Connection and the Styles of Relating

Connection and the Styles of Relating

This month we are talking about connection.  As we have mentioned before, relationships are the foundation of our faith.  We first must have a whole-hearted relationship with God (vertical) in order to have a whole-hearted relationship with others (horizontal).  This month, I’d like to introduce a very visual tool that Jen and I have used for the past year or so.  It is a version of the Styles of Relating first constructed by Karen Horney back in the 1940’s.  They have been used in counseling and therapy ever since.  I find them extremely useful to help understand how we interact with one another.

I’d like to start with defining them a bit and then exploring how you can use them to deep your connection with others and strengthen your relationships.  Each one of the three can be expressed in a positive (true-self) way and a negative (false-self) way.  

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8 Lies that Can Cripple a Marriage

8 Lies that Can Cripple a Marriage

If you received our newsletter (and opened it), you may have seen my latest piece for iBelieve. It seems perfectly timed for the New Year, doesn't it? Why? Because in order to allow God to sow truth in us this season, we must ferret out the lies that we've used to negate or dismiss this truth.

But sometimes, we don't recognize that we're believing a lie until someone tells us the truth that corrects it. If this has happened to you, you're not alone. I've falsely believed several things about myself and my relationships based on a faulty image of God or the world. Sometimes, our families perpetuate lies because it's what the generation before them believed. But God wants His truth to be deep within us and He is faithful to show us another way to live—one that promotes health, freedom, and joy.

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If You Give Your Kid A Kindle {Or any other device}

If You Give Your Kid A Kindle {Or any other device}

Anytime a device, whether a Kindle, an X-box, an iPhone, or any other device, links to the Internet, there are legitimate dangers lurking. The predators and trolls in cyberspace are just as dangerous as the drug dealers on the street corners, the kid who brings a gun to school, and the teen pressuring yours to have unprotected sex. When we give our children unfettered access to the Internet, it’s like we send them to the downtown city park by themselves when they are three years old.

If we would never do that, why would we let them play on the Internet’s playground with no supervision?

But the truth is, we do it all the time. Why? Here are three possible reasons:

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Video Games Don't Yield Real Treasure

Video Games Don't Yield Real Treasure

I can tell you that I have spent a lot of time over the years doing hobby or leisure type activities.  Besides my addiction to porn, I’ve logged hundreds of hours playing video games.  I’m sure I’ve spent even more time binge watching shows and movies. 

But, what do I have to show for it?  Has it changed me for the better?  Has it deepened my relationship with God and others?  If I am truly honest about it, the time was spent simply to satisfy myself.  These were all self-medicating distractions to keep my mind off of what was really going on in my life.  Instead of seeking God and His presence, I chose to isolate and sequester myself in a fantasy world.  Now, I want more and these hobbies and distractions are not fulfilling me.

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Free with me?

Free with me?

"Free" is my word for the year. Craig was the one who thought of it, probably because he notices on a continual basis how enslaved I am. I rarely I notice the chains. I don't even picture them as chains—more like I'm a magnet and I allow burdens to become a part of daily living and breathing and moving. The problem is, when you've attracted all this weight, moving becomes heavy and breathing, ragged.

I want to be very clear: I love helping people. I love listening to people. It's an honor to be invited to share burdens, to be privy to vulnerability. But where I get muddy is I allow their problems to become my problems. When my thoughts wander, I find myself tangled in their possible solutions. I drown in their sorrow. I lament continually to God. I lose where I end and they begin. There's no clearly defined raindrop—just a puddle

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