Guarding Your Heart in Your Marriage – Part 3

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An Affair: 'The Beginning of the End' The fatal blow to any marriage is an adulterous affair where one or both spouses think they "finally found his/her soul mate." by Cheryl Scruggs The fatal blow to any marriage is an adulterous affair where one or both spouses think they "finally found his/her soul mate." Once convinced that he/she married the wrong person or that God put someone new in his/her life, the idea of divorce can take root and grow. Blinded by the

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When We Believe Suffering’s Lies

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Suffering is simply the difficulty in life that we experience which is not the result of our personal sin.  It is the fall out of living in a broken world with fallen people. One problem (among many) with suffering is that it is such an intense experience. It is the epitome of “UNFAIR!”  While we are wrestling with what to say and do in the midst of what should not be, we miss the messages that we are learning. 

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Psalm 107:15-16 – Give Thanks!

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When I began this series, I certainly didn't plan that I would end this week, but how fitting a tribute to the God we serve!  I tell everyone who'll listen that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  An argument could be made--indeed, was made by more than a few Puritans--that it may be the only holiday Christians can observe that is not implicitly forbidden in Scripture.  That aside, in my mind, it is the only holiday 

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Walking With Your People

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I don’t know about you, but I sometimes really blow it when it comes to listening well. I am too up in my head about what I want to say in response to really hear the other person’s heart. In thirty years of counseling and fifteen years of marriage here is what I’ve have learned:

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Let’s Not Call it Abuse

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Samantha had high hopes that something might change after she got an appointment with a Biblical counselor at her church.  She had hoped that her counselor would stand with her and be her advocate.  When she began to describe what was happening in her home, her counselor carefully listened to everything she told him.

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5 GRACE Biblical Counseling Skills: Part 3

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Note: Developed from Spiritual Friends. Spiritual Friends is part of the ABC’s biblical counseling curriculum and the ABC’s certification process. In Spiritual Friends you learn how to develop twenty-two biblical counseling relational competencies. This is the third in a ten-part ABC series. In this blog series, we’re learning five biblical counseling and one-another skills by using the acronym GRACE. ·         G—Grace Connecting: Proverbs 27:6 ·         R—Rich Soul Empathizing: Romans 12:15 ·         A—Accurate/Active Spiritual Listening: John 2:23-4:43

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The Deceitfulness of Self-Hatred

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I was speaking at a large women’s event in Texas. During the break, a woman asked if she could speak with me. “I need to know if there is hope for me,” she asked.  “I’m a narcissist and from what I’ve read on-line, there is little hope for me to ever get better.”

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The Gospel Cure

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Upon brief reflection it’s easy to see that the remedy du jour for treating depression solely with medication is based upon very specific assumptions: that its genesis is always within the body (primarily the brain) and that we do not have an inner, invisible mind that directs brain activity. If that is true, then anesthetizing uncomfortable feelings is the wisest choice. However, if Scripture teaches something different, specifically that we have both a brain and a mind (or inner man), then categorizing depression solely as a dysfunction of the brain and turning to medicine first (thereby silencing the emotional voice of the mind) will unavoidably impede the important heart-work that God-ordained suffering is meant to produce.

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Something Good Theology

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One of my favorite movies is The Sound of Music. Between the handsome Christopher Plummer and the perky, immensely talented Julie Andrews—and a sound track filled with some of the best music around—it’s hard not to like it. As a young girl, I particularly enjoyed watching Captain Von Trapp and Sister Maria discover their love for each other and thinking, “Wow! How romantic!”  Here are some of the lyrics she sang to him,

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Forgive and Forget: Is this the Christian Way of Marriage?

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If you have counseled for any length of time I am sure you have had to wrestle with the topic of forgiveness.  A spouse who has committed adultery, a parent who has abandoned a child, a friend who has failed to keep commitments, a boss who has taken advantage, or a rebellious teenager who refuses to obey are all typical in a counseling situation, and demand careful consideration of forgiveness. 

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