Communication

We learned that communication is 14% words 35% tone and 51% non-verbal. That is significant. When I think of communication I think of the words we say but really it is more the tone we use and non-verbal cues. That is why sarcasm is so detrimental. It sends messages in two competing directions thus making it hard to encode and decode. Code is the processes by which we try to convey our thoughts and feelings and others have to decode our message before they can respond. Our mood affects our ability to decode, which is why conflict can be difficult to communicate through. The truth is we are constantly communicating.

Value of Work

The value of work unites families. I think it teaches children great values for the world they live in and how to develop a good work ethic. Work allows for conversation during the mundane tasks that brings parents and children closer. It can also bring an understanding and realization of all that others do for us. We are not alone in this world and it works together as a system. Different types of work unite the family and create links. I loved the example of Christ that we discussed, the last symbol he gave unto the 12 was the washing of their feet. This example instructed them, and us, how to become one by working together.

Marital Satisfaction

Family crisis is something that puts the family structure in danger. It is an event in life that can either bring a family and marriage closer or cause it to be damaged. Naturally satisfaction of life will be harder during these trying times. Another aspect of life that can influence the marriage relationship is when children come into the picture. Mothers are very good at nurturing their children and often leads to the Father feeling less valued or capable. The father’s involvement can begin as the child is in the womb. Connection between the father and child can begin at an early stage that will help the transition when the baby is present. Attention to one another as husband and wife is ever more necessary during this time.

Fathers

As members of the church we are blessed to know of the value of a Father. We know and love our Heavenly Father and of the blessing it is to have a relationship with him. I am grateful for the blessing of having this knowledge in my life, and for the righteous earthly father I have had who have taught me these principles. Psychology Today and the National Center for Fathering, have published articles and statistics of the blessings and benefits of having a involved Father in the home. Reading such articles has helped me to realize the importance of having a strong father figure in my future home for my future children.

Education           

Education is so important in the changing world we live in. for a decent job, a bachelors degree is required and is slowly becoming the equivalent of 1970s high school diploma. There is a constant need to have well educated individuals in America and through out the world. We know that those who are better educated not only are better communicators but also have an easier life load. Edward Kruk, Ph.D. has researched and found that: “71% of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father-absent homes are more likely to be truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.”   These statistics are staggering! I believe and know that fathers set the tone for education. They are the driving force behind having high expectations and standards.

I am grateful for the example my father has been to me of continuing education. That example has even come from my Grandfather O’Neil. He desired for all of his children to gain education, in hopes we would be more confident individuals. My parents have been a driving force in my life, and have taught me the value of a good education.

Physical and emotional health

In the gospel we are taught the word of wisdom. I know that these teachings are true and help to maintain healthy, easier lifestyle. We are faced with such great trials in this life that drain our physical and emotional health. The need for a father figure to teach good, healthy habits is in greater demand. Psychology today says: “…The majority of studies affirm that an involved father can play a crucial role particularly in the cognitive, behavioral and general health and well-being areas of a child’s life; that having a positive male role model helps an adolescent boy develop positive gender-role characteristics; that adolescent girls are more likely to form positive opinions of men and are better able to relate to them when fathered by an involved father…”( https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-long-reach-childhood/201106/the-importance-fathers). The cognitive behavior of children is greatly impacted by the parenting style they receive and more importantly the type of father that is going to be an example for our children and inspire them to reach great achievements.

Drug and Alcohol abuse

I have met a few people in my life who have been raised by their mothers and have not had the influence of a Father. Many of them have struggled with their identity and confidence, which has led them down the dark and troubling road of substance abuse. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”

While it is not always because of a lack of a father in the home it is hard and sad to see so many people become so controlled by this.

From The Family, A Proclamation to the World it teaches us that, “…Fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” This is what I desire for my future family. It is easy to take for granted the value of a father when there is one present. I look at my dad and I am grateful for the love he has shown to me as his daughter. He has taught me, and my siblings many righteous principles, which have made us the successful individuals we are today. I feel so motivated by the expectations he has established for me, but encouraged by the tools and life skills he has taught me.

Conflict

With in the marriage relationship there will always be differences. For we were designed this way. Males communicate non-verbally, are action focused, special oriented and are more capable of protecting. Women empathize by listening and responding, they observe emotions and verbal connections are stronger and more important while there is a focus on relationships between people and things. These natural differences can bring conflict into a marriage because of natural disagreements. Conflict is not always bad, it is an opportunity for husband and wife to grow together and appreciate the differences. Some additional advantages to conflict include: gained respect for different perspectives, creates discomfort which really allows us to grow, and understanding for different spousal experiences.

Love

Love; a tricky thing to indentify and to really KNOW about. There are different types of love that we learned about: Storge – the love between parents and children, Philia – the type of love between friends that is shared, Eros – Passionate arousal that is romantic and often sexual and Agape – which is Christ-like love. These different types of love are evident in everyone’s life, but at different levels. The RAM, as developed by Dr. John Van Epp, talks about 5 different ways to build a relationship with someone that should be built in a certain order. These principles should build upon each other as steps in this order : knowing them, trusting, relying on, committing to and touching. Too often people jump to the last one without building the other 4 and it causes problems in relationships. Oxytocin is a chemical hormone found in women that is released most often in a physical experience (i.e. kissing, sexual intimacy, giving birth), which creates a bond to that person. It can be hard and take a toll on women when there is not a good foundation for a relationship if a physical intimacy is introduced too quickly. And the last thing I want to remember are the three aspects of really coming to know some one. Known as the “know-quo” the three “t’s” are: Talk, Togetherness, and Time. Talking includes mutual self-disclosure, and togetherness is sharing a wide range of activities together.

Contract vs Covenant

When two people enter a marriage relationship they make promises as to they way they will take care of the relationship. There are two different types of this promise, it can either be a contractual promise or a covenantal promise. A contractual promise is established on the boundaries the two individuals make to one another. It is like they each come so far and almost line up enough to where they can make an agreement, but I feel it is never fully satisfactory for either party due to different expectations. Whereas in a covenant marriage someone else, or a third party, established the boundaries and when married, spouses make an agreement to the third party, not to one another. I think it is wonderful in the gospel that we have covenant marriage, that is laced with beautiful blessings as we make the promise to our Heavenly Father.