There is an old adage stating, “It takes a village to raise a child.” While true, we forget about that which is needed to raise the village. Healthy resources, originating from balanced and loving marriages and families, are required for the village to flourish. An unbalanced and depleted villages lacks resources and becomes an emotional desert and leaves its inhabitants parched and depleted. We can’t exist this way. Yet, on many levels, we try to do so. We call it “making do”! This intense level of excessive shortcuts has caused our communities to be lackluster.
Ways exist to combat this with minimal ammunition and a strong likelihood of hitting the target on the first hit! Secure and protect our marriages and families! Do your imaginary fist pump here because it is applicable! We know this to be true. We say it with conviction. It sounds so easy, but in truth, it ain’t! It is difficult to create what we need when we have not lived amongst a community reflective of abundant resources and their value. We have to convince ourselves of how much thirsty we are in the midst in the drought!
There are a few things we can begin to do immediately. First, let’s celebrate one another. A kind word, a compliment, express sincere happiness for another person, a smile or positive reinforcement goes far in any relationship. Change your language to mirror good intent. For example, one can say, “You did a great job, but next time, try to work harder.” Replace your ‘but’ with an ‘and’. Let’s hear it….”You did a great job and next time I know you will work harder!” It sounds and feels more motivating. Even if you don’t get it, trust the history of human behavior and try it. It will have a positive impact on someone’s marriage or relationship!
Next, we have to be very deliberate with our actions. No one shows up for work accidentally. It is planned. Marriage and relationships require the same measured commitment. Make plans to be together. Date night may not be a regular occurrence, especially with a tight budget or small children. However, 15-20 minutes daily, of cuddling and uninterrupted attention with the other person magnifies love and reinforces their role in your life. Read together. Cook together. Create joint social media accounts and have fun with them. Take a walk in your neighborhood. Send silly texts throughout the day. Sharing time together creates memories and expands fondness for a couple. It quenches the thirst for love and devotion! Studies show, happy couples have happy and fun conversations for at least 5 hours a week. Let the pillow talk begin!
Lastly, to keep the peace and to retain lawfulness in our communities, it has to begin at home! Fight fairly! Learn what a fight is. Everything cannot be a battle! You will get tired of your opponent before you tire of the fight itself. This leads to hostility and overall dislike of the other person. No one feels love with a person who feels like the enemy!
It is natural to be defensive and guarded when feeling attacked or mistreated. While you feel this way, it is all about how you plan your resistance! Implement rules of engagement such as no name calling, no hitting, no talking about anyone’s parents and discouraging non-verbal communication such as rolling of the eyes and deep, long sighs as if irritated. Without these basic guidelines, it will feel like emotional and spiritual warfare has begun in the family unit! We need survivors and victims! If we don’t enact with sincere determination, we will only create victims and further exhaust our own reserves.
Securing and protecting your home should not be an act of defense. It is about being safe and nontoxic when engaging with those you love. Your children will learn from you and will repeat these lessons. Teach good ones! Fight the good fight!
Naaila Moumaris-Clay, MS. NCC