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Nice picture, huh? It was taken in November at a Family Fall Fiesta for the young couple on the left, Greg and Anna, my nephew and his wife (then his fiancée). Paul and Amanda, my son and his wife, are the newlyweds on the right. We had just had a fun afternoon of opening gifts, eating some tasty comfort food, playing games, and just generally enjoying the convivial spirit of the day.

Greg and Anna got married Saturday night. The bride and her attendants were all beautiful, and the groom and his groomsmen were all handsome (especially PC). The church was lovely, the music was soul stirring, and the service itself was lovely, a touching reminder of the solemn nature of the marriage commitment.  What I loved most about the entire weekend from rehearsal dinner to wedding reception was the opportunity to be family members who had gathered from near and far to witness the nuptials. I even got to dance with my 21 month old granddaughter Emma.

What’s on my mind tonight is Anna’s beautiful smile. She’s a lovely, gracious, and happy young woman who always has a genuine smile for everyone she meets.  Her “essence” reminds me of my daughter-in-law Amanda who’s equally winsome and pleasant. Nearly every time I talk to Paul, I can count on hearing Amanda’s laughter in the background, and it warms my heart to know that there’s a joyful spirit in their home.   

There’s a lot to be said for that, you know.  I sincerely believe that the woman sets the emotional tone for the home, and if she’s happy, chances are that others will be too. If, on the other hand, the lady of the house is dour, complaining, bitter, sad, or shrewish, then, well, you get the picture. What is the bible says? Something about it being better to be on a rooftop than inside a house with a brawling woman, right?  At the moment, I’m thinking of a woman who can only be described as a harpy who spent her waking hours nagging the lifeblood out of her husband and children. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but still….

What I’m leading up to is that I want Greg and Paul and all of the other husbands who value peace in the home to keep those ladies smiling and happy. How?  There are no shortcuts or magic formulas, but I know from experience and observation that some kind, uplifting, complimentary words go a long, long way in creating harmony. So does offering to help with routine, mundane chores…and assisting with grumpy, colicky, or whiny children. So does taking her out once in a while…even having a date night at least once per week. Make her feel special, include her in decision making, and learn her “language of love.” Respect her. Laugh together and have fun.

 These ladies are your life partners. Keep them smiling, Gentlemen.

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