Leonard McElveen from the LeonardMcElveen blog discusses how we can be prosperous in all areas of life. Discover how to follow your dreams, become a better father, Christian, and husband. Although Leonard isn’t perfect, he’s changing his family tree and dynamic. The Prosperous Man Podcast is aims to help you get through all the mess of life and with Christ we can build the marriages, families and lives that we dream of.
Today on The Prosperous Man Podcast we're joined by Dominique "Dom" Brightmon. Dominique "Dom" Brightmon, DTM is an award-winning speaker and certified member with the John Maxwell Team. He is the bestselling author of "Going North!: Tips & Techniques to Advance Yourself", "Stay the Course: The Elite Performer's 7 Secret Keys to Sustainable Success" and contributing author for “Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy”. Dom host's the Going North podcast, a top-rated self-help podcast that interviews authors from all over the world. His mantra is Advance others to advance yourself.
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* Scriptural Foundation/Inspirational Quote
A man’s consistency is what gives a woman security. When he’s consistent; she feels confident. When he’s inconsistent, she begins to worry because she’s not sure what he’ll do next. A. R. Bernard
There you are, having a good day and then you get that phone call. You know the one. It can change your mood and your whole day. What do you do at that moment? For me, in those moments, I have my go-to fast food places. I’m working on eating healthier, and part of that is in those moments, I have to make better decisions.
Do you struggle with making quality decisions? Do you find yourself in something similar to the above situation? How do you handle those times? A lot of us struggle when something doesn’t plan out the way that we thought. Can we maintain the course and make the decisions in the heat of the moment? That’s consistency.
Consistency is firmness of character. It’s being able to make quality decisions time and again. Not being moved by circumstances or “a bad day.”
A lot of us struggle with making quality decisions. When we struggle, it makes it hard for us to be trusted. It’s hard for a woman to trust her husband if his decisions are going to be all over the place. Can God trust us with his instructions, or will we make our when things get hard?
* To become a more consistent person we have to know what that looks like. What do we want our future to look like? What goals have we set? When we know where we want to go, then we’re able to make consistent decisions that line up with the vision we have.
Topic 2: Recognize the Power
Before you make a decision, you have to understand the effects of your choice. Any decision that you make causes a chain of events to happen. Know that there aren’t throw away or small decisions that don’t matter
* Too Many Opinions
* You don’t have to ask people what they think. It makes it even more difficult to make a decision when you are caught up in other people’s opinions about what’s best for you. If you ask five people what they think you should do, you will most likely get five different rants of advice. And the feedback will likely lead to confusion and second-guessing. You need to be able to make your own decision and then act on it.
* Align with your Core Values
* Decisions you make based on your core values create motivational alignment. So make your decisions based on whether or not they align with your highest values, passions, and priorities, or it’s not going to feel like you made the right choice.
Scriptural Foundation/Inspirational Quote
Micah 6:8 Good News Translation (GNT)
8 No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.
Have you been challenged this year? For most of us, I would think that we have been challenged. It has been an assault on our mental and spiritual. In these challenges, we can question God and wonder what does he want from us. Being quarantined with your spouse for the last 3-4 months we can have some of the same questions. The answer to both of these questions surprisingly is the same. What your spouse wants from you are the same things that God wants from us.
I believe that there are four qualities that as men, our wives, and God want to see from us. Here is a quick take on these four things. There will be upcoming posts that will dive more in-depth into each of these traits.
Maturity isn’t a function of the calendar but it’s a matter of accountability. We don’t mature until we accept personal responsibility. Take a look around you, at your job, your relationships, your family, and see how many people do not take responsibility. We have a culture of “passing the buck.” This is how we approach a lot of our areas in our lives.
3. Vocal Segue: “We are going to move on and talk about…
Decisiveness? Yes decisiveness, you may be asking what is this. Decisiveness is the ability to know what is right and being willing to do what’s right. A lot of people like to claim that they are procrastinators. Procrastination is not something to be proud of. We want to be men that possess the courage to act on their decisions.
Topic 3: Talk for about
Being consistent is a firmness of character. It’s the ability to make mature, quality decisions time after time, again and again. We want to make sure that men that are able to face down temptations because our decisions are rooted in our character.
We tend to think that strength is just physical. At one point being physically strong was the desired trait in a husband. Now that strength is desired in having strong character and being strong emotionally. As men, we’ve relied on being strong physically for far too long. Not saying that we shouldn’t take care of our bodies, but there have been other areas as men, that we’ve left unattended.
Closing remarks, thank the audience, guests, what will be on the next show
Next Episode = Be on the lookout
Thanks for listening
Share, Rate us on what you use to listen to the podcast
Scriptural Foundation/Inspirational Quote
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Has your state opened back up? I live in Michigan and there are different parts of the state that are opening up. I have to admit it, there is a part of me that is excited about being able to do things again, but there is also a part that is cautious about taking my children out. I think that is a natural part of this. We’ve been quarantined for so long that just getting back to some normal things that we used to do it going to take time.
The second half of the year is going to be interesting. What will you do? Are there events that you want to make up for? Missed birthdays, events, and get-togethers will be prevalent. It could be a rush to try and get everything in that we missed in this second half of 2020.
How will you plan the second half of this year? For me, the biggest couple of things that I want to do with the rest of this year is to take a family vacation and then plan something for my anniversary.
Topic 1: Intro Topic & Tip 1
This has to do with your comfort on a number of different levels. If you spend any amount of time on social media you will see people all over the place on coronavirus and whether or not they should wear a mask. When it comes to taking your family out and planning a vacation, you have to know what your level of comfort is.
3. Vocal Segue: “We are going to move on and talk about…
Topic 2: Tip 2
After you know how comfortable you are, you then have to know what’s open and how they are operating. For example, we were planning on having a day for our kids and taking them to a Legoland that was about an hour or so away. They had discounted tickets because they just opened back up. The problem, it’s basically reservation only now and it was going to be mid-September before we could get in.
Topic 3: Tip 3
Do You Have the Time
If you’ve gone back to work it can seem like everyone is going to take their vacations all at the same time. It’s a balancing act that a lot of businesses are having to do. Starting the business back, getting revenue-generating again, needing workers to use some vacation time, but also need people to work. There are a lot of aspects to business and people going back to work.
Closing remarks, thank the audience, guests, what will be on the next show
Next Episode = Be on the lookout
Thanks for listening
Having difficult conversations can be challenging, especially when we’ve never had them before. We can tend to avoid situations that challenge our growth in certain areas. The parts of our lives that are hard are that way because we have developed a habit of avoidance.
The protest that has been happening around the world are showing us that we need to have difficult conversations concerning race.
As I reflect on why we’ve avoided these difficult conversations, I realized that I’ve avoided difficult conversations in my life. Trying to sidestep those conversations has caused me to become stagnant in my life. While this realization may have started because of racism, I’ve seen how I avoided difficult things throughout my life.
Recently, I have taken some classes on real estate and real estate investing. I had to come to terms with my ignorance in real estate and how it can impact my life. I remember only hearing the bad stories of people being landlords. There was never a consideration that there could be a better way or even a different way.
Overcoming my own struggles and having difficult conversations is not an overnight miracle, but a process. Let’s walk through this process together
Start with the why?
Why have we left areas of our lives unattended? Why have we avoided them? A lot of times it comes from a place of fear. Part of having to confront these areas in our lives is that we must admit that we’ve been running from them. Once we can admit this, then the process begins of trying to understand why we were running.
Know the end
We have to visualize the finish line. What does the end look like? If it’s a difficult conversation, the end doesn’t have to be that I agree with the stance of the other person, but maybe that I can emphasize and at least see their side. If it’s an area of our life that we’ve avoided, then the end could be to not be afraid to encounter this again.
Ask for help
Why are we so inclined to try and do things by ourselves? When it comes to questions of race, we can to default to the saying “I’m not racist,” so therefore we never actually have the conversations about an experience is like for other people. Without those conversations, then we don’t know the implicit biases we may have or how we can help those around us.
If we struggle with our attitudes towards money or marriage, then if we want to be able to manage our money or know what it takes to make a marriage work, then we would need to ask for help. The help can come from the Bible, a trusted family member or friend, a counselor, pastor, the point is that we have to recognize when we need help.
Having difficult conversations or overcoming difficult areas in our lives isn’t easy. It’s going to take time. You may have to go through the situation repeatedly or have the conversations repeatedly because there may not be an immediate change. It’s all about changing our hearts, and that takes time.
Scriptural Foundation/Inspirational Quote
Isaiah 41:10 MSG Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
The past week or so has been a trying time for our nation. In case you’re wondering what I am referring to, you can take a look at my previous post here. The stories are constantly on rotation on all news networks, all over social media. While trying to process all of this information how are you going to lead your family through the back part of this pandemic?
Does anyone really have the answers during this time? I can tell you no, there isn’t a concrete set of answers that we can all use. There isn’t a set of rules that will help us lead our children, spouses, and loved ones through this. All we can offer is our best advice and hope that it helps.
Topic 1: Intro Topic & Tip 1
Communication is the strength of any relationship. Within your family, each person needs to be able to communicate their expectations and feelings during this time. From this point, you can decide what you would be best for the family as a unit.
Topic 2: Tip 2
Have a Plan
This second half of the year is going to be one of reintegration. The best way to prepare for the upcoming season is to plan for it. Did you miss your family vacation? Where birthdays put on hold? Now would be a great time to develop a plan on if and how you can do those things again.
Topic 3: Tip 3
Throughout this pandemic time, mental health has been emphasized more and more. Rightly so, because this time has been stressful with the health concerns, the employment fluctuations, and the closings of schools. How are you feeling during this time? Are you ready for the reintegration to begin? Use this time to sort through our own feelings and try to prepare for the next phase.
Topic 4: Tip 4
It is through prayer that we can gain access to God. You have to be able to know what is right for you and your family. Despite what the local and state governments are saying about the reintegration, it is through prayer that you will know what is right for you. What we really want is God’s knowledge and wisdom in this situation.
* Scriptural Foundation/Inspirational Quote
James 1: 2 (TPT) My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!
Intro Topic & Tip 1
* New Space for Couples
* Tip 1 - Set Boundaries
* Have an honest conversation
Topic 2: Tips 2 & 3
* Tip 2 - Keep a Schedule
* Tip 3 - Have a Special Date Night
Topic 3:Tips 4 & 5
* Tip 4 - Communicate
* Tip 5 - Be Kind
Closing remarks -
* Next Episode = Be on the look out
* Thanks for listening
* Share, Rate us on what you use to listen to podcast
Scriptural Foundation/Inspirational Quote
Great Opportunity is only as good as your preparation to take advantage of it.- Tom Black
Topic 1: - Set a Goal
* Let it be Fluid
* Daily Motivation
* Don’t watch Netflix all day
Topic 2: - Encourage Yourself
* We need encouragement
* Turn off the news
* Prayer time, music, funny videos
Topic 3: - Read, Read, Read
* Try different genres
* Other options - audiobooks, library access, YouTube
Closing remarks, thank the audience, guests, what will be on the next show
* Next Episode = Tips for couples during this time
* Thanks for listening
* Share, Rate us on what you use to listen to podcast
Topic 1:Love Month
* Welcome to February
* Do we love ourselves?
* Hallmark Holiday?
Topic 2:Self Care
* The movement
* Five Love Languages
* Knowing yourself
Topic 3: Receiving Love
* Your Language
* Can’t love others the same way you receive love
* Pour into yourself before you can give to others
* Next Episode = Continue in Love
* Share, Rate us on what you use to listen to podcast
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous hand right hand. -Isaiah 41:10
* Kobe Bryant news
* What do we do in times of loss
* Why pray
* Fighting off depression
* Welcome to 2020
* Why Nothing has changed
* New year = New You???
* Sick & Tired of being Sick and Tired
* Real Evaluations & Real Conversations
Topic 3: Talk for about 3 minutes
* Fresh Start
* Different Results & Different Methods
* Think Bigger than January
On this Thanksgiving I wanted to share some things that I am thankful for. You can follow Vegan on the Weekend here: https://www.facebook.com/veganonthewkd/. For updates on Tastefull Vegan Ice Cream like the page https://www.facebook.com/Tastefull-Vegan-Ice-Cream-106903080786449/
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” …-William Arthur Ward
This is the attitude that we bring into our marriages. The other day I was watching one of my newly favorite shows Fresh Off The Boat. I know I’m behind, but hey that’s the benefit of streaming services. I can watch when I want.
A New But Familiar Scene
Anyway back to the episode that I was watching. It was one where the kids in the family had lice. In a comical way the mother was watching out for the kids and in the process contracted lice. The husband decided to leave the house so he could still work. Through this he learned a lesson about how much his wife does for the family. That was when you saw the light bulb go off and he was thankful for her.
Too many times we treat being thankful like in the scene that I described above. We’re not truly thankful until something happens and removes something or someone from our life. Once we realize that it’s gone then we’re thankful.
The scene above also can describe our marriages. Most men aren’t really thankful for their spouses until they are left in a situation where they have to take care of the kids and take on more duties for the family. That shouldn’t be.
Approaching thankfulness this way makes it situational and too easily to forget. We want to have a heart of thankfulness. It’s better for us and our marriages if we can live a life that is full of thankfulness. It can be done, but it’s a process of growth just like everything else.
1. Have a Gratitude List Every Day
It can be easy to forget the things we need to be thankful for if they are not at the top of our minds. I’m a big fan of journaling. As a way to bring some perspective to your day and preparing for it. As you journal it’s good to just everyday do a list of things that you are grateful for.
Making this a practice that you do everyday is great for developing a heart and lifestyle of thankfulness.
2. Be What You Want to See
Most of us want someone to be thankful for what we bring to the table. Whether it is what we do at our jobs or in our marriages, we want to feel appreciated and have someone be thankful for us.
If we want to feel gratitude, then we have to give gratitude. The best way to develop a heart of thankfulness is to begin to show thankfulness to others. Your spouse should be the first one in line experience your new thanksgiving.
3. Expect Nothing in Return
It’s not being truly thankful if you only do things for the response that you get. It won’t be from your heart if you you’re always looking for someone to acknowledge what you did. You’re thankfulness is then selfishness because you like the feeling you get when your act is recognized.
It’s time to develop a thankful heart. This can take your self development, and your marriage to the next level.
Are you able to tell when you are being driven by your emotions? The stereotype is that men aren’t emotional and that everything with them is at the surface level.
That is a lie. Men can be just as emotional as women. What most have failed to realize is that it will manifest differently. Pushing down your emotions is not gender specific. Neither is wearing them on your sleeve. Do you know yourself well enough to know how your emotions impact you?
As I learn about myself and with the help of my wife I’m beginning to see how my emotions impact me. Early on in our marriage, I didn’t talk much. I would wait until everything seemed like it was too much for me to keep on the inside and then I would want to vent.
For me, I handled my emotions like this because I never grew up knowing how to handle and process my emotions.
Now I am able to process and talk about my emotions a little faster. I may not express them in the moment,but I’m growing in effectively communicating in a healthy time frame.
Commit to Growth
We should all have a process of growth. Growing is going from where we are now to a version of us that masters every part of our lives. We have to grow mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Emotional growth is learning about how our emotions affect us.
Becoming a better man doesn’t just happen when you reach a certain age. Your development as a person has to be intentional.
If we were talking about money, we don’t wake up one day and become a millionaire, no we grow in our financial literacy and how to handle money.
Read, Read, Read
The most successful people in any area are active readers. It doesn't matter if it’s finances, marriages, or productivity, you have to become a reader. There are so many tools at your disposal to help with this. If you don’t like paper books, you can get ebooks. Maybe the thought of buying a book makes you nervous, then most libraries have an app where you can borrow the paper book or e-book or an audio book. The point is that you have to continue to educate yourself. Growth is intentional.
What is one area that you want to grow in?
Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes Permanent.” - Eric Thomas
We all remember the Allen Iverson’s infamous practice speech. He had a lot of personal things that he was dealing with in his life at the time and the speech was his response to a question from a reporter. Have you ever thought about how that can apply to our marriage? What does it look like to practice in your marriage?
Too many times we can have an attitude about our marriage that mirrors Iverson’s attitude from the video. We may think that the everyday aspects aren’t important. As long as we try to do good during the “games” then we’ll be successful. The ‘games” being the special days that we tend to pay attention to; birthdays, anniversaries and the occasional holiday.
At the beginning of this year me and my set out to do something special for each other each month. This was all an effort to practice our marriage. I’ll admit that we did good for the first couple of months. Then the spring/summer came and I missed a month. Thinking that I would try to make up for the next month and that never happened. Have I gotten back to it, no but I’m going to.
This is the point of practice. We don’t start with excellence. You don’t have a great marriage right from the start. Any hall of farmer in any sport didn’t start out that way. There is a level of practice that is required to to be great. The same applies to our marriages. We don’t start out as great husbands and wives. We may be good but there is always another level to go to. We can strive to be better.
1. Practice is hard
There’s no denying it. Practice is not easy and it can seem hard. When it comes to practicing in your marriage, means setting yourself up for success.
Practice is all about building habits and routines that will make benefit you when times are hard.
In our marriage this can play out in practicing including my wife when it comes to making decisions. It may not be a difficult decision but working on including my spouse so that it become a difficult situation, I won’t be tempted to hide anything from her.
Find areas that you haven’t practiced in and begin.
2. Stop pursuing perfection
What I’m not saying is that we shouldn’t pursue growth. What I am saying is that we need to look at our idea of perfection. We should lose that.
Instead of pursuing perfection, aim for growth. Try to grow into the best person you can be. Through your growth you will become better, and your marriage will get better.
3. What should be permanent
What are the aspects, characteristics, and qualities that you want to be permanent in yourself? What are the things that you want to be permanent in your marriage?
The things that are permanent are the foundations to who we are. We want to make sure that we’re setting up a strong foundation for ourselves and our marriages. You can email me at leonardmcelveen.com
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: The fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho
What’s your dream? When was the last time someone asked you about your dream? When did you ask yourself about your dream? Most of us haven’t even asked ourselves about our dreams, let alone how we would answer that question if someone asked us.
Most of our dreams remain dreams and we never take action because of a number of reasons. The biggest one is fear
Fear can manifest itself in a number of different ways. Fear can look like procrastination when we find ourselves coming up against the same hurdle over and over. That’s just one example. We overcome fear by having a solid foundation to our dreams. What makes up a solid foundation?
Our habits make us who we are. No matter what you want to achieve in life, it’s your habits that will hinder or help you. Your habits determine your life. If you want to have a strong relationship with God, then you need to have a habit of prayer and Bible study. Do you want to be a good husband? Then you need to have a habit of continually working on your marriage. Our habits can determine so many things about us. They can also be changed to that we can chase the dreams on the inside of us.
As much as our habits determine where our life is headed, our attitude is just as important. Our attitude is related to our outlook on life. Sometimes life happens where there is a job loss or some other unexpected setback. Those things happen. How we handle it and how we choose to see it, is determined by our attitude. We can control our attitude. That’s the power of the human mind.
Rest is more than the number of hours that you sleep. It is more about giving your body a chance to let go of the stresses of the day. It’s about giving your mind time to calm down. That’s why prayer and meditation are so important. It’s having time to quiet down and find peace before you move on to the next thing.
This list doesn’t include everything, but the things listed above are some essentials to seeing our dreams come to past in our lives. Can we achieve our dreams? Absolutely, but it will come at a price. The price of changing what we do now to doing what is needed to achieve our dreams.
What dream do you have?
Scriptural Foundations: Ephesians 4:15
but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
Relationship Questions. 1) Do you consider your significant other as a partner? 2) Are you emotionally connecting? 3) Are you open to less rigid role definitions? 4) Are you threatened by your spouse’s success? 5) Are you able to have conversations about intimacy?
“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.”
1 Corinthians 13:11 NLT. Are you one of those people? You know those people. The ones that like to tell you about the latest conference that they went to. Or in every conversation they include some “gem of knowledge” from a speaker they heard. Sometimes you think “What’s with that person?” Or “Why are they always going to conferences?”
Conferences, seminars, and the like are important. We should all be that person that I described above. It means that we’re excited about the information that we got and that we anticipate a change in our lives.
The past two weekends I’ve gone to two very different conferences and we should all go to conferences. The first conference that I went to was to Jeff Goins’ Tribewriters Conference. It’s a conference geared at writers, authors, bloggers and creative people. The other conference that I attended was called ManCamp. A conference for men wanting to grow in their raltionship with God. For me I needed both. Here’s why you should attended conferences.
Most men tend to be isolated. We also can carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Going to conferences provides that sense of community. It at least puts you in the same room with other people who want the same thing as you. Sometimes men struggle with establishing and building relationships with other men. You have to fight that feeling of being isolated. Conferences are a great way to fight that isolation.
Conferences are great for self development and growth. Between the various speakers and activities you should expect to be challenged in some way. That’s a part of the whole experience. Take advantage of the conferences and the things that challenge you. Your growth as a person depends on you willingness to step up to the challenges.
There’s something to being able to get away from the normal routine. It doesn’t matter if the conference is local or if it’s in another town, attending a conference allows you to disrupt your normal routine and gives you the chance to focus on something specific. I usually like to get out of the town that I live in. It adds a level of disconnect from my normal world and routine. It allows for more focus.
Discussion Question: Why do you like conferences?
hope that you had a fun and safe Labor Day holiday. Most people spend their holidays with family and friends. Mine was no different. In fact I was able to travel to Nebraska and be there for my sisters wedding. Throughout the weekend I was able to sit back, observe and enjoy my family. I just wanted to offer up some observations to you all.
Your place in your family
This one I’ve known about for awhile now, but I was able to see it in full effect this past weekend. Whether you’re the drunk uncle at every family gathering, the dancing child, the silent one or the religious prayer warrior, we all have a part in our families. It might not be defined role with a title and it may change as we grow older and new generations come behind us, but each person is needed and makes the family unique.
Love and Laugh
What makes families so great is that you’re able to love each other through all of the ups and downs of life. It’s that love that makes the family unit stronger. Will there be arguments and disagreements? Absolutely. Those things that you argue about today will be the things that you’re able to laugh about a year from now. Laughter has been medically proved to be beneficial for your health. Laugh together with your family!!
Everything isn’t meant for Social Media
This past weekend was yet another reminder that we don’t need our phones to enjoy life. Life is happening all around us. We can get caught up in posting about the things that we’re doing rather than enjoying the events. Every once and awhile it’s good to not post anything, put your phone down and just enjoy the moments.
A group of dancing kids makes everything better
This one is just fun. At my sister’s reception, there wasn’t a better moment that when the DJ plays the kids favorite songs and they start dancing. You can’t help but to smile and cheer them on. Every adult that seems to have forgotten to just have fun and not care about what other think it back to being a child again. From the latest dances to the ones that are just pure energy and movement. It’s always a good time.
These were just a couple of things that I thought about this past weekend. I pray that you’re holiday was great and that the rest of your year is filled with Love and Laughter.
You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them - Desmond Tutu
Each family member is important and each member has a role to play. The roles are important and valuable. A lot of the time we don’t think about what each person brings to the family unit as a whole.
My parents got divorced when I was a young man and I remember the impact that it had on my family. It affects each person and there is a hole that is left in the family dynamic. It can be a lot to take in and process.
There is a picture online that I really like that pictures the dynamics of a family and the roles that everyone has. I want to break down the picture and talk about the roles of each.
This is the first umbrella. He covers the entire family. Everything centers on His Word. God’s love covers us and as it covers us individually it covers our family unit. His Word guides our steps and it protects us.
Family: The Husband
The husband is under Christ, because the husband should be looking to God for his family. In the picture you see that the husband’s role is to protect the family, lead the family and provide for the family. These are all great, but there is a way to do them that is true and genuine.
Protecting the family is a physical, emotional, and spiritual responsibility. Abuse can happen in many forms and the husband’s role is to be be out front protecting the family.
Leading the family is a great responsibility. Leading is never a “do as I say” thing. True leadership is servant leadership. Learning how to help your family achieve their dreams and goals.
Providing for the family is something that we can automatically assume is a financial responsibility.
Family: The Wife
Following The Husband is The Wife. The wife’s role is to comfort, teach, and nurture. I think that the picture leaves a little to be desired about the role of the wife. While a wife does provide comfort, teach and nurture there is more that she does.
Many of the things that the husband does for the entire family the wife does for the children. She does protect them, she also leads them and provides for them.
There is a lot of fluidity between the husband and wife roleshusband and wife roles. You don’t have to look far to see how they can cover for each other. Every single parent household has a parent that is providing both roles for the family.
Family: The Children
The child’s role in the family is defined in the picture is to love the parents and obey the parents. While that is true, children should also be able to dream. Children should also challenge their parents, not in a disrespectful way, but in a way that should push the parents to be better.
What are your thoughts about the picture of the family?
Scriptural Foundation: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1
Have you ever wondered why family is so important to God. From the beginning of the Bible, you can see that God wanted to be able to enjoy the benefits of family. Following God’s example, we should value family.
The family unit is a part of our lives that we don’t regularly attend to. While we plan for a lot of things when it comes to our social life and our career life, when it comes to our family there can be a lack of planning.
In recent years there has been more of a push to have balance in life. People are recognizing the value of family. They don’t want to work 60 or 70 hours a week. There are too many stories out there of successful people who worked so hard, but in the process they lost their marriages, families,health or a combination of things.
Why work so hard to achieve a financial or career status and get there not have anyone to enjoy it with? The family unit is important for 3 reasons.
1. The foundation
Our families are foundational to our lives. When everything can seem like it is going out of control, your family can serve as an anchor in the storm. Christians are often referred to as the Body of Christ. Showing that we are all connected.
2. Support & Celebrate
We know how valuable a support group can be. When we need support to get through a difficult situation our family members tend to be the ones to pick us up. The same can be said of when we celebrate significant moments in our life. Think of the milestone birthdays, the promotions, the bonuses, marriages, children being born and all the things that are important to us. Who are the people that are most likely to be there and celebrate with us? Family.
3. God at the Center
When it comes to organizing and evaluating our lives, it makes it easy to compartmentalize everything. We can treat our lives like rooms in a house. One room is our career. A room for our family. The basement is where all the things we don’t want to deal with go. There's a room for our emotions and there is a room for God.
What we have failed to realize is that God is in every room. He is the foundation that our house is built on. God doesn’t want to be regulated to just one room. He wants to be involved in every area of life.
Why is family important to you?
Proverbs 29:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Foundations are important. That might be the understatement of the year, but while they are the most important part, they are also the most overlooked part. When it comes to foundations most people just assume that you’re talking about a home or other type of building. You might have even thought that is what I was referring to, but foundations are not exclusive to buildings.
I remember this time when my wife and I were looking to buy our first home. We had looked at a couple of houses and couldn’t find what we were looking for. One house we looked at in particular was beautiful. It checked all the boxes that we would have wanted. When I asked about the price as we walked through, I was shocked. Why would it be so low? This house was a quarter of the price of any other house we had looked at.
As we walked into the basement I could see why the price was so low. There was a floor to ceiling crack that ran along one of the walls. There was a crack in the foundation. Needless to say that we did not buy that house. It would have twice as much money to reset the foundation.
While foundations are mostly associated with buildings we have foundations to our marriages and many other relationships. For the most part we just don’t think about our foundation. Many of us want a successful marriage. We want to have a marriage that is happy, successful and all the things that we want. The only way to get there is having the proper foundation set. Here are the 3 P’s of a solid marriage foundation:
Having a plan isn’t a bad thing in a marriage. It should regularly be discussed and adapted as your life ages. The Bible says that without a vision people will perish. The same can be said of our marriages. A vision is just a written down plan. It can be hard to get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going.
Prayer is the foundation to everything that is important to us. When it comes to our marriage, prayer is a necessity. Marriage is more than just a contract. It’s binding two souls, two minds, it is the intertwining of two lives with God into this one thing call marriage. As much as there are two people involved, God is just as involved and it is through prayer that we involve Him.
Most men pursue their wives while dating and maybe a little at the beginning of our marriages. As our marriages go along we tend to stop pursuing and get in a comfortable groove. Fight the comfort and continue to pursue your spouse.
What are some the foundations of your marriage?
Scriptural Foundation: Proverbs 13:20(NLT) Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
How have you found yourself in a place where you look at your relationship and wonder how you got to that place. None of us go into a relationship thinking of the end. While we don’t think of the end, a relationship can be like taking a road trip with someone. We both need to look for the upcoming signs along the way. There could be construction up ahead, detours or pit stops gas or food. Similarly, in our relationships, we must stay alert on our journey so that a pit stop doesn't become a dead end.
Our relationship could be headed for trouble but if we’re not paying attention to the signs, we can find ourselves in a place that we didn’t intend. Here are some signs that your relationship is headed for trouble.
If you spend enough time with someone, there will always be something to criticize them about. It's like a scolding mother or father wagging their finger, seeing only negative instead anything positive. Under such conditions, you begin to feel like a child and then act like a child. Nothing positive happens in this environment because both people end up walking on eggshells, withdrawing, or getting angry. The safety in the relationship goes away because you can’t trust that your partner is in your corner, and you feel that whatever you do isn't good enough.
This can feel like criticism at times, but more often micromanaging is about hovering and suffocation: “Here’s what I would suggest.” “Why don’t you try this?” “ What I would say is this.”Micromanagement offers advice not asked for and suggestions not sought. You feel controlled, and maybe, again, like a child. (Men, in particular, have a difficult time with this.) This can make you distrust your spouse. The safety in the relationship goes away because you feel like you are not seen as a capable adult, that you are not heard, that anything you say only sets off another round of advice.
3. Lack of appreciation.
This is a close cousin to criticism, but the hard edge is replaced by absence. The fancy dinner you slaved over isn’t criticized so much as ignored. Your efforts go unnoticed or the quick feedback is limited to "not bad." You do a lot but not much comes back to you in terms of compliments or gratitude. There is no safety in the relationship because you begin to feel invisible, or that what you do doesn’t matter—and over time, maybe you don’t matter. This is less about feeling afraid and more about a lack of meaningfulness; there is nothing to motivate you to give your best to the relationship.
Now that we have a couple of signs to look out for on our relationship road, how do we turn it around and head to a better relationship?
1. Realize it’s not about You
Putting yourself in the other person's shoes can help change the old story that you've undoubtedly been telling yourself. It allows you to move toward compassion rather than staying stuck in victimization or resentment. Empathy and compassion are about understanding someone. You don’t always have to agree, but you should be able to understand where the other person is coming from.
2. Know your sensitivities.
Which one or two items on the list above are you most sensitive to? Realizing when your sensitivities are being triggered—and possibly leading to an overreaction—is valuable. So many times we don’t know ourselves. We don’t know our triggers or sensitivities. If you can catch it, you have the opportunity to step back, slow down, and try to put in the situation in a better perspective. The starting point is not what the other person does, but about you dealing with old wounds in a different way.
Scriptural Foundation: “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
Romans 12:4-5 NLT
I am the oldest of five in my family. On my mother’s side of the family, I have five sets of aunts and uncles, who each have at least five kids. We’re all older now and have our own families and kids. As you know I have pretty decent size immediate family and a bigger and growing extended family.
My immediate family is very close and we’ve all stayed close as we have grown up. At the time I didn’t know that every family wasn’t close. Going to college, making new friends, and working in the social work field, I came to know how fortunate I was to have this growing up. The support that I have received from my family over the years has been priceless.
Not everyone has that family support, but now that I have a family of my own I want to provide this type of support for my spouse, children. This family support is so important. Here are three ways that family support is valuable:
Support is not always family
I mentioned it above, but it bears repeating. I had and continue to have a strong support system from my family. What I came to realize is that not everyone has their family as a support system.
When family isn’t an option you have to have the support system that is made up of friends. We sometimes think that our support system has to automatically be our family. That’s not a guarantee. Look at all of your family and friends and take an inventory on who is adding value to your life. Those that are adding the most value will be the ones who make up your support system.
2. Support helps you cope
Life can be stressful. There are so many aspects, situations, and parts of life that can be stressful for us. It feels like the weight of the world can be on your shoulders. As close as we can think that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, makes us, it also isolates us. We may be on social media, but we tend to have more feelings of isolation than genuine connections.
This is where our support system is crucial. They are the people that will talk with us on the phone, counsel us, calm us, and help us to see the ray of sunshine when everything looks cloudy and dark.
Support is Personal
When you don’t have a support group it can be hard to begin to develop one. Developing a support group requires time and effort. Both of which you have to carry the load of until the relationship is established. Establishing those relationships requires personable interactions. Commenting on posts is great, but for a lasting relationship and a support system to be established requires that you may have to go through hard times together.
Hard times and good times are what make the foundation of a support system. People that will celebrate with you when things are good, but will also be there when you need picking up are priceless.
How have you developed your support system?
Scriptural Foundation: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her”
Ephesians 5:25 NLT
The way you date(treat) your spouse, truly has an impact inside and outside of your marriage.”
― Lindsey Rietzsch, How to Date Your Spouse: A Couple's Guide to Falling and Staying in Love
There you are sitting across from your spouse in the restaurant that you always go to. Eating the same meal that you always order. Talking about the kids, and work. Then you go sit in a movie that is probably the highlight of the night. This is too often a night out for most couples. Have you wanted to change up the routine, but wasn’t sure what to do, well now we can look at what makes a good date night out.
Location, location, location
The location of the date is one of the key aspects of going out with your spouse. Whether it’s a night out with just you and your spouse or a night in the house after the kids go to sleep.
Location matters. The location will help with what activities are available. Instead of the usual restaurant or movie that you would normally go to, try something new. Maybe a food tour or fowling.
If you’re going to have a date night at home after the kids have gone to sleep; the same applies. Pick a room in the house that you don’t spend a lot of time in. Or just a room where you can sit and have your date night. Set the scene, light some candles, and leave the TV off for a little bit.
Men, we’re not typically extroverted and apt to talk for hours on end. However, we should be able to talk to our spouse. If you’ve been married for some time it can be hard having something to talk about other than work and family. Not because you don’t want to talk about something else, but so much of our lives revolve around those two aspects.
Don’t worry if you need some topics that will help jump-start the conversation, you can download these conversation starters.
If you look good, you feel good. There have been times where you get out of the house and you’re just happy to get out for a minute and get away from everything that is pulling on you. In those cases, you end up going out in whatever you have on at the time.
Other times, put some thought into what you want to look like. Treat the date with your spouse like you did when you were actually dating and wanted to impress them. You put your best foot forward and you felt more confident because you wanted the other person to take notice of you. The same should apply in marriage. Put your best foot forward.
What truly makes a good night out with your spouse? You do. You’re married, you can be nervous in a good way. Have fun with your dates.
When you really matter to someone, that person will always make time for you. No excuses. No lies. And no broken promises - Anonymous
Ephesians 4:2 “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
Ephesians 4:2 NLT
Man, life is busy. There are so many things on our agenda and our to-do list that something is bound to fall through the cracks. How do we make sure that our marriages are not the things that we allow to fall through the crack? So, how do we, in a busy and fast paced world make our spouse a priority? How do we make sure that the person that we value the most doesn’t feel like an afterthought?
If people are honest there are times in the marriage where each person may not feel like they are a priority for the other person. This comes from the ups and downs that come with our self-esteem and being married. Marriage can have its ups and downs. The key word that I mentioned before is “feel.” Our feelings can betray us. We can think or perceive an action from our spouse one way and it was intended a completely different way.
There have been times in my marriage where I perceived an action from my wife one way. Because I felt a certain way and perceived those actions a certain way, I then felt like I wasn't a priority for my spouse. Was there anything that she actually did? Was she trying to make me feel that way? The answer to that question is a resounding NO. It was just my feelings and my emotions. While we can’t always help how someone perceives our actions, we can make sure that we do our part to make sure that our spouse is a priority.
Connect with them throughout the day.
If you are trying to establish or reestablish the place that your spouse has in your life, there isn’t a better way to do than to check in with them throughout the day. If your spouse hasn’t always been the priority, you may experience some blowback. Don’t let this deter you. This is a change in your behavior.
Connecting throughout the day should be viewed at paving a new road. You’ve got to bulldoze the path first before you can put down the asphalt and drive on it.
Invite your spouse in.
Marriage is one of those things where because you spend so much of our time with another person it can be easy to assume that you know what they will think. We have to take a step back and not assume that we know how our spouse will react or think. Stepping back allows you to include them. Making your spouse a priority means including them, sometimes even in the small decisions.
It’s the small things
Big gestures are great and they have their place in your marriage. The small gestures can be just as impactful when it comes to making your spouse a priority. Grabbing their favorite candy bar at the grocery store, or a card that communicates that you are thinking about them. It’s those thoughts and corresponding actions that will communicate to your spouse that you’re making them a priority.
How do you make your spouse a priority?
Philippians 3:12-14 (MSG)
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
1. Story Time
* Family believing for something
* Me and Kalene and setting some things up for our children
* Believing for a couple of things to work out and line up
2. Why I failed
* Admitting that I dropped the ball
* Adjusting your behaviors
* culture of passing the blame
* Needs to be in the fore front of your mind
* Be on the same mind
3. Next Steps
* Ask for forgiveness
* Changing your behavior
Contest: Best Tagline for this Show
Intentional Marriage Course: Intentional Marriage
Contact Leonard at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is part 3 of my series with Darien Claxton of the Faith, Practically podcast. You can listen to his podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/faith-practically/id1455385345
Scriptural Foundation: 2 Timothy 1: 7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. A recent story of how I overcame fear and what I’m stepping out on faith with now. Here is the link to the payment page: https://paypal.me/leonardmcelveen?locale.x=en_US
Scriptural Foundation: 1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
How well do You See?
Do you see your spouse? Truly see them. Do you notice when they are going through something, when they are having a rough day, or when they are having a great day. When was the last time you went out of your way to shower them with compliments? What was the last text message you sent them? Was it just about what to eat for dinner or something do with the kids? When was the last flirty message you sent?
There are days and times when we need to stop and see our spouses. Being married has great benefits and is a monumental step in our lives, but just as it is this big achievement, we can also take it for granted. We can also take our spouse for granted.
I recently have been blessed to transfer from a 3rd shift job in a factory to more of a corporate job that is in my field of study. The transition has been a hard one but a happy one. It’s been great to participate in some of the daily family things that we can take for granted. Anyone that has worked an overnight shift knows how many things you can miss out on.
Looking Beyond Yourself
One of things that you don’t always consider is the toll that it can take on your spouse. For awhile I didn’t see it either. I was too concerned with myself. I needed to sleep, or trying to get more sleep when I had only slept for a couple of hours. What I was not seeing was the toll that it was taking on my wife. While I was trying to get sleep, she was the one that had to pick up on the things around the house. All the family needs and responsibilities was on her to carry. I had to make an adjustment and we had to have an open conversation about this new schedule and how we were each dealing with it. Some aspects had to change for the betterment of our family.
So how do make sure that we can always have the tough conversations? More importantly I think that we have to make sure that we do not overlook our spouses when we are going through a change. Here are two ways that we can do that:
1. Step back.
While it may be hard having to adjust to a new situation, I’ve learned that if it is hard for me, it’s twice as hard for my family. The same is probably true of you too. As hard as we may be going through something, when it takes us away from those closest to us it leaves a hole that needs to be filled. We can’t get so caught up in our own world that we neglect the hole that we’re leaving behind.
2. Have the end in sight.
The only thing that makes the hard times harder, is when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. We need to have hope and a vision of what things will be like when we leave the darkness. So if you’re going through a hard time, picture what you want your life to be after you come through this situation.
How have you learned to “see” your spouse?
* Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself. – Gary Chapman
I’m a huge fan of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Gaining just a little understanding about these love languages can help you connect with your spouse on a deeper level. A lot of people have at least heard about The 5 Love Languages. But there are some things that people get wrong about The 5 Love Languages.
My wife and I went to a couples event recently. At this event all of the couples took a quiz based off of The 5 Love Languages. After the quiz and some games, we were encouraged to look at our results to see if they were the same as when we took the quiz when we first got married. Each couples results surprised them. It lead to great conversations, and also possible misconceptions about The 5 Love Languages.
Your Love Language can change
It shouldn’t be expected that you will stay the same as when you first took the test. Yet, sometimes we think that our spouse’s love language will stay the same as when first met them. The longer that you are married, you will encounter many changes. You have to be able to adapt to the changes.
2. Your Love Language is the Foundation basis
Understanding your spouse’s love language is a starting point. The pitfall is that once we know our spouse’s love language we can go all in on that. So, if our spouse’s love language is gifts, then we for every birthday, holiday, every date that we go on, any time that we think about it we’ll give them a gift. While that may be great the first year or so, after five, ten, twenty years together, we should be able to expand beyond giving them gifts.
Think of knowing your spouse’s love language as the foundation to a house. This is the foundation to the love that you share in your marriage. Like a normal house, the foundation has to be strong. You also build rooms upon the foundation. You should be able to build on the foundation of a love language.
3. Your Love Language is selfless
Knowing your own personal love language should be a part of knowing yourself. Many times marriage issues result from one person projecting something onto the other person. In knowing yourself, you should know what triggers you to make you angry, and know how you receive love. With that being said, knowing your love language is key for your spouse. Don’t have them guessing and trying different things. Know yourself, that way you can share that with your spouse.
Scriptural Foundation: Colossians 3:23 GNT
 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.
Have you ever wondered why you keep doing the same thing over and over. It feels like you’re in this place where it seems as if life has you in this continuous loop. Something good will happen and then something from your past keeps coming back into the picture. Or the time that you decide that you’re going to start a new diet is when a co-worker decides to bring in sweets into work. Then it seems like we have to restart our diet all over again.
So can we change our habits? Are we stuck they way we are? The simple answer is that yes we can change our habits! No, we’re not stuck being the same person forever. We can grow and change, but it’s up to us on how to do it.
Here are a couple of ways that we can develop the habits we desire and move in a different direction.
Habits are like paved roads in our minds and actions. We do things a certain way because at some point we paved a way in our mind of how it should be accomplished. That paved road became easier and easier the more we traveled it. Developing a new habit isn’t tearing up the old road, but it is laying a road that we need to travel instead of the old road. This is why sometimes we can fall back into old habits and ways of thinking.
1. Identify the Cues
There is usually something that triggers a habit. When it comes to bad habits it can be stress, or an environment that will bring certain feelings and then the habit. Your alarm going off in the morning may be triggering you to hit the snooze button.
2. Disrupt the Cue
Once we are able to identify the Cue, then we can change the triggers. With our example of the snooze button. If we’re hitting the snooze when the alarm goes off, then to disrupt the cue, we would move the alarm clack to the other side of the room. Actually having to get up out of the bed and walk across the floor disrupts the cue.
3. Replace the Cue
Ripping up the old road is a lot harder than paving a new one. Basically it is easier to replace a bad habit than it is to completely stop a bad a habit. The new habit will interfere with the old habit and stop us from going into autopilot.
4. Forgive Yourself
The whole process of starting a new habit takes time. We can be our hardest critics, so forgive yourself when there is a slip up. The entire process of changing a bad habit is not an easy one. Know that there will be hiccups along the way. Just don’t allow the hiccups to stop you.
What habits do you want to change?
If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything - AnonymousWe’ve all heard the references when someone is getting married.“The ol’ ball and chain or your old man/lady not letting you out to play with your friends.” It’s not that these types of comments are so bad. They have become a part of our culture. What bothers me, are the responses that we so many times play along with these jokes.You Tell More than You KnowHow do we see our spouses? If you ever want to know what a person thinks about their marriage or their spouse, just listen. Most people talk more than they think they do. I’m a firm believer that if you listen long enough you can tell how a person really feels by what comes out of their mouth. What they say is key.So, what are we saying about our spouses? If what we say with our mouth is a telltale of what is in our heart, then what is in our hearts about our spouses?What's In Your HeartChange what’s in your heart and you will change the way you think. We can change what's in our hearts, then we can change the way we think. Change the way you think and you will change what comes out of your mouth. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks That is the full circle of change. It’s a fluid circle that makes up all of who we are. All the stops are important in the circle and must be utilized. What Do You ThinkWhat are you thinking? We are in control of our thoughts. Think about times where you have been really upset or angry. You didn’t just wake up one day and be mad at the world. It started with one thing that didn’t go your way and then you began to think about that over and over. Before you realize it you’ve spent the entire morning getting angrier and angrier. You want to change that pattern, think on something else. The same is true for our spouses. Moments where I’m upset or irritated with my spouse, I think about things that I love about her. When compared to that, the thing I was upset about doesn’t seem relevant anymore. If we think of our spouse as a barrier then that’s all we’ll think about them. If we think of them as our biggest asset, then that’s what they’ll be. What Are You SayingWhat we say about our spouse when they are not in our presence says more about us than them. If we want to change what we are saying, then actually change what we say. Don’t engage in the same conversations that degrade and mock our spouse. If the guys are talking about the things that they’re wives do that upset them, talk about how grateful you are for your wife. What is in your heart? Is there love for your spouse in your heart? Love always thinks the best. Love is patient and love is kind. True love is from the heart and not just from our minds. Changing what we say and what we think about our spouse will change what is in our hearts. Once it’s in our hearts it’s cemented in us.
Spiritual FoundationPhilippians 2:4 ESV Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Main ContentSigns of SelfishnessBelieve it all has to be about you.Do not like to give or share.Realize forgiving others is difficult for you, consider yourself as being selfish.Feel as if you are competing with your spouse.Think you are better than your spouseEffects of SelfishnessIt creates hurt feelings and resentment in marriage.It can cause communication issues and other marriage problems.It affects your happiness in marriage.Prevents you from thinking about your spouse and marriage.Prevents a couple from growing together in marriage.Prevents the building of trust and loyalty in marriage.Overcoming Selfishness1. Be responsible, and admit that you are selfish. This is hard to accept, but once you know it, its easier to overcome selfishness.Ask yourself, “Is this what is best for both of us, or just me?”2. Review the root cause of all your problems. 3. Communicate with your spouse about your selfish behavior, and find a balance where you can compromise.Take turns on who gets to pick what.This will help you to build a strong foundation and set a great pattern for the marriage you desire.4. Understand that you are now one, and anything you do directly affect each others lives and the marriage.5. Change your thinking process, start thinking as “WE,” not “I.”6. Give and share your thoughts, money, etc with your spouse. 7. Be patient, it takes time and effort to change from being selfish to selfless.8. Don’t blame your spouse for everything he/she does. (Stop being competitive)To become selfless instead of selfish in your marriage, start by denying that spoiled little child inside you that says, “I should have everything I want when I want it, and how I want it.”