The following, taken from an article by Rebecca Urban in ‘The Australian’, is perhaps a huge wake up call for all levels of our society to treat everyone with respect, with human dignity, with honesty and integrity:

“…Research from the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment has revealed that Australian classrooms are among the most disruptive in the world, ranking 63rd out of 68 countries.
The report, which analysed what went on in science classrooms and used data from a survey of more than 14,000 students from 760 schools, revealed 40 per cent said there was high levels of noise and disorder in class, that students didn’t listen to the teacher, and “they found it difficult to learn”…”

Where does respect start – in the home! Husbands and wives honouring one another – which includes ‘respect’ – especially, but not exclusively, by wives to their husbands. This ‘respect’ being modelled in the home by spouses to each other and to their children. Children honouring and obeying their parents.

Our challenge to you, as well as to ourselves, this year is to look for ways to love and honour each other extravagantly!

  • Let each of us be intentional in showing our love for our spouse with spontaneous, random acts of ROMANCE! By being alert in looking for opportunities, it CAN happen.
  • At all times we need to remember to treat our spouse in respectful ways. It’s a mind-set as well as an action.
  • Let us re-commit to, “Random acts of kindness.” Looking every day for ways to make our spouse feel special by doing things for them that would be meaningful to him or her.
  • Display thanks-LIVING everyday by saying and showing appreciation to our spouse for even the little things – not noticing their faults, we all have them don’t we, but thanking and praising them. That is extravagant love!

Love is patient and kind, not self-seeking but honours others.

(based on an article in Marriage Missions)


  • “I think this whole thing of selfishness is a malady that all of us have, and we have to learn to love. Love is the opposite of selfishness. Love has the attitude, “I’m married to you, how can I help you? How can I make your life easier? ” Love is reaching out to benefit the other person. And when you get two people loving, you have what marriage was designed to be: a supportive, encouraging relationship.” ~ Dr Gary Chapman
  • “When marriages are not actively nurtured, they go into a default mode. Usually this means that our sinful nature will be more active than our desire to please God. The default mode is where selfishness grows and flourishes. Here criticism of your spouse is accepted and even encouraged by friends. It is where fantasy tends to have greater pull than reality and where hope for a better marriage dies.Instead of the default mode, we need a proactive approach for our marriages to grow. The call that we’re sending out is this: GET OUT OF THE DEFAULT MODE IN YOUR MARRIAGE. LIVE AT A HIGHER LEVEL! There has to be a plan. The old adage is right: ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail.'” ~ Jeff and Lora Helton


“The bride and groom are not the only people who take vows on a wedding day. After hearing the couple declare their commitment to one the celebrant usually asks, ‘will all of you who witness these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?” Think about it: ‘If we took this promise with seriousness, husbands and wives would find it less burdensome fulfilling their marriage vows.'” ~ (David De Silva, from article, “Marriage: Made Within Community, Made for Mission”)

Remember why you got married in the first place. Now look at your calendar together and agree on dates for your year’s fun dates. Why wait – celebrate what’s great about your relationship today. Be spontaneous.


“Few people attain great lives, in large part because it’s just too easy to settle for a good life”
Jim Collins (That quote was taken from a book which focussed on companies – but might be applicable to a marriage, so let’s not settle for just ‘good’ in our marriage this year.)

“Marriage: Love is the reason. Lifelong friendship is the gift. Kindness is the cause. Til’ death do us part is the length.”~ Fawn Weaver

“The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving just a little ‘extra’ every day, as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live.” ~ Fawn Weaver

“cultivate this valuable habit of sitting together to talk and to listen to each other, to understand one another again and again in face of the surprises and difficulties of the long journey.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI


“Research indicates that attending to the couple relationship is the key factor in quality of parenting. And the key element in a new mother coping at the new baby stage is the quality of her relationship with her partner. And yet, rare are the parenting programmes which include a ‘being a healthy couple’ element. Rare the support programme which looks beyond the mechanics of parenting and health care issues of new baby and mother to the couple, as a couple.

Couples in a healthy relationship do actually acquire their parenting skills at the same rate. There is a mutual learning together. Is not that the best of ways? For as we have often been told from on high, it’s all about the welfare of the children, getting it right for every child and all that. But is not the best for the child, a mother and father living together in relative harmony in the same home, modelling all that is best (insofar as it is possible for any parents to do so!)

In order to give children the gift of two parents, parenting skills alone will not suffice. It is crucial to look at the couple as a couple, as part of that package.

To do otherwise is, according to the arte of English poesie 1589 ‘Hysteron proteron’. (the latter before)”

Colm Black. Relationship Educator, X plus Y


Q: Is Google male or female?
A: Female, because it doesn’t let you finish a sentence before making a suggestion.

“[Dallas Theological Seminary Professor] Howard Hendricks told about a time he had just completed a sermon and a young man came up to him and called him a ‘great man.’ On the drive home, Hendricks turned to his wife and said,”A great man. How many great men do you know?’ ‘One fewer than you think,’ she answered.”

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