Wednesday, April 15, 2009

8 Reasons Why Your Dog Should Not Sleep with You

Our golden retriever, Shebly, is a notorious snuggler. She loves to be close to Clay and me at all times, including nighttime. I have to admit that I was disappointed when my husband refused to let a DOG sleep in the bed. As a puppy, Shelby whined almost as much as I did, but I showed her the doggie bed and she quickly learned to love her special place.

Recently, this issue resurfaced when some friends asked us to referee an argument between them about their chocolate lab. One spouse wanted the dog in the bed while the other thought it was hurting their marriage. Although we usually try not to take a position, Clay and I were adament about the dog. It needs to stay out of the marriage bed. Here is why:

1. The most obvious reason... how can you two be spontaneous with another creature lying next to you? Intimacy, including simple snuggling, should not be interrupted!

2. Chiropractors agree that dogs cause unnecesary strain on your back as you manuever around them throughout the night.

3. You will wake up more refreshed without the interruption of a dog wiggling, scratching, licking and playing throughout the night.

4. As Ceasar Milan always says, "Your dog should not be your master." It is up to you to show the pet its boundaries instead of allowing him/her to rule over you.

5. You can still show your dogs how much you love them by cuddling a little bit before time to sleep and giving them attention when you wake up. This rule does not mean that you are a stern, heartless pet owner.

6. Although allowing the dog in the bed does not guarantee that he will feel like the master, it is a consideration. Read advice from an expert on

7. For sanitary reasons alone, the dog should stay on the floor. Think of the hair, the odor, and the germs. You take a shower everyday but how often does your dog bathe... once every three months? Gross!

8. If you insist on having your dog in bed, allow them to join you when invited. This way, you can enjoy him and give him attention. Then, command him to go back to his bed as you snuggle with your spouse and enjoy and peaceful night of sleep.

Check out other thoughts on

I am interested to hear your opinion on this one. Let me know your house rules for pets at bedtime. What are your suggestions?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

6 Lessons About the Cross

Even after all the books we have read, classes we have taught and resolutions we have made, Clay and I still hurt one another. We have been married for nine years and we even teach classes on conflict resolution. But the other day, all the lessons went out the window. We had a good ole fashioned silent fight. And somehow, miraculously, after two days of childishness, we forgave one another completely. It was the closest I have ever felt to my husband.

It made me realize, even more, that forgiveness is the true path to intimacy. God's design for forgiveness was revealed to me through our relationship and below are six lessons I have learned about the beauty of the cross through my marriage to Clay.

1. Undeserved forgiveness is a powerful force.

2. Painful sacrifice is a love language that everyone understands.

3. Sin can cause wounds far deeper than knives or swords.

4. The strength of persevering love influences change.

5. The history of countries, cities and families are changed when intense loves intervenes.

6. A close relationship with someone who really knows you is so worth the effort.