RSS

Category Archives: Marriage

5 Ways to Help Your Kids “Struggle Well”

One of the hardest parts about our parenting journey has been knowing what to do when our kids struggle. I’m not even talking about the true tragedies that sometimes befall a child or family. Just the stuff that happens because we breathe air, walk the earth and interact with other people…

Ya know.…   “That girl across from my daughter in kindergarten was mean to my baby and she neeeeeeeds to hear from me about straightening up!”..”the punk on my sons football team”…”that coach who didn’t see my daughters clear athletic prowess”  …”that teacher that “hates” my son…” etc.   (Do I seem angry?)  It goes on and on…and it is life. Painful, messy, uncomfortable life.

Of course OUR kids are “perfect”, but lets just say that “HYPOTHETICALLY”, one or two or ALL of them had/have difficult seasons in there lives. Whether socially, academically, spiritually, athletically or maybe all four at the same time (and man those are fun times!) we saw/see it and we hurt for them. We want to take the pain away and make it better. In fact, in some ways we  believe it is our duty as parents to remove the pain of life…and it is …kinda…our role. But to what extent?

So really……. when DO you step in? When do you say something? When do you just take care of it? And when do you just help them “struggle well” through it?

I would never argue against being on our children’s “side”, “in their corner” or “on their team”. But here is the truth we know, but hate to look atIf our children never struggle well through difficulty and perceived personal injustice, then they will never become adults who are strong, capable and mature.

struggle-bus

Five Quick Things to Consider…

  1. PARENT YOUR KIDS LIKE GOD PARENTS US.  Sometimes our Heavenly Father steps in and saves the day. But most of the time He allows consequences to help us grow up. He comforts, guides and loves but He often also”allows”. I think that is because consequences are usually the best way to grow. Even consequences that are “unfair”.  (Gal 6:7 MSG)
  2. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE: We all want well-behaved, respectful and healthy children right?  Illustration: “7 year old Johnny won’t listen to his teacher so he is reprimanded. This hurts his feelings…which hurts mom’s feelings…which makes dad angry. Defending Johnny’s behavior may be a great way for  you to feel better about yourself but a terrible lesson for Johnny to learn. What if Johnny never really reigns himself in because he knows mom and dad will take his side even when he misbehaves?  (2 Timothy 4:7-9 MSG) Remember: What is cute as a 7 year old is really ugly at 13  
  3. VALUE THE JOURNEY: Some seasons are dark and full of difficulty. Some seasons are refreshing and fun to be involved in. But all of the seasons are part of a bigger journey towards maturity and adulthood. In every season there is growth. And growth is good.  (Ecclesiastes 3 MSG)
  4. GUIDE YOUR KIDS OVER THE ROCKS, DON’T REMOVE THE ROCKS FROM THE PATH – Margie is a runner, recreational and sometimes hard core. The prep for a marathon (or as I call it, 26.2 miles of voluntary insanity) involves hard times. Usually a lot of heat, hard ground, early  morning runs, aching muscles, increased distance etc… serves to give her the best chance of completing the race she is intent on running. She would never survive the rigors of a marathon without all of the resistance she faces preparing for it. Same is true for our kids… no resistance, no growth… no failures, no successes. No small wounds, no callouses to get through the big wounds that are coming as they grow into adulthood.  (2 Tim 2:3  MSG)
  5. CREATE A “HOME THAT IS A HOSPITAL” Pain does not start in the hospital, it ends there. Home is not where pain starts, it is where it is dealt with by Drs. Dad and Mom. Our “scalpels, anesthesia and stitches are truth, love and hugs”. If a child (or spouse for that matter) has no place to heal properly from the wounds of life then, like a broken leg that isn’t set right, the wounds will linger and may never fully heal.   (Micah 6:8, Romans 15:5 MSG)

 

Hope this is helpful,

Margie and Hixon

 

 
 
Aside

Now that was a great TIME together!  Hope yesterday was a fun for you as it was for Margie and me! In addition to your handout from Sunday, here his a quick reminder  about building your GREAT MARRIAGE

hula-hoopWives must see themselves see themselves as the biggest marriage problem they face…not their husbands. Husbands must see themselves the same way.  Remember the “Hula Hoop” illustration? …

You and your spouse inside the hula hoop…

  1. You face each other and embrace…that represents spiritual, emotional, and physical closeness. That’s good, we like that!
  2. You turn back to back…that represents that it is the two of you “against the world” and the fact that you “have your spouses back”. That’s also good, we like that…a lot!
  3. You lock arms facing one direction…that represents the fact that you will go through life together on the same team and in the same direction. Again, love that!

 

  1. Where it goes “south” is when you are face-to-face with your fingers pointing at one another, blaming or trying to “fix” your spouse. Matthew 7:3-5 says we have to get the board out of our own eye before we get the speck out of our spouses’. The point is to work on ourselves first and understand that WE are the solution to the problems in our marriage and NOT our spouse.
  2. Your jobs not to fix your spouse. Oh you can get em to behave in accordance with your preferences but the cost is usually a whole lot higher than you think. Resentment, anger, bitterness and frustration can hang like a toxic haze over the couple who are intent on fixing each other.  It will drive a huge (and I mean “YUGE”) wedge between a Husband and a Wife. Like our daughter says, “You Do You … Boo Boo!”
  3. Criticism left as a habit will poison your marriage faster than almost anything else. That does not mean your can’t help your spouse grow in areas of weakness HOWEVER, take care to do that only when you have permission, and only when your relationship is on good footing.

Remember:  Our problem is NEVER seeing the fault in our spouse…it is seeing the fault in ourselves.

PSALM 139: 23-24
Search ME, God, and know MY heart;
test ME and know MY anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in ME,
and lead ME in the way everlasting.

We are looking forward to this Sunday! We have more chairs so seating won’t be a problem this week no matter how many folks your bring!

Margie and Hixon

I DO..Now What? (Week #3)

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 26, 2016 in Family, Marriage

 

“IDNW?” (week #2)

It was so great to see so many new faces last Sunday morning! We are in for a great semester…..

HERE ARE SOME OF OUR NOTES…

Ephesians 5:21-35

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

rings

Dr Val Farmer: Clinical Psychologist says here are 10 things that destroy a marriage…….. see what you think….

10. Dishonesty, laziness and other CHARACTER DEFECTS. Basic trust and respect underlie love and form the basis of relationships. Lies, deceit, disloyalty, secret habits, or emotional dishonesty about thoughts or feelings destroy trust and respect.

9. DESTRUCTIVE HABITS and addictions. Addictions have great power to be placed in front of the needs and happiness of a partner. Betrayal, hurt, anger and pain follow the wake of addictive behavior.

8. COMMUNICATION that is a painful process. A marriage with too much conflict, hostility, blame, criticism, defensiveness, and belligerent verbal attacks seems like life with an enemy instead of a friend. Marriage needs to be a place of safety, a haven, a place of love and refuge, not a war zone…

7. Leading separate lives. Relationships also suffer when couples don’t mesh their lives through shared activities, recreational companionship or spending enough time together…

6. Lack of affection and sexual fulfillment. When needs for sex and affection are not met, problems mushroom. Without affectionate gestures and words, love seems hollow and not as believable. People don’t marry to get a roommate. They expect to have an active and fulfilling sexual life with their spouse.

5. Lack of emotional intimacy.  The lack of sharing one feelings, goals, hurts, struggles, joys and emotional details of one’s life lead to loneliness and sadness.

4. Explosive, angry outbursts or rages. Anger can either create more anger or withdrawal, both of which interfere with effective communications.
Unbridled and unpredictable tempers interfere with emotional safety and trust when spouses need to engage each other on emotional issues.

3. Disrespectful judgments. Marriage needs acceptance, admiration, appreciation and emotional safety. It is disrespectful to try to change a spouse’s thinking by lecture, ridicule, threats, brainwashing, or negative aspersions. These perceived attacks on personality, character, intelligence or values undermine the mutual respect that forms the basis of love. T

2. Poor boundaries. Engaging in intimate conversations with members of the opposite sex leads to emotional experiences that cloud judgment, trigger fantasy life, and progress toward physical intimacies outside of marriage.

But almost all counselors agree that #1 Self-centeredness or selfishness is the foundational problem in most marriages. Most of us, when we get married, part of our joy is that is we have someone else besides us, who will spend most of their time thinking about us…its true!

Before we are married, almost all of our time is taken up meeting our own needs.
We entertain ourselves according to our preferences.
We buy the things we want to buy, cording to our preferences.
The money that we earn is ours to use according to our preferences.
Everything in our lives meets our needs. When we live like that before we are married we are setting ourselves up for a very difficult marriage.

Why?
Because marriage demands un unyielding focus on someone else…
Both Husband and wife must have, as a first priority, Jesus Christ. When each spouse focuses on Jesus some very practical things start to happen…

  • Each lives out their faith in an overt and obvious manner.
  • They extend forgiveness and grace towards one another
  • They speak truth but fill it with gentleness and love
  • Begin making decisions based on truth not emotions

 

HUSBANDS:

Biblically You carry the weight of leadership in the home…
Ephesians 5: 21-32

“Husband: Love Your Wife”
“Wife: Obey your husband”

The misunderstanding of these two phrases has caused a lot of unnecessary harm over the years. Lets look at this passage together….

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Here is how that will look….

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

  • Church submits to Christ…
  • Not in some flaky, power trip.
  • Authoritative through His word.
  • Doesn’t change haphazardly or break his promise
  • Does what he says he will do…
  • Has very clear boundaries but extends grace

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Husbands love your wife in a

  • sacrificial – death on the cross
  • strong – all authority given to Jesus
  • gentle – let the children come to me
  • protective – looked at crowds with compassion
  • honoring – honor dad and mom, honor God
  • pure – avoid sin
  • humble – “did not regard equality w God…”

MOST MEN:
Never learned how to lead a family spiritually. We grew up with dad’s who may have loved us but rarely lead the family other than possibly making church a priority (and that is a good thing) but so much more to it than that.

MOST WOMEN: Never learned how to follow a man who leads in a clunky and imperfect way…

SEE YA THIS SUNDAY!!!

HYDE PARK Campus @ 9:45am

Coffee, Donuts, Bagels and a whole lotta fun!

BRING SOMEONE WITH YA!

Margie and Hixon

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 21, 2016 in Family, Marriage

 

“IDNW?” (week #1)

Great kick off to this semester last Sunday morning here at Hyde Park in Austin! Margie and I loved seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends. We covered a lot of ground including the ultimate choices that most marriages eventually face…

images4

  1. Get divorced – a tough choice, the death of a marriage
  2. Remain “un-divorced” – Stay married as roommates with separate lives

or

3. Build a GREAT Marriage – and THAT is what we are shooting for…

So, here is where we are going this semester…

“Why marriage?” – Gen 2 (Overview)
“Building a Marriage that Lasts” – The FOUR C’s – Ephesians 5
“What’s Love Got to do with it?” – I Cor 13
“If it Ain’t Broke…Break It!  – James 4:10
“Give Away What You Can’t Keep” –  Matt 7:3-5
“Its’ ALL About Me…really it is” – Eph. 2:8-9
“The “F” Word” – Matt 5:16
“The Ugly, Nasty, Beautiful …Truth” –  John 4:24
“That’s What She Said” –  1 Peter 3:7
“I Know You Are But What Am I?” – Hebrews 12:14
“I’m Not Your Mother” – Eph. 5
“Why Didn’t You Say So?” – 1 Peter 3:7
“I Never Knew”- Matt 7:3-5
“Good Sex” –  I Cor 7:5
“What Exactly Needs Completing Here?” –  Col 2:10
“The Best Trips Take a While” – James 1:12-22

We would love to see you at 9:45am on Sundays at the Hyde Park campus (3901 Speedway in Austin). If you know of anyone who would be interested in joining us then send em or bring em with you!

                                                                                                                                       Margie and Hixon

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 15, 2016 in Family, Marriage