Showing posts with label young couples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label young couples. Show all posts

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why Children’s Ministry is important

Well, starting tomorrow my young couples group and I will take over the Sunday School for the month of April.  In honor of this, I would like to post a video I found in youtube, stating why Children’s Ministry is so important.

It’s oh, so true.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

By popular demand, there’s now a third batch for The Story Of Us couples retreat

Yup.  We'll show you how!
Getting my emcee on!
Congratulations to Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) – CDO for another successful round of wonderful events that enhance marriage and family.  You guys did it again. 

CCF just finished two rounds of the excellent The Story Of Us couples retreats, held at the beautiful Mt. Pines Place and Saddle Ridge Camp, the events very quickly selling out both times. 

I emceed both events (held in Nov. 5-6 and Dec. 3-4, 2011 respectively), with my wife and I being small group leaders for the 2nd go round.  Even before the 2nd retreat, a huge waiting list already formed, and so, by popular demand, there’s now a third batch for The Story of Us couples retreat!!

So, do you want to have a healthy marriage?  Then save this date: March 10-11, 2012

In both events, the reviews have been very, very positive.  One guy from the first retreat told me he liked it so much he’d sponsor six more couples to the next one we’d have.  Another said that while he attended couples retreats of other communities, this made the strongest and clearest use of the Bible when it comes to keeping marriages healthy and vibrant…therefore making it indeed relevant to the enhancement of marriage and family life (and you thought it was just some dusty holy book).

Financial Advice for young couples part 2

Here’s the second part of finance experts Scott and Bethany Palmer’s talk on the Focus on the Family broadcast regarding Financial Advice for Young Couples.  

If you were blessed by Part 1 of their broadcast, I’m sure you’ll be just as blessed with this conclusion of their talk.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Financial Advice for young couples part 1

I am a huge fan of Focus on the Family's daily broadcasts. This time around, finance experts Scott and Bethany Palmer offer young couples practical advice for establishing sound financial principles for their marriage. (Part 1 of 2)

Stay tuned for part two of this video.  In the meantime, if you like what was said here, you can check out the books made by Scott and Bethany Palmer.  They're chock full of excellent financial advice for young couples and older couples alike (although it's better to have a great start, of course).

Anyway, the books made by the Palmers are:

First Comes Love, Then Comes Money Here’s the book description:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2011 Year in Review (reflections on Sendong, overseas trips, and more)

As 2011’s end is still not too far back into distant memory, I would like to think back on some of the good and bad that happened over the course of last year.  It was quite an eventful year for me, as you will see.  Despite everything, I cannot help but think back with thanksgiving in my heart and enter 2012 with praise for what He has done in my life.

Remember what i said in my first blog post of the year: ""Christmas is still merry, and the New Year is still happy, not because of circumstances, but because of our joy in the Lord.""

2011 in review…including reflections

1.     The storm that was Sendong.  I can't help but start this reflection off with typhoon Sendong.  For the first time in the memory of just about everyone living in this great city, a typhoon hit Cagayan de Oro and Illigan with such deadly force that over a thousand Cagayanons perished while scores more are missing.  Homes have been destroyed, its residents losing everything they valued and worked hard for.  Never before has CDO experienced so much death and damage.  (If you have not donated yet, click here so that you can do so…people still are in dire need)

Next Monday, the school I work for will open its doors to receive students again.  Some, like my family, got through the storm relatively unscathed.  Others were not so lucky, yet, thankfully, there was no loss of life.  We are encouraged by my boss that during morning devotions, we try to help them deal with this tragedy through spiritual eyes. 

I’m still thinking about how I’m going to do that.  But I’m going to go along these lines (and therefore, my reflection about Sendong):

•    The climate has been rapidly changing, much of it is due to our excesses and irresponsibility:  you can’t blame God for that.

•    A huge factor in the floods was rampant illegal logging and unchecked open mining: you can’t blame God for that either.

•    This goes to show why sin is such a big deal in God’s eyes: not only because it violates His commands; but, equally as important, it hurts and even destroys others, even those who had no part in the sin in the first place.  And using up our natural resources irresponsibly, especially in the name of greed IS sin…and boy did people get hurt.

•    Sendong very dramatically showed us what really mattered.  All the toys, gadgets, trinkets, and the shallow security of the present were lost in one dark night. All thoughts and actions were towards family and friends.  Let’s not wait till the next time we have to desperately fight for our lives (or to save theirs) to realize this very important truth.

•    God is still faithful and sovereign, even if things look exactly the opposite.  Many times in the history of His people things were totally messed up, only to come back to blessing later on.  If we trust in His faithfulness and sovereignty (repentance being a part of that), the same thing will happen to CDO and Illigan. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Only 18 & 12 slots remain for THE STORY OF US couples retreat, one of the best events to enhance your marriage and family life

If there’s anything that CCF-Cagayan de Oro, the community I belong to, does excellently, it’s their strong advocacy in enhancing marriage and family life (which includes development of the youth and single professionals as well). 

I blog often about our parenting seminars and study series, but we also have almost yearly marriage seminars as well.  Occasionally, like every few years or so, we throw in a couples retreat that enables married couples to get away for a weekend to enhance their union.

This year is one of those years, and so here’s THE STORY OF US, a weekend getaway in the beautiful Dahilayan, Bukidnon. 

I first blogged about this great marriage retreat in this article, and I’ll say the same thing here:  whether your marriage is rock solid or is on shaky ground, attending events like THE STORY OF US is very highly recommended.  You’ll learn principles on communication, commitment, and so much more. 

CCF’s marriage and parenting events (CDO or otherwise) are known for having excellent speakers and content, and therefore garner large draws.  THE STORY OF US will not be any different.  Knowing this, we’re having the event twice, November 5 & 6 and December 3 & 4, with room for only 41 couples per event.

As of the last time I inquired, there’s only room for 18 more couples in the November couples retreat, and only 12 couples in the December couples retreat…and these slots may go fast. 

If you would like to join one of the best events to enhance marriage and family life, do yourself and your spouse a favor, and attend THE STORY OF US.  It’s a weekend marriage retreat you won’t forget. 

For details, you can click on the picture on this blog.  You can also contact:

Christ’s Commission Fellowship – Cagayan de Oro
Papa Juanito’s Square, Limketkai Drive
857-3000 (PLDT/Philcom)
09175976574 (globe)
09228223236 (sun)
09209386766 (smart) 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Do you want to discipline children without shouting? Teach them one-command obedience

Many households with children are very loud.  Parents often have to shout to get their point across to their disobedient kids.  Sometimes, some math is accompanied with the shouting (“Little Johnny, go brush your teeth!  NOW!!  One!  Two!!  Three!!!…”)

Do you want to discipline your children without shouting?  Teach them one-command obedience.  What’s that, you ask?  Read on.

Below is a humorous, yet powerful parenting illustration featuring the speaker Peter Tan-Chi and two volunteers from the crowd.  It was part of the 3rd lesson of the Parenting That Makes a Difference study series, titled HOW TO EFFECTIVELY DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN.  My young couples group took up this study series last Friday, and so here’s a part of what we saw/learned:

That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?  I hope my wife and I can fully apply this…as well as all the other stuff we learned in the study.  Actually, it’s starting to happen, which is awesome.

Now, some of you may be against spanking…and for good reason, too, because it can easily lead to abuse.  However, just because it can easily be abused doesn’t mean it’s bad.  In fact, I feel that good parenting is impossible without the proper application of spanking.  The Bible has this to say:

Proverbs 13:24 – He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

So, what is the proper application of spanking, then?  My far superior short answer will be: take up the Parenting That Makes A Difference study guide with us and hear it from Peter Tan Chi, himself.

My long answer would be me listing down some of the things we learned from the study when it comes to spanking.  Here they are:

•    EXPLAIN to your children why they are being spanked.  It would be terribly unfair to the child if he is spanked for an offense that he has no idea he committed.  Clear rules have to be established before you earn the right to spank your child.

•    Don’t ever spank in ANGER.  It is SELFISH. This is where the abuse can come in, spanking out of anger.  Discipline is out of love for your child, for his own good.  It is not a means to vent your anger.

•    Don’t use your HANDS.  Use a belt or switch.  As what Peter Tan-Chi said, hands are for loving and hugging; use them only as such. 

•    Don’t INJURE your child, but make it HURT.  Spanking to the point of injury is abuse.  But don’t also do a wimpy little slap on the wrist and expect the child to learn his lesson.

•    Don’t spank in PUBLIC.   Do it in private.  Discipline is again out of love for the child.  Spanking in public will embarrass him, which brings emotional injury.

•    Don’t spank UNCONTROLLABLY.  Do it in love.  Probably the most whacks Peter’s kids got out of a single spanking session are two or three.  Rarely was it more than one.  Spanking uncontrollably is another sign that this is not out of love, but out of selfishness and rage.

•    HUG them after you spank them.   Tell them that you LOVE them. Reinforce it in them that this discipline is out of love, not out of anger.  My boy told a relative that I spank him “so that I will remember.”  After I spank my kids in the method above, we often walk out of the spanking room as good friends, walking hand in hand.

Next session is our second to the last one, which is SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN.  Based on the basic outline given in the material, children need to learn principles about:

1.    Themselves
2.    Their Family
3.    Their Friends
4.    Their World
5.    God

Exactly what that would be…well, you’d have to join us to find out.

Anyway, I hope you learned something about how to discipline your children without shouting.  It’s very difficult to do, but if you take the time to do so, the benefits in your children’s lives will be great.  Your children will learn how to respect authority.  You’ll save yourself from frustration and sore throats.

Do you want to know how his kids turned out?  You can see an example of his 2nd child, Joy here in this post (scroll down a bit and you’ll see a video featuring her); and this one is a post I did featuring his son, Paul (scroll down again, and you’ll hear a podcast featuring the young man).  Not too bad, Peter Tan Chi, not too bad at all…and thank you for sharing with us what God has done through you in the area of parenting.

Comments, of course, are welcome.

Recommended reading:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Enhance your marriage and family with THE STORY OF US

In one previous blog post regarding me and my wife’s 12th anniversary, I stated that one of the key principles that helped us enhance our marriage and family life was to attend marriage and parenting retreats and seminars.  Lo and behold, my Cagayan de Oro-based friends; here comes a couples retreat for you, The Story of Us.

Whether if your marriage is rock solid, or it’s crumbling at the seams, I would strongly recommend attending couples retreats like these.  It’s kinda funny that we go though years and years of school to learn a trade, but we don’t have much when it comes to being taught how excellently maintain the most basic of social structures, the family. 

Now let’s face it, marriage has been greatly under attack in modern times.  In America, half the marriages are failing.  Here on these Philippine shores, even if divorce is not legal, way too many of my friends and loved ones have fallen victim to failed marriages as well.  I’ve seen it so many times that I now find great folly in having an available marriage-enhancing opportunity like The Story of Us and not taking it.

Some people I invite say that events like these are too expensive (The Story of Us will cost each couple P4,500-5,000 for food, venue, and materials), but really, how much is your marriage worth?  One couple, who used to mentor my wife and I for a short while, were on the verge of separation until they were dragged into a similar event.  I have a feeling that my wife and I would have a much rockier marriage if we didn’t attend one months into our union.

So here’s more info:

Due to the past CCF events being so well attended, as well as venue restraints, there will be two batches of The Story Of Us.  The first batch is on the weekend of Nov. 5 & 6, 2011; the second is on Dec. 3 & 4Each batch is limited to 41 couples only.  You’d want to sign up right away, because, as I said, CCF’s marriage and parenting events are known to be excellent, and therefore garner big draws; and not to mention that attendees from the other CCF churches in Manolo, Illigan, Malaybalay, and Valencia will also be included.  The sooner you sign up, the better.

Venues for The Story Of Us are the Saddle Ridge Camp and the beautiful Mountain Pines Place in Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.  Price is 4,500 per couple w/o transportation, 5,000 with transpo from CDO to Dahilayan and back.

For details contact:

Christ’s Commission Fellowship – Cagayan de Oro
Papa Juanito’s Square, Limketkai Drive
857-3000 (PLDT/Philcom)
09175976574 (globe)
09228223236 (sun)
09209386766 (smart)   

Make the investment to enhance your marriage and family life, attend The Story Of Us.  I will definitely see you there.

Recommended Reading:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The 12 Commandments For Parents (who wish to turn their children into juvenile delinquents)

The following Twelve Rules For Parents (who wish to turn their children into juvenile delinquents) have been drawn by the Police Department of Houston, Texas and circulated in leaflet form.  You may find them interesting (note that I made some very small changes), and let’s just say that I hope this is not your parenting style:

1.    Begin at infancy to give the child everything he wants.  In this way, he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.  

2.    When he picks up bad words as a little child, laugh at him.  This will make him think he is cute.

3.    Never give him any spiritual training.  Wait until he is 21 and then let him decide for himself. 

4.    Avoid the use of the word “wrong”.  It may develop a guilt complex.  This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing the car, that society is against him and he is persecuted.

5.    Pick up everything he leaves lying around – books, shoes, clothes.   Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility to others. 

6.    Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on.  Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage. 

7.    Quarrel frequently in the presence of the children.  In this way, they will not be too shocked when their own home is broken up later. 

8.    Give the child all the spending money he wants.  Never let him earn his own.  Why should he have things as though he had to work hard for them?  

9.    Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort.  See that every sensual desire is gratified.  Denial may lead to harmful frustration.   

10.    Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.

11.    When he gets into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying, “I never could do anything with him.”

12.     Prepare for the life of grief.  You will likely have it.

Now I’ll segue to the material where I got this from, the upcoming 3rd lesson of our PARENTING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE study that my young couples group has been taking up every Friday night for the past month. 

The title for this session is HOW TO DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN EFFECTIVELY, which is very apt for times like these where it seems so hard to do so.  It’s a great session with so much great content that we as parents oh so need.

Here’s the session outline, in case you’re interested to find out more:

I.    The Purpose of Discipline

II.    The Basics of Discipline

III.    What do you discipline your child for?

IV.    How to Discipline

V.    How to Spank Your Child
(hint: nearly all Filipino parents do it terribly wrong)

VI.    Training Young Ones

VII.    Training Teenagers

Yes, parenting styles vary, and there should be freedom for such variation.  However, the advice/lessons that Peter Tan-Chi gives are a huge help, no matter what parenting style we have.  So, we will know the ins and outs of how to discipline your child this coming Friday, September 30, 2011.  My group meets 7pm at CCF, and we rotate the responsibilities of serving a light dinner to the others. 

There have been many praises for PARENTING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE since we introduced it.  Guests say that it is far, far superior to anything they have encountered in their own communities, and they are so blessed by Peter Tan chi’s life and powerful example.  (Check out testimonies of his children here and here)

Here’s my blog post of Session 2
Here’s my blog post of Session 3

God bless you all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Be careful with your parenting style, because Children See, Children Do

Here’s a parenting truth that is so obvious, yet many parents are guilty of not realizing it: Children See, Children Do.  In other words, what the little kids see mom and dad do, they will copy.  If they copy long enough, that is what they eventually become. 

Be careful with your parenting style, folks, because all parents influence their children.  The issue is, are we influencing them positively or negatively?  Below is a video that very powerfully shows how strong our influence as parents can be.

“I’m gonna be just like my daddy!”
It’s unfortunate that some parents have the “do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do” parenting style.  They say “don’t smoke” or “respect women” or “cussing is bad” and other rhetoric; but here they are saying certain words when they are mad, smoke cigarettes themselves, and have some questionable magazines at home.  Hmmm.

But, hey, I am sometimes guilty of this, too.  I’m kind of a messy person, yet I tell my kids to keep their rooms clean as much as possible.  So do they follow what I say or what I do?  Well, let’s just say that when you come over my house, stay downstairs.

This Friday, September 8, 2011, at CCF, my young couples group will tackle the 2nd session of PARENTING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE, titled: HOW TO POSITIVELY INFLUENCE YOUR CHILDREN. 

Our first session was fantastic, and our group discussions that evening were some of the most engaging and animated in our long history of engaging and animated discussions.  I’m sure this coming session will be even more so.

The foreword for the workbook goes like this: “This session will give you practical guidelines on how to draw close to your children in order for you to positively influence them.  Maintaining good relationships is the key to influence and so will be the main focus here.”  Sounds good to me.

So how do we positively influence our kids?  Do you want to find out?

Here’s the short answer: the main points of the session we’ll take up this Friday.  Of course, there are LOTS of points within these main points, but since most of you can’t attend, this anemic list will have to do:

1.  Good MODELING.  You have to be the person that you want them to become.  I’m not talking about perfection, because that’s impossible.  I’m talking about authenticity.

Philippians 3:17 – “Brethren, join me in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.”

2.  Good RELATIONSHIP.  The closer the relationship, the greater the influence.

1 Corinthians 15:33 – “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’”  

3.  TIME.  The more time you spend with the person, the greater is your influence on him/her.

Deuteronomy 6:7 – “And you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”  

4.  LISTENING.  the more you LISTEN to your children the more you UNDERSTAND them and the more you understand them the more you can INFLUENCE them.

James 1:19-20 – “This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

5.  POSITIVE words.  Boy oh boy do Pinoy parents have a problem with this one.  But the truth is, words impact lives.

Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need at the moment that it may give grace to those who hear.”  

6.  UNCONDITIONAL love.  Harsh rules do not positively change a person.  Unconditional love does.

Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 

7.  Expect the BEST. 
What we expect our kids to be, they will live up to it.  If we think they’re stupid, they become stupid.  But if we expect the best from them, they will soar and even demolish our expectations.

Philippians 1:6 – “ For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Now, do you want the long answer?  Well, there’s way too much content in this study to give it to you on this blog.  Not only does the speaker, Peter Tan Chi, tell you WHAT you have to do (the outline above), but he gives you techniques on HOW to make it happen…and I can’t put it here.  The only way you can get my long answer, the answer you deserve, is to…JOIN US!

My wife and I lead a group of about 7 young couples (late 20’s to early 30’s) and we would love to have you aboard.  We learn from each other (in addition to the fantastic material we use), strengthen each other, encourage each other, and become accountable to each other. 

Make this effort to Positively Influence Our Children by joining us.  The consequences of our failure here is too great.  Leave a comment or an email to let me know you’re interested.

Update:  Check out my blog on our 3rd session, which talks about how to discipline your children without shouting.  That blog post also teaches you the right way to spank your child. 

Recommended Reading:

You can also check out other books I recommend for dads and you can also check out the rest of my parenting articles here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

News flash for moms and dads living in Cagayan de Oro…PARENTING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Hi everyone.  Just a quickie message here, an announcement that you might be interested in…if you’re a mom or dad living in Cagayan de Oro, that is.

My young couples group will start Parenting That Makes a Difference study series on the first Friday of September.  If you’d like to study how to be a great parent with us for 5 Fridays, and get it from no less than the best speaker on the subject (Peter Tan Chi) then join us.

Here are the topics

First Friday: The Big Picture

Second Friday: How To Positively Influence Your Children

Third Friday: How to Discipline Your Children Effectively

Fourth Friday: Some Basic Principles to Teach our Children

Last Friday: Internalizing Values

If you would like to join us, feel free to do so.  I will continually update this blog as September draws near.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

12 years and counting…and marriage principles that helped us last

Yesterday marked twelve long years of marriage to my beautiful lover and best friend, Jhean.  I could say they were twelve wonderful years; and yes, the highest of highs I’ve ever experienced are credited to my life with this wonderful young woman.  She truly is a great source of happiness and inspiration…the love of my life.

But these twelve years also marked some of the greatest struggles I’ve ever had.  Marriage and raising a family sure can be hard work, so hard that many people give up.  Furthermore, many of you know that I became a father and a husband at a very young age.  I was 21, Jhean was 18; just mere university students who made a big mistake and scrambled trying to rectify things.  Scary much?

But, here we are, 12 years and counting…and it has been one ride full of highs and lows.  I believe we have been blessed tremendously with certain things as a couple, and as I pondered on what helped us stay together, I came up with a few ideals and marriage principles that helped us last, which I hope can help the dads and husbands out there, too.

Principle 1: know who your wife is in God’s eyes.  My wife is a wonderful woman, but she has a very strong personality, and, growing up, she was not really trained to be gentle when it comes to what comes out of her mouth.  That can often exasperate me.  She has a whole bunch of weaknesses and flaws, too.  But in no way will I let these be the cause of a split.  Why?  Because in the midst of my frustration, I make myself see that she is my co-heir in God’s grace.  An equal partner in marriage and in God’s inheritance for us, so obviously, someone who should be treasured.  Here’s the verse:

“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” (1 Pet. 3:7)

Principle 2: Forgive much, because you have been forgiven much.  With two very different, flawed people in one roof, conflict is a given.  Forgiveness is a must, because there were times when I also had to be forgiven.  Maybe if I was Mr. Perfect, I could have the right to not forgive her.  But I have committed my share of booboos, so it would be very hypocritical of me to have a hard, unforgiving heart when she also has had to deal with occasional idiocy on my part. 

The bible commands us to forgive each other not once, not twice, but seventy times seven times (Matt. 18:22).  Can you actually keep count?  (“Aha, this is your 469th offense!  Just two more and that’s it!”)  No, you can’t.  So you shouldn’t keep count in forgiving others as well, spouse being on the top of that list.

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That LastsPrinciple 3:  Know each other’s love language.  Gary Chapman’s classic book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts is a must have for all couples.  The principles in this book would be a tremendous help, I tell you.

Basically, it’s like this: there are five different “love languages,” or expressions of love, that we all can understand: time, touch, talk, tasks, and treasures.  However, each one of us has a particular love language that stands out above the rest.  This is the love language that a particular person expresses the most, and it’s also the one who affects him or her the most when it is done to them. 

For example if wifey buys me things (treasures) or does stuff for me (tasks), I’d appreciate it, for sure, but it won’t really ring my bell.  However, if she gives me verbal praise, it would make my day…maybe even make my week.  Guess what my love language is: talk.  This is how I express my love, too.  I’m sure if you ask any of the girls I’ve dated, they’d tell you that my love letters are so loooooong.  Also, I’m known among my friends as a great encourager and counselor.  Well, it’s because talk is my love language.

If you want to make your spouse happy, get to know your spouse’s love language and learn to execute it well.  Wifey?  Her love language is touch.  Trust me, I’ve got that one down.

Another reason why knowing the love language is so important is because it is the one that hurts the most when it is violated.  Remember earlier I said that my wife has trouble taming her tongue?  She has realized that over the years, her harsh words have hurt me very deeply, much more than any other sin she has done against me.  As for her love language, if I leave the house without giving her a kiss or a hug, she gets a bit peeved.  A very close second for her primary love language is time, and I know I caused her a lot of pain when I gave more time and effort to my work than I did to her and the kids.

(Btw, there’s also The Five Love Languages Singles Edition for those who are not married; The Five Love Languages of Children which is among the must have parenting books; and The 5 Love Languages Men’s Edition: The Secret to Love That Lasts, specifically for us, dudes.)

Principle 4: know your role, and do it well.  Can you imagine riding in a car with two driver’s seats, two steering wheels, two gear shifts, and two sets of pedals?  It would not be a nice ride, would it?  A house that has two people in the metaphorical driver’s seat would surely have the same kind of chaos.  My wife and I believe in the Bible, and in it are clearly defined roles that the husband and wife should play.  We follow them, things will flow better.

Of course, following them is easier said than done, especially if you did not grow up in a household that modeled them.  In a nutshell, husbands are wired to want to lead and to provide, and are called to love the wife like Christ loved the church (Christ loved the church more than he loved his own person.  Do you think He wanted to go to the cross?).  Wives are called to submit and to respect, and I think the Bible said this because God knew that the greatest need of men is to be respected by the people whom they love. 

Now these roles were set up not because one is superior nor subservient to the other, as some, especially women, would think (“Submit to my husband?  Whatttt?”)  The roles were laid out so that there would be order.  So that there would not be two drivers seats, steering wheels, pedals, and gearshifts.  Equal partners; different roles.

What’s amazing is, if one spouse really does his or her role well, the other will likely follow suit.  A very fulfilled wife would say, “My husband loves me so much that he always prioritizes my needs and the needs of my children over his own (like Christ loves the church).  How can I not submit to a loving man like that?” 

The husband, in turn, would say, “She shows me so much love and respect.  Because of that, putting her needs before my own is not even a struggle.”  It’s a healthy cycle.

Of course, our selfishness and sin will keep this from being easy.  My wife and I struggle with this greatly.  Trust me, we haven’t arrived yet in this principle, yet there has been a lot of growth in the past 12 years, for sure.

Principle 5: Attend marriage and parenting seminars.  Schools teach us to learn a trade.  They teach you to be a great doctor, a great lawyer, great accountant, great engineer, etc.  But do you go to school to be great at the upkeep of the most basic, and most important, unit in society?  Is there husband 101?  Parenting 101?  Last time I checked, there was none, and so we have to go by the models we have, such as our own parents…and if they’re not shining examples here, you’re at a disadvantage.

Well, my wife and I have been blessed to attend the almost yearly marriage and parenting seminars that my church does.  We haven’t missed one since we started to worship at CCF.  We make it a point to equip ourselves in this area, or else we’ll just grope in the dark and the possibility of us ending up like so many broken families out there is great. 

And we learn so very, very much; even if we attend them for the nth time (well, now we are actually breakout leaders whenever these events happen).  If we didn’t attend these, who knows what would’ve happened to us.  Yeah, marriage is work, but regular work has a training period that equips the newbie for the job.  CCF’s seminars are like that for marriage, and attending them is a must…especially if you don’t have good models anywhere else. 

Principle 6: Join a couples small group.  This is a HUGE reason why my wife and I are doing well.  We have been blessed to be part of one of the several young couples groups in CCF.  We are a handful of couples around the same age range, going through the same things, having the same mindset when it comes to family and career…and boy do we help each other grow. 

A pastor or a priest (especially a priest, since he’s neither a husband nor a father) can’t help you out much with your domestic struggles, being in charge of a congregation of several hundreds of people.  But a close network of couples?  Genuine friends who struggle with what you struggle with, who try to walk in the right path alongside you?  Definitely some genuine growth and counsel will take place, it’s impossible not to.  (That said, our pastors are exemplary parents and husbands, and are tremendous at counseling if you set an appointment…but this can never be a regular thing)

Joining a young couples group is a definite must.  I have learned as much from my good friends in the group as I have in all the marriage seminars I have attended.    And that says a lot.

Of course, it takes a lot more than just a few principles to make a marriage work.  But doing these six is a good start.  And I for one am a very blessed man to have been married to Jhean for twelve years and counting.  It’s been a fantastic ride, with the right amount of dips and weaves and exhilarating highs.  Surely, I’m looking forward to many more years, as the best is yet to come.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Learn to love better this Friday

Before I start this blog proper, I’d like to announce that, in case you’re interested, I have finally filled out my “about me” page in my personal website.  I know, I know…it’s about time.  I once thought only people who know me personally visit this site.  I’m starting to realize that that’s not the case, especially lately.  So, if you’d like to find out who Carlo Alado is, then click the “about” icon above.

With that out of the way, I’d like to let you all know that I’m quite excited for this Friday, February 25, 2011.  You see, my wife and I are blessed to lead and shepherd a wonderful group of young couples (one of several in the community I belong to).  We usually go through a lot of lessons together, programs that are designed to help us become better individuals, better couples, and better parents.

This Friday, we will start our newest, and probably our most exciting program yet…and we would like you to join us.

The 40 Days of Love curriculum

As I have hinted in a previous blog, the community I belong to is starting a new program for small groups called 40 Days of Love.  It is a video and study guide curriculum taught by Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life.

For the next six Fridays, we will let Mr. Warren teach us why it’s so important to treat people with love.

Is it really important?  Yes!  In fact, the Bible says, very clearly, to “let love be your highest goal…” (1 Corinthians 14:1).  Above being rich; above being successful; above status or professional position; above being proven right…above all the things we strive for in this world, we should strive hardest to love.

This extends far beyond your special someone, your family, and the people you like, because loving these guys is easy.  Being loving extends to the people beyond your intimate circle, even the people who give you pain, and to those you’d rather not associate with.

Now that’s another ball game, altogether…and these kinds of people in our lives seem to be growing larger in number by the day.  Even with the people who are easy to love, we seem to have lost the ability to show them how much we love them.

And that’s why you need this video study series.

These stressful, lawsuit-riddled, divorce-plagued, non-altruistic times almost demand a video series like this.  We’re all blessed to have 40 Days of Love in our fingertips.

Or, shall I say, in YOUR fingertips as well.

If you are a younger couple married 10 years or less, or are aged less than 40 years old, feel free to join our group, or any of the other young couples groups shown in the video above.  This blog officially serves as your invitation.

If you’re interested, but do not fit the group’s demographics (you’re still single, or you’re a bit older, etc.), you can still join us for this study.  The principles in 40 Days of Love are very broad and serve as a good introduction to the kind of fellowship and mentoring that we have.  After these next six weeks, I’d be more than happy to hook you up with a group that’s a good match for you.

I can also hook you up into said group right away and you do the study with them.  The college students have already started and are now on their 2nd session.  My mom’s group will start a day after we do.  There are nearly a hundred small groups in our community that will start 40 Days of Love at the same time.  Just let me know a bit about you and your available schedule, and I can find a group for you in no time.

More attractions for you: dinner is usually served, and very delicious.  The workbook materials are also free and are yours to keep.  Most importantly, you will also fellowship with other couples who go through the exact same struggles as you do (prince charming turned out to be prince frightening, raising rambunctious little tykes, making ends meet as we start our young careers, etc.).  You will learn from our victories, our defeats, and our battles.  And of course, we usually have lots and lots of fun.

We meet at 7:00 PM every Friday.  I will only divulge our venue for our meetings to those who reply that they are interested.  If that’s you, please either email me at or comment on this post (leaving your email ad so I can reply).

I hope you can reap the benefits of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Love with us.  I’ll be waiting for your comments.

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