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Love the One You’re With

By:  Donna Martin

We’ve all been there – could have been with your spouse, your child, your boss, your best friend, anyone.  The person was talking away, but we were not hearing a word they said.  Our mind was miles away thinking about what we needed to be doing, worrying about something else in our life, or wishing we were with someone else. 

On the other hand, we have all been the recipient of that behavior and it does not feel good at all.  We have just shared something very important with someone, but did not get the reaction we were hoping for because the person we were talking to wasn’t listening to a word we said.  It was like they were in another world and oblivious to us.  Or perhaps we were trying to carry on a conversation with the person and they only gave us a one word response that made us feel like they did not want to talk to us and were not interested in anything we had to say.

In her book Jesus Calling, Sarah Young states, “Most people let their moments slip through their fingers, half-lived.  They avoid the present by worrying about the future or long for a better time and place.” (p.128).   People today are so absorbed in their mobile devices – checking email, facebook, instagram.  They can spend hours checking up on people who they barely know, and all the while they are missing so many opportunities to connect with the people who are most important in their lives.  When placed in a situation where they actually have to talk to a real person – a spouse, a grandparent, a child, a friend – they cannot carry on conservation.   They are letting important moments slip away.

It is time to seize the moments with our spouse and our children.  When you are together as a family put away the devices, turn off the television during meals, forget about checking the emails at night when your family is home.  Stop living someone else’s dreams on facebook.  Start living and conversing with your own family.  Teach your children to carry on a conversation by carrying on one with them.  Make your spouse feel important by really listening a caring about what he or she says to you.

Dana Perino said in an interview with Fox News said that when she was a young girl her father insisted that she read two news articles during the day and choose one that she wanted to talk with him about that evening.  Each evening she and her dad would discuss the article that she chose.  What a wonderful experience for a young girl. Not only was she learning about current events and how to express herself, but she and her dad were forming a close relationship of love and trust.  These moments with her dad helped build self confidence in her as a young woman.

We need to learn to love our family and others by being “present” when we are in their presence.  We need to learn to not only listen but to also show sincere interest in the person we are with by activity communicating with them. The picture book, The Three Questions{Based on a story by Leo Tostoy} by Jon J. Muth is an excellent book to read to your children and grandchildren to teach them the importance of living in the moment and caring for the person who is with you.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at



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