Larger Steak

One night at the dinner table, the wife commented, “When we were first married, you took the small piece of steak and gave me the larger piece. Now you take the larger one and leave me the smaller one. You don’t love me anymore.”

Her husband responded, “That’s nonsense, darling. You just cook better now.”

Successful marriages have two qualities: a man who is quick on his feet, and sacrifice. In this story, we see only one of the two.

When God created man and woman, he said they are to be one. That means that as husband and wife, we are to put one another first. We are to give before we receive and listen before we speak. We are to keep the holy triangle in place: God, husband, and wife. We are to put our husband or wife first.

And if, along the way, the wife becomes a better cook, well that’s okay, too.

Are Dogs Better than Women?

I’m just asking the question. I am offering no conclusions. But we need to approach these things with open minds. That is all I’m doing. I have no bias, as I am both happily married and a satisfied dog owner. I have split my time almost evenly: living 35 years with my wife and 38 years with four different dogs.

Today, I have both a wife and a dog. And I take them both for a walk two times a day. Beth is the best wife anyone ever had and Heidi is the best dog. It’s not even close – on either count.

But again, we must ask the question. Which is better – a wife or a dog?

Because wives can speak for themselves, I will present the case that dogs would make if they were able to type or use a computer. This is the evidence dogs everywhere would want us to see.

Why dogs are better than wives . . .

  1. Dogs never criticize.
  2. Dogs don’t expect gifts.
  3. Dogs don’t want to know about every other dog you’ve ever had.
  4. Dogs don’t hate their own bodies.
  5. Dogs don’t let a magazine article guide their lives.
  6. You never have to wait on a dog; they are ready to jump in the car 24 hours a day.
  7. Dogs don’t cry.
  8. Dogs love it when your friends come over.
  9. A dog’s time in the bathroom is confined to a quick drink.
  10. Dogs don’t expect you to call when you’re running late; the later you are, the more excited they are to see you.
  11. Anyone can get a good looking dog.
  12. Dogs don’t mind if you give away their offspring.
  13. Dogs don’t notice if you call them by another dog’s name.

I’ll add one more – on a personal note. At this very moment, as I am working on my computer, my dog is in my lap. My wife? She is over 1,000 miles away, visiting friends.

My dog would never do that to me.

The Day Dad Took Me Fishing

I was about eight or nine years old. Dad took my brother and me on an overnight camp out. We were fishing late at night. My brother had fallen asleep as my Dad and I kept fishing. I did what boys do. I kept checking my bait to see if the fish had taken my worm. Because it was dark, I had to swing my pole over toward my Dad, who had the flashlight. Each time, Dad looked at my line and said, “Looks like they got your bait again.” Then he put on another worm.

After a couple hours of this, Dad excused himself for a few minutes. While he was away, I reeled in my line and checked the hook myself. No more worm. So I reached over for the carton of worms to put another one on my hook while Dad was away. To my surprise, there were no more worms left in the carton.

I didn’t want Dad to know we had just run out of bait, because I was enjoying the moment so much. So when he returned and encouraged me to check my line, I said, “I think it’s fine, Dad.”

Dad insisted he check my line, so I reeled it in one last time. When I swung the pole toward my Dad, he checked the hook and said, “Yep, the fish took your bait again. I’ll put on another worm.” And then he messed with my hook, and said to cast it out again.

Then the light came on. I had been out of bait of hours. Dad was acting like we still had worms for one reason – he wanted to extend the moment.

Dad wasn’t really there to fish. What he really wanted was time with his two sons – even if one of them was fast asleep.

Last week, my son asked me to name my favorite time with my Dad. And this is the story I told him. Unfortunately, I lost my Dad at a young age. I was 19 when he died at the age of 55. That was 38 years ago. I’ve lived twice as long without Dad as I lived with him.

But I shall never forget that night on a central Texas lake, a half century ago. I had an amazing Dad. And that was an amazing night – one I will take with me for the rest of my life.

The Rushmore Report: Top Ten Reasons People Divorce

Marriage is not easy. Unfortunately, even couples with the best intentions can end up in divorce court. While divorce is not inevitable, it is becoming all too common. Couples getting married must be aware of the factors that lead to break-ups. Then they must remain on guard; divorce can hit anybody. There are a number of reasons people get divorced; the following are ten of the most common.

1. Extramarital affairs

According to a report published by AARP, infidelity still plays a significant role in why people file for divorce. However, usually there is an underlying reason that causes a spouse to cheat, including anger, resentment, and growing apart.

2. Weight gain

Surprisingly enough, “forever after” often comes with the caveat “as long as you maintain your figure.” According to a survey reported by Men’s Health, one spouse gaining substantial weight can be a damper on marital bliss, right or wrong.

3. Money

The American Journal of Sociology recently published a study that found a husband’s unemployment can be a key factor behind divorce. A couple facing financial difficulties is often under a lot of stress, which in turn harms communication.

4. Lack of communication

A commonly heard phrase to successful marriage is “communication is the key.” Relationship coach Deb Dutilh has found that communication can quickly mar feelings of love and romance. Once parties stop communicating effectively, marital troubles that lead to divorce are not too far behind.

5. Abuse

According to Simple Divorce Advice, physical, mental, and emotional abuse all are common reasons couples get divorced. Most people in such a marriage reach a breaking point. Without serious counseling the marriage will end.

6. Incompatibility

Nothing stays the same. Over time people grow, develop, and change. Changing interests or dreams often lead to incompatibility. Divorce Magazine reports that incompatibility is a growing reason that marriages end.

7. Unhappiness

This is at the root of a high number of divorces. Sometimes individuals don’t realize that love in and of itself is not enough to keep you happy. A study published by Penn State University concluded that “severe unhappiness” by one or both partners almost always brings an end to the marriage.

8. Addiction

People can become addicted to substances, behaviors, and even other people. This can wreck a person’s life. An addict often finds himself out of control as his addiction affects every area of his life. Henry Gornbein, a family law specialist, sees this as the fastest growing cause of divorce.

9. Age

According to a study published by the Wharton School at Penn, the age at which a couple marries plays a huge role in the success or failure of their marriage. The younger the couple that marries, the more likely they are to see their marriage end in divorce.

10. Parenting styles

Parenting is an even larger undertaking than getting married. Attorney Jeff Biddle says he has seen dozens of marriages end in divorce simply because the parents cannot agree on the way they should discipline their children.

About the Author

Shannon Johnson is an attorney who walked away from her practice to pursue her dream of writing. She is a frequent blogger on her site, Love to Know.

The Rushmore Report: Six Habits of Healthy Couples

We are creatures of routine and can often find ourselves stuck in these bad cycles of either fighting, being too busy, or not having the right expectations. The only way to create new habits to build a stronger connection in your marriage is to become proactive. Here are six habits we have established that build healthy marriages. We promise you’ll see results if you put them into practice in your own marriage.

1. Cultivate positivity.

Maybe your spouse says something critical, something off handed that doesn’t quite land the right way. Our natural response is to retaliate or shut down. This can easily put couples in a toxic cycle of tit for tat. Trust us, we ran on that treadmill for years. Don’t do it. Go positive.

2. Compliment often.

It’s not enough to know how much you might love your spouse, you need to communicate that as often as possible. Words are extremely powerful. Practice a daily 60-second blessing.

3. Dream together.

Couples who stop sharing common goals together often drift apart and become more like roommates than lovers. You must cultivate a sense of excitement and anticipation about the future, which helps carry you through those dry seasons.

4. Own your mistakes.

We are constantly making mistakes and failing to deliver on our promises. When you apologize, it shows that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions in the marriage. Ask your spouse frequently if there is anything you need to apologize for in the relationship.

5. Pray together.

There is power as it is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned and hope is lifted. And when couples do this together, they simply become unstoppable in all that they do. Try it tonight. Pray as a couple.

6. Do date nights.

Yup, you guessed it. It’s our go-to cure for 100% of couples we coach. Date nights are about rekindling the romance and friendship by building emotional intimacy. Plan your next date night today.

About the Author

Meygan Caston is co-founder of Marriage 365, where she blogs on marriage and family issues.

The Rushmore Report: Did Pat Robertson Just Defend Polygamy?

Popular televangelist Pat Robertson, who serves as chancellor of Regent University and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, has said he doesn’t know of anything in the Bible that condemns polygamy – the practice of having more than one wife or husband at the same time. “I’m not sure the Bible indicates polygamy is wrong,” he said. So what exactly does Robertson believe about polygamy?

Robertson continued, “But we don’t do it [polygamy] and there are a lot of laws based on the New Testament that don’t permit it, and that’s where we are.” He was responding to a question from a viewer identified only as Margaret, who asked, “Why did God allow the men of faith in the Old Testament to have multiple wives and concubines?” And when did God change his mind and make marriage monogamous?’

“I don’t think God changed his mind,” Robertson said.

Although polygamy is illegal in the U.S. and culturally unpopular, some researchers estimate that 50-100,000 people are involved in polygamous relationships and the arrangement is more common between men and multiple wives.

Robertson noted that a man will find it easier to take care of multiple wives than vice versa.

“The truth is that women have babies. And when they have babies they can’t fight wars because they are having babies, and they are looking after their babies and they need somebody to look after them – that’s why husbands are supposed to look after their wives. And a man can take care of several wives whereas one wife can’t take care of several husbands,” he said.

Robertson continued, “I think in the early days there must have been more women than men. Multiple wives were standard stuff in the primitive societies, at least they still are in Africa. I know one guy, the chief or something, the general, he had 60 wives. That’s a little excessive, it is, but nonetheless, God didn’t change his mind, but then came the New Testament. And Jesus gave the standards of marriage, man leaves his mother and father, cleaves to his wife, and the twain will become one flesh,” he explained. “And so that’s the biblical order of the New Testament, but the culture has changed. God didn’t change his mind.”

Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, told The Daily Beast in 2015 that if polygamy is legalized, he believes it could happen within “the next 20 to 30 years.”

Earlier this year, however, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to Utah’s anti-bigamy law brought by “Sister Wives” star Kody Brown and his wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn.

Brown is only legally married to one of the “wives.” The fundamentalist Mormons who are part of the Apostolic United Brethren Church, claimed in their legal challenge that Utah’s law banning multiple spouses violated their religious liberty rights under the United States Constitution’s First Amendment. They claim polygamy as a religious belief.

About the Author

Leonardo Blair writes for The Christian Post.

Oldtimers

A couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things. They decide to go to the doctor for a check-up. The doctor tells them they’re physically fine, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember. Later that night while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.

His wife asks, “Where are you going?”

“To the kitchen,” he replies.

“Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?”

“Sure.”

“Don’t you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” she asks.

“No, I can remember it.”

“Well, I’d like some strawberries on top, too. You’d better write it down, because you know you’ll forget it.”

He says, “I can remember that! You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries on top.”

“I’d also like some whipped cream. I’m certain you’ll forget that, so you better write it down!”

Irritated, he says, “I don’t need to write it down. I can remember it! Leave me alone! You want ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream. I got it, for goodness sake!” And with that he walks off, toward the kitchen.

After about 20 minutes the old man returns and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stares at the plate for a moment and then says . . . “Where’s my toast?”

You don’t have to be old to have a short memory. My uncle was a great example. The family joke was that he heard what he wanted to hear and remembered what he wanted to remember. We are all a lot like that. We remember what is in our best interest.

But there are a few things we must always remember – love God, treat others right, live lives that reflect His grace. And the good news is, we don’t even have to write that down. God did it for us.

It’s called the Bible.

The Rushmore Report: Tim Allen Compares Hollywood to Nazi Germany

Tim Allen, conservative actor and star of the recently canceled television series Last Man Standing, compared Hollywood to Nazi Germany due to what he says is an intolerant liberal bias. In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Allen explained that “you’ve gotta be real careful” in Hollywood when espousing a conservative viewpoint. “You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes. This is like ’30s Germany.”

“I don’t know what happened. If you’re not part of the group, ‘You know what we believe is right,’ I go, ‘Well, I might have a problem with that.’ I’m a comedian, I like going on both sides.”

Famous for having the lead role in the 1990s series Home Improvement, Allen’s comments come not long after his latest television program was canceled after six seasons.

Last week, ABC announced that they canceled Last Man Standing though it was a steady performer in the ratings. The program was generally viewed as having a conservative message to its content.

While other, more liberal shows were also discontinued by ABC, many looked at the refusal to grant Last Man Standing a seventh season as suspicious and possibly an attack on conservatives.

“If comedy ‘remains a priority’ for the network, as it said on Tuesday’s call, why would it cancel its second-highest rated comedy series?” asked Breitbart.com.

“Is there any other show in history that has not only retained its audience but has beaten most other comedies of its type that has been canceled as abruptly? Ever?”

Others, however, including one column on The Daily Banter, argue that the decision to cancel Allen’s show had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with good business practice.

“According to Vox, the show was getting increasingly expensive with each season, and it was popular with audience members over 50, which isn’t the most profitable advertising demographic,” read the column.

“On top of that, ABC’s recent acquisition of American Idol blew a sizable hole through their programming budget and schedule forcing them to ax several other shows as well.”

ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said they had to make “tough calls” and “cancel shows that we’d otherwise love to stay on the air.”

“Last Man Standing was a challenging one for me because it was a steady performer in the ratings. But once we made the decision not to continue with comedies on Friday, that was where we landed,” he said.

Several online petitions were created demanding that the show be returned for a seventh season, including one on change.com that as of Monday afternoon had over 380,000 signatories.

“I will no longer be watching any ABC shows. I have canceled the DVR settings for the other ABC shows that I regularly watch. If you want to help try to save Last Man Standing, I encourage you to do the same,” read the petition.

About the Author

Michael Gryboski is a writer for The Christian Post.

Teen Sick of Mom Barging into Room with Clean Laundry

Kids gone wild – it happened in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Voicing great displeasure at her blatant disregard for his privacy, area teenager Chad Fleming reported Wednesday that he is fed up with his mother always barging into his bedroom to put away freshly washed laundry.

“Jesus, Mom! Why can’t you just respect my personal space?” an angered Fleming told his mother, who entered his bedroom unannounced, carrying a basket full of clothes that she had spent the previous two hours separating by color, washing, and neatly folding.

Chad continued, “Is it so hard to knock? God, you never let me be.”

We won’t know how this story ends for some time. But it really doesn’t matter. Should Mrs. Fleming knock before entering her son’s room? Probably. But does she have the right to enter her son’s room – especially with his clean laundry – anytime she wants? Definitely.

It says a lot about where we are as a society that a teenager . . .

1. Can’t do his own laundry

2. Doesn’t first express gratitude to his mother for doing his laundry

3. Then complains to friends (who contacted the media about his mother’s “intrusion”)

When I was a boy, this would not have happened. That’s because I was expected to do my own laundry. At the risk of sounding really old, beginning at age eight, I had to walk across the street in my apartment complex to the laundry area, shove in a bunch of quarters, and do my laundry myself. And for the seven years we didn’t have a washing machine, I continued this practice – never feeling the persecution of the moment.

Had my mother entered my room unannounced, with an armful of laundry – clean and folded – snapping at her would have been the last thing I would have done. My dad would have made sure of that!

So here’s to moms everywhere. It’s your home and your kids’ laundry. If you want to be so kind as to do for them what they could have done for themselves, and personally take it into their room unannounced, prepare for the consequences. But the next time you feel the urge, you might want to consider letting little Chad learn the intricacies of a modern washing machine himself.

It will do him good. In life, he will eventually have to learn to deal with his own dirty laundry, anyway.

The Rushmore Report: Three Reasons Christian Marriages Fail

I love God’s institution of marriage. Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many marriages – even Christian marriages – fail. I have met with hundreds of couples in my tenure in counseling and have, after much contemplation, exhaustive study, review and prayer, narrowed the list to three major reasons Christian marriages fail. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Selfishness

2. Selfishness

3. Selfishness

It’s a well-known axiom in real estate circles that the three most important considerations when purchasing a home are location, location, and location. In similar fashion, I propose the three most important reasons Christian marriages fail – selfishness, selfishness, and selfishness.

If you have one selfish partner in the marriage, it can limp along. Two selfish people almost invariably results in carnage. A couple who professes Christ should be following biblical principles, and if they do, then the marriage can survive, thrive, and prosper.

We have seen many people benefit greatly from deliverance ministry, temperament analysis, and marriage counseling. We have seen others who reap very little. I believe the key begins with the attitude of the heart in this area of setting aside self.

If you are selfish, can you purpose and commit unilaterally to becoming more of a giver and less of a taker in your marriage? If you are primarily a giver now, you need to ask for the grace, wisdom, peace, and power of God in your situation. He is faithful and all things are possible for those who believe.

About the Author

Don Ibbitson has been a Christian counselor since 2001. Through Above & Beyond Christian Counseling he has impacted hundreds of marriages.