One of my two, too many, jobs as a LPC Intern is being a group facilitator for a battering intervention prevention program (BIPP). With that being said, I work with men and women who have battered their intimate partner/family member. I love facilitating these individuals, because they provide insight into why someone would hurt their loved one. Most of the time, it is what was taught to them by their parents. In the group, we examine two wheels: power and control and equality. Most of the group members report that they find the group helpful in knowing that they are not alone, there are alternative choices than violence and that they are not judged as a bad person due to their frowned upon behaviors. The hardest discussion to have with these group members is the effect that domestic violence has on their children. After all, children follow the saying “monkey see, monkey do”. So, when I watched this video of these children rejecting the request to slap a woman, I felt lighthearted! There is still good in this world and these young men proved it. Watch this short clip and tell me what you think and feel about our next generation!
Are we performing more efficiently when we multitask? The American culture tends to value fitting as much “production/ performance” into a unit of time as possible assuming that we are in essence multiplying the effects of the time spent. The result of this endeavor is having our attention and focus divided. We have lost the art of being present in the moment in our work and personal lives. Even something as simple as doing the dishes can be a better experience if we are practicing being mindful in the moment.
Have you ever planned for something and/or envisioned something only to find obstacle after obstacle hindering you from achieving the ultimate end result? I recently encountered such an issue…the light at the end of the tunnel was very dim. Despite it all I continued to have faith and hope that I would eventually accomplish my goal if it was in God’s plan. What I anticipated on take 8 weeks max, turned into almost 8 months. I continued to pray and ask God for guidance. I began to ponder if I was indeed following the path God has for me or if I had ventured off in the wrong direction. I will say that prayer changes things. After affirming my path…..I became persistent and used connections I had to help achieve my desired outcome. I am now in phase 2 of this dream because I refused to let it die…..I believe the words of Langston Hughes say it best:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Which will you choose?
It is so easy to point out the faults of our spouse. We can easily come up with a list of things that bother us about them: He does not help with chores, is inconsiderate, doesn’t listen, leaves dirty dishes everywhere, watches too much tv, and the list goes on. Same for vice versa: she doesn’t cook or clean, she always has an excuse why she doesn’t want to have sex, she let herself go, she doesn’t respect me, and so on. Can you relate to any of these complaints?
I want to challenge you to instead of focusing on your spouse’s shortcomings, ask yourself: “Am I who they need me to be?” Start by being the right spouse and see what happens. When we are so busy pointing the finger at our spouse we cannot step back and see our own shortcomings. If you were married to you what would that look like? What would your complain list look like? Try changing you first, and I think you will be surprised at the change you will see in your spouse as a result of you shifting the focus off of them and onto you.
Is there an elephant in your relationship? You’ve noticed an agonizing difference between the two of you that is the size of an elephant! Maybe you know what the elephant is but you don’t know how to fix it. Perhaps you don’t know what the elephant is but you want to fix it. The elephant can become bigger and bigger if not addressed, creating more and more distance between you and your love. No matter what color your elephant is – sex, infidelity, children, intimacy, communication, trust, finances – we can help you kick out the elephant in your relationship. Come see us!
Are you in a marriage where your spouse has either walked away from the Lord or never knew him? I was the unbelieving partner when I first met my husband. So how did I get to the point where I am now? Today, I love the Lord with all of my heart, soul, and mind. I know that prayer had a lot to do with it. Let me explain. The awesome thing about God is that we have access to him through Christ. Scripture tells us that if we ask it shall be given to us (Matthew 7:7) and if we ask in His name He will do it for us (John 14:14). When you pray believe that God will answer you because the Bible says that whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them (Mark 11:24). You should also give thanks to God for hearing and answering your prayers. Pray that the Lord will help you to be an uplifting example for your spouse. Ask God to give you “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16 & Philippians 2:5) so that your actions will represent the Lord and your influence will be a holy one.
Remember that Peter instructed Christian wives to witness to their unbelieving husbands through their righteous lifestyle and behavior (1 Peter 3:1-4). This can be said vice versa. We all try to take our spouse and put them in a box that they don’t always fit in like trying to fit a square into a circle, failing to realize that the only one who can change them is God. Forcing Christ on someone will never cause them to give their lives to Him, but praying for them and being the example of love that represents Christ will. I knew that my husband prayed for me. He also witnessed to me by representing what it meant to be a man of God. It was the presence of the Holy Spirit that drew me close to Christ through my husband, and made me the wife I am today. If you are praying for your spouse to please you and make you happy, try praying for your spouse to please God and watch what happens. The most precious gift you can give someone you love is the prayer that God will draw them close to Him. As you continue to pray without ceasing for your spouse also become a true representative of Christ. It is the love of Christ that draws men to Him.