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.

The Rushmore Report: Five Things Mom Wants for Mother’s Day

Before you send the flowers or make the phone call, and before you send her a gift card to her favorite department store, let me offer some insight as to what most moms really want for Mother’s Day. Expressions from your heart are what touch her. So here are five things your mom probably wants for Mother’s Day, but likely won’t tell you herself.

1. A piece of your past

The older a mom gets, the more she realizes that time is fleeting and days gone by are precious. Give her a cherished memory in the form of an old photo of you that she might have forgotten, a framed menu from the restaurant where the two of you shared a special memory, or a childhood drawing you came across that you never gave her.

2. A project from your heart

Anyone can walk into a store and purchase a gift card. You can even buy them online without leaving your house. But a project from the heart goes a lot further with mom. Consider putting together a scrapbook of memories of mom, drawing or painting her a picture, or writing a poem. Tell her how she has blessed your life.

3. The gift of your presence

Has it been awhile since you’ve seen your mom? Taking the time to visit will go further than anything else you can give her. But rather than surprise her, let her know you plan to visit soon so she can experience the anticipation of your arrival as a gift, as well. If the distance is too great to drive to see her that day, make plans for when you will see her and gift her with the news and the date to put on her calendar.

4. Your spiritual well-being

Moms worry about their children’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Assure your mom that you are doing well by telling her what you’ve been learning spiritually. If you find that you don’t have much to tell her about spiritual growth in your life, make a point of reading or studying something she’d be thrilled to hear about.

5. Your prayers

Assuming your mom was a spiritual mentor in your life, it would thrill her soul to know you are praying for her health, her comfort, and her joy. Even better, pray with her. And if your mom is not a believer, or not one who is vocal about her faith, your private prayers for her may be the best gift you can give her on Mother’s Day.

About the Author

Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker. She is author of When Women Walk Alone and Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs. She is also a pastor’s wife and director of women’s ministries at her church.

The Rushmore Report: Seven Ways to Affair-Proof Your Marriage

After an affair, couples often feel blindsided by the betrayal. “I have no clue how we got here,” one partner will say. “I can’t believe this happened to us.” But therapists who counsel couples in such a position usually have a good understanding of why it happened. We have consulted with such therapists, and now offer seven ways to minimize their risk of infidelity.

1. Don’t think you are immune to an affair.

If you think infidelity is something that only happens to other couples, think again. Accepting that an affair can occur in any relationship ensures that you’re better equipped to see the warning signs, said Alexandra H. Solomon, a clinical psychologist and the author of Brave, Deep, Intimate: 20 Lessons to Get You Ready for the Love of a Lifetime.

2. Recognize and tend to the needs of your relationship.

People who cheat often talk about how their affair partners simply fulfilled a need their spouse couldn’t, be it physical or emotional. To sidestep the same fate, clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark said you need to fiercely guard the connection that initially brought you two together. At the same time, check in occasionally to make sure everything is still okay on your partner’s end.

3. Define what monogamy means to you.

Talk openly and honestly about what kind of behavior isn’t acceptable outside the confines of your relationship, then set some clear, mutually agreed-upon boundaries, said Solomon. For example, you might think your borderline flirty behavior at dinner is okay, but your partner may think you need a reality check.

4. Close the door on old flames.

With Facebook at your fingertips, it’s all too easy to reconnect with an old boyfriend or that girl from biology class you always had a thing for in high school. It only takes a click to add him or her, but you ask yourself, “Is it really worth the temptation?” If you’re already having problems in your relationship, your answer should be a clear-cut no, said Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and author.

5. Make time for sex.

It’s natural for your sex drive to wax and wane in a long-term marriage. But if you can’t recall the last time the two of you were intimate, you may want to address this issue, said Clark. “The truth is, touching and sexual activity drive up chemical reactions in our brain that promote feelings of connection, attachment, and desire.”

6. Don’t confide in someone other than your spouse (especially an attractive someone).

It’s fine and healthy to have close friends and family who listen to your relationship rants. But discuss your relationship problems with someone you’re drawn to in a physical way and you could be well on your way to an emotional affair, said Saltz.

7. Actively show how much your partner means to you.

The love you feel for your partner may be more than you ever imagined possible, but don’t assume he or she knows that. Your partner wants to feel wanted; make a point to prove your feelings to them on a regular basis, writes Clark.

About the Author

Brittany Wong is the Relationships Editor for The Huffington Post.

Stages of a Cold

A husband’s reactions to his wife’s colds during the first seven years of marriage evolve.

Year 1 – “Sugar Dumpling, I’m really worried about my baby girl. You’ve got a bad sniffle and there’s no telling about these things with all the strep going around. I’m putting you in the hospital. I know the food is lousy, but I’ll be bringing your meals in from Landry’s.”

Year 2 – “Listen, Darling, I don’t like the sound of that cough and I’ve called the doctor to rush over here. Now you go to bed like a good girl.”

Year 3 – “Maybe you should lie down, Honey.”

Year 4 – “Now look, Dear, be sensible. After you feed the kids, do the dishes and mop the floor, you better get some rest.”

Year 5 – “Why don’t you take an aspirin?”

Year 6 – “If you’d just gargle or something instead of sitting around barking like a seal all evening, you might get better.”

Year 7 – “For Pete’s sake, stop that sneezing! Are you trying to give me pneumonia?”

Does this sound familiar to anyone other than my wife? Remember the nice guy you used to be? Guess what? That was the man your wife thought she was marrying.

Shopping Carts and Marriage

The great Charlie Brown commented on what it meant to have a good day. “I know it’s going to be a good day when all the wheels on my shopping cart turn the same way.”

Don’t you love it when you get the one cart that has one wheel that is not aligned?

If ever we need our wheels aligned, it is in marriage. I heard about one couple who could never get aligned with their schedule. Bob called his wife from work in the middle of the afternoon. “I’m able to get two tickets for the show we wanted to see. It’s playing now. Do you want to go?”

Martha answered, “Oh, yes! I’ll get ready right away!”

“Perfect,” said Bob. “The tickets are for tomorrow night.”

Another couple was not aligned. The Vermont farmer was sitting on the porch with his wife. He looked over at her and thought about all the ways she had blessed him in 42 years of marriage.

Then he spoke, “Wife, you’ve been such a wonderful woman that there are times when I can hardly keep from telling you.”

To have a really great marriage, we need all wheels headed the same way. Then it is okay to tell your spouse you love them. Read the Song of Solomon, in the Bible. You will find a modern romance story. You will find two mates whose carts are fully aligned.

The Rushmore Report: The Best Marriage Advice I Ever Heard

You hear a lot of marriage advice before you get married. “Keep a date night.” “Never go to bed angry.” “Make the relationship your first priority.” “Don’t walk out during an argument.” But of all the counsel my husband and I received before our wedding day, one thought has proven to be the most challenging and transformative, and it came from my father-in-law.

A gifted pastor and teacher, he was the only person we could imagine officiating our wedding. During the final preparations for the ceremony, we sat across a table from him in a small restaurant to discuss the details: who was responsible for what, when would everyone arrive, which Bible verses had we chosen to use, and who would be reading them. Somewhere between the end of our meal and the waitress returning a receipt to be signed, we asked him what advice he had for us. He paused, smiled, and looked down for a moment to thoughtfully consider his response. His eyes shot back up and looked directly at us as he simply said, “Forgive quickly.”

I had enough self-awareness on that day to know this would not come easily to me. If there was ever a place where I would feel justified to harbor bitterness and keep a tab on the ways I had been wronged, it would be within marriage. Where else would I share such a wide array of intimate moments with one person? Space, money, parenting responsibilities, highs, lows, personal time, a bed . . . becoming “one” is about more than sex. It requires a level of vulnerability that opens the door for deep hurt, and letting go of those wounds was going to require more change than I would like to submit to.

What forgiveness means

It is rare for me to be without words, especially when I am upset. In the first year of our marriage, we struggled to resolve arguments because of my need to say “just one more thing.” With each additional statement, I churned up the dirt and pulled out new arguments that were both painful and unproductive. I thought I’d feel better by presenting every offense of which I thought my husband was guilty; and if I felt better, I could forgive. If I felt better, I could let it go. In time, I learned that feelings of forgiveness follow the choice to forgive.

My son plays a game that teaches him new words and their definitions. I was recently struck by the explanation it provided for the word forgive. “When you forgive someone, you stop being angry.” To my surprise, the Webster definition also speaks to a change in feelings preceding the act of forgiveness – a far cry from the biblical depiction. Rather, in Scripture we find that forgiveness is an action made in the midst of negative feelings, making it a beautiful expression of love.

About the Author

Cara Joyner writes on Christian marriage, and is regularly featured in Today’s Christian Woman.

The Rushmore Report: Six Steps to Retire Debt Free

Wondering how you’ll ever be able to retire with your current retirement savings nest egg? Make a plan to retire debt free. When you retire with fewer expenses, you may find that retirement is more affordable – and feasible – than you think. Here are six simple steps you can take now in order to retire debt free. While some of these steps may seem hard, or even impossible, you can do it – one step at a time.

1. Keep your housing costs low.

Whether you opt to own your home or rent, Credit.com advises that you keep monthly housing expenses (which include the cost of rent/mortgage, plus insurance and taxes) to no more than 28% of your monthly income.

2. Consider shorter-term loans.

When your goal is to retire debt free, financing major purchases like a home or a car with a shorter term loan (like a 36-month car loan or a 15-year mortgage) can help you stay honest about what you can truly afford, while reducing how much you pay to borrow, and for how long.

3. Eliminate credit card debt as soon as possible.

According to Bankrate.com, paying off your credit card debt is one of the best investments you can make, especially when your goal is to retire debt free. As you decrease your credit card balances, you’ll have increased cash flow that you can use to aggressively pay off other debts – which may include your home mortgage

4. Never co-sign.

If your name is listed on any credit account or loan as an official co-signer, it’s legally considered your debt – even if you didn’t make the purchases required to create it. If you want to retire debt free, don’t put your name on any debt you don’t have complete ownership of.

5. Set tangible goals.

You may know you want to retire debt free. But how exactly will you get there? Form an action plan for how much you’ll need to save in order to slowly pay down your debts each month.

6. Resist lifestyle inflation.

As you become debt free, you’ll have more spendable income. Ironically, that can reduce the pressure to budget carefully and cause you to spend more freely than you did when you had less cash. Give purpose to your new budget, and stay on track.

About the Author

This article was written by Discover, a popular credit card service in America.

Abortion

A professor in a world-acclaimed medical school once posed this medical situation – and ethical problem – to his students. “Here’s the family history – the father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already have had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. Now the mother is pregnant again. The parents come to you for advice. They are willing to have an abortion, if you say they should. What do you say?”

The students gave various individual opinions, and then the professor asked them to break into small groups for “consultation.” All of the groups came back to report that they would recommend an abortion.

“Congratulations,” the professor said. “You just took the life of Beethoven!”

Nothing is so polarizing as the subject of abortion. I know several well-meaning people who say, “I’m personally pro-life, but I don’t think we should tell a woman what she has to do with her own baby.” Translation – “I’m pro-choice.”

Others say, “I’m a libertarian. I don’t believe we should tell others what to do with their own bodies.” I always respond with, “Then why do you support mandatory seat belt laws for cars and helmet laws for motorcycles?”

I want to be pro-choice. It sounds inclusive, politically correct, and sensitive. There’s just one problem. The thing that is being aborted is not a thing, but a person. He or she has a heartbeat, two hands, ten fingers, and ten toes.

I know that for many women, following through with giving birth, in response to what was almost always consensual sex, can be inconvenient. But for the aborted baby, that procedure is really inconvenient. I kind of think that if we could ask all the unborn babies of the world to weigh in on their preferences, of the 15 million babies aborted in America since 1973, not one would have chosen that fate had they had a choice.

No, abortion is not the right choice – ever. Just ask Mr. Beethoven.

The Rushmore Report: Target Stock Takes Hit after Transgender Stance

Target has decided to open its restrooms and fitting rooms to anyone regardless of their biological sex. In response, the American Family Association launched an effort calling on Americans to boycott Target. The boycott effort has been very well received, with more than 1.2 million people pledging to boycott the store, and now some are noting that Target’s sales and stock have taken a huge hit in the past month.

A few months ago, the big box retailer announced that its guests and team members can use restrooms or fitting rooms that correspond to their gender identity. According to the Associated Press, Target became the first major retailer to publicly stand up for so-called transgender rights.

At the same time, they drew unwanted attention at a particularly sensitive time, potentially harming the Target brand and stock. The decision to weigh in so strongly on such a divisive issue has to be troubling for holders  of Target stock. Since the retailer’s announcement, TGT stock has dropped 6.5 percent.

About the Author

Jerry Cox is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.