We all carry relational wounds. So we go through life with a skewed definition of love. Our actions are often a far cry from true love. The truth is, we may be trying to “love” the other in an attempt to satisfy our “need” for the other.
When we act out of enmeshment and codependency, we may think we are experiencing love, but it’s a shallow substitute for the love God longs for us to experience and enjoy. True love, on the other hand, moves us from a place of saying, “I want to do something for you because it meets my needs” to “I want to do something for you because I love you.”Read More
My first thought is: please don’t quit. Every teacher I have spoken with has felt unprecedented burdens during this pandemic season. New, glitchy technology. Students whose attention wavers. No dynamic, live student participation. More work, which doesn’t seem to have much fruitful effect.
And instrumental music teachers experience all this more intensely. You tend to have more hands-on involvement in your classroom, and that has been gutted. Everything you try will fall short of your expectations.
Here are a few thoughts about God’s words to you.Read More
Have you ever wondered, “Do fathers matter? What differences do I make in my home as a dad?” Let’s begin with the simple answer — the importance of a father is tremendous! You make countless differences in your home and family. However, how much impact you decide to make as a dad is entirely up to you!
When was the last time you genuinely or playfully smiled at your children? When was the last time you gave your kids affirmation, correction, and reassurance? If you haven’t recently, do it now and see what happens. What did you notice? Did your child light up or smile back? Did your child respond and shift behaviors?Read More
In over thirty years of counseling, I have come to believe that godly friends are invaluable in providing wise care. That’s why I often ask counselees to invite a friend into the process. More importantly, the Bible is clear that one of the sweetest things about friendship is the counsel of someone who knows us and cares for us well (Prov. 27:9). But perhaps you feel intimidated or inadequate to help counsel your friends. Most of us have no professional training, no degrees in soul care. Maybe you aren’t even feeling all that put together and wonder what business you have giving anyone counsel?Read More
You may have clients who complain about their spouse’s excessive use of technology and social media and how it interferes negatively with their marital relationship. We know that married couples enter counseling for a variety of reasons, and yes, poor communication, which leads to an escalation of conflict, is indeed among the top reasons. You may have helped couples deal with more complicated situations, such as affairs, pornography, or some other types of addictions. Interestingly, many couples have faced high levels of conflict and low levels of marital satisfaction due to the negative impact of their technology and social media use.Read More
“I’m bored.” These are loaded words.
“Only boring people get bored.”
I think my wife and I tried that motto at one point with our children when they were young, but it was an ineffective and, yes, a boring response to their boredom. So we began to consider the phenomenon more carefully. I even took a look at the definitive academic work on boredom, Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind, by Patricia Spacks (1995), which wasn’t boring.Read More
A rainbow, a tube of toothpaste, a holiday dinner — how can these ordinary things be used to teach kids about the Bible? They can all be used to illustrate a “teachable moment.” The teachable-moment method of faith building enlightens your children about God in a way that captures their attention and changes their lives. No lectures. No manuals. No rolling of the eyes. No kidding!
Your children will learn biblical principles that they’ll never forget.Read More
As a kid, I loved making things: normal things like mud pies and daisy chains—and weird things like paintbrushes made from twigs and dog hair. Naturally, as I learned about God, I wanted to make Him something. Based on the Bible smarts of a five-year-old, I knew that He was big and that He (or at least Jesus) was a man. So, I strung together all my blue and green beads into a giant ring—hopefully big enough to fit His pinkie finger. In a childlike act of worship, I made a gift for God.Read More
In contemplating that leadership challenge, why turn to those four verses? The first, from James, is a reminder that claiming something — or saying — is not enough; there must be quantifiable action — or doing — to validate the claim. The second, from Peter, reminds me that leading is, first, a following. The third, from Paul, is a reminder of the responsibility to lead followers well. And, lastly, from Jesus, I am reminded of the impossible task of leadership perfection.Read More
This morning I heard on the radio that a 50-year-old man had been found dead in his apartment. That news was sad enough, but what made it even more tragic was that he had been dead for three years. Three years! For some of us, that news report expressed our greatest fear—dying alone and forgotten. But though dying alone may rouse the greatest manifestation of this fear, the fear of being alone takes many forms and is not limited to later in life. It can start much earlier.Read More