You are the son of a kind, strong, and engaged Father, a Father wise enough to guide you in the Way, generous enough to provide for your journey, offering to walk with you every step.
This is perhaps the hardest thing for us to believe—really believe, down deep in our hearts, so that it changes us forever, changes the way we approach each day.
--John Eldredge, Fathered by God
Have been thinking a lot lately about the difficulties men face these days, as they struggle in the most important parts of their lives: key relationships, work, and discovering their purpose in life. Eldredge has written many books for men. In Fathered by God, he aims to help men “learn what your Dad could never teach you.”
How does a man learn such things? Who coaches him in the manly arts that he needs for success in life’s many adventures? Is he supposed to discover, on his own, his purpose, his significance? How is he to know how to win the love of a woman… how to be a loving Dad to children… how to deal with challenges he’s never faced before? How to live, really live, his life to the fullest?
Tell me your thoughts. I’ll share some of mine.
For the dear person who recently wrote about deep emotional pain, please know that meeting with another person, whether a pastor or a counselor, can be helpful. If you would like to contact me, please email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call my office and schedule a first session or a brief phone call, to get in touch. Taking that first step is difficult but can help to turn things around. The office number is 425 939-1490. I look forward to hearing from you.
Live with your wife according to knowledge
(with understanding). –1 Peter 3:7
“When you do this, I want to leave.…”
She stood before me, clearly wanting to tell me something very important. My steady gaze moved from her gorgeous eyes to her hand, which she held out before me, clenched into a palm-down, claw-like shape.
“When you do this, I want to leave.…”
Then her fingers relaxed as she turned her palm upward, slightly cupped, in an inviting manner.
“When you do this, I want to come to you.”
Of course, I had never tried to “claw” her. I’ve loved the woman and would never try to control or possess her! She knew differently.
Control is destructive in relationships. One therapist, popular when I was training to do the work, said that all relationships are power struggles-- that all people strive to be "in control" of their relationships.
I rejected that idea. Until I saw that people tend to struggle in their closest relationships. It seems to be a part of human nature to strive to dominate others, passively or aggressively.
Power struggles lead to resentments. Grudges, held onto over time, develop like weeds in the garden of relationship. Ugliness grows in the "heart" of a person, stealing joy and nourishing bitterness, distrust, and torment of the soul.
The healthiest relationships work together to resolve problems, because what we really want with each other is intimacy.
We must learn to forgive, with God's help, to be free to truly love each other.
Unforgiveness is like choosing to live in a prison of our own making. (See Matthew 18:21-35.)
But we were created for loving relationship.
I treasure my beautiful wife and incredible
family. I greatly enjoy our life together in the
+ anxiety and stress
+ depression, grief and loss
+ men's issues (including sexual addiction)
+ emotional wounds from the past
+ broken relationships
+ marriage conflict
See more about me at http://cedarparkcounseling.org/about/phil/
Stress and crushing pressures threaten you like wild, whitewater torrents slamming a lone kayaker, pounding from every direction, forcing you where you’d rather not go… and you feel panicked and overwhelmed by the turbulence, racing “downriver” in uncontrolled, deadly, pounding of fear and desperation….
Does life feel like that? Even for people of faith, life pushes and shoves in multiple, contradictory directions:
· “Do more of this [fill in the blank—read, fast, pray, serve, study, whatever] to be closer to God.”
· “Let go, and let God.”
· “Pray like it all depends on God; work like it all depends on you.”
But running in many directions brings confusion, frustration, and distance from The Lover of your soul. A frantic relationship with God is not relationship.
How about simplifying your life?
Consider Enjoying your Creator. See God as your Intimate Friend, loving you at the deepest, most personal level. He is also your Awesome Leader, guiding, teaching and empowering you to experience a meaningful life.
So how do you connect to an unseen God? Go to Jesus, who said, “Learn of Me” (Matthew 11:29). His words show us the way to intimacy with God:
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (vs. 28-30, New Living Translation).
A pressured life is not about intimacy. Ask yourself at any time, “Am I enjoying God?” Then continually receive a blessing as your spirit, rooted in Him, releases heavy burdens and finds rest in the “light burden” of intimacy with God.
Posted (at another site) on March 23, 2012
Today’s word is not “Adventure.”
I started this blog to help me return to something I love but too often avoid– my writing craft. In a previous season of life, I was a writer/editor, pounding out column inches and striving for print perfection, putting out employers’ magazines, journals, newsletters and other publications. Deadline pressure killed the joy in it for me, so I retrained to be a counselor. It’s all about communication. The change of profession has been good for me (and hopefully for others), as resolving relationship problems and healing emotionally wounded people (we’ve all been wounded) became the work of my life.
On the way to maturity as a therapist (on that “road” for more than 25 years), I learned that urging broken people to discover their Adventures is not as helpful or healing as equipping them to resolve fears, overcome loneliness, and accomplish “being listened to” by their most significant person(s). (See books by Paul Tournier: The Meaning of Persons and The Healing of Persons.) Helping relationships become intimate in every way is joyful work… and blessed by God.
I have writing projects in mind. What do you think of Healing Your Marriage before It Dies as a working topic?