A small boy was on a bus on his way home from Sunday school. The day was warm. The windows were open. The boy had received a motto on a card, “Have Faith in God.” As the wind swept through the bus, his card went flying out the window. He shouted, “Stop the Bus! My faith in God just went out the window.” — Faith That Works by Morris L. Venden
When the winds blow and knocks over your life, and the rain comes pouring down in your marriage, and the lightning strikes with a coworker, does your faith in God blow out the window? Someone once told me that crises and difficulties in life means you are in character college, earning your degree in Faith. Crises in life can be challenging and discouraging, a time when our faith can be shaken. Don’t let your faith go out the window. Talk to God about your despair and surround yourself with people who will encourage you in your faith walk.
I have had the privilege to attend a Bible Conference for the last month called Journey to Joy. The Pastor remarked that in God’s infinite wisdom He gave all of us two ears and one mouth. However, we tend to use our mouths to be understood instead of our ears to gain understanding. Imagine how different our marriages would be if we used our two ears to listen more than our one mouth to ensure that our partner understands our feelings? How affirmed our children would feel if we listened with our ears to their ideas and thoughts, instead of using our mouths to tell them how to think and feel? How would our friendships change if we used our two ears to empathize with a friend’s pain, instead of our mouths to spread their pain to others’ ears? This week, let’s try to exercise our two ears more than our one mouth and see what changes we observe in our relationships with others.
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!
Everyone has needs in a relationship. If you or your partner feels unfulfilled in your relationship, it could be that you aren’t meeting each others’ needs. Just realizing that your partner has needs, and that they really do need to be filled can help you identify where you can work on your relationship.
Dr. Willard Harley, Jr. suggests these ten needs that every one has:
1. Sexual Fulfillment
2. Recreational Companionship
3. An Attractive Spouse
4. Domestic Support
8. Honesty and Openness
9. Financial Commitment
10. Family Commitment
Look at the list and put the in order so that the ones most important to you come first. Then have your partner do the same. Compare lists with your partner. Are you surprised? Maybe you honestly didn’t realize how important it is to him that you play tennis with him. Have you been getting your needs met outside the relationship? Is that friend at work just such a better listener than your spouse? By being the one to meet your partners needs, you can help keep your relationship safe from affairs.
To read more, check out His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. Willard Harley, Jr. in our Amazon Store.
Melissa is currently a Masters of Family Therapy student at Texas Woman’s University supervised by Megan R. Lee, LPC-S. She graduated from Hiram College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. She is scheduled to graduate with her Master’s Degree in August, 2014.
Most people want to be good parents. But what makes a “good” parent? No rules? Lots of rules? Experts identify three parenting styles:
Authoritarian parenting or a “brick wall” family:
Authoritarian parents have an attitude of “my way or the highway.” The benefit of this style of parenting is that the kids have structure and know what to expect. The downside is that there is little communication between parents and children and the kids may rebel strongly at some point. This type of family may become abusive and find themselves in a power struggle.