How My Husband Became My Best Friend

How My Husband Became My Best Friend

He often introduces me as his girlfriend.

Ever-so-slightly embarrassing.

He’ll say it to the barista at Starbucks, or the cashier in the check-out line of the grocery store. Even to the new couple we met at the homeschool picnic.

After 22 years, you’d think I’d get used to it, but it still makes me blush.

And smile.

I always hasten to add that I also happen to be his wife –an important fact to establish when you have 8 children together.

And I’ll flash my wedding ring to prove it if necessary.

I think he gets some kind of odd gratification out of my embarrassment.

Then pretends to protest, “What . . . you are my girlfriend, aren’t you?”

Yes, well . . .

It’s true: I am a girl. And I am his friend.  A close friend.

The best of friends, really.

So I guess that does make me his girl-friend.

And like most good friendships, ours has grown over time. We’ve had to invest in our friendship and look after it.

So many times people think it’s because we somehow just “click”. But while there might be some “clicking” between us, it’s more than that. Far more than that.

It wasn’t as though we instantly became best friends. It’s been a long, purposeful process.

Here is how we became the best of friends….

How My Husband and I Became Best Friends

How Your Husband Can Become Your Best Friend

By spending time together.  I know. You’re going to tell me how busy you are. I understand busy. And yet I figure I manage to get a shower (usually) and several meals a day. That’s because it’s a priority with me. I need these things.

I also need time with my husband, so I can make that happen too.

By being nice to him.  You know how you’re super sweet to your girlfriends?  Smile and cheer them on? Do nice things for them? Yeah, well, it’s kinda the same here. This friendship is no different.

Play nice.

By being interested in his stuff. So I have one friend who is really into gardening. And another who is into goats. I am not particularly keen on either of those things – but since it’s my friends we’re talking about here, I’ve decided to be interested. For their sakes.

Same with my husband.

By having fun together.  Friendships are never all business, are they? Of course not! It’s not like you sit down with your girlfriend and constantly go over the budget, or decide who is going to drive which child where.  No, you sip coffee, go fun places and laugh at each other’s stories!

Hello . . . ?

By praying for him. If you’re a friend of mine, than you already know that I pray for you.  I can’t always get away from the kids, or write long emails, but you can count on my praying for you. It’s one of my “love gifts” to my friends.

And I pray for my husband and he knows it.

Just this past week-end Matthew was out-of-town on a business trip and called to ask me to pray for him about a particular issue.  I started praying as soon as I hung up the phone.

Because that’s what friends do.

{You might also be interested in joining the 31 Days of Prayer for Our Marriages by Time-Warp Wife. Her Prayer Challenge is starting up this week on October 1st!}

So if you ever run into my husband and he introduces me as his girlfriend, just smile and go along with it, will you?

Maybe even tell him that you feel like you already know him . . . . since Lisa talks so much about her boyfriend. ;)

Embracing friendship.

*How do you and your husband invest in your friendship? Or what are some of the things that get in the way? I love hearing from you, friends!

In His grace,

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*I hope you’ve enjoyed our Virtual Marriage Retreat! You can still hop over to any of the links below to catch up on all the articles written for this series. 

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

These 5 bloggers and I have joined together to offer a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage.

On these  5 topics . . . .

  • Embracing Grace 
  • Embracing Change  
  • Embracing Your Differences  
  • Embracing Unity 
  • Embracing Friendship 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Teaching Your Child Social Skills in a Screen-Driven World

Teaching Your Child Social Skills in a Screen-Driven World

You know the scene: one child is playing video games on a tablet while an older sister is texting away, never looking up from her screen.

The mom tries to have a conversation but can’t compete with the screens.

Although social media implies being “social,” we know that many kids are growing up with a lack of true people skills.  When we overuse screens, we underuse relational skills.

What can you do to teach your child to care of others and to be truly social in a screen-driven world?

Practice, Practice, Practice

When it comes to learning a new skill like hitting a baseball or playing the piano, you know the saying “Practice makes perfect.”  The role of practice is just as important when learning positive social skills.  Consider your home as the dress rehearsal.  It’s a safe place where your kids can role play and practice making conversation for common social settings they will experience in real life.

Begin by explaining how your child will benefit from acting friendly even when he would rather play a video game.  Some benefits may be having more fun, making good friends, or enjoying school and social activities more.  Share how becoming friendly has helped you in your life.

Here are a few social scenarios to practice at home with your child:

Successful play dates.  Pretend you are a friend coming over to play.  “What should we play?” you ask.  Have your child pick five fun activities to choose from (things like board games, Legos, soccer or basketball).  Make screens off limits and be sure to serve an extra delicious snack.

Playground fun.  Go outside and pretend you are at your child’s school playground or a neighborhood playground.  Ask your child, “What do you do when you first get to the playground?”  Suggest that he or she look out for anyone who is standing alone.  How might your child go about joining a group that’s playing?  What if they say there’s no room?  Run through different scenarios and how your child can respond.  Role play situations to help your child practice interacting with classmates or neighborhood kids.

Navigating the classroom.  Have your child sit at a table as you pretend to be the teacher.  Ask a question and have your child raise his or her hand and tell you the answer.  Stress the importance of making eye contact with his teacher.  If your child has to present something to the whole class, practice many times at home in front of sibling or stuffed animals.

Meeting adults.  You can make this activity more fun by putting on a costume like a hat or jacket.  Practice the introduction as you pretend to be the new adult.  “Joy, this is Mrs. Davis.”  Have your child look you in the eyes and say, “It’s nice to meet you Mrs. Davis.”  Go one step further and teach your child to ask the new acquaintance a question like, “How are you today?” or “What do you do for your job?”

Giving and receiving compliments.  Pretend to be a friend, coach, or teacher and give your child a compliment like “You did a very good job on your drawing.”  Have your child practice looking you in the eyes and saying, “Thank you.”  Encourage your child not to mumble his thank you, but to say it clearly and enthusiastically.  Then have your child practice giving a compliment to you.  Challenge your child to compliment one person that day and report back to you on how it goes.

Reading non-verbals.  Successful communication consists of both words and non-verbal cues.  Screens can’t teach a child the nuances of body language or facial expressions.  But you can act out different facial expressions to quiz your child.  As you make different faces (sad, angry, happy, etc.), ask your child to name the feeling.  You can thumb through a magazine together and identify the different emotions the people pictured are displaying.  What might they be feeling by the way they look?  What does their body language tell you?

As you teach your child social skills, keep Romans 12:10 in mind:  “Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.”

This is the why behind your training.

When you help your child prioritize people above screens, you are preparing him or her to thrive with many healthy relationships.  No app can do that – but you can!

*Adapted from Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Arlene Pellicane and Gary Chapman.

Growing Up Social - Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World

In this digital age, children are spending more and more time interacting with a screen rather than a parent. Technology has the potential to add value to our families, but it can also erode a sense of togetherness and hinder a child’s emotional growth.

In Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, you’ll learn how to take back your home from an over-dependence on screens. Discover the five A+ skills needed to give your child the relational edge in a screen-driven world: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention.

Today’s screens aren’t just in our living rooms; they are in our pockets. Now is the time to equip your child to live with screen time, not for screen time. Constant entertainment is not the goal of childhood. No phone, tablet, or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships; only you can.

 Growing Up Social is available HERE

Arlene PellicaneArlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife.  She has been featured on the Today Show, Family Life Today, K-LOVE, and The Better Show.  She lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children.  Visit Arlene at www.ArlenePellicane.com for free family resources including a monthly Happy Home podcast.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

Embracing Unity: How Two People Can Think and Act as One

Embracing Unity - How Two People Can Think and Act As One

I think it’s pretty sweet.

What? What’s sweet?

Oh, you know the way you always check in with your husband before committing to do anything. 

“Sweet.” Hmm . . . .

Not necessarily the word I would have used.

But, yeah, I guess I do “always check in” with him.

And he with me.

Because we’ve made it our practice to think and act as one.

Some people think this is sweet, like my friend.

For other people?  It makes them shudder. Like we’re somehow just too “into” each other.

Do I ever feel stifled? Hindered? Slowed down by this whole “oneness” thing?

Admittedly, it was a new way for me to look at life – this life we’re now sharing together – but the Bible states we are no longer two people like we were before.

We are now one flesh.

So what exactly does that mean?

Surely, not simply that we sleep together.

Not that it isn’t important – because it is – but it’s got to mean more than that. One flesh is mentioned in such a way as not merely to be a matter of going to bed with him.

The two shall become one.

No longer he and me . . . because now it’s WE.

And you know what we have found? It takes a little – okay a lot of – practice and intentionality. We have to purpose to think and act as one. 

So They Are No Longer Two But One Flesh

How Do Two People Think and Act as One?

We don’t lead private lives. There’s no such thing as “his” life and “mine”. We belong to each other and so there are no secrets or hidden things. For instance, I have free access to his computer and he to mine. We have a basic knowledge where the other person is at all times. We share with each other what we’ve been thinking about, who we’ve been talking to, and what is on our heart.

Unity means being completely open with one another.

We don’t make independent decisions. We make all major decisions together and run most minor decisions by the other person. And, yes, I do believe in submitting to my husband because that’s what God says in His Word (Eph.5:22). But at the same time, I’m blessed to be married to a man who values my opinion and cares deeply about my concerns. We aim to be of one mind on most everything.

Unity means making your decisions together.

We stand together as one. As my husband reminds me, “You and I are on the inside. Everyone else is looking in from the outside.” What this means is that we are protective of our unity and don’t allow anyone – not family or friends – to try and divide us. Staying unified can be challenging enough without the added stress of others pulling us apart.

Unity means being fiercely loyal to each other.

We speak as one. You wouldn’t have to know us long before you picked up that we often say “we” and “our” rather than “I” and “my”. This is not merely one of our quirks, but language we consciously use to inform others – as well to remind ourselves – that we are in this together. It’s not about what I want or what he wants, but what WE want and what WE are thinking.

Unity means communicating your togetherness.

So that’s the real reason why I “always check in with him” and why I plan to do keep doing so. And maybe it is sorta sweet. But it’s more than that too. It’s oneness and it’s biblical marriage.

No longer two.

But one

Challenge: What are some ways that you and your husband maintain your unity? Or, what are some challenges you face in living as “one”?

In His grace,

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*I hope you are being blessed and refreshed by our Virtual Marriage Retreat!

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

Every Monday in September, these five bloggers and I are offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage. I hope you’ll hop over to see each one of them!

And here are the topics . . . .

  • September 1 – Embracing Grace 
  • September 8th – Embracing Change  
  • September 15th – Embracing Your Differences  
  • September 22nd – Embracing Unity 
  • September 29th – Embracing Friendship 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

12 Lessons I Want Our Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

12 Lessons I Want My Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

Isn’t it amazing how much you can learn in one trip to the library?

Most every week I take one . . . or more . . . of the boys with me for a Library Date.

Yesterday, I took all three boys – ages 8, 10, and 12.

The boys raced for the entrance door, but then the oldest stayed behind and held the door open for the person who had come up the walk behind us.

Warming my mother’s heart.

Still smiling as we walked toward the Children’s section, I watched as our youngest boy cut right in front of this white-haired lady. Nearly knocking her off her feet. Whoosh! 

I gasped a little.

Thankfully, she was sweet about it.

But honestly!

I pulled my son in close to me and whispered in his ear, “Son, don’t you see what you just did? You ran in front of that lady and nearly tripped her to the ground.”

His intelligent response went something like this . . . .

“Huh??”

The word oblivious comes to mind.

And that’s what got me thinking . . .

I’ve got some teaching to do. Maybe it’s not the end of the world to have your 8-year-old racing through the library and nearly taking out every elderly lady in his path. But I wanted more for him than that.

Way more than that.

I want our young sons to learn to look after others, to be mindful of the world around them, and to be ready for their calling when God gives it.

So we still have some important things to learn around here—some things that you don’t necessarily learn from the library.

And some . . . that I guess you do.

12 Lessons I Want Our Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

 12 Lessons I Want Our Son to Learn Before He Turns 12

1.    The Benefit of Kindness.  Offering kindness to others is a both a blessing to the other person and to yourself. Go out of your way to show kindness to others and you’ll be the better man for it.

A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself. ~ Prov. 11:17

2.     The Value of Hard Work.  It might not feel pleasant at the time, but there’s nothing like the satisfaction of a job well-done and the reward of giving it all you’ve got.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men ~ Col. 3:23

3.     The Power of Self-Control.  Learning to get a grip on yourself and your temper will make you the true winner.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.  ~ Prov. 16:32

4.     The Gift of Good Manners. Taking the trouble to choose politeness will more than pay off. Good manners will open more doors than kicking one down ever will.

“Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” – Theodore Roosevelt

5.     The Walk of Humility.  The world would have you strutting around, showing off your “stuff” but God has a much better approach. Walk humbly in His strength rather than your own.

What does the LORD require of you . . . but to walk humbly with your God? ~ Mic. 6:8

6.     The Blessing of Obedience.  Listen to God’s instructions and you’ll experience great blessings—not necessarily in the way some people view blessings, but in much deeper and richer ways than the world will ever know.

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments. ~ Ps. 112:1

7.     The Honor of Justice.  Always uphold that which is good and right – no matter what the personal cost.  And fight against injustice wherever you come across it. It’s your privilege and honor to do so.

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. ~ Isa. 1:17

8.     The Strength of Serving Others.  As God has equipped you, so use those gifts – not to build yourself up – but to offer your talents and skills to help others.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. ~ I Pet. 4:10

9.     The Dignity of Respect.  Showing respect might be considered somewhat old-fashioned, but it says as much about you – maybe even more – than it does about the other person. Speak and treat others respectfully.

Outdo one another in showing honor. ~ Rom. 12:10

10.    The Courage to Do What’s Right.  It takes a brave man to stand up for what is right. Be that man and don’t back down from evil. Not ever.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ~ Rom. 12:21

11.    The Delight in God’s Word.  Learn to love the Word of God for it is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). Arm yourself with His Word and you will be prepared for whatever you face in life.

Blessed is the man who(se) . . .  delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.~ Ps. 1:1-2

12.    The Unfailing Love of Christ. No matter what you might encounter in life, nothing . . . no, nothing will keep you from Christ’s love.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? ~ Rom. 8:35

All that from one trip to the library.

Pretty amazing, huh? ;)

*The free printable of these 12 Lessons is now available HERE.

In His grace,
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P.S. S. And, yes, this would apply to daughters too.  Our girls are past 12 now and still learning these lessons and a few more of their own. Kinda like me. 

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson
*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).