don’t like to be teased.

    So why this Tip?

    Okay, second: This is the reason for the Tip. Carol and I joke about anything and everything under the moon. However…

    We NEVER joke about DIVORCE. NEVER.

    We have been married since 1989 and we have teased each other thousands of times. But never about divorce. Never.

    Teasing about Divorce is a way of planting seeds of divorce.

    My advice: Never tease about divorce. Don’t plant those seeds.

    Have a great week friends.

    Read more
    Right Choice Communications
  • Parenting Tip- Make Your Words Count

    Do your best to teach your kids that their words count.

    We do this by making our words count.

    When you look your kids in the eyes, make your word solid.

    Try not to use the word “promise” with your children unless you are absolutely sure you will not break it.

    Some Christians have taken the power out of the word promise by overusing it and not following through.

    “Later this afternoon we will drive over to the park, I promise.”

    The afternoon rolls around and you are feeling wiped out and you then say, “We will go tomorrow, I promise.”

    Always try not to make promises you can’t keep. Teach your children that words count.

    God keeps His promises and so we should try our best to do so as well.

    Read more
    Right Choice Communications
  • Parenting Tip-Letting Go A Little At A Time

    The muddy girl on the right is my awesome daughter Kelly. The muddy girl on the left is one of her crazy friends, Avery, who we love to pieces.

    This picture was taken on the week of July 4th, 2013.
    Kelly left home for college two months later.

    Learn to let go of your children a little at a time. Don’t fall into the trap of believing the only time you let go of them is when they leave home. Learn to let go a little at a time.

    I remember when Kelly first learned to ride her bike, she was allowed to ride three doors down and we were always outside watching her when she was on her bike.

    A few years went by.

    It came time for Carol and me to allow her to go around the corner down the street where we couldn’t see her on her bike. This was a letting go.

    Spending the night at a friend’s house.
    Letting go.

    Going to the movies with her middle school group of friends.
    Letting go.

    Going on week-long trips with school and church.
    Letting go.

    Drivers license.
    What time should she have the car home?
    “Well, Kelly, what time do your friends have to have their parent’s cars home?
    Did you say 11 pm?
    Okay, then we’ll make it 8 pm.”

    Taking the car out.
    Letting go.

    We want to protect our children and that is a very good thing. However, even at a young age, we can’t always be with them. And even if we were always with them, we can’t always protect them.

    As of the writing of this Tip, each of my kids has all been shaken to the core by pain in their lives. One of them experienced, as a child, tragedy that children should never have to live through.

    At some point, we have to put them into God’s hands and say, “They belong to you, Lord.”

    I believe we need to do this at the beginning of their lives with us. We need to let go and place them in God’s hands.

    And every step of the way, we need to have clear guidelines, setting boundaries that are age appropriate, and as they get older, offering our advice and doing more coaching and less parenting.

    Letting go.

    Moving day. Leaving home. Letting go feels natural and a part of life. Shed some tears. Say some prayers.
    See you soon.

    And as you let go, every step of the way, always continue to commit them in prayer into God’s hands.

    You get the idea. Learn to let go of your children a little at a time.

    This is healthy parenting at it’s best. Learn to let go.

    Read more
    Right Choice Communications
  • Marriage Tip- Date Night Part Two

    I ended last week’s Tip about Date Night by thanking our marriage mentors, Dave and Ann Wilson, for challenging us hard to have a Date Night throughout our married life. Then I said that Carol and I are handing their challenge down to the next generation.

    One of the great blessings of doing the Tuesday Tips is hearing you, the readers, give feedback and encouragement about each week’s Tip.

    Last week I received an email from Sarah Dunlap, an awesome young mom, and wife who is married to a passionate youth pastor named Perry.

    Carol and I have been actively mentoring Perry and Sarah for a few years now (picture below was taken on our first night of mentoring four years ago) and today they are two of our dearest friends.

    When I say we are handing down the Date Night challenge to them, I mean they have picked up the ball and are running beautifully with it on a weekly basis.

    I was so deeply encouraged by Sarah’s email that I wanted to put the scheduled Tip for this week on hold and share with you instead, Sarah’s email:

    Brett, I love that so often when I read a tip it’s something I’ve heard you say frequently to us and not just something you think sounds great so you wrote it. I love these. 

    Perry came up with the best date night strategy last year for our current life season! I used to love to cook but I started growing weary of it for kids who rejected it and just from the daily grind of NEEDING to do it. But he knows I loved it so we started doing date night where we wait until the kids go to bed (no babysitter needed) and cook something brand new together.

    New recipe, fun ingredients. It’s so fun because the process of cooking together is a blast and he has an easier time talking and bonding while doing something together. Then we get to enjoy a fun new meal together like a restaurant but with the satisfaction that we made it together. 

    Since we save so much date night budget money doing it this way each week (all those dates are basically covered by our grocery budget), we go out once a month and we go big  we are going camping for a night tonight for “big date night!”

    Each month we take turns planning for the big date night and it’s usually a surprise for the other until the day of or a few days before if it’s more involved like an overnight. 

    Thanks for urging us to prioritize this!! It is like a cleft in a rock for our marriage, a safe place the Lord puts us in regularly for our protection. 

    Did you catch that last part? Sarah and Perry believe that a routine date night is a protection for their marriage.

    Dave and Ann, I know you read these Tips. What do you think? Pretty amazing and filled with great wisdom wouldn’t you say?

    Date Night: More than a cute idea? Carol and I would say it’s been a marriage saver for us. The very reason Dave and Ann challenged us so hard from the start of our marriage.

    Have a wonderful week. Thanks, Dunlaps! Thanks, Wilsons!

    Read more
    Right Choice Communications