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The Perfect Mate

A young lady visited a computer dating service and requested, “I’m looking for a spouse. Can you please help me to find a suitable one?”

The matchmaker said, “What exactly are you looking for?”

“Well, let me see. Needs to be good looking, polite, humorous, sporty, knowledgeable, good at singing and dancing. Willing to accompany me the whole day at home during my leisure hour if I don’t go out. Be able to tell me interesting stories when I need a companion for conversation and be silent when I want to rest.”

The matchmaker entered the information into the computer and, in a matter of moments, handed the results to the woman.

The results read, “Buy a television.”

There is only one perfect mate in the universe, and I married her. For the rest of you, be aware that you won’t find a perfect spouse, but you can try to be one. That’s what love is all about – giving, not taking.

Or you can just buy a television.

The Rushmore Report: Twitter Bans Promotion of ‘One Man One Woman’ Book, Calls it ‘Hate’

On July 2, 56-year-old pastor Craig Stellpflug paid for Twitter ads to promote a tweet he posted about his new book titled One Man One Woman: God’s Original Design for Marriage. Stellpflug, a retired medical professional with a pastoral career, told The Christian Post that he received an email response from Twitter telling him his book could not be promoted on Twitter, as it “promotes hate.”

The tweet the author sought to post read, “One Man One Woman is about God’s original design for marriage carried from Adam and Eve in the garden to this day.”

Specifically, the ad was blocked because Twitter prohibits “hate content.”

Stellpflug said his book is “definitely not an anti-gay book” and that it is “not about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transexual movement.” He continued, “I suppose if I named my book One Man and Another Man Together in Marriage, it would soar past the critics and actually garner praise as some clarion call for peace and unity.”

He continued, “My book is not hate! It highlights conservative Christian marriage values – therefore it is ‘hate.’ Have we stooped so low in our country that my freedom of speech is squelched because I promote my Christian beliefs? I’ll tell you where the hate is. It is flaunted against the morality by the few as a tool to promote liberal agendas.”

About the Author

Samuel Smith is a writer for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report: 25 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Twenty-five couples were asked to give their secrets to a happy marriage. These couples are from all over America and from many different backgrounds. They have been married for anywhere from 15 to 50 years. These real-life couples have been in the marriage trenches and they are still laughing, smiling, and having fun. Here is their advice to making marriage last for the long haul – the #1 idea from each couple.

  1. We’re best friends.
  2. I gave up the home décor I had brought into our relationship.
  3. We made a pact to never fight about money.
  4. We never discuss sensitive subjects when hungry or tired.
  5. I follow this advice: always treat your husband as an honored guest in your home.
  6. We purposefully sit next to each other on the couch each night.
  7. We always find things to laugh about.
  8. We have separate bathrooms.
  9. We follow this mantra: women want to be loved and cherished; men want to feel respected.
  10. We never bail on date night.
  11. We seek to do good for the other person, instead of fighting over ‘what about me?’
  12. We face adversity together.
  13. We plan forward and look back only to the good times.
  14. We remember why we got together in the first place.
  15. We believe that divorce is not an option.
  16. We’re both left-handed.
  17. We’re passionate, supportive, and accepting of what the other person is doing in their personal life.
  18. We prioritize each other.
  19. We truly knew ourselves before we got married.
  20. We dumped friends and family members who had a negative effect on our life and marriage – and we expected our spouse to do the same.
  21. We mind our manners.
  22. We’re as different as a couple can get.
  23. We take a lot of trips without our children.
  24. We share a common dream.
  25. We’re in it for life.

The Rushmore Report: Seven Principles that Make Marriage Work

John Gottman has provided seven principles that make marriage work in his latest book by the same name. The book seeks to debunk a number of what it calls myths about marriages and why they often fail. Gottman thinks outside the norm, offering suggestions you won’t find anywhere else. Along with his companion book, What Makes Love Last? this work gives hope to millions of couples struggling in their marriages.

These are Gottman’s seven principles to make marriage work.

1. Enhancing love maps

A “love map” is that part of one’s brain where one stores all the relevant information about one’s spouse, such as his or her worries, hopes, and goals. The map also goes into the spouse’s history and feelings. Gottman says happily married couples use their love maps to express not only their understanding of each other, but also their fondness and admiration as well.

2. Nurturing fondness and admiration

This involves meditating a bit on one’s partner and what makes you cherish him or her. The book suggests exercises such as thinking about incidents that illustrate characteristics one appreciates in the partner. There is a focus on happy events.

3. Turning toward one another

This brings connection with the spouse. It means being there for each other during minor events, and responding positively to the spouse’s bids for attention, affection, humor, or support.

4. Accepting influence

Accepting influence means sharing power and making one’s spouse a partner in one’s decision-making by taking their opinions and feelings into account.

5. Solving solvable problems

Gottman’s model for conflict resolution involves softening the start of the discussion, learning to make and receive repair statements, and compromise. This is done while accepting each other’s faults.

6. Overcoming gridlock

According to Gottman, gridlock occurs when a conflict makes one feel rejected by the partner. Each spouse becomes entrenched in his or her position. To the contrary, successful compromise means exploring hidden issues that are really the cause of the gridlock.

7. Creating shared meaning

Gottman describes shared meaning as a spiritual dimension to marriage that has to do with creating an inner life together – a culture rich with symbols and rituals, and an appreciation for the spouse’s roles and goals.

About the Author

These excerpts are taken from John Gottman’s book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Gottman has written other books, including What Makes Love Last?

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 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.