I received this message from Lonely Planet…… sharing with me the 10 “best” traveling places on Valentine’s Day – well, at least for the rich and well to do couples.
Personally I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because it is really too commercial. You may say I am not a romantic lover cum husband, I just don’t see the point to buy a stalk of rose for many times its’ price in “normal” days! My practical mind overcomes any slight impulse of wanting to be romantic. 🙂 I thank God that my wife Julia has the same idea. She said, “Why don’t we save that money and spend it on something else on another day, that gives us added purchasing power and value for the same amount of money.” Yay! It’s blessed to have a wife who has the same mind.
I want to share this not because I “condone” spending lavishly on Valentine’s Day………it’s just that the photographs in this are so beautiful that I want you to enjoy the places with your eyes if you are like me cannot afford to be there. Continue reading →
5 Suggestions to rekindle the romance in your marriage
Have you ever felt that your marriage has lost the steam where you first met your spouse? Remember how you longed to see him or her everyday and secretly wishing that time could stand still when you both met. Today, you seem to live everyday just like any other day. You don’t get excited over your relationship with your spouse anymore. You’ve no expectation on your marriage, family and even your own life anymore. It’s really a sad state to be in.
Imagine you can rekindle the romance that once filled the air that both of you breathe. Continue reading →
Baby’s crying seems to be such a distant history for Julia and I. Our children have grown up so fast that they are already into their early 20’s. They don’t cry now, at least they don’t cry in the ways that they did when they were babies. However, Julia and I can still remember how we “suffered” from their sharp and high pitched cries. Well, it is part of the price of being parents. You receive much blessings to have a bundle of joy when your child is born. At the same time, you receive the whole lot of challenges to deal with this “angel” gives to you – one of which is crying without apparent reasons in the middle of the nights. Therefore, to get prepared for parenting is so important. (Click here to read my related post)
If you have been parents for a while, you’ll notice that babies cry. You may become helpless and frustrated when you fail to understand the reasons. A piece of important information all parents need to know is this; Crying is a physiological process in the life of a baby. It is the most natural and normal way of communicating with others. Your baby is too young to utter words that can make sense to you, crying is the only way, whether you like it or not, for him to communicate his feelings and discomfort.
We have done some research, coupled with our own experiences, on babies crying which we think might be useful for new parents. These practical tips can be learned Continue reading →
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of communication in a marriage relationship. I have shared before about learning the love languages of your spouse so that you can generously lavish the right kind of “love” upon him / her (click here to read of my book review), there are some words that are ever green and effective no matter what love languages you speak.
Of course there are many words words that could help improve your married life and make it a blissful one. Some of them are “may I help”, “I am sorry” or the commonly used phrase, “I love you”. There are other words to show you care and truly love the one you are with and perhaps the two most important words/phrases are shown below.
Children have been thought to speak kind words to each other as they grow up. Simple words, Continue reading →
Marriage is a Blessing – Don’t turn it into a curse.
Our Wedding Photo in 1987
This article may be slightly long compares to the normal standard of a web post. However, I hope you have the patience to read it through. We are sharing our journey of more than 20 years of marriage and really pray that someone like you who are reading it will be blessed.
For those of you who are deciding to walk down the aisle soon, you are surely overwhelmed by the prospect of you and your partner living happily together for the rest of your life. This is actually a good expectation. In fact, when both of you decide to say “I do” to each other, you should have such high hope of your marriage life.
Marriage can be one of the greatest blessings in your life. You are going to live with the person whom you loved and committed to for the rest of your life on earth. In years to come, two of you are going to have children to share this life together. How wonderful it is. Continue reading →
I don’t believe I found this photo accidentally by browsing through some of my “old junk”.
I love this photo. It was taken in 2009 by my daughter when we visited the U.K. on the “London Eye”. There were very few tourists on a winter afternoon when our family of four occupied a full passenger capsule. We could choose any corner of the capsule to take beautiful pictures. Do you notice the Houses of Parliament as the background? Well, the weather was not bright and sunny (who will expect good weather on a winter afternoon in London?). It was cold and drizzling outside. However, I thought it added some kind of “romantic atmosphere” to the picture. In fact some friends commented that we looked like actor and actress in a Korean drama 🙂 I don’t think so. Well, may be if we are not wearing glasses, we will be more “qualified”? Hahah……..What do you think?
Household Financial Management – What’s the Big Deal?
Before Julia and I walked down the aisle, many friends told us from their experiences that one of the toughest challenges in marriage is to agree on the ways to manage household finances.
“Believe me, Henry, you are going to have heated arguments on how to spend money.” Sincere and loving friends “warned” me in advance with well intention.
Due to different family background and the way that our parents brought us up, we have different attitudes and habits on spending and saving. We cannot expect a couple to have the same priorities in managing finances. Compromises and mutual respect are keys to work out an agreeable pattern together.
After nearly 30 years of marriage, we must say household finance has not been a great issue for us. Why? Besides the fact that both of us share the same trait of being thrifty, we also established 2 basic principles and stick to them religiously.
1) Find your comfort level with merging your finances.
Have you ever worried about your family member’s safety? How about really concerned for your children’s education? Or may be anxious about a sick and elderly parent? Chances are you do face some form of fear, anxiety and worrisome. Yes. You’re right. Having fears is a natural part of life. Fear enables us to be careful and not subject ourselves to danger. However, fear turns out to be unhealthy and undesirable when you allow it to take control of the way you live your life or relate to others. In fact I have seen many cases where fear has so gripped the person’s life and emotions that he is totally “paralyzed”, it means his mind goes completely blank and he cannot make any normal decision in that situation.
I would like to share with you two very common fears happen in families. From the examples you could chose to react to your fear positively or the other way. Are you ready to look at them?
Marriage is indeed one of the greatest blessings in your life, but it takes a lot of work to maintain a close, vibrant relationship for a long time. Sometimes it seems as though the odds are against the success of your marriage.
Over the past 20 years, I learned of some practical tips that can help develop the intimacy and fulfillment within the marriage relationship. Julia and I had our fair share of struggles and pain when we walk this married lives together, but these principles and practical steps gave us hope for better future and direction to move forward. I would like to share them with you and hopefully they could spice up your marriage life too. By taking these simple steps, you can continue to experience the intimacy and fulfillment you crave within your marital relationship: Continue reading →
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
Every family, including mine, experiences hardships. It’s only natural to have personalities clash in a home with so many strong-minded individuals.
Though it may seem at times like our family members have very different opinions on things, our bond is undeniably strong.
In the past, my wife and I took spending time with our children for granted; now we savor every moment spent by their side. This is especially true when they reach an age when they no longer need us driving them around. Nothing feels better than my daughter asking, “Hey, want to go to the mall?” She could have asked any of her friends to go with her, but she asked me! Continue reading →
Beware! Loosing Control of Anger can Destroy your Family
One of our family friends recently had a serious fight in the house. He had a heated argument with his wife and later he turned violent and bitten his wife up. The two children, trembling with fear, hid themselves at a corner of the living room, witnessing their parents fought in the house. It was a traumatic experience for the children. The parents later had to bring the children to seek therapeutic counseling to help build their confidence again.
My friend later told me that he has this problem of controlling his anger at home. While he believes that a man should not hit his wife, when his emotion runs high, he just looses control altogether. The wife has another set of problem too. In the height of the arguments, she would intelligently corner the husband to admit his wrongs. My friend speaks reasonably and has no problem carrying meaningful conversations in normal days. But when he starts an argument with his wife, his brain stops functioning. He would be overtaken by emotions. Continue reading →
Book Review on “The 5 languages of love” by Dr. Gary Chapman
In June 2011, Julia and I were in Harbin China giving some basic teaching on marriage relationships and communication skills, albeit it was mainly within Christian and church context. We were quite surprised to know that the marital problems in China are no less severe as compared to the West. Many unhappy marriages are not reported and highlighted in the country. Culturally, marriage problems are viewed as shameful and dishonoring to the family’s name. They don’t talk about it, much less would it become part of country’s statistics.
Not long after we came back home, we felt that we needed to upgrade our family knowledge and marriage counseling skills, so we attended a marriage seminar organized by “Focus in the Family”. It was in that seminar that Julia bought “The 5 Love Languages” written by Dr. Gary Chapman. It costs us Thirty Seven Ringgit and Ninety Sen (Malaysian currency). Continue reading →
I knew of a friend who has not forgiven her mother-in-law who made her life miserable and spoke all kinds of lies that nearly ruined her marriage with the husband. She is now in her 70’s and the mother-in-law has passed away decades ago. She still feels the pain and anger when spoken of the relationship. She holds on unforgiveness tightly in her hands and never want to let go.
Experts say the path to wellness begins with forgiving. However, you may very well wonder, “How do you go about truly forgiving someone when they’ve grievously hurt you?” Christians believe that forgiveness is the only way to live an abundant life. As we receive forgiveness from the Lord each day, we also make a conscious decision to forgive those who have wronged us. In fact it is the Lord Jesus who taught us to pray like this, “…….forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us…..” Continue reading →
Communication Styles Can Destroy Marriage Happiness
Marriage relationship is meant to be one that brings joy and fulfillment when two persons in love are open and honest with each other. However, in real life you may find it otherwise. You may have friends (or you are also one of them) who are furious when the spouse does not seem to care about the deepest desires within. Alternatively, it may be that you are in great distress because your spouse is blaming you for not understanding his or her needs.
Why are these things happening in two adults who are in love with each other? Have we not learned how to relate and understand each other? One of the problems is that married couples are playing, with or without them actually knowing it, the “hide and seek” game. This game is played when a party does not speak directly what is in the heart and expect the other person to guess it correctly. My goodness! How hard can that be? Even couples married for decades may not be able to guess it 100% correctly, how much less you expect young married couples to manage that?