Every week couples show up to counseling facing one major conflict, financial difficulties. Finance Issues are one of the primary areas in both individual and family life that causes problems. It is a principal cause of divorce. Failure to control finances is not a simple issue. It is a behavioral, psychological and spiritual problem which involves emotions, needs, communication and knowledge. We find that in couples counseling we can sometimes resolve a large portion of the marital discord by helping them to resolve their ability to control and discuss finances within the marriage. Often couples begin marriage with very different views of finances, have no discussion of how finances will be handled, have little or no preparation in how to control finances, have different ideas and expectations about what they should have or “need”, and have no boundaries or communication about who does what and how. This is a roadmap for disaster in marriage; a key “marriage killer”.
Often though, conflict over money stems from other individual or social problems that the individuals or couples have. Money problems bring to light deep seated emotions or tendencies which were previously hidden from view. In other words, financial problems may be just the tip of the iceberg signalling much larger family issues lying beneath the surface. Financial adviors can often help couples or individuals straighten out their money woes or get on a better track of controlling where the money goes, but often those who are helped fall back into financial disaster because the deep seated problems beyond finances have not been identified and worked through. Counseling the Lord’s Way and other Christian Counseling Ministries can often help look not only at the financial concerns but also at the current set of circumstances and relationship as a while, help establish boundaries, aide in communications and expectations and thus help with controlling both the important financial areas of life and other areas of behavior and spirituality that parallel or perhaps serve as a stimulus for financial issues. Scripture addresses money and it’s use more than most any other issue in life. Christ was concerned about your finances, not just because moneycan become an idol in itself, but because ones use of money frequently reflects behavioral tendencies in almost all other aspects of life. Christ understood that if your life was ”right” that your finances would also be in order.
“Where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21 “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain.” Proverbs 3:9-10
The Scriptures remind us that we are and will be accountable for all of our behavior when judgment time comes. We will have to stand before the throne and be tested by fire. Accountability is a biblical concept that many try to avoid by blaming others for our actions or thoughts. But we cannot just pass off our actions to others, we must be accountable for them. Once we accept and confess our wrong doings then forgiveness is available to us. Mathew 6:14,15 says “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men thier trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Another aspect of accountability involves obtaining help in altering addictive or obsessive behaviors. We often have to turn to others to help us. That is, we become accountable to them to ensure correct behavior. Changing behavior is not easy especially when the behavior is well ingrained or is addictive in any way. One of the primary ways to move away from addictive behaviors or difficult behaviors is to use an accountability partner who shares in helping you focus on what you are doing and the new behavior you seek to develop. Both counseling and coaching can be sources of accountability. They can aid you in acquiring the accountability necessary to make the changes you need to make. Groups are another especially effective way to develop strong accountability.
Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can be much better. If one fails , the other one pulls him up; but if a man falls when he is alone, he is in trouble. …And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecc 4:9-10, 12
Anger Management - Some of us are more passionate than others. God made some of us with greater emotions and passions. Anger is o.k. and appropriate in some situations. The Bible never says do not get angry, but admonishes us not to let anger be carried on too long or to influence our actions toward others in a permanent or violent way. It is when the anger is always there, when it overwhelms the life of the angry person and those around them, or when it constantly gets out of control that it is a problem and a sin. When anger controls you life, when it carries over from a situation to life style or holding grudges or when it can lead to harm of the angry person or someone else it needs to be controlled. Most people with anger issues have learned anger as a Control mechanism of others. They have a great need to control or perhaps to keep themselves separated from others. For others anger boils over when their pride is hurt. It is essential to try to find the source of the behavior so that the underlying issues can be dealt with and new more appropriate responses to situations can be learned and used. If anger is affecting your life or someone you love, seek help either from us at www.counselingthelordsway.com or from another counselor.
I arose this morning somewhat late for church. In fact, I never made it. But, that did not stop my communion with God. As I got up and showered and sat down at the table. Loudly and clearly, I heard the voice say, the words. No it wasn’t my conscience, it doesn’t speak like that. It was very clear and distinct and words came together forming the lyrics of a song.
Sometimes I dabble in writing lyrics. I have for many years. A frustrated poet you might say. Working with words, critiquing papers, laying out memories are a joy. But this time it was different. Sometimes it is a struggle which requires writing and rewriting. Not this time. The words were clear and the melody was a ballad on Acoustic.
“When my father died, what was I to do? My mother said, “There is a lesson inside, Look to the Lord and He’ll be your guide…”" It flowed out, 5 verses a refrain and a break. No doubt these were the Lord’s words; ending in “Love will set you free.”. What a beautiful thought, “Love will set you free.” And the Bible tells us it is the “Truth” that will set us free. But God’s truth, revealed through the gift of His son, Jesus, is Love. And, “Love will set you free!.” If you believe.
No I won’t reveal the words of the song here. They will be set to music and sung for His glory and honor. Praise Him.
Well are you ready for Christmas yet? NO? Me neither. In fact it seems that every year I’m getting further and further behind in preparations for Christmas. It doesn’t matter though, it comes whether I’m ready or not. This year though I’m amazed at how many people I run into who “just wish it would be over”. Wow, what a sentiment. This is a clear symptom that we’ve all become too commercial with Christmas. Too much to do, too many presents not bought, too many cards not sent, too much to be done to get the house ready for guests.
Is this where you are right now? Do you have those holiday blues? You are not alone it that. Millions of Americans are finding the holidays distressing. One of the major holiday psychological reactions is Depression when it should be joy and love. How many people do you know who are spending their first Christmas without a loved one due to death, divorce, moving, military service or other types of separation. How many are feeling low because this season reminds them of joyful times or even painful times past when they were with loved ones. Perhaps you are one of those. Depression is real in each of these cases. Christmas is a time for celebration, but separations do not often lead to celebration or joy. Our tendency when we are depressed is to isolate ourselves from others, to turn down invitations, to dread doing the things we know we should do.
It is important thought that we remember that the reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It’s not about us, but about Him, and about God who sent His son as savior of our world. Celebrate? I know that seems impossible when you are depressed. It is very hard to look past our own needs during a holiday. But, knowing that there are so many others in this situation perhaps there is a way to both get our mind off our problems and help someone else. One way to help both ourselves and others get focused, is to find someone who is hurting because of separation or some other reason and make them a part of your Christmas. Invite them…even insist, since depressed folks tend to say NO…to come spend time with you, or help you do the things you need to do. If you are one hurting from separation, loss or other depression, find others who are also hurting. Join with them and help each other understand the reason for the Holiday and reason we rejoice. You may want to set aside some of the worldly focus at Christmas time and aim at the real reason for Christmas. In celebrating Him, we can take our minds off what is wrong in the world and begin to understand and celebrate the gifts God has given us.
Just 3 weeks from now and we will be making our 2nd trip to Israel. We’ve got lots to do to get ready but we are really looking forward to going. Brian has been there since June, digging at various archeaological sites all summer and now studying at Jerusalem University. One of the side trips we plan to make is to Jordan to visit the ancient city of Petra. I’ve been told by many this is a place not to miss, and recently it has been added as one of the top 10 wonders of the world. We still don’t know how we are going to get there, so that in itself will be an adventure. They tell me it isn’t easy, but we’re adventureres and we’ll find a way. We look forward to seeing our good friend Joni though we will only have a few days together. The first time we visited Jerusalem it felt as though we were called home. What a wonderful place. This time I feel again like the Lord is leading us and has a special plan for us. All we can do now is pray for His guidance. Now is the problem of getting back into shape for the trip and all the walking we will naturally do. We have both let ourselves go way to long. Thank you Lord for opportunities like this that help motivate us into doing what we should be doing daily. May the Lord Bless all who read this, and may you not wait until the last minute to do the things you know are right and that you know you need to be doing. W
Yes, the Lord continues to bless us. Last week we discovered that we have successfully paid off the 15 year mortgage on our house in 12 years. Thank you Lord for that blessing and for the ability to use your blessings to make a difference. Then, we learned that our oldest son and his wife are expecting. Yep, the second grandchild is on the way. “Go forth and multiply”. No, we don’t know whether to buy blue or pink yet…it’s just too early for that. I know that some out there have been inundated by the rain and don’t want to hear about it, but we have been in drought, and we praise the Lord for the rain we have been getting in the past few days and for the prospect of more over the next week.
My mother is in recovery from extreme infections. I don’t think she even knew how sick she really was. Now she is in rehabilitation trying to get her strength back so she can return home, although infections seem to continue to creap back in. Praise the Lord, for His healing power, may He continue to strengthen and heal her. Brian is in his last week in Ashkelon, (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vie/Ashkelon.html) Israel doing archeaological digs in his New Testament Archeaological studes. The Lord has continued to bless the efforts of the team there and has kept them safe, only a few miles North of the Gaza Strip. Next week he moves on to Hippos-Sussitis on the Sea of Gallelee to study a Roman fortress that was built during the Christian era. We are pleased to see him get away from the Gaza Strip, but concerned about his closeness to Lebanon and the Golan Heights. Pray for his continued safety and God’s continued Blessing upon Israel and the people of this land.
For anyone looking for a way to contribute to the future of Israel while using God’s gift to you, you might want to consider investing in Israel through the index fund AMIDEX35 (www.amidex35.com) . This fund invests in and tracks the top 35 companies that are found in Israel. It trades under the symbol AMDCX on wallstreet and is currently trading in the mid 8s. Another one to keep an eye on is Zion Oil Company (http://www.zionoil.com) which is a Texas corporation doing oil exploration in Northern Israel. It is trading under the symbol ZN. I know some of you believe that trading stocks is “gambling” and is wrong. But, the Lord’s parables more than once make it clear that we are not to hoard the blessings has given us, but to use them for His glory and to multiply them. He tells us, speaking of Israel, “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you”. Of course there are many other ways to contribute to the people and the prosperity of Israel such as through donations to the numerous funds that have been set up to help the people of the region. May God continue to Bless His People until the day Christ returns. W
Just learned that I get to make the 800+ mile road trip to Chicago this weekend with one of the boys. He’s been blessed by admission to Graduate School at Wheaton College just outside of Chicago. He’ll be working on his Master of Arts degree in Archeaology: New Testament. That involves a 6 week archeaological dig in Isreal this summer followed with courses at Jesusalem University this fall, before returning to Wheaton. That’s cool since it will give me a great excuse to return to Isreal, one of my favorite places to visit. Now all that brings me around to the discussion of Loneliness. You ask how did I get there?
Well with my son taking off to Wheaton where he knows no one, to Isreal where he not only knows no one, but also doesn’t know the language, that could lead to a lonely situation if he’s not careful to remember that God is always there even when you are alone. Being alone and being lonely are two different things. I’ve often been alone, but not lonely because I had things to do, and things to occupy my time and my mind. But, I’ve also been in the middle of a crowd and been lonely, especially in a large crowd. That is understandable, but the worst loneliness seems to be the one where you are with your friends or your loved ones and somehow feel alone, unwanted, undesirable, unable to participate, even wanting to be alone with your loneliness. It’s a strange feeling. But there are many who have been there and who know of where I speak.
So what is this loneliness. It’s an emptiness inside. A hole in the heart. A need that nothing seems to fill. For most of us, it even seems that God is not there. It’s important to know that when we are the lonliest and when God seems the fartherest away is when we have a great opportunity to grow in our sprituality. It is a time when we can be alone with God even though we are in the midst of much. It is a time when we need to turn to God and ask Him to fill that emptiness in our soul, in our heart, that only He can fill. Ask Him to fill us to overflowing, to let us know that He is truely always there. We need never be dismayed in our loneliness: we only need to call on Him. It is a time to use the loneliness to grow in knowledge about God and to grow in understanding of our relationship with Him. Put all else aside and let Him speak to you. What a blessing that time of loneliness can become.
OK, It’s here. A friend who was recently divorced told me “Oh No, Valentines is coming and I don’t even have a Valentine”.
Another said “I hate Valentines Day. It’s so stressful. You are supposed to show people you Love them Every Day and this is just a day for Card Makers and Florists and Candy Makers to make big bucks.” I understand where they are both coming from. For many people it is a sad day, a day of depression, a day they just wish would hurry up and get over so they can get on with life. For many men it’s a no win day. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you do you are in a great competition with what the wife or girl friends friends have done for them. Jenna’s husband bought her a diamond and Sally’s husband gave her tickets to a Bahamma cruise. Your flowers and card can’t compete with that. And you not only are competing with other peoples Valentine, but with whatever you’ve done in the past. So if you took the wife on a dinner in Paris last year, how are you going to top that this year? Nope, you’ll not top that this year and you like me will probably give up trying. You aren’t going to win!
For those who ”don’t have a valentine”, remember there is someone who always loves you, who will always be your valentine and whose gift no one will ever top. God loves you. He’ll never walk out on you. He’ll never divorce you and He keeps on giving and giving even though the gift of His son will never be topped. No one can compete with that kind of love and it’s love that is there not just on Valentine’s Day but every day of the year.
This is a time for many in which loneliness and depression reaches a maximum. But, you don’t have to stay there. If you are alone, and “don’t have a Valentine” this year, why not be a Valentine to someone else who is in the same boat. Sit down and make a list of all of the people you know who are alone today, the recently divorced, the widowed, the soldiers you know away from home, the students you know off at college, the people you know in the nursing home. Now how can you make a great Valentine’s Day for them. Yeah it may be too late to send a Valentine’s Day Card or Flowers or Candy, but many will be pulled out of their depression and loneliness just knowing you care. God tells us “Love your Neighbor as yourself”. There is no better time than now to act out that command. Pick up the phone and call those on your list who you know are lonely today. Email them. Or if possible just invite someone out to lunch. What a difference you can make in someones Valentines Day with just a little effort and I promise that your loneliness and depression will go away while you are spreading God’s Love.
Enjoy this day and help someone else enjoy it too. Wayne
I just realized that my valentines day will be spent at the doctors office offering a sacrifice of blood to see if I’m still alive and kicking or if I’ll have to be jump started to get through the week. Yep, they are going to want to see some blood. It will probably be just a finger stick, but blood no less. If I were attentive to my weight and my exercise they probably wouldn’t be asking for blood, but since I’ve failed to give those things up, I have to give up the blood. But, it reminds me that the greatest Valentine gift ever was a sacrifice of blood. It was much like this situation. Man had failed to do what God had asked him to do, and yet God love him so much that a sacrifice of blood had to be given in order to save his life. No, it wasn’t exactly at Valentine’s Day, but in some ways it was the same. He loved us so much that he had give up a precious gift to let us know He loved us and that He Himself was love. A gift greater than any other gift a man can offer; the gift of life.
So, God gave his only son, and He bled and died for the love and the life of each of us. The stress was so great that as knealt prayer He sweated blood from his brow, and then He gave more blood as the thorns pierced Him and the blood ran down His Holy face. He was beaten within an inch of His life with the cat of nine tails, leaving a trail of blood from the flesh that was barely hanging on His body as He carried His own cross to calvary. And at the cross, blood and water ran down from his side as He was pierced with a spear and hung there bleeding His life away for you and for me.
During this Valentines week, as we think about our loved ones and what gift we can provide for them, we need to think of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us. The ultimate gift of life and blood. Every red heart and red symbol during this special time of celebrating love should remind us of His commands for us. ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind, and Love your neighbor (your friends, your family, even your enimies) as you love yourself.” Be thankful for what He has done for you and for me and share in His gift of Love. Wayne
Welcome! This is the official weblog of Counseling The Lord’s Way. A Christian Counseling and Mediation Ministry located in Warner Robins, GA, but serving through the internet wherever people may come from to visit us. We will provide general information about a variety of topics related to counseling, behavior, personal and emotional issues and welcome your comments, suggestions and feelings about the topics at hand.
Our goal is to provide a view of and help from a biblical and Christ centered approach to counseling and mediation. If you have insights or interpretations that help in anyway they are welcome. We do not claim to be experts on how God or Jesus intended for man to counsel man; we depend soley on our own interpretation of biblical passages and how we believe God would have us interpret them and apply them to everyday behavior, thinking and attitudes. Our hope is that something we say might help the reader to overcome the problems that are afflicting their everyday life, that they will become closer to God and more like Jesus intended us to be. We believe that as we behave and think more like God would have us to behave and think our problems will be diminished and we will more closely know who and what God intends us to be like.
Make God Bless you in your search for His desires for your life and may He bless the work that is going on through this ministry. Dr. Wayne