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7 Keys to a Drama-Free Home

A healthy family should have a lot more comedy than drama!

“Drama” refers to invisible tensions and barriers that prevent growth and health in a relationship. To root out drama, you’ve got to start at the source. I’m convinced that the root of most Family Drama is in unresolved conflict.

Have you ever felt like there’s an invisible elephant living in your house because of unresolved conflict in the marriage or family? Unresolved conflicts can unravel the fabric of a family and create drama faster than almost any other force. Depending the personalities of those involved, it can look drastically different.

In some situations, families live with an “artificial harmony” where there are deep-seeded issues that nobody has the courage to address, so the “deal with it” by not dealing with it which perpetuates a dysfunctional cycle.

In other homes, the family thrives on conflict and will seem to fight just for the sake of fighting. They develop an unhealthy addiction to living on an emotional roller coaster.

Some families just avoid each other completely because avoidance seems easier and more pleasant than continuing the dysfunctional cycles that attempted conflict resolution seems to cause.

Our marriages and our families are far too important to throw away with unhealthy or unresolved conflict. We’ve got to replace the drama with peace! If you apply the principles below to any conflict in your marriage or family, I’m convinced you can remove drama and bring healing, health and resolution.

Dave Willis Ashley Willis family kids

This is my family. We’re doing our best to establish some “drama-free” guidelines before any of the kids hit their teenage years!

1. Address issues quickly and directly.

When there’s an issue, don’t hide from it or deal with it in a passive-aggressive way. Unresolved issues will fester like a cancerous tumor and you must deal with them in the same assertive manner you’d use to identify and remove a tumor.

2. Realize that there won’t be a “Winner” and “Loser.”

In any conflict with Loved Ones, you must approach the disagreement realizing that you are on the same side, so you share the same fate. You’ll either win together or lose together, so work together to find a mutually beneficial solution.

3. Avoid “Emotional Sunburn.”

When a person gets sunburned and then you pat them on the back, they might scream out in pain. Most of us have invisible “burns” on our hearts and souls from past hurts, and when someone gets close to those areas, we are tempted to lash out. In family conflict, be aware of those “sore spots” and work to heal them instead of agitating them.

4. Be a Peacemaker.

The Bible says, “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” To live at peace within your family, there will be times you have to swallow your pride and take the first step towards healing. Be willing to forgive and seek forgiveness.

5. Be an encourager; not a critic.

Your family is going to get plenty of criticism out in the world, so make sure you’re doing your part to counteract that negativity by being an encourager in your home. Be the one who wipes away your family’s tears; not the one who causes them!

6. Always tell the truth.

Honesty fosters intimacy. If you want to remove drama and unresolved conflict from your family, place a high value on telling the truth at all times in all circumstances. This will build mutual trust and create a culture of transparency.

7. Don’t give up on each other.

Families are imperfect, but love is perfect. Remember that a “perfect family” is just a group of imperfect people who love each other and refuse to give up on each other!

For more tools to help you build a rock-solid marriage and family, check out our bestselling book*, “iVow: Secrets to a Stronger Marriage” which is available as a Paperback, audiobook and Kindle ebook on Amazon.com and is now also available on iTunes for ebook download on iPads, iPhones and all Apple devices.

*The first 3 chapters of iVow are available as a free instant download when you signup for our emails at the top of this page.

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For daily marriage and family-building tools, please connect with me on twitter.

7 Keys to a Healthy Blended Family

The landscape of modern family dynamics are changing rapidly and more and more people are now in a second marriage and/or blended family situation. Navigating the complexities of these family dynamics can be incredibly challenging, but I’m convinced that they can (and must) be done well!

I’ve borrowed wisdom from thriving Blended Families and also applied the timeless truths in Scripture to identify seven “House Rules” which can bring peace and health in any family dynamic.

Below are seven principles which could set the course for the future of your marriage and family. For ongoing resources to help you build a rock-solid marriage and family please connect with me on twitter and subscribe to our email list above. You’ll receive encouragement in your inbox, a free marriage ebook download and NO spam! :)

family silhouette

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

(In no particular order):

1. Increase the “comedy” and decrease the “drama.”

Create an atmosphere in your home where laughter is always welcome, but “drama” is left outside. Don’t tolerate insults, sarcasm, negativity, gossip or passive-aggressive behavior. Promote a climate of joy and a safe place for fun in the home.

2. Be consistent in your enforcement of rules.

Don’t change your rules just because “the other house” has lighter rules and you’re afraid the kids will prefer being there instead of being at your place. Be consistent in your rules and in the long run, everyone will benefit.

For more on this, check out my popular post on 7 ways parents harm their children without even realizing it.

3. Be completely unified with your spouse.

A healthy blended family starts with a healthy marriage. You must always have each other’s backs! You can’t let the kids play you against each other. The stability in your home will be a direct reflection of the stability in your marriage.

For more on this, check out our free video series on The 4 Pillars of a Strong Marriage.

4. Promote peace with former spouses.

Work hard to keep a healthy relationship with former spouses, because if you share children, then it’s vital that you continue to work together well in an atmosphere with mutual respect and healthy communication. You won’t always agree with them, but try to at least be agreeable with them. Keeping the peace with exes will foster an atmosphere of peace in your family.

5. Protect healthy boundaries with former spouses.

While keeping the peace is important with exes, it’s also important to protect healthy boundaries for the sake of your current marriage. Don’t let the lines get blurry. Make sure your current spouse is always in the loop with any communication you have with your former spouse.

6. Make sure love, not last names, defines your family.

Everyone under your roof needs to know they are loved unconditionally and equally regardless of who their biological parents and/or siblings may be.

7. Build your family on a foundation of faith.

I’m not just saying this because I’m a pastor, but I believe every aspect of your life and family will be enriched by a deeper faith and a connection in a healthy community of faith (a local church). Pray for your family; God loves them even more than you do!

For more tools to help you build a rock-solid marriage and family, please check out our bestselling book* iVow: Secrets to a Stronger Marriage which is now also available on iTunes for Download on iPhones, iPads and all Apple devices.

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*The first 3 chapters of iVow are available as a FREE download when you subscribe to our email list at the top of this page.