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Summary: A look at five principles that help fortify our family relationships.

Tonight’s the night. Shera and I have watched every week since the competitors landed in the Amazon, and tonight we finally find out who survived. It started out with 16, one-by-one they’ve been voted out, and in about twelve hours the winner will be revealed.

If you watch Survivor, you know the routine. You know that when the contestants arrive they are divided into two tribes who compete against each other in a series of competitions. And you know that each time a tribe loses an immunity challenge, they have to vote out one member of their tribe. But at some point in the series, there’s a dramatic change: the two tribes merge with whoever’s left.

I’ve watched every run of Survivor, and I’ve discovered that the Tribe with the strongest bonds tends to be the Tribe that goes into the merger in a position of strength. It’s not necessarily the Tribe that has the youngest and the strongest members. It’s the tribe that gets along the best and knows each other the best.

This morning we’re continuing our Survivor: Sunrise series of messages, and today the title is Strengthening Your Tribe. Specifically, I’m talking about strengthening your family relationships and finding security in them.

Here’s a story that appeared in the NY Post a couple years ago…


That’s Not A TV – That’s My Wife

Thursday, February 15, 2001

Post Wire Service

A 42-year-old couch potato loves his television so much, he married it.

Mitch Hallen wed his 42-in. Sony set in a ceremony in his living room in Melbourne, Australia, presided over by a priest and attended by dozens of his friends, according to published reports.

After two divorces, Hallen said he decided to give up on women because “my TV gives me countless hours of pleasure without fussing, fighting or backchat,” he said.

“So I feel I’m better off marrying it rather than another **** woman. One day it just came to me in a thunderbolt – my telly’s the best companion I’ve ever had. This is one wife who won’t nag me.”

During the bizarre ceremony, Hallen promised to “love, honour and obey” his widescreen TV. He then put a gold wedding ring on top of the set and placed a matching one on his finger.

Friends say Hallen has had a long running love affair with his television and watches it up to 10 hours each day.

One wedding guest said, “It was crazy but very emotional. Mitch loves that TV and will never be torn from it.”

It is not known how the blissful couple consummated the marriage.


What a bizarre story. This man actually built a relationship with his television and married it! I don’t know that I’d want to have a spouse who always had some kind of episode, was easily turned off and was that remote. Plus, I’d be allergic to Chanel No. 5.

You’ve got to feel a little sorry for the guy, though. I mean, how disappointed do you think he was in the failures of his previous marriages? What could those relationships have been like to make him want to give up on a sentient relationship all together?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. Apart from this article I know nothing about the man. But I would assume his previous relationships fell apart because there was nothing to hold them together.

And I don’t think this problem is unique to him. I think a lot of families have fallen apart because there simply wasn’t enough to hold them together. So what I want to do this morning is look at ways we can invest into our families and strengthen those bonds. Because I believe there are some universal principles that can help us fortify our relationships with our spouses, our children, our parents, and our brothers and sisters, regardless of age or living arrangements.

So we’re going to identify five of those principles, and it just so happens that if you take the first letter from each principle they spell the word “TRIBE.” Go figure.

Principles for Strengthening Your TRIBE:

The first thing you need to do if you want to strengthen your tribe is Talk Regularly.

Talk Regularly

It’s pretty basis stuff. If you want to strengthen your family, you need to communicate, and in order to communicate you have to talk. It’s not rocket science. But I’m amazed at how little people do talk.

What are some things that may prevent family members from talking to each other?


(Computers, Schedule, Kids…)

In our society it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult for a family to find time to simply talk. And unless we make a conscious decision to make it a priority, we can lose touch with those we love the most. We need to talk to help keep our perspective on life, to make sure our whole family is headed in the same direction, to help our families understand us better, and to teach and learn from each other.

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