New Year’s resolutions are talked about more than they are carried out, but part of the problem is that they aren’t well thought out, and aren’t truly important to the one making them.
How about a resolution that improves your and your loved ones’ lives, and doesn’t involve giving up things you like?
It doesn’t involve “things” at all; it involves love, and learning how to love better.
Milan Yerkovich, who wrote “How We Love” with his wife, Kay, spoke to more than 100 women at a luncheon at the Newport Beach Country Club as part of Mariners Christian School’s recent annual golf tournament.
“This is our third golf tournament to raise money for tuition scholarships,” explained Carolyn Johnson, a Newport resident and MCS development specialist. “As the economy has shifted, needs have gone up. We are grateful for the partnership with Bob Waltos, managing partner of the Waltos Group, Northwestern Mutual. An MCS parent, Bob and his team work tirelessly as title sponsors to ensure the success of this tournament.
“This year, the moms wanted to do something, so we decided to have a luncheon. Milan’s talk tied in with the emphasis at our school on spiritual parenting, because learning to love better improves our ability to be better parents.”
Yerkovich “is familiar to some of our parents and does ‘marital tunes-ups,’” Carolyn continued. “One mother was so enthusiastic about how much the tune-ups helped to break old patterns and to learn a new dance in her marriage, that we knew just who to call for our speaker. The event also allowed women to invite neighbors and friends to a lecture based on Biblical principles.”
Carolyn Waltos welcomed the women, and thanked everybody for the part they played in making the day and the auction happen.
“Last year we raised $50,000, and we’re excited about this year!” she said.
Newport resident Lisa Grable introduced Milan by listing off his many accomplishments, which include being a pastoral counselor, an ordained minister, and an author.
“Milan has worked with couples and families for over 30 years,” Lisa said. “He is the full-time director of Relationship 180, a nonprofit organization devoted to counseling individuals and families toward healthy relationships. You can hear him on the radio in the afternoons as co-host of New Life Live with Steven Arterburn. In his spare time he enjoys martial arts, biking and playing the guitar. In addition to all that, Milan is one of my very favorite people in the world!”
“Because we are made in the image of God, we are drawn into relationship,” Milan said. “But relational intelligence in our country is very low. We’re seeing that our college students are feeling increasingly overwhelmed, and though they may have high intelligence, they are the lowest we’ve seen in the past 25 years in terms of emotional and relational intelligence, and working as a team. Children take their cues from their parents. If you didn’t have good love lessons growing up, you don’t’ know how to love well, but you can learn. The brain has neuroplasticity; it can change. The role of parents is to be brain-shapers.”
“We need a new way to look at relational problems,” Milan continued. “They aren’t from gender differences but from our internal systems. How we love today is affected by past imprints. Your relational problems didn’t start as adults, but were affected by whether or not you had comfort in your first five years of life. You can learn to understand your feelings and underlying needs, you can learn to trust, love and bond.”
One of the concrete tools Milan gave was a list of feelings, or “soul words” to help parents and children identify and express their feelings to help move towards healthy communication and love.
“I got so much out of it!” Newport resident Jennifer Walker said. “It was uniquely helpful and encouraging. Milan was honest about his own marriage, saying it’s not perfect. I loved that he said there is no such thing as a perfect parent, only a growing one.
“He gave a workable framework that’s doable. For instance, he said lots of people have a hard time identifying their feelings, so he put a page of feeling words up on his refrigerator at home so his children would be able to put their feelings into words. I came home and put the list from his handout up on our fridge.
“I’m a lawyer and litigated for 10 years and thought that everybody had to be so logical, but I see how important it is to understand our feelings.”