When Good Advice is Bad

Welcome  It’s been over a week since we were last together.  I hope you are ready to join me for some more great stories and discussion of faith and family and enjoy some yummy recipes.  I certainly enjoyed my week in Arkansas with my daughter as I got to catch up with some friends from college and do a little hiking in the natural state.  Setting my own vacation time is definitely a perk to being my own boss!  Today we’re going to talk about something we all give and receive, whether wanted or not…advice!  Today’s recipe is a favorite of my husband’s…Cream Cheese and Cherry Coffee Cake.  Note-I may receive compensation from advertisers or affiliate links on this blog.  For additional information, see my terms and disclosure page.

coffee cake in 9x13
A great way to wake up your loved one…a fresh-from-the-oven coffee cake.

Food For Thought  Everyone loves to give advice, especially about marriage and raising children.  Sometimes advice is not a bad thing.  We can learn from others that have traveled the road before us, which can end up saving us time, hassle, heartbreak, or worse.  And certainly not all advice is bad, but we are all quick to share our opinions and offer wisdom, even when unsolicited.  So the bottom line is that advice can be good, bad, or just plain crazy!  Today I’m going to talk about a specific piece of marriage advice that is given often from our elders, peers, and seen frequently in marriage-help books.

Did you ever notice that a lot of advice contradicts other advice?  That’s because there are no two individuals or couples that have the exact same personalities or life experiences.  Advice that worked for you, or your best friend, may not work for me and my situation.  So really when it comes down to it, advice is more a matter of opinion than cold, hard fact.  But even if the advice is just opinion, some can be extremely beneficial, especially coming from older and wiser individuals or someone that is admired and trusted because of their beliefs and values.  I would say the best “advice” regarding my marriage and family is the adage “the family that prays together, stays together.”  I really believe that putting God first in our home and unifying as husband and wife in our faith has helped us weather some storms and prevent Satan from tearing us apart.  Another good piece of advice we have been given is to not make big purchases without communicating with each other first.  Statistics show that money is the biggest reason couples fight, but I can honestly say that my husband and I rarely have disagreements about finances.  But some advice is just plain wacky, or at the very least impractical.  Umm, naked yoga or housecleaning is NOT going to work in this household!  And then there’s advice that’s good in theory.  I’m going to talk about one of these examples today.

Go to Bed Angry
“Never go to bed angry” may not be the best advice for all couples.

“Never go to bed angry.”  I bet you have heard that wisdom at least a few times, and it sounds good, right?  This advice just doesn’t work at our house, though.  It would certainly be nice, and easy, if we never had marital issues come up at the end of the day.  But when do most couples have arguments?  In the evening, because everyone is home; everyone has had a long, possibly difficult day.  Couples are tired, busy, and probably multi-tasking, so emotions are a little bit heightened at this time of day.  What I have experienced in our marriage is “sleeping it off” works best for us.  Unless it is a really big issue that has to be addressed immediately, we both benefit from going ahead to bed, irritable, and then facing the issue after some shut-eye.  MOST of the time, we have no issue at all in the morning.  The night before, one of us, usually me, was feeling a little sensitive and blew something small out of proportion.  If I had pushed the issue the night before, when I was really upset over something small, I probably would have said things I would regret or behave in a way that I’d end up having to apologize more.  I can only think of two times in our 13 years of marriage that we had to stay up late to deal with something before going to bed so angry we would have lost sleep.  Otherwise, we can go to bed irritated or annoyed and wake up to a fresh start the next day, either completely over what was happening the night before or at least with a calmer demeanor to face the problem at hand.  So even though “never go to bed angry” is very common “good advice,” it just doesn’t work for us.  And that’s the thing about advice, what may sound good to you, may be bad advice for me.  And vice versa.

Today’s Scripture  First, I want to share the first verse from a church hymn written by Horatius R. Palmer in the 19th century: “Angry words, oh let them never from the tongue, unbridled slip.  May the heart’s best impulse ever check them, e’er they soil the lip.”  I would much rather go to bed and sleep, than let angry words slip from my tongue during a minor argument or disagreement with my husband.  Let’s look at some verses today that encourage us to keep check on our words.

James 1:26 “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

Proverbs 12: 13, 18 “An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble.” “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise bring healing.”

Today’s Recipe  Sometimes when I wake up on one of these mornings, feeling sorry for getting so upset over something so minor, I want to do something nice for my husband.  How about making him a yummy breakfast?  My husband loves cherries and pastries, so what a great recipe-Cream Cheese and Cherry Coffee Cake!  My recipe today is reduced sugar, but it is not sugar-free.  If you’re not concerned about the sugar content or have sucralose sensitivities, you can use regular cherry filling and regular sugar in the same amounts.

Cream Cheese Cherry Coffee Cake
Coffee cake made with cream cheese and butter dotted with cherry pie filling is a sweet start to a new day.

Cream Cheese and Cherry Coffee Cake (reduced-sugar)

  • 1 8-oz package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 20-oz can lite cherry pie filling
  • powdered sugar drizzle
  • Preheat oven at 325 degrees and spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Using electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, and Splenda in large bowl until smooth.  Add in 3/4 cup flour, eggs, milk, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix until combined.  Add in remaining flour and continue beating on low speed until combined.  The batter resembles a sticky bread dough.  Spread in bottom of prepared pan.  Drop spoons of cherry pie filling randomly on top of batter, swirling with a thin knife.  Bake 40 minutes.  Cool for 30 minutes.  Prepare powdered sugar drizzle by combining 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk.  Drizzle on cooled coffee cake.  This can be served warm or cold, accompanied by other breakfast treats, or eaten on its own.

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