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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Put Some Love In It.

A long time ago I learned that in order for anything to be meaningful and valuable, be it an act or gift, you have to put some love into it. Since then I try to put some love in everything I do. Including writing this blog. 

People who stay together as a family don't stay together simply by putting family first. They stay together because they've learned to put love in what they do with the family, for family and everyone that touches the lives of each person in that family. So when doing something as simple as making a phone call or planning a meal or something big like planning a social event with friends or family, or something even bigger like raising a child, these are the times to take deliberately action and show just how committed to the task of loving that person you are.

Planning Dinner Time
Brenda and I share dinner time together everyday. We don't just eat together. We put some love in it. We plan our meals together. We consider what we both like eating, the taste and most of all make sure that it's wholesome. While she does most of the cooking I thank her for the meal with a kiss and wash the dishes.  

Making Phone Calls
We don't just call when something is up. We put some love in it. We call each other everyday. During these calls we exchange an expression of endearment before ending the conversation. She calls me Booh. I call her Baah. In addition we don't let anything get in the way of our Friday evening date night. Because we are both frugal we will plan something simple like a picnic and stroll around the reservoir or listen to oldies but goodies in the car with the top open. Or watch a movie or two at home sharing a bowl of popcorn or chips. 

Planning A Gathering
My wife, Brenda, is the kind of person who likes to get up and go. She is ultra social. Most of what I like to do is here at home. I like to paint, do crafts, bake, write and entertain. In this way we are very different, but by putting some love in it we've learned to empower ourselves with these differences. How? 

One day outgoing Brenda asked me to help her plan activities for a social event. She focused on decorating the facility, preparing the menu and organizing banquet style service. I focused on entertaining the guests. I always like to interject a creative wholesome message about family and marriage in what I do without it being too obvious at the beginning. One of the games I created for this gathering is called "Getting to Know You" for engaged or newly wed couples. It's a bunch of questions on cards designed to open a dialog about what each person in the relationship strongly believes in. On first glance the questions are a bit funny or peculiar, but on second glance they have deeper meaning. In most cases the answers inspire a deeper love and regard for the other person in the relationship because it reveals favorable principles, experiences and standards the person is guided by. A good place to start when building a strong house.

Raising Our Children
Regarding raising children. We knew early on that it would be hard work. When Brenda became pregnant it was then that we put some love in it. How. To start, our children were the result of our commitment and love for each other, not the other way around. The training we gave them was carefully thought out, both by consulting the ultimate guidebook on child rearing the bible. The book contains helpful advice that would have otherwise taken me years to figure out if I figured it out at all. Things like: 

1. "Treat others as you want to be treated"
2. "There is more happiness in giving than in receiving."
3. "Don't think more of yourself than it is necessary to think."
4. Regarding being loyal to ones wife: "Drink water out of your own cistern. Don't give away your dignity to another woman. Be happy with the wife you married when young." 
5. "Children are like arrows" - They need to be guided in the right direction.
6. "Love hopes all things. Love endures all things. Love does not keep account of the injury." 

If I were asked, what was the secret to staying married to your wife for so long? I would say. "We did not just stay together. We learned early on to put some love in it."

Planning a family reunion? To get  more information about Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app click on the link on this blog page or access the profiles page.

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