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When Anger Separates Family Members

Here’s How to Reconnect

Do you have a family member you no longer see or talk to? It could be a brother, sister, grown child, cousin, parent, in-law, aunt or uncle. Maybe it was something he/she said or something you did, but no matter the cause, there is a sense of loss.  Read more

The Good, Bad & Ugly of Marriage Counselors

Three Dangers in Marriage Counseling

#2   The Counselor is not Confident 

Why is this important?  Because you need someone who is not only competent but also someone who is confident.

1.  Confident in Themselves

Obviously, you don’t want to seek a counselor that is filled with conceit, but confident enough to speak directly to each of the participants and call people out when necessary.  Some counselors agree with everything to pacify or not upset the couple.  You sit there for fifty-five minutes and  basically the counselor listens and ask questions,  but they don’t give advice. Really? Clients are paying counselors to help them identify and resolve conflict.

I’ve heard couples repeatedly tell me, they tried counseling but their counselor would make impractical statements, “Well, I see your point” or “Hmmmm, that’s a good idea.”  I have several couples whom have tremendous issues with  borderline personality disorder. Understanding this illness takes certified medical professionals and a trained, certified counselor who is confident and specializes in identifying the root cause that has manifested into the personality disorder.

For example, in my practice, I see men that may be extremely manipulative, and the women may react with an explosive behavior.  In other cases,  a husband could be passive and let his wife do whatever she wants, even if he doesn’t approve, he agrees to keep the peace in the family. I have a few women that are extremely frustrated with their husbands apathetic approach and lack of leadership, because of their narcissistic behavior and the need for everything to be all about them. Once, I had a client that played and wrestled with his wife when they were first married, to his surprise, she would turn into “Mr. Hyde” and became someone he didn’t recognize. After much mental abuse, years later they learned of her mental illness and the dual personalities that surfaced when she felt threatened. It took medical doctors, prescriptions and professional counseling to help the two of them identify the origin of her pain and help them heal from the past wounds. Without confidence in my specialty of counseling, I could have caused more harm and empty the bank book.

The outcome of counseling is having a professional that will name the action for what it is and spell it out. Someone who will provide advice and tell you when your behavior is right or wrong.  You are entrusting them to provide a safe place for the two of you to talk and be expose your vulnerability.  Your looking for a professional that is confident and willing to step in when one is hurting. It’s like a football game. How long would it last if the five “officials” simply nodded their heads and said, “Well that was a good play.” Couples need to be flagged from time to time and a counselor who is confident will do this.

2.  Confident in God’s Spirit

Find a counselor that is confident in God’s Spirit.  Jesus gave us another Comforter just like Himself.  This Spirit is described as a Wonderful Counselor.  In my practice, I pray with my couples as we begin so that God may send His Spirit to lead us into Truth and again as we close so His Spirit will give them Freedom.

Confidence in the Spirit means to place my trust in Him and rely on Him. As a confident counselor, I will show you keys to God’s principles and give you tools and scripture to keep you accountable as you walk daily with Him every day.  I ask for you to journal daily because every single person indwelt by God’s Spirit, will begin to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to them. This helps us both see where you’re at in your walk, what progress or back steps are taking place.  I can see what you need and when you need it. Every week, I experience the amazing miracle of Father’s Heart being poured out in someone’s life in a way that causes me to be in awe of Father’s Grace. I had one experience with a women who was struggling with several trials all at once. I had been praying for her during the week. At our next session, I asked her to open in prayer, and she cried her heart out with the exact prayers God had laid on my heart that week. What makes prayer and God’s Spirit in our lives so special is when we begin to hear on their own from the Shepherd Who loves us deeply.

3.  Confident in Your Future

When I meet couples, I see them through the eyes of Father’s Heart.  I see them as they can and will be.  It was Michael Angelo who quoted when asked, “How did you create David?” He simply replied, “I waited till I saw David in the rock and then cut away everything that wasn’t David.”

What a superb answer!  I know with great confidence where a couple can go.  I have walked many trails with many hurting couples.  I have seen the hazards and the shadows, the valley’s, the mountains and the still waters.  I KNOW where Jesus will lead us if the couple will allow God’s Spirit to take control and entrust their pain in my confidence. I have sat opposite ends with marriage couples who proclaim, “We can’t make it one more week, you’re our last shot.”

So confidently, we trust the Lord, run the race with endurance and go to work cutting away everything that doesn’t look like David. Working on the differences that separate your marriage and keep you from living in unity like God designed you to be.  Communication, conflict, temperaments, languages all become tools to chisel away. Horizontal living is not of Christ, but plugging into Christ we get charged and learn to live a future life Vertically with Him.

I am confidence in Him and in those that are willing to walk through the rough days ahead. In my practice, couples will look to me with my hand on the tiller of their boat and hear my voice, “We can do this,” “We will make it,” “We will work it out,” “Be patient, God’s not finished.”

Get a good coach.  Someone who is Competent, and Confident.

Winners use Coaches

Dr.J

 

She shall be called “Eve”

Recently God has been speaking to my spirit, wrestling with me, deep in my heart.  It began with the review of a new book called Eve.  I am very suspicious of the author because though he writes with such flowing emotion the reader passes by the stop signs of his deception.  I have read some of the trusted reviewers such as Tim Challies.  His review of Eve is not a good one.  (http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/eve)  Challies frankly dis-recommends the book, as a net loss.  It’s intellectual integrity is that poor.

However in the course of review Challies writes:

“…God, in his creative work, assigned separate roles to men and women. In God’s world no role is better or greater or higher than another, but each is critical to the story he is telling.   God tells us that God created men to take positions of leadership within the church and family, and for women to joyfully submit themselves to this leadership. In this way God provides a much fuller display of who he is and what he is like. His image is shown not in uniformity but in complementarity. After all, the relationships within the Trinity display this very same pattern of leadership and submission. What is ultimately at stake here is not the relationship of man to woman, but our understanding of God as he displays himself in our relationships.

This phrase struck me.  Hard, loud, unexpected.   With the cross reference of Ephesians 5.33 ringing in my marriage counseling heart.

“FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.  This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.  Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”

For some time I have been fascinated by the history of Adam and Eve.  Their Hebrew names are actually Ish and Ishaw.  I have been so deeply impressed with this knowledge that in creation Ishaw was pulled from Ish.  She was not created from mud, she was shaped from flesh.  Negev Ezer, Father calls her.  A completing rescuer.  Yes Jerry MaGuire you were right, “You complete me.”  A woman is given a sense of beauty by Father’s Hands, a sense of beauty that draws the heart and the eyes of man to her.  One flesh refers to their unity, sexually, emotionally, physically.  Father created them to be one.

In their origin they were complementary.  They functioned as a team, together, with precision synchronicity, decisions were made, actions were undertaken, goals were achieved.  There was no conflict.  They were like Father and Son and Spirit.  It must have been just magic to watch them caring for each other’s needs, helping each others tasks.  She was his rescuer, his compliment.  He was strength and agility.  She was beauty and feeling.

The discussions they may have had,  “Oh I didn’t see that Ishaw, thank you”.  “I couldn’t have done that my Ish”.  So they named the animals, they tended Father’s Garden.  And they walk and talked with Father’s Presence.

Until it happened.  Yes we know about the fall, the sin.  But what has begun to shout so loudly at me is not the obvious consequences of this fall.

  • For the first time they knew fear.  “I heard you and I was afraid”
  • For the first time they knew shame.  “for I was naked”
  • For the first time they saw an animal killed in front of them.  “The Lord God clothed them in skins”
  • For the first time they played the blame game.  “The woman… YOU gave me”  “The serpent deceived…”
  • For the first time they were now at war.  “I will place an enimity between…”

But a deeper look.  A more tearing injury, not just in skin, but in the flesh of the relationship.  Man carried the curse of the decision as God said the ground was cursed.  No matter what a man may do, for most of us anyway, it just never really works out all that well.  The labor of our hands is cursed.

But the woman.  “I will greatly multiply, your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”  She is the key to the relational magnet.  She was from the beginning and she still is.  But now there is desire.  She always wants relationship.  She knows deep inside relationships are important.  They are eternal.  Man is busy trying to figure out thorns and weeds and ground.  She gives LIFE.

But before the complimentary hearts working synchronically is gone,  she deceives him and he blames her.  For the first time in this God reflecting unity there is something never felt before.  Betrayal.

Ish and Ishaw.  That’s what they used to be called.  Then something happens.  We skip right over it.  We are so accustomed to it.  The Man changes her name.  “you shall be called Eve because you are the mother of all living”.  Really?  We see it as a simple name but it is not.  For this man has reduced this woman to an animal.  HE NAMES HER.  I couldn’t believe it.  There it was.  What arrogance.

Two huge lessons here.  1) Ish was called to love and serve and protect and nurture and present her in beauty as the holy and blameless gift she was, back to God.  She was his precious gift.  Now she is just another thing.  Man now leads by power and control, by strength, by overpowering.  Yeah, it’s called abuse.  Men, allow God to call you back to Eden.  See the truth in the original blueprint.  Walk that out with your wife.  It doesn’t matter if you are angry, irritated, frustrated…. yes here is the word: resentment.

Ladies.  Become Ishaw again.  Now in this world you are taught to dis-regard, dis-respect, dis-approve.  “I’m gonna kick him to the curb”.  “I’m tired of trying”, “I can’t put up with this any longer”.  You aren’t called to that.  You are his negev ezer.  You complete him and you rescue him.

Why is it important?  “Because the mystery is great, I am speaking of Christ and the Church”   What is ultimately at stake here is not the relationship of man to woman, but our understanding of God as he displays himself in our relationships.

God is seen in our marriages.  point blank.  But as a counselor, I just see such a sadness.  Father’s Great Sadness.  That which was created in beauty has been reduced to chaos.

So here’s the lesson.  Do it different.  Do it according to design.  YOU BE DIFFERENT.  Make your marriage different.  Live like Ish or Ishaw.  Stop pointing fingers.

  1. PRAY for each other.
  2. PLAY your positions, find value in your role.
  3. PAY the price of success.  It isn’t easy.  Reject the Chaos and pay the price of success.  It’ll cost you…your ego.  Ask Father for help.  Get a mentor.  Work together.  Let Father show you your self agenda.  Become the complimentary team you were meant to be.  Get rid of the hardened heart.  Embrace hope.  You may be two people in wheel chairs emotionally but learn to help each other from the chair.

Lean Together in 2015

Scripture: Psalm 9:9 -11 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you”.
Thought: About 10 years ago, I stopped making “New Year Resolutions” because they never worked for me and never lasted past January, that’s if I was good. So instead, I started asking God to teach me about His character; the Fruit of His Spirit. (1 Corinthians 13) My New Year resolution was to be more Christ minded. I would take one word that describes Jesus and ask God to give me strength to PUT HIM FIRST. Last year I asked my Father God to show me what His Love really is. Prior to this prayer, I had so many expectations and disappointments when I tried unconditional love on my own, but when I trusted God to show me His love, I was putting Him First daily. This year my resolution prayer is for me to learn how to love God unconditionally. He showed me His love first and now I want to learn to love Him like He loves me. Following Christ is not easy; in fact this prayer is scary to me but I hold onto God’s promise that he will not abandon me. I relate this kind of love, giving and receiving to the only I kind of love I have humanly learned, and this is with my husband. I have no fear of sharing my failures with him. We lean together as we committed in our wedding vows. We lean together with Our Heavenly Father to take over and show of His way to the truth and life; both personally and in our marriage.
Action: A promise to a new beginning. God promises to redeem all events of our lives for our good if we look to Him. Romans 8:28. Love covers it all. The daily stresses on marriages, the most difficult situations and decisions. Put God First and make Him the source of your love. Hand in hand you can face the best and the worst that life offers. Lean together with your spouse in 2015 and watch the transformation God is going to do in fulfillment of His promise to you.
Prayer: Lord, it’s not about me. I pray that you will guard me against temptation and situations that can kill my marriage. Please give me courage and strength to lean together with you in 2015. Remind me to Put You First in every morning.