Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Family Under Stress

Family Crisis

  • Separation 
  • Death 
  • Step Parents (Re-Marriage) 
  • Finances
  • Abuse 
These are just some family crisis that can occur. Think about your own life experiences. Have any of these impacted you in some way? If so, were you able to find a positive outcome from the experience? Can trials (crisis) within a family become a blessing/helpful in pulling the family closer together? 

It is unfortunate for anyone who has to deal with a family crisis, but often times the result of how we are effected is largely due to how we deal or cope with the situation. 

There are 4 ways someone will generally deal with a crisis
  1. Denial 
  2. Avoidance 
  3. Scapegoating
  4. Substance Abuse 
None of these sound like heathy ways to deal with a problem especially if it is effecting all members of a family. It is important for a family to communicate to have understanding for each other, to have compassion. 

Family therapist CloĆ© Madanes created a method in order to help all members of a family get on the same page and experience ownership of their mistakes instead of blaming others, thus bringing the family closer together. 

The three main points are: 
  1. Recognizing that during this crisis everyones  spirit is wounded 
  2. Evil is always stupid 
  3. Have the person who may have caused pain and sorrow upon the family to get on their knees and apologize. This is not done to humiliate the person but rather to give this person an opportunity to apologize and for the family to have a greater understanding for the reasons behind his or her actions. The family will realize that he/she did not intend to hurt the family. 
Any type of family crisis can be difficult to deal with. We often feel pain, betrayal, anger, and hopeless. However, I know that these crisis can also develop very strong bonds between family members.  There is nothing that the Savior cannot heal, and I know he can heal a broken heart in a broken home. Keeping an eternal perspective is difficult but will give you a better understanding of how our trials can turn into blessings. 

Sexual Intimacy and Family Life

Personally, I feel that too many people abuse the power of sex. We all generally know what it is and know its purpose therefore I am going to discuss sexual intimacy in more of a gospel related tone. 

Many people will have a sexual experience before marriage, but for those who wait until they are married are given a much richer experience and opportunity to grow closer to their spouse. 

Men and women were created differently but were created to complete each other. Because a man might experience something different than a woman during sex it is important to treat such an experience with consideration and communication. When a couple begins to communicate and understand each others needs in a more intimate personal level they begin to know each other and become as one. 

In Genesis 4:1 it says that "Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived..."

Sexual intimacy was intended to create a special bond between spouses. 

The benefits that come through this sacred ordinance are that it will; Require great selflessness, we can "know" well beyond self, seek inspiration, feel deep compassion, have an exclusive connection, develop trust, peace and bond. 

Fidelity = Faithfulness (To ones spouse in this case). Loyalty, consistent, true in all occasions. 

Infidelity = Fantasizing about someone else visually, romantically, sexually, emotionally. 

We need to be careful how we seek for emotional support. It seems that this type of infidelity can become overlooked at times. Especially with the rise in Facebook use it is much easier to seek elsewhere for emotional support when we do not feel it in our homes. This will lead to the other factors of infidelity such as fantasy and romance. We need to be committed to our spouse and communicate so that we can connect on a all levels especially emotional. This will help us to avoid having affairs and will keep our bond stronger. 

Let us put away the natural man and cling to God, cling to our spouse and choose carefully where we put our thoughts and desires. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Why do people marry? 

  • The need for intimacy:  Throughout generations people have started to marry for a number of different reasons. In olden times marriage was primary for economic reasons only. However, now people marry to have a sense of security. Most people believe that the best way to maintain intimacy is through marriage.
  • Social Expectations:  An individual can become pressured by peers, society and especially family members to get married. Some individuals who choose not to marry are looked down upon by family members or even society. 
  • Social ideals and personal fulfillment:  Most of us still have the goal to have a family and a white picket fence. Some people believe that marriage will carry out their fulfillments and basic needs. 
  • Desire for children:  An individual has reached a stage in their life where they desire to form their own family.

The Wedding! 

We all love weddings it is a celebration of a couple's marriage. Wedding traditions vary throughout the world. Laws regulate a number of steps prior to the wedding (Cornell Law School 2007). Some laws consists of age at which one can marry, medical examinations and obtaining a marriage license. 

Planning a wedding has become so extreme that there are even wedding planners now. Even without a wedding planner weddings can become very expensive. In the United States an average wedding cost in 2009 was $27,800. 

Adjusting to Marriage

There are a number of adjustments to be made within marriage. Jessie Bernard (1972) has said that every marriage is really two marriages, his and hers. Men and women have different experiences in marriage. During the first year of marriage feelings and behavior tend to change. Commitment is the basis for marriage and makes the relationship more satisfying. 

For anything to be successful it requires hard work and commitment, it is the same for marriage. Marriage will be difficult, changes will need to be made but if both partners take time to communicate and nurture their relationship the marriage will not fall during times of difficulty. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Preparing for Marriage


Has the concept of dating gone away? What is the difference between "dating" and "hanging out" and how do we even find someone to date? 

The Western Model of Mate Selection suggest 3 main points as to how we generally find someone to date. 

  • Propinquity- Closeness in geography, frequent contact
  • Similarities- Economic status, cultures, hobbies, etc. 
  • Physical Attraction- Something that is "familiar" to us also known as having a "type" 
To go on a date with someone should generally consist of the 3 P's. 
  • Prepared
  • Paid for 
  • Paired off
Dating or going on dates, allows for others to get to know one another by doing various activities. 

In an article titled, "Hanging Out, Hooking up, and Celestial Marriage" by Bruce A. Chadwick he makes this suggestion to the college students attending BYU, "... don't wait for others to carry your glass slipper about the campus looking for a match. In other words, don't wait for your Heavenly Father to write the name of the person you are to marry on your kitchen wall or to deliver him or her to your front door. Instead, be a little more proactive and seek someone you like, someone who is worthy, and someone who inspires you to be a better person. The Spirit will guide you but won't do the courting or make the choice for you." 

What is he suggesting from this quote? That in order to find someone who will Provide, Protect, and Preside, we must be Proactive and start dating. 

What seems to be the "norm" now are these principles:
  • Hang out, Make out, Drop out: We begin to become too comfortable that we resort to just hanging out and making out without any commitments or ties attached. How does this concept help anyone prepare for marriage, when there is little effort being put forth in the process. 
  • Date 'em 'till you hate' em: This concept suggest that sometimes we just date someone to date, not really because we are interested or even that invested in the person. We date them for long periods of time and realize that the relationship has not experienced any progression and therefor end up calling it quits. 

The "Know-Quo" by J Van Epp is a great tool to use when dating.

    Talk (Mutual Self Disclosure)
    Togetherness (Sharing a wide range of activities....DATING)
+  Time

What is Love? 

The next step in dating is love. 

"Misattribution of Arousal" is the "two component" theory of love. 
  1. (Non-Specific) Autonomic Arousal 
  2. Cognition=Attractivness
This theory suggest that the differing emotions can produce similar kinds of physical arousal (such as a pounding heart or sweating). Studies have shown that a person who just worked out will find others to be more attractive. 

It is no wonder why the TV show the Bachelor has the bachelors going on extravagant dates... It tends to make them more appealing to the girls. I mean what girl doesn't like a "bad boy" at times. ;) 

In this sense we need to be careful for when we think we are falling in love, or are just feeling the effects of the Misattribution of Arousal. Often times these feelings can be mistaken for falling in love with someone. 

John Alan Lee gave us a useful typology to understand love. The 4 levels of love he used are:
  • Storge (store-gay)- This type of love reflects the love between a parent and a child.
  • Philia (fill-ee-ah)- The type of love between friendships
  • Eros (air-os)- The type of love with passion, arousal, romance and sexual intimacy. 
  • Agape (a-gah-pay)- Type of love that is unconditional, where you make sacrifices also can be related to having a Christ-like love. 
All of these different love levels are important to have within a relationship. They build unity and trust. 

The Relationship Attachment Model (RAM): This model suggest what levels are healthy to
have while dating. 

As you can tell each level is gradually moving up. As my professor stated in class, we must... WALK into the next step, and avoid SLIDING into them. When we rush relationships we find ourselves in trouble. It is important to get to know someone before jumping into the physical part of things or begin a serious commitment. 
When we know someone better we are more likely to gain trust in that person. Dating is the first step in doing this. It seems that in order to find "true" love we must go back to the basics. Start dating, get to know someone and build trust. It seems as though we need to go against what society is telling us to do. Sometimes, hooking up doesn't always lead to finding love. Love requires time, sacrifice and commitment. I guess it requires quit a bit of work! But I am sure that when it does work out, it will have been worth it!