- You only get out of it what you put into it. If you want to feel cared for and loved, then do the dishes after dinner. Seriously, it's that easy (or hard, depending on how you look at it.) Brownie points are real, and you earn them by doing the dishes or taking out the garbage, or changing light bulbs. And the other person appreciates it. They then do things to care for and love you. It is a never-ending cycle of giving and receiving.
- It's better when it's fun. The other night my sister was frustrated with their only son's behavior, after multiple spankings and time-outs. She explained to her husband how they both needed to be firm and consistent. Her husband decided that it was the perfect time to tease her, and proceeded to do so by explaining that boys were special, they deserved less punishment and more freedom, and how their son could do no wrong. My sister then said to her husband, "Go to your room!" I loved how playful this interaction was, in the midst of a still-difficult parenting moment. I loved it.
- Nobody wins if someone wins. My sister and her husband like to joke about diffusing arguments by saying, "okay, you win." As if that is all the other person really wants - just to be right or superior. They both know that isn't really the point or the reward of conflict. Rather, they recognize that knowing and serving the other in love is.
Such a honest and heart-opening season of love and fun to be in their home....beautiful and real at the same time.