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Category Archives: Family

TEN PARENTING PRINCIPLES (I wish I always practiced)

Several years ago, when our kids were small, Margie and I sat down and came up with what would eventually become our guiding principles for raising our kids and developing a sense of family in our home. These are ten of those principles that have been a huge help to us…. maybe they would benefit you and your family as well… ENJOY!

1. Copywritten (sorry) ooops!

2. CORRECTION versus CRITICISM “Death Spiral” – Like most people, when a teenager is wounded they will wound someone else. They will look for a way to get back at the offender (parent). That creates a stiffening of the relationship and a sparring with my teen. The child is hurt so they hurt the parent , who sees disrespect and comes down even harder on the child….who sees the stiffer punishment and finds ways to wound… keeping the death spiral alive….

  • Jeremiah 10: 24:Correct me, Lord, but only with justice— not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing.
  • James 2: 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,

3. CONTROL.  No one likes to be controlled. Including teens. My kids don’t like friends who do it, they run from teachers who do it and they rebel against us when we do it. That puts us in a tough spot. We want to lead with freedom not control. Good behavior gets freedom, poor behavior gets confinement. Can I go to the movie’s?  Response: “are you free to go” (have you completed the task given to you?, Is the movie suitable according to the standards of the family?) Can I have friends over? (are your responsibilities done)

4. MAKE YOUR HOME “BASE”. For those of you that grew up playing outside (without video games, cell phones or internet) you may remember a great game called “Kick the Can”. (at least it was great in my Tulsa, Ok neighborhood in 1977)  It is like a lot of “tag” games in that the object is to avoid getting “tagged” by the person who is “IT” while at the same time trying to “kick the stationary can” that he is protecting. To add to the fun there is a designated “base”. It may be a tree, a shrub or a fence but as long as you are on “base”  you cannot be “tagged” or disqualified from the game….you are safe! While “on base” you could relax, catch your breath, work on “strategy” and prepare to re-engage the game etc….

That is a perfect picture of what a home needs to be for teenagers….a “base”.  Safe emotionally, physically and spiritually.   A Sanctuary – I have spoken/written on this a lot. The world is putting our kids into a vice and squeezing them. Any teenager that wants to “walk with the Lord” is going to have to resist a lot of pressure. But like any of us, they cannot resist 24/7!  They need a place where they can be free from pressure, undeserved criticism and sarcasm. Your home should be a “sanctuary”.

Practical:

a. RARELY CORRECT YOUR KIDS IN FRONT OF THEIR FRIENDS (except for extreme cases). They should get to be “in charge” (socially)  and the center of attention in their own home. Unless something is dangerous, immoral or blatantly disrespectful…let em do it. “Wear their butts out” away from their friends but “tearing them down” is what the world is doing to them. We are the builders. We cannot use embarrassment as a means of controlling our kids except in extreme situations.

b. REMEMBER WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE A TEENAGER. Insecurities, silly ideas, crushes, zits…. then show the same compassion for your own kids as you would for that guest from out-of-town who is struggling.

5.”WIN THEIR HEARTS AND THEIR BEHAVIOR WILL (usually) FOLLOW – While I know that we are our kid’s parents first and their friend 2nd, (especially when they are young), somewhere in their early teens a very cool things takes place: You get to talk to them like a real live person! A dialogue instead of monologue. Actually sharing ideas instead of solely instructing. It may happen once and then not again for a while…but then it happens again. Before you know it you are having validating, important life changing discussions with an intelligent viable teenager….almost like a friendship!

I’m not talking about getting my kids to like us….. I’m talking about respecting our teenager’s gifts, personality, bent, etc….  We are beginning to make the turn from instructor and role model to confidant and role model. (yea, ya never really lose the whole role model thing). If we never make this transition we will frustrate our teenager and (opinion) stunt their growth. I was a teenager once…

6. NOT ALL TIME IS THE SAME TIME ….. some time is “instructional”(learning opportunities), some time is relaxing (Elvis movies with friends), some time is correctional (hun, you really have a blind-spot here that I want to help you through it) and some time is relational (what is God doing in your Life…if anything?, what boys do you like? Who do you think is cute?)

7. “TALK” WHEN THEY WANT TO “TALK” – scheduling time to talk is very difficult. It can feel forced and canned etc…. but God seems to bring our kids around to a time when they want to share stuff with us. That usually means (especially in the summer) that Margie or I (usually her) will have to stay up with them till they go to bed. What is it about teenage girls that wants to talk after midnight?   (for you control freaks I would challenge the notion that making a 17-year-old go to bed at 10pm is a good idea 🙂 )

8. MY KIDS WILL “LOOK LIKE ME” IN WAYS I DONT INTEND. They will become who I am in every area of life. Mannerisms, sarcasm, anger, humility, pride, devotion to the Lord,  etc….   Jerry and Mary Royal say it best: “They will follow WHO I AM before the follow WHAT I SAY”. My child has a problem with authority? ….hmmmm.  My child wrestles with worry and fear….hmmmm.  My child does not walk closely with the Lord?…. well… you get it.

9. TRY TO GET TO KNOW “THEIR WORLD” – Most teens in my kid’s world have cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, IMing, text messaging, Skyping, ….. blah blah blah. I won’t fight it because it is just a “hill I refuse to die on” and I’d rather help em manage it with me than learn without me. (I had a phone… a land line…that I hated talking on…I’m a guy)    Each form of communication has its own little language and etiquette. Get into what they are into and you may find that you and your teen can communicate well in the languages THEY most like to use. OMG you may find your son or daughter is your BFF!       lol

10. NEVER “PROTECT THE PICTURE”– At least once a week I am in the homes of folks who have visited our worship services or Life Groups. Over the years I have been in hundreds of homes and almost every one has pictures of family members. Some are simply school pics placed on the fridge with a magnate while others are ornate formal sittings. I’ve seen hunting pics, camping pics, skiing pics, Christmas pics,  prom pics, wedding pics, black and whites, beach pics, “Lady Godiva” pics (yikes), pics where the old boyfriend was torn out, and the list goes on…..  NOTHING WRONG WITH HAVING PICTURES OF FAMILY… I recommend it, endorse it, it is a great idea! They give a family a sense who they are or who they want to be. My house is covered with em!

Most families do their best to represent the family well when they are “out and about”… and they should.

THE PROBLEM: Many times the family picture of warm smiles and happy embraces is anything but an accurate reflection of what is actually going on in the home. Don’t misunderstand, all families have issues to deal with. However, I have watched families, especially folks who are in church (who feel some misplaced pressure to look and act a certain way), do all they can to “protect” the happy images represented in the pictures that hang on their walls…… while their family implodes.  After the damage has been done most say they were too embarrassed to seek help….

The problems associated with deceitfulness, control, anger, lust, apathy, abuse, money, depression, suspicion, mismanagement, hypocrisy, fear, idols etc……When the family becomes a dumping ground for these issues and all members are expected to ignore, cover up and act like the “pretty family” in the pictures…it causes immeasurable harm in the following ways…

1. teaches the kids to prioritize what others think vs. what God thinks. (Prov 29:25)

2. trains family members to be  (even bigger) hypocrites. (Matt 6:16)

3. “hard wires” family members, who may want to “walk authentically” with God, to hide their sin from Him. (Psalm 32:5)

4. builds resentment and distance between each other and those who want to get close to them. (kids future spouses)  (Job 5:2)

5. places mother and father is the positions of “chief liars” not Godly leaders. (Prov 19:22)

6. weaves the problems into the fabric of our homes and breed dysfunction as a way of life. (Hebrews 12:1)

7. developes a “mini-culture” of secret-sin that become almost a family treasure.

PRACTICAL:

Men: Deal with your own junk before you fix your family. How can you lead your family if you can’t lead yourself? Get real.

Women: Don’t worry as much about what others think. Do they really care about your family…. or how they rank next to your family?

Both: Love Jesus…. yea, I know, but it will radically change your family

 

The FBC Staff (For FBC Folks only) Best of repost…

The following post was written at beginning of 2010. We had just wrapped up our staff retreat and prepared to head home. My “wow” moment came when I looked around the room at the staff assembled.(and am blessed enough to be a part of). While Ben and Zack are not on staff with us anymore, Justin and Brady had their babies (so to speak) and Karen did indeed move with her family to the Metroplex… my sentiments remain exactly as they were 11 months ago….

January 15, 2010

I could not have been more proud to be part of the staff at First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls than I was this morning. As we wrapped up our staff retreat I looked around the room an was struck by the following thoughts…

Your staff is…..

VISIONARY – Our church was established about 130 years ago. In that time God has done amazing things. It seems that He has chosen to continue doing something special with us. He is allowing significant growth in attendance, depth and reach. As Pastor Bob mentioned last Sunday, we are exploring when to add an additional service, how best to help other churches in the area fulfill the great commission, and how to “wrap our arms around the community”.  Ya just don’t see that very often in a “big, old, downtown, Southern Baptist church”!

COMPETENT – every staff member personally reaches people for Christ. They also know how to recruit, train and motivate hundreds of volunteers to carry out ministry on a large-scale. To be on this staff you have to be able to do both.

UNIFIED – We are a very diverse staff. Chief has been at the church for 40+ years….Zack for 5 months.( Brandon Self, Associate Youth Pastor, stepped up after Zack’s departure and played a major role in revitalizing the Student Ministry in addition to serving as interim worship leader in the contemporary service) Sherrie is detailed and cautious (good thing too because she leads the children), Mike is outgoing and willing to take risks.  Karen (who leaves in May with her husbands transfer) has raised three awesome kids (Denise Roberts stepped in and continued the Preschool Ministry with the same high quality and excellence that Karen did… she even gave it a “tweek here and there” ) … Justin has their first child on the way. ( Lila-Kate is ridiculously cute and just started walking)  Rod is missions minded.  Brady is bent towards discipleship. (Drake was born a few weeks ago and mom and baby are doing great!) Lowell  is a “systems guy”.  Ben a worshipper…. etc. Under Bob’s leadership, we all prayed, laughed and dreamed …. “in one accord”.

MATURE – In the midst of “spirited debate” they show class and grace towards each other. Maturity is independent of age!

TOUGH – They have been tested by the demands of ministry. Many have faced criticism, doubters, loneliness, disappointment, unrealistic expectations, disillusionment, etc….All have been found faithful.  They are a tough bunch but have a soft heart for Jesus and His people.

Most importantly…THEY LOVE JESUS!   Man,  I wish you could have been at our prayer time this morning!  Humble, deep, seeking after God. No “professional Christians” in the room. Just folks that LOVE THE LORD!

Just wanted you to know!

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Family, Leadership

 

Wingmen Fall “Re-Cap”

As promised, here are the notes from November 17, 2010 Fall Wrap-Up of Wingmen Men’s Ministry at FBC in Wichita Falls. We kickoff again in January with our “DEEP IMPACT” SERIES.  (underlined and capitalized words were left blank during the message)  These are the main ideas behind each week’s lesson… enjoy!

WINGMEN FALL WRAP-UP

8/25   Week #1   “Dear Lord Destroy Me  (10 Qualities of a Man)

Isaiah 6:  God is usually bigger, holier, more fierce, gentler, and more aware than most of us UNDERSTAND

9/1     Week #2   “You Are NOT the Boss of Me”  (Authority)

 A man must understand and submit to the authority OVER him before he can understand and effectively wield the authority GIVEN him.

9/8     Week #3   “The Trouble with Men and Marriage

Everything in the home PIVOTS off of the man…if it doesn’t… then how can a man LEAD his family well. A man must be the servant-leader in his home.

9/15   Week #4   This Changes Everything (Forgiveness)

Forgiving others is THE MARK of a genuine faith in Christ. “Forgive as the Lord Forgave you”. Col. 3:13(c).

9/22   Week #5   A Father’s Gift(s) To His Family

A father holds the power to BLESS or CURSE his family…which will you choose?    2 Timothy 1  Paul Blesses Timothy

9/29   Week #6   Making Jesus Lord of My Home (J. Turner)

The husband and wife raise their family in a home where Jesus Christ is the FOCUS and MAIN  IDEA in the home.

 10/6  Week #7    Reminders from the “POINTMAN”

When the Enemy wants to DESTROY the home He focuses on the MAN!

10/13 Week #8   “GOD, LOVE, SEX”

God made SEX to unite a HUSBAND and WIFE together. It is one of the KEY ways He intends to increase protection, commitment, fulfillment in the marriage relationship. (oh yea, and of course “monkey love”)  Genesis 2:24, I Corinthians 7:2,5

10/20 Week #9   Lessons from a Fallen King, Pt.1

David would have NEVER given more than a FLEETING THOUGHT to Bathsheba had he understood the SHATTERING RESULTS of his sin.  2 Samuel 11

10/ 27 Week #10          Lessons from a Fallen King, Pt. 2

A man must get to the place in his fight with sin that he declares “THAT IS ALL I CAN STAND, I CAN’T STAND NO MORE!!!!!   Establish HEDGES before you are ever in the situation.

11/3   Week #11 Learning to Lead Like Jesus (Pastor Bob)

We copy a lot of good leaders…. It is time we learned from the BEST!

11/10 Week #12 He Said/She Said (Questions from Women)

We must live with our wives in “AN UNDERSTANDING WAY ”   1 Peter 7:7

11/17 Week #13 The Great Divide        

The greater the GAP in who we are PUBLICLY and who we are PRIVATELY, the greater the chance that we will FALLl.  (2 Tim. 3:5)

 

Questions from Women…Answers from Men (11-25)

More questions from the Woman’s Group (Conversations: Woman to Woman) that my wife and Kathy Drake taught this semester. These questions were presented to a panel of 5 men who were asked to answer and discuss their responses. It was 130 woman and the five of use guys…. wow!  (Brave guys) 


 


Questions 11-25



WHEN A WOMAN WEARS A LOW CUT DRESS OR SHORT SKIRT, DOES IT DISTRACT A MAN?  B. DO MEN LOOK WHEN THEIR WIFE IS NOT WATCHING?  C. DOES IT EXCITE MEN?


·         A. Yes. The problem is not with the “seeing” but with “looking”.  Seeing is inevitable for everyone. Looking involves a choice. The position a man should take is one of discipline…“I have made a covenant with my eyes that I may not sin against You” Job 31:1


·         B. Some men do…some men don’t.


·         C. So much depends on what is going on in the heart of the man. If a man sees a woman as an object and has trained himself to leer and think lustfully then yes it does excite him. If a man has trained his mind to be respectful and see a woman as valued and in a sisterly fashion then no.  


 


MY HUSBAND HAS CHEATED AND I HAVE PRAYED ABOUT THIS. BUT BECAUSE OF THIS, SEX HAS BEEN A BIG ISSUE.  SINCE THE BEING IN THIS CLASS, I HAVE OPENED UP A LOT IN OUR SEX LIFE WHICH I THOUGH WAS GREAT FOR US, BUT HE STILL GETS UPSET AND SAYS THAT IT IS NOT ENOUGH (times).  I AM TIRED AND DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO NOW.  I FEEL LOKE GIVING UP ALL OVER AGAIN.  ANY SUGGESTIONS?  


·         He needs to talk to a man who can give him some perspective. In other words, he lost his right to be disappointed in the bedroom when he cheated on you.


·         Also the physical relationship in a marriage is one of giving not taking. Both parties try to meet the needs wants of their spouse. It starts with his meeting your needs. (Security, respect etc)


·         It is for a man to “win his wife” not to demand, guilt or force her into anything she is not emotionally ready for. 


·         The fact that you can have sex with your husband after an affair is admirable and healthy. But healing must take place emotionally and spiritually before your life will get back to normal.


 


 


 


I TEND TO BE THE ONE WHO ALWAYS INTIATES SEX WITH MY HUSBAND.  WHAT CAN I DO TO GET HIM TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE? 


·         Express to him how much you desire and enjoy that part of your relationship.


·         If he ever was more aggressive, express how much you liked that (not guilting, just sharing)


·         Men fail to initiate for a lot of reasons… (no accusation here)


o   Fear of not satisfying their wife


o   Fear of critique from wife


o   Bad body image (not just a women’s issue)


o   Too much work, caffeine, stress


o   Poor sexual history


o   Pornography addiction


 


 


WHAT IF YOU DON’T LIKE YOUR HUSBAND’S FRIENDS AND WHERE THEY HANG OUT AT? (bars and clubs)


·         Ask yourself WHY you don’t like them?  Does he spend too much time with them, tell them too much etc…


·         He may need to get with some men who will encourage him to get out of the “bar and honor your wife”.


·         He may need some new friends.


·         When you marry your commitment is to a different lifestyle.


·         Do you have any friends who are healthy couples…..maybe that is the problem


·         I told the Wingmen… a man honors his wife as much when he IS NOT with her as he does when he IS with her. A married man who goes “clubbing” will find it difficult to honor his wife.


·         HOWEVER: Realize that if you met him in a club and expected him to stop going just because you got married (and did not discuss beforehand….then you are changing the rules). You still should do it but it may be more difficult for him to willingly go along until he gets it.


 


 


IN BIG, MAJOR DECISIONS, SUCH AS JOB LOCATION, CHURCH, HOME, # OF CHILDREN, VACATIONS ETC…  AND THE HUSBAND AND WIFE DO NOT AGREE, I KNOW IT IS GOD’S PLAN FOR ME TO SUBMIT BUT HOW CAN I RESPECTFULLY PRESENT MY OPINION TO HIM SO THAT IT WILL BE HEARD AND CONSIDERED?


·         Scripture says that a “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed”. Proverbs 15:22


·         I would offer that for a man to lead his family well it requires that he listen to his wife. Not necessarily follow her counsel all the time but certainly he should listen and weigh her thoughts.


·         It would be foolish for a man to proceed if his wife has strong reservations against the course he is choosing.


·         A man should understand that a woman has a different perspective and insight that could be very helpful….if he would just listen.


 


 


MY HUSBAND AND I WERE RAISED VERY DIFFERENTLY/PARENTED VERY DIFFERENTLY. HOW DO WE FIND COMMON GROUND ON HOW WE WANT TO PARENT OUR CHILDREN TOGETHER?


·         Never default to “it was how my parents raised me”. Talk about it before the “parenting situation arises. Decide how you want your kids to look.  Even the best parenting can be improved upon.


·         Start with the end in mind.


o   What do I want my kids to look like when they are 10, 12, 15, 20 3tc….in areas of;


§  faith


§  Integrity


§  Attitude


§  Morality


§   Etc…


o   Then ask yourself of how you are parenting will get you to the next phase (grade school, Jr High, HS, College etc…whatever is next)


o   Much of the problem has to do with “what you are going for” with your child as oppose “to how do we do it”


·         Make sure you have a clear chain of command. Who is actually in charge?


·         I encourage men to acquiesce to their wives in terms of day-to-day.


·         I encourage women to acquiesce to husbands in terms of discipline.


 


 


WHY IS SEX SO IMPORTANT TO YOU ALL?


·         Made that way…


·         To pursue YOU


·         To protect YOU


·         To be drawn to YOU


·         To stay with YOU


·         The draw of a satisfying and loving sexual relationship makes men strong and brave…don’t laugh…it is true. Socially strong, secure, masculine but not dominant.


 


 


 


WHY DIDN’T GOD MAKE MEN AND WOMEN WITH THE SAME SEXUAL DESIRES?


·         My thoughts (I think He did…they just look different)


o   A man want validation and closeness (so does a women)


o   A man wants intimacy and release (so does a woman)


o   A man wants a fulfilling physical relationship with his wife (so does the wife)


·         More to the intent of the question:


·         It plays perfectly into who we are.  Microwave/crockpot.


o   Forces men to be civil and learn to be gentle.


o   Forces women to be open and trusting.


o   If we were all like men we would never leave the bedroom


o   If we were all like women we would never leave the Mall (sorry, cheap shot)


 


 


WHY DO MEN HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME CONTROLLING THEIR ANGER?


·         It is easier to get angry than control ourselves


·         When we feel trapped we will often express frustration and/or anger


·         We often respond to circumstances we don’t like with anger


·         We are sinners


·         James 1:20 20for (A)the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.


 


 


HOW CAN I GET MY HUSBAND TO LISTEN MORE ACTIVELY WHEN I AM SPEAKING TO HIM?


·         Don’t catch him when the ball game is on


·         Sit in close and talk slowly in small words and simple sentences J


·         Ask for HIS opinion on whatever it is that you are telling him


·         Examine how you talk to him…any condescension? Etc…


 


NAME SOME WAYS A WIFE CAN LET HER HUSBAND KNOW HE IS VALUED AND RESPECTED.  WHAT SHOULD I AVOID SAYING OR DOING THAT COULD MAKE HIM FEEL OTHERWISE?


·         Ask his opinion


·         Follow his advice


·         Express appreciation for the things that he does (work hard etc)


·         Avoid: belittling, interrupting or usurping his Authority


 


MY HUSBAND REGULARLY ATTENDED A MEN’S BIBLE STUDY WITH A GROUP OF GODLY MEN. WHILE INVOLVED, HE STILL HAD AN AFFAIR.  ARE THESE BIBLE STUDIES JUST A THING TO DO OR IS THEIR ACCOUNTABILITY IN THESE GROUPS?


·         Some groups are social groups that talk about the ballgames and little else. Most groups (at FBC) are designed to encourage and support a man in his walk with the Lord.They work through issues and expect transparency, confidentiality and accountability.


·         HOWEVER


o   A Bible Study does not keep a man from cheating if he is determined to cheat.


o   Most of our lives are isolated by an intertwining of work (different people), church (different people) activities (different people) play (different people) that we have ample opportunity to stray without people knowing it.


o   Accountability only works when people are willingly accountable


o   Godly men can be completely unaware of a man’s secret sin….. just like his wife is….


 


 


I KNOW MY HUSBAND STRUGGLES WITH HIS THOUGHT LIFE (sexually).  HE HAS BEEN VERY HONEST WITH ME REGARDING THIS STRUGGLE.  THEREFORE I FEEL THAT I AM THE ONLY THING HE HAS ACCESS TO (morally that is) WHENEVER HE WANTS TO MAKE LOVE I FEEL USED!  HOW DO I GET OVER THIS?


·         You ARE designed to be his only outlet for sexual desire…whether he ever saw a “playboy” or not.


·         He has to express his desire for you for more than a release. He should be looking to meet your needs and not only his needs.


·         He will be the one who has to create ”safety” in your sex life…by giving, nurturing and understanding.


·         “Very Honest” probably means” too much info”.  (See previous question on accountability).


 


WHAT DOS IT TAKE TO GET A MAN TO “WANT” TO HELP WITH THE HOUSE< CHORES< KIDS ETC….. ?  EVERY TIME I NEED HELP AND ASK FOR IT, I SEEM TO BE GRIPING OR COMPLAINING TO HIM.


·         An act of God is required for a man to want to help around the house….kidding….kindaJ


·         When he helps…let him help HIS way. No critique, no correction etc…


o   Does it really matter that the dishes are not exactly where they are supposed to be?


o   Does it really matter that he folded the clothes differently that you do?


o   Does it really matter that the kids didn’t use soap…… ok that one matters…..but you get the idea.


·         An understanding that his wife takes priority over his own needs.


·         A heart change –“ work hard at work….work hard at home”.


 


 


HAVE YOU EVER BEEN JEALOUS THAT YOU CAN’T CARRY AND GIVE BIRTH TO YOUR CHILDREN?


·         Seriously?      No.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2010 in Family, Leadership

 

Questions from Women…Answers from Men. (1-10)

My wife Margie,  and her good friend Kathy Drake, spent the last 13 weeks teaching a group of about 140 women. They spend the majority of their time talking about the physical relationship God designed for a husband and a wife to enjoy. They addressed everything from the fact that God wants married couples to have an awesome sex life together,  guilt over past sexual sin and even how to submit to the leadership of their husbands. About two weeks ago they ask women to write questions they have about “why men are such…..MEN!”  The questions range from silly to serious… here are some of the questions and our answers…

  

WHY DO YOU NOT KNOW WHERE YOUR STUFF IS?  OUCH!

Details like where we left our keys, wallet, underwear etc…get by us in light of the big picture.

 

  

HOW COME YOU CAN’T JUST “CUDDLE” WITHOUT IT TURNING INTO “SOMETHING ELSE”?

“Cuz you are so hot!”  I told the guys this answer would not work but it is worth a try.

Insensitivity on our part. Maybe even selfishness.

Remember to that we are “wired” that way….to pursue, to be visually attracted to you.

 

  

WHY DO YOU “SPACE OUT” WHEN I TALK AND AT FULL ATTENTION WITH OTHERS?

You know us best…we pretend with others

We are “on” for others and “off” for you. Or maybe we “fake it” with others and are “real” with you.   

We are comfortable with you and that sometimes means we are lazy with you.

 

  

DO YOU TRULY UNDERSTAND THAT WE CAN’T HELP IT IF OUR BODIES ARE NOT THE SAME AS THEY WERE WHEN WE WERE 20? Do you mind the changes or embrace them?   

None of us are the same as we were when we were 20. A sensitive man will get that.  

Hopefully both husband and wife “keep” themselves healthy but to think we will not change is unfair. There should be the additional attraction to you because of sexual history together, kids together, battle fought together, obstacles overcome together, joys shared and trust built.

Proverbs 5:18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  

Remember that women are harder on other women than men will ever be…

 

  

WHY DO MEN HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME TALKING ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS IF SOMETHING IS BOTHERING THEM, WHY DON’T THEY JUST SPEAK UP OR TELL US? 

Is it safe to tell you? Or will critique and belittling take place?

Can he completely be himself with you?

Will you lose respect for him if he shares something he is ashamed of?

Will you ask questions that he can’t answer and then be frustrated he does not communicate well?

 We don’t like disappointing you (or being disappointed in ourselves)  

 

  

HOW DO I TELL MY HUSBAND THAT I NEED MORE ATTENTION WITHOUT HIM FEELING LIKE I AM GRIPING OR COMPLAINING?

Tell him: “I love it when you ______________”.  Positive reinforcement. 

A man receives assignments everywhere he goes and may feel like he has something else for him to do.

If a man smells manipulation he will reject it.  “Honey you did an amazing job wiping the seat!” J

 

  

HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE MY HUSBAND TO BE A BETTER SPIRITUAL LEADER?    

Follow him in the smallest effort.  Eph 5/1 Peter 3.

Never ever critique his genuine effort.

Never compare him to anyone else who does it “right”!

 

  

MY HUSBAND IS NOT A CHRISTIAN…and will not even consider coming to church with the family.  IT HURTS ME AND I FELL LIKE HE IS WRONG.  WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE?

1 Peter 3:1 1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,

A man will be swayed by his wife. What direction will you sway him?

 

  

WHEN MY HUSBAND SHARES A PROBLEM HE IS HAVING, DOES HE WANT ME TO TRY AND FIX IT SINCE THAT IS WHAT HE TRIES TO DO WHEN HE HEARS MY PROBLEMS?

 Typically he wants you to see it as the biggest problem that has ever faced a man ….EVER!  Then he wants you to assure him that he has done everything that can possible by done. Also a little pity mixed with the recognition that what he has to face in life is almost superhuman compared to the mundane normal things that you have to face.

 

  

IS IT A BAD IDEA TO USE YOUR WIFE AS AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH PORNOGRAPHY?

Opinion…yes!  Because men and women are wired so differently.

It would be very difficult for a woman to understand how a man thinks without being wounded by what she finds.

In the book Every Man’s Battle – the author tells story after story of a man’s confession to his wife and her shock, dismay, frustration and wounds over his addiction.  She considered him a “pervert” and “despicable”… all because she just couldn’t get it. (by the way…he may very well be both a pervert and despicable).

She probably lacks the capacity to understand the struggle. Much like a man could not really understand “childbirth”.

A man DOES NEED ACCOUNTABILITY in his life.  A man without accountability is in a very dangerous place.

I recommend that a woman is an “accountability partner” in this way….Know your husbands passwords, codes, texts, emails etc… not in a “stalking way” but just “matter of factly” check em out. There is absolutely no reason that my wife should not know whom I talk to, about what, and when I do it. ( I don’t mean that I betray a confidence…but there is a big difference in exceptions and rules.) Scary how many guys have convinced their wives that it is ok that she does not know the password to the computer/email/text etc….secrecy kills trust it is not the evidence of it!

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Family, Leadership

 

THE “TOP 15” Qualities of a “Wingman”…well……18 qualities :)

Our group of men who meet on Wednesday night has ballooned to a couple hundred men. The guys are a pretty eclectic mix….

  • some deeply love Jesus and want to grow in their faith
  • some grew up going to church “every time the doors were open” so church is “what they do”
  • some are “good ol boy” Christians who “know Jesus” through theologians  like Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks
  • some are guys who walked away from their faith in college and are finding marriage and kids to be a bigger challenge than they thought
  • and some guys show up because their lives have fallen apart and have no where else to go.

Whatever has brought them I have grown to absolutely love these guys…….This is what we try to challenge these men (myself included) to become…

1. PRIEST – a husband/father takes responsibility for his own growing faith as well as his wife and children’s growth. He is (as Mark Driscol says) PASTOR DAD. He leads his family in this area by example and words.

2. KING – he takes responsibility for making decisions in his home. Not in a dictatorial fashion but he knows that the direction of his family is primarily guided by a lot of small decisions.

3. WARRIOR – he takes responsibility for protecting his home…fighting for his family (not with them). This has to be balanced by allowing the Holy Spirit to convict, discipline and redeem the members of his family while he steps out-of-the-way. (that is for another post)

4. PROTECTOR – he places a “hedge of protection” around his family. He has difficult conversations with those who may harm his family emotionally or attempt to control/manipulate for their own gain. He understands that he is the only one who really has his families best interests in mind 24/7. He says “NO” to some things.

5. SERVANT – he is a servant leader to his family. If someone in the family is to sacrifice it will be him…he does not count getting a job and keeping it as sacrifice… but his willing duty and privilege.

6. LOVER – he loves his wife practically (take trash out), emotionally (connect with her feelings), verbally (talk man!), physically (boldly pursue her like you did when you were first married, or even before you got married)

7. SHEPHERD – he is involved enough to know his wife well and he “shepherds” her heart. Helping her blossom as a woman and sister-in-Christ and not condemning her for being a woman.

8. VISIONARY – he knows where he and his family are going (need to go) and makes plans to get them there. This is spiritual, emotional physical (any area where growth is required)

9. DISCIPLINED – he is not a slave to his lusts … whether that be food, sleep, anger, porn etc…..

10. COMMITTED/FAITHFUL – he takes responsibility for the marriage covenant and sets his wife apart as uniquely above every other woman on the planet! He puts her on the proverbial “pedistal”.he has no close friends who are women. He does not find himself alone with any other woman…ever. He does not give rides or make overtures that imply he is anything less than 100% committed to his wife.

11. GENTLE – he understands that he married a woman! She is not a “hunting, drinking or dirty joke buddy”. She is the “weaker (physically) vessel and to be treated like a chalice and not a thermos.

12. RESPONSIBLE – he gets a job and keeps it! He pays the bills and keeps the cars running etc…

13. ACCOUNTABLE – he has people in his life that know where he is and what he is doing 24/7. He “gets” that even the best man who is unaccountable is in a dangerous place.

14. HUMBLE – he knows that without Jesus he is nothing…and with Him he is still nothing except what Jesus has redeemed him. “One beggar showing other beggars where to get food”

15. PEACEFUL – he knows that he can bring peace or chaos to his home….he brings peace. Emotional peace, intellectual peace, verbal peace.

16. PATIENT – he knows that he must “wait on God” when leading his family. He is in control but not controlling.

17. KIND – he knows that his kids and wife will follow his lead so he is kind to his wife, kids and total strangers. He does not, however, mistake kindness for weakness.

18. RIGHTEOUS – he knows that “generational sin” will infect his family unless he pursues and destroys it. So he makes sure he is “right with God”

 

9 Reasons a Man Struggles to Spiritually Lead His Family

The following list is by no means exhaustive but it is born out of my experience dealing with men who have trouble leading their home well spiritually…that includes about every man with a pulse. (myself included)  #9 is the key to any kind of leadership in the home.

 1. He never saw appropriate leadership in the home demonstrated by his father.

  • Many men never saw their father “walk well with Jesus”.
  • They may have had to go to church a lot … but the home was far cry from what was portrayed at church.

2. He thinks work is for “working” and home is for “resting”

  • “I have worked all day and need to relax”
  • He tunes out when he hits the front door because he is the “provider”

3. He does not understand what “authority “ really is. (1 Peter 3:7)

  • “A man must understand the authority he is under before he can rightly  apply the authority he has been given!”
  • He forgot that gentle, loving, consistent leadership is marked by sacrifice and servanthood

4. He is not demonstrably spiritual (Christian). Gal.5:21-23)

  • His wife has only seen him pray before dinner or with the kids…never for anything more serious than a “good day”
  • His wife has seen him choose football over church and sleeping-in over small group Bible Study/Worship
  • He MAXIMIZES other’s sin but MINIMIZES his own.

5. He has tried to lead but his wife did not follow.. so he quit trying. (It is like she has a mind of her own!)

  • Many men stop leading because their wives distrust them and “push back”
  • It “always ends in an argument”
  • He become passive aggressive and secretive because open leadership is rejected by his family.

6. He is afraid that someone will “find him out”. (Gal.6:7)

  • Most men spend a lot of time and effort hiding their weaknesses and sin.
  • (His wife knows him and his weaknesses, sin and tendencies…very tough to lead people who know your junk)

7. He is satisfied with simply being (and raising) a good citizen …. “Good ol boy”  Christianity has invaded the home

  • More dangerous than paganism, atheism and all the other  “isms”……. Combined!
  • These folks think they know the Lord but they just know the “culturally accepted form of behavior”… not Jesus!

8. He has given his wife very little to be proud of.

  • He points to his income and says “be proud of me”… working too much negates this.
  • He points to the fact that he has never cheated on his wife and says “pretty impressive huh”…it is called marriage.
  • He points to the computer and says “I’m not a COMPLETE porn addict” … low bar

9. He is a sinner who had not “dealt with his stuff”  (2 Cor.5:17)

  • The best way I have ever known to heal a marriage is to heal the MAN!
  • When a man “gets his life right with God” his family will follow him….maybe not immediately…but soon!
 
 

7 Questions to Ask Before You Marry Him (re-post)

I have noticed that the women in my life (wife and two daughters) are “hardwired” to be attracted to the “mushy romantic stuff”. (thank you Captain Obvious) It is just “IN THEM”. In fact, after fighting it for years they have “won me” over to their side.

SOOOOOO I am publicly (all 6 of you that will read this) admitting that I’m all for “mushy love”…romantic, candlelit, corny love. The kind of love that happens in the movies…in New York City…..in the snow…. at Christmas time. You know… the “can’t breathe without you, if we don’t get married I’ll die, talk on the phone till 2 in the morning, leg popping, Pride and Prejudice kind of love”

Yep ….Thats me.

While I’m at it I have a few more random confessions…

I actually liked “The Notebook” more than I probably should have. I think Jane Austen was a great writer! The movie “Titanic” would have “sunk” without Jack Dawson and Rose. Valentines Day IS a real holiday! I believe in love at first sight! Kisses mean something. “Wall-E” was great because a robot finds love. Gladiator was a romance… and the Princess Bride could be the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!!!

eh-hem.

BUT… Since that kind of “love” usually last till just after the “credits” there are some things that I want my daughters to look for besides “all of that”.

I want em to ask themselves a few simple questions about the man they will someday (presumably) marry:

1. DOES HE LOVE JESUS? Several years ago I stopped talking in terms of “being a Christian” and started asking, do they “love Jesus”?   After all, I live in Texas, EVERYONE IS A “CHRISTIAN”! But just cause he calls himself a Christian, knows some verses and wears the t-shirt does not mean much. Does he Love Jesus? Does he really walk with the Lord? Can you tell?

2. CAN HE SUBMIT TO AUTHORITY? If you have read this blog much you can see a theme here. But so much is written in scripture about a man both having authority and being under it. A man must understand both. If my daughters are gonna marry a young man one day then they gotta go for a guy who “gets” authority. The authority he will hold in the home, and the authority he will need to submit to as he lives his life. Eph 5 and 1 Peter 3 etc… Does he understand the servant leadership that he is charged with in the home that calls him to “love his wife as Christ loved the church”? Bosses, cops, pastors, banks, landlords, housing association, blah blah blah….they all represent authority he will more than like likely have to submit to. Can he submit without becoming the rebellious guy who speaks poorly of those in authority over him?

3. IS HE IN CONTROL OF HIMSELF? When a man is driven by his appetites and not his faith, he is in danger is almost every area. From food to porn he will be at risk for addiction, deception and collapse. A woman wants to marry a man who can control himself.

4. CAN HE SUFFER WELL? Crummy boss, mean co-workers, skipped for promotion, financial setbacks etc….. will he be able to live his life well when his world falls apart? Will he find a job and keep it? Will he bail at the first signs of trouble?

5. CAN HE STAND ALONE? From the moment he leaves the house in the mornings he will be wearing “a bullseye” on his back. This world, our Enemy and his sin nature will attack him and attempt to drive a wedge between him and his wife (and kids). Has he shown that he will be a man who sticks to his convictions when everyone else caves?

6. DOES HE TREAT HIS MOTHER WELL? You can tell a lot by how a man treats his mother. Typically he will treat his wife the same way.

7. IS IT EVER HIS FAULT? I understand that sometimes the things that happen in our lives are not our fault…we are the victims. BUT… is it ever his fault when things go wrong? Can he take responsibility for his own junk? If he cannot, then his wife is going to be the reason for his struggles…cause it will not be HIS fault.

So…. I say “go for the cute one, the romantic one, the rich one, the smart one etc… just so long as he answers these questions right”!

 

5 Quick Tips for Parents of Teens (opinion)

1. Make your home “Base”. For those of you that grew up playing outside (without video games, cell phones or internet) you may remember a great game called “Kick the Can”. (at least it was great in my Tulsa, Ok neighborhood in 1977)  It is like a lot of “tag” games in that the object is to avoid getting “tagged” by the person who is “IT” while at the same time trying to “kick the stationary can” that he is protecting. To add to the fun there is a designated “base”. It may be a tree, a shrub or a fence but as long as you are on “base”  you cannot be “tagged” or disqualified from the game….you are safe! While “on base” you could relax, catch your breath, work on “strategy” and prepare to re-engage the game etc….

That is a perfect picture of what a home needs to be for teenagers….a “base”.  Safe emotionally, physically and spiritually.   A Sanctuary – I have spoken/written on this a lot. The world is putting our kids into a vice and squeezing them. Any teenager that wants to “walk with the Lord” is going to have to resist a lot of pressure. But like any of us, they cannot resist 24/7!  They need a place where they can be free from pressure, undeserved criticism and sarcasm. Your home should be a “sanctuary”.

2. Win their hearts and their behavior will (usually) follow – While I know that we are our kid’s parents first and their friend 2nd, (especially when they are young), somewhere in their early teens a very cool things takes place: You get to talk to them like a real live person! A dialogue instead of monologue. Actually sharing ideas instead of solely instructing. It may happen once and then not again for a while…but then it happens again. Before you know it you are having validating, important life changing discussions with an intelligent viable teenager….almost like a friendship!

I’m not talking about getting your kids to like you….. I’m talking about respecting a teenager’s gifts, personality, bent, etc….  You are beginning to make the turn from instructor and role model to confidant and role model. (yea, ya never really lose the whole role model thing). If you never make this transition you will frustrate your teenager and (opinion) stunt their growth. You were a teenager once…

3. “Talk” when they want to “talk” – scheduling time to talk is very difficult. It can feel forced and canned etc…. but God seems to bring our kids around to a time when they want to share stuff with us. That usually means (especially in the summer) that my wife or I (usually my wife) will have to stay up with them till they go to bed. What is it about teenage girls that wants to talk after midnight?   (for you control freaks I would challenge the notion that making a 17-year-old go to bed at 10pm is a good idea 🙂 )

4. Your kids will “look like you” in ways you don’t intend. They will become who your are in every area of life. Mannerisms, sarcasm, anger, humility, pride, devotion to the Lord,  etc….   Jerry and Mary Royal say it best: “They will follow WHO YOU ARE before the follow WHAT YOU SAY”. Your child has a problem with authority? ….hmmmm.  Your child wrestles with worry and fear….hmmmm.  Your child does not walk closely with the Lord?…. well… you get it.

5. Try to get to know “their world” – Most teens in my kid’s world have cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, IMing, text messaging, Skyping, ….. blah blah blah. It is just a “hill I refuse to die on”. (Me? I had a phone… a land line…that I hated talking on…I’m a guy)    Each form of communication has its own little language and etiquette. Get into what they are into and you may find that you and your teen can communicate well in the languages THEY most like to use. OMG you may find your son or daughter is your BFF!       lol

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2010 in Family

 

Saving Forgiveness for the Big Stuff

Forgiveness, or rather the lack of it, is the hallmark of many frustrated believers.  Teeth grinding, anger, grudges, etc…are all set in motion by believers who have been forgiven so much, yet refuse to forgive others.  Stop me if you have heard this before….

May I recommend, saving forgiveness for the “biggies”! (abuse, neglect, manipulating, deception, etc…you know, the stuff that is obvious) and don’t waste it on the small stuff.

Scripture says something very interesting in Proverbs 19:11…

 A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is his glory to overlook an offense.”

In other words, the next time someone hurts your feelings, is mean, questions your parenting, or shoots you a nasty look…..again” ——————- OVERLOOK IT!”

You don’t have to receive it … grapple with your feelings about it … consciously decide that you should forgive them … work to suppress your real feelings … find yourself wishing your offender harm … force the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sin … repent … seek forgiveness from your original offender for your own gossip, hate, and lies…restore the relationship (hopefully) …. move on with life.

Wouldn’t it be easier to simply OVERLOOK IT!!

  •  Don’t even receive it…
  • Don’t give it any merit…
  • Don’t let it stick to you…
  • Don’t rehearse it over and over in your mind…
  • Dismiss it quickly…
  • Don’t mark it as an offense
  • Flush it, drop it, and don’t touch it again.

 By the way, this is much different from restraining yourself or acting like it does not bug you. Doing that makes you a “STUFFER” and at some point, all of the events (and associated emotions) will come out in ways you cannot predict. Yep…you will snap!

What I am talking about is a genuine evaluation and dismissal of an event (and related emotions) that has been judged to be inconsequential.

“Overlook” the small stuff and save “forgiveness” for the big things…