Don’t Keep Rescuing Someone — Let Them Face Consequences

Uncategorized Jul 01, 2020

Allowing someone to suffer logical consequences is another way of getting them to realize their need for grace. Ideally, we can do that by confronting them, have a difficult conversation and hope they have a willingness to face reality. But sometimes people cannot (or do not) hear the truth of confrontation, and they remain stuck. At those times we often have to allow reality to touch their lives.

Too often in our lives, we protect people from the harsh realities of logical consequences that would force them to see their need for grace and what it can provide. Either we feel sorry for them and bail them out, or we fear them and try to appease them. No matter what the person’s plight, we must help him face the truth. And sometimes that means letting him deal with harsh realities.

This isn’t necessarily about discipline and correction, but how it’s important to see that sometimes our “helping” may keep others from experiencing the tough realities that...

Continue Reading...

Marriage is Not a Shortcut to Maturity

Uncategorized Jun 30, 2020

Marriage is intended by God as a union of two complete persons. It is only when two mature and whole individuals come together in marriage that their union will be complete. Marriage is not designed to be a shortcut to maturity, a way of completing yourself. Rather, God designed marriage as a way for two distinct people to come together and create something bigger and better than either one could achieve individually. Spouses should complement one another, not complete one another.

A mature, complete adult will take responsibility for himself or herself, and will expect the same from those that he or she loves. This requires honesty and a willingness to confront areas of immaturity. As a mature person, you should value your spouse's feelings, attitudes, perspectives, and talents, seeking in everything you do to nurture, develop, and take care of those precious aspects of the one you love.

You must recognize that your spouse is not an extension of yourself; you need to give him or...

Continue Reading...

Increase Fruitfulness in Your Life by Eliminating What's Dead

Uncategorized Jun 30, 2020

In order for a rose bush to achieve its full growth potential, every good gardener knows that it must be carefully pruned. There are three circumstances in which a gardener prunes a rose bush: 1) when the bush produces more buds than it can sustain, 2) in order to remove parts of the bush that are diseased, and 3) to remove dead branches in order to make way for new growth.

First, when the bush produces more buds than it can sustain, the overgrowth drains essential resources from the bush, and the gardener must choose which of the “good” buds are “best.” He then prunes the good buds so that all of the bush’s resources can be focused on helping the best buds thrive.

Our lives are just like the rose bush. We may have a lot of really good activities, relationships, or ideas that we’ve poured our resources into. But if we pruned some of the good stuff back, we would enable the best parts to get all that they need to thrive, making our relationships...

Continue Reading...

Don’t Be So Quick to Reject Relationships with Others

Uncategorized Jun 30, 2020

What is resistance? Resistance is our tendency to avoid growth. It’s our drive to keep the spiritual and emotional status quo. It’s our inclination to move away from provisions for our growth. And we all have it.

Many of the dynamics, which drive us to choose unsafe people or no people at all, are resistances. We’re loaded with ways to keep our hearts from encountering loving, supportive people. As crazy as it sounds, we often build entire lifestyles around avoiding those who would help fill us up.

So, how do I deal with resistances?

1. Identify your resistances. The more aware you are of your specific resistances to love, the more power you have over them. Denial is your worst enemy here. With the feedback of friends, make a list of the ways you shrink from safe people, and become a student of these dynamics. They are a “road map” to understanding yourself and your real needs.

2. Bring them into relationship. It takes humility to ask people...

Continue Reading...

Boundaries: What You Prefer vs. What is Wrong

Uncategorized Jun 30, 2020

When setting boundaries with someone, it’s important to differentiate between what you prefer and what’s actually wrong. Before you talk to someone about changing his behavior, figure out if what he is doing is really a “bad” thing or just something you don’t like.

I refer to this distinction as a test I like to call “Would God and the Beverly Hillbillies Agree?” Here’s what I mean: Some things are just things you don’t like and want someone to change, but that person is not really doing anything wrong. Depending on where you come from, it may be acceptable or not.

For example, what is fine to Jed Clampett, the funny patriarch on the old Beverly Hillbillies television show, might be very distasteful to you. He was the kind of person who would keep a raccoon inside his house and stock his swimming pool with catfish. If your spouse did that, it would really bug you. It is all a matter of taste.

In contrast, mistreating people or...

Continue Reading...

The Reason You Feel Like Nothing Helps and Nothing Works

Uncategorized Jun 29, 2020

Today I want to tell you about two supremely essential things you need for change to improve your life. Let’s start at the beginning.

One of the things that we tend to do, is we will tend to do things in the way we've always done them. I always say to people, "You know what, we don't need new ways to fail. The old ones are working just fine." What we've got to do is, we've got to get above those patterns and begin to do things in a new way.

First of all, we all need the wake-up call that tells us, "I don't have problems. What I have is, I have patterns that cause problems." If I can see that, and I can identify the pattern, and then we're on our way to making fruitful change.

There are about 10 patterns that end up causing most of our problems. If I can see that and I can observe them, then I can move forward with change. For example, I can identify that I may need to strive for progress and not perfection. Everything we know about growth is that growth is incremental, and...

Continue Reading...

The Medical and Psychological Aspects of Anxiety Attacks

Uncategorized Jun 28, 2020

When we talk about panic attacks, we examine the medical and psychological aspects of the disorder.

The medical aspects:

Panic disorder is a problem that has a lot to do with the body. Certainly in terms of emotional problems, anxiety disorders are some of the most strongly physiologically- experienced struggles. Most of the symptoms you describe are felt in the body. While we do not know all the reasons why, we do now know there seem to be some very strong biological components in panic disorder.

There are basically two ways to attack them from the medical side. The first is simple tranquilizers, usually referred to as “minor tranquilizers.” They are very effective in giving immediate relief to the feelings. If the anxiety is keeping a person from functioning day to day, sometimes they are a good idea. But there are two problems with this approach.

Number one, the real reasons and problems causing the attacks are not being dealt with but are just being covered up by...

Continue Reading...

Where to Start if You Struggle to End Something

Uncategorized Jun 25, 2020

Years ago, our family moved to a new home. My two daugh­ters were five and seven at the time and loved the previous house. They had good friends in the old neighborhood, lots of great ex­periences, and loved their school; moving was the last thing they wanted to do. But it was a necessary ending that we needed to make, as we needed more space.

Consulting with the psychologist parent in me, I decided to begin the conversation with them when the idea first came up. “So, would you guys ever want to change houses? Maybe get one where you had your own playroom, or a flat yard where you could do a lot more fun stuff?” I asked, trying to sell a few of the benefits.

“No!” they said in unison. “Never! We love living here.” I was truly taken aback at the passion that they came at me with. I was glad that they loved their home, but this did not bode well for our moving plans. I knew that it was not going to be an easy sell or an easy ending.

But...

Continue Reading...

The Pain You Experienced from the Past isn't Sinful

Uncategorized Jun 24, 2020

Denying our sinfulness is natural. Who wants to claim something that makes us uncomfortable? It's not easy to own.

But what about negative feelings that are not sinful -- the ones that result merely from living in a less-than perfect world or from getting sinned against? What is one to do with pain, grief, anger, sadness or fear that results from a past of abuse?

Some in the church say that to still stuffer from these things indicates unreported sin. The sufferer is condemned for feeling pain.

When we feel hurt and anger over what happens to us, we need to respond to our pain correctly. The Bible tells us about the importance of dealing appropriately with sadness. It talks about how to deal with anger. It explains how suffering refines us. (See Romans, Ecclesiastes and Hebrews) But nowhere does the Bible say that pain results from an act against you is sin.

Nowhere.

Yet in some Christian circles, victims of abuse or divorce are told that, because they feel pain from past hurts, they...

Continue Reading...

Get Past the Fear of Feeling Alone

Uncategorized Jun 24, 2020

“Just call him and tell him that it is over,” I said to Marsha. I had listened to her for months now about her dating relationship with Scott and how she could not stand some of his hurtful patterns. And I was getting both concerned and tired of her denial of the kind of person that he really was. I began to push her. So she decided to do it. She called him and broke it off. As expected, he went crazy and showed up at her door begging for her to not go through with it. There were all sorts of promises of change and the usual things that people in denial say when threatened with loss of love. But she held her ground. At least for a day.

Two days later, Marsha called and canceled her next appointment. I called her back and found out the truth. She had gone back to Scott and was ashamed to tell me. I told her to come in anyway so we could talk about it.

As Marsha talked, I felt for her. She described the depression and aloneness that she went into when she broke it off and...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.