Tag Archives: marriage counseling

Happy Fox Is Leaving

If you have lived for any amount of time, like most of you surely have, I’m positive there’s been a time or two when the air was knocked out of you by some bad news.

Think of something you’ve experienced – not so bad as the death of a loved one, though, – and you’ll understand how I feel right now.

Names

The first thing you need to know is that I name children on my school bus. If that sounds strange, the reason is because sometimes I can’t remember their parent-given names, especially early on in the school year. Therefore, I give them a name in the same way my Native American ancestors did; I name them based on something I see.

For example, one girl is tall and thin as a stick, so I call her Sticky. There’s a boy who always runs from his house to the bus, so I call him Runny Boy. Flower Girl lives on a street called Magnolia. Flower Girl’s little sister, a 5th grader who started riding my bus in Kindergarten, blew bubbles on the bus, so… her name is Bubbles, a name which she fiercely defends (she’ll go by that name in college one day).

Another little girl started riding my bus four years ago, I believe. The thing that set her apart from every other child on my bus was her smile – it was constant and predictable. So, when she started riding my bus it was cooler weather, therefore she always wore a hat that looked like a fox head (with ears and all). That’s when I started calling her Happy Fox.

The Notification

This afternoon, as I was standing in the big room where all the children come to sit in their designated areas, each one with a sign that displays the number of the bus they will ride, Happy Fox walked up to me with only half a smile.

“I’m gonna be leaving you,” she said with an uncharacteristically somber tone.

“What? You’re gonna be leaving me?” I asked jokingly.

“Yeah,” she said, “I’m not going to be riding with you anymore.”

A little shocked, I replied, “Really? Why not?”

With an brave little attitude that some kids have – the kind that care about the feelings of others and don’t really expect your sympathy – she explained, “Yeah, well, my mom and dad are breaking up, and I’ve got to go live with my dad…so I won’t be riding anymore after Friday, I think.”

That.  Hurt.  On.  So.  Many.  Levels!!

The Others

Here’s the thing: God hates divorce! You want to know why? Well, besides the fact that it is the opposite of what God wants, which is a picture of faithfulness that mirrors His faithfulness to us, it hurts a LOT of people, especially the children!! … And the bus drivers!!!

Too often couples will separate for the most petty of reasons. Others break up for good reasons, but the reasons were preventable. Nevertheless, no matter the reason, there are very few of them that are insurmountable, should the offended couple think of others besides themselves.

Today was a good example of the ripple effects divorces have. Sure, some couple thinks their lives are going to be better now that they don’t live with each other, but children are going to suffer; future families are going to suffer; risks for many bad things are going to go up; and even people like me are going to cry, get in an ill mood, bite the heads off their own families, and write depressing blog posts at the end of the day.

I just pray that Happy Fox can keep that smile.

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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Depression, Divorce, Parenting, Relationships and Family

Signs of Flirting?

The following is Part 1 of a 3-part series originally written in Sept. of 2013. I thought it would be a good time to repeat it.

Uncomfortable Topic

OK, so this is not a subject I normally discuss, but I feel I must say something.

I have seen several pieces in the news about how to know when a man is flirting, but the signs leave me a little puzzled. I mean, I am a man, so I should have some knowledge of when I am flirting, correct? But, evidently, I may be flirting when I don’t know it!

I don’t remember the sources for the following, but if you want to, just Google them (It is not my intention to plagiarize, but I am not getting graded on a paper, applying for a job, or getting paid for this post, so I’m not going to worry too much at this point). Here are…

Ten (supposed) ways to know a man is flirting with you:

  1. flirtingHe makes eye contact when he talks.
  2. He touches his face.
  3. He laughs at a girl’s jokes.
  4. He messes with his own hair.
  5. He tries to gain your attention.
  6. He leans in closer when you talk.
  7. He touches you on the shoulder.
  8. He always has a smile.
  9. He puts his hands on his waist.
  10. He throws rocks at you from across the playground.

Analysis of List

First, I always thought that I was supposed to make eye contact when talking with someone. Does this mean that every time I look someone in the eyes I am flirting? I guess I am going to have to revert back to my insecure, shifty-eye days.

Second, what if a guy feels bugs crawling on his face and in his hair? Should #2 and #4 on the list be avoided? I mean, if I get an itch, does that mean a woman is going to slap me?

Third, maybe guys are just being nice, you know? I try to smile at everybody’s jokes, don’t you? Sometimes a girl can be funny, even when she is ugly as a burnt tree.

Attention? What’s wrong with trying to get someone’s attention? Sure, there are different ways to do that, but come on! Just because I honk my horn at a lady walking down the street does not mean I want a date; there may be a tiger behind her, or a hole in front of her. The right thing to do is warn her.

Next (is this fifth?), the reason I lean in closer to a girl is because I am deaf from all the head-banging Southern Gospel music I have played.

Sixth, I may put my hands on my waist, but it might only mean I am disgusted with you. I would hardly call that flirting. But if I do put my hand on your shoulder, it might mean that I am secretly trying to see if the Vulcan grip really works.

Seventh, I always smile. Not really. That’s a lie.

Eighthly, ninethly, and tenthly, if I throw a rock at you on the playground, then I am absolutely flirting. Every boy knows that’s the way you let a girl know you like her. But since I am married, and since flirting with other women could cause my wife to do bad things to me in my sleep, I will keep my rocks to myself.

One Other Thing

There was one other sign that I did not include in the above list, but was in one article I read: “If a guy plays footsies with you in the sand, he might be flirting.”

If a guy starts rubbing his feet all over yours, that’s not a sign of flirting, people; that’s something way more. Ladies (and I am talking to women at this point), either get wedding invitations ready, or make use of a well-placed knee. You need no other signs.

Your welcome. 

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Filed under current events, General Observations, Humor, Life Lessons, wisdom

Pre-Salvation Counseling?

Pre-Marital Counseling

Have you ever given pre-marital advice? Have you ever sat down with a young couple, stars in their eyes, and tried to break them up? No? Then maybe you don’t know what real marriage counseling is all about.

Honestly, one of the things I try to do before I marry a couple is to break them up. OK, no, I don’t go into a counselling session with the intent on making them run out of the room crying and screaming at each other. But what I do try to do is bring to the surface issues that might cause problems down the road which will ultimately lead to major problems, even divorce. Believe me, a lot of people could have been spared a lot pain and heartache had they been asked some serious questions before they tied the knot.

So, if you want me to conduct your wedding, you must endure at least four hours of me trying to find out if you are aware of what’s ahead.

Salvation Counseling 

Much like the syrupy-sweet lovers who want to jump into marriage without even considering what comes after the honeymoon phase, many are led into believing that becoming a Christian is the answer to all their problems. Because of many one-stop, Vegas-like “wedding chapels” we call “worship centers,” scores of people have been drawn into a relationship with Jesus – but without the “pre-marital” counseling.

Reality check: Following Jesus will not be easy. As a matter of fact, it might even result in a life of pain and suffering, of hunger and want. This relationship may even cost you your life.

And when [Jesus] had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34

Oh, make no mistake about it, entering into an eternity-long relationship with Jesus is totally worth it! Just make sure you know what you’re getting into.

See the Movie

This Friday (March 20) Do You Believe? will come out in theaters. Please, take my advice, go see this movie! It may prove to be the best spiritual “marriage counseling” you’ve had in a while. Oh, and take someone with you who is lost; you won’t regret it.

 

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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Life Lessons, Movie review, salvation, Witnessing

Don’t Waste Your Tears

Tearful Verses

If you ever want to a word study through Scripture that will break your heart, do a word study on tears. Just a quick glance will reveal painful examples such as the following:

  • My friends scorn me: [but] mine eye poureth out [tears] unto God. – Job 16:20
  • I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. – Psalm 6:6
  • Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! – Jeremiah 9:1
  • And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. – Mark 9:24
  • Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. – Acts 20:31

But just as there are heartbreaking verses, so are there ones that offer hope for the hurting, hope for the ones who cry.

  • Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book? – Psalm 56:8
  • For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, [and] my feet from falling. – Psalm 116:8
  • They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. – Psalm 126:5
  • And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. – Revelation 21:4

Don’t Waste Them

This evening I met with a young couple for pre-marital counseling. During the two hours that we sat and talked, I took the opportunity to share with them some some painful experiences from my past. I thought it would be helpful for them to hear from someone who knew what consequences felt like, what it was like to shed tears.

wedding picture fourYou see, even though my wife and I have been married for over 20 years, we have had our share of pain; we’ve shed our bottles full of tears. And precisely because of those times, I was able to look into that young couple’s eyes and say with all authority, “Do it God’s way! It’s worth it!”

King David knew what it was like to experience God’s chastisement, but he also knew something good would come from it. He said, “weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Part of that joy, I believe, is when we see the fruit of yielding ourselves to the Father and seeing Him use our tears to water the seeds of wisdom we sow into others.

Tears are inevitable; everyone will shed them. The tragedy is when no lesson is learned, God is not trusted, and what could have been turned into joy sours the pillow of hopelessness.

Without God, tears are spilt; with God, no tear is wasted.

 

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, God, Life Lessons, ministry

Signs of Flirting?

Uncomfortable Topic

OK, so this is not a subject I normally discuss, but I feel I must say something.

I have seen several pieces in the news about how to know when a man is flirting, but the signs leave me a little puzzled. I mean, I am a man, so I should have some knowledge of when I am flirting, correct? But, evidently, I may be flirting when I don’t know it!

I don’t remember the sources for the following, but if you want to, just Google them (It is not my intention to plagiarize, but I am not getting graded on a paper, applying for a job, or getting paid for this post, so I’m not going to worry too much at this point). Here are…

Ten (supposed) ways to know a man is flirting with you:

  1. flirtingHe makes eye contact when he talks.
  2. He touches his face.
  3. He laughs at a girl’s jokes.
  4. He messes with his own hair.
  5. He tries to gain your attention.
  6. He leans in closer when you talk.
  7. He touches you on the shoulder.
  8. He always has a smile.
  9. He puts his hands on his waist.
  10. He throws rocks at you from across the playground.

Analysis of List

First, I always thought that I was supposed to make eye contact when talking with someone. Does this mean that every time I look someone in the eyes I am flirting? I guess I am going to have to revert back to my insecure, shifty-eye days.

Second, what if a guy feels bugs crawling on his face and in his hair? Should #2 and #4 on the list be avoided? I mean, if I get an itch, does that mean a woman is going to slap me?

Third, maybe guys are just being nice, you know? I try to smile at everybody’s jokes, don’t you? Sometimes a girl can be funny, even when she is ugly as a burnt tree.

Attention? What’s wrong with trying to get someone’s attention? Sure, there are different ways to do that, but come on! Just because I honk my horn at a lady walking down the street does not mean I want a date; there may be a tiger behind her, or a hole in front of her. The right thing to do is warn her.

Next (is this fifth?), the reason I lean in closer to a girl is because I am deaf from all the head-banging Southern Gospel music I have played.

Sixthly, I may put my hands on my waist, but it might only mean I am disgusted with you. I would hardly call that flirting. But if I do put my hand on your shoulder, it might mean that I am secretly trying to see if the Vulcan grip really works.

Seventh, I always smile. Not really. That’s a lie.

Eighthly, ninethly, and tenthly, if I throw a rock at you on the playground, then I am absolutely flirting. Every boy knows that’s the way you let a girl know you like her. But since I am married, and since flirting with other women could cause my wife to do bad things to me in my sleep, I will keep my rocks to myself.

One Other Thing

There was one other sign that I did not include in the above list, but was in one article I read: “If a guy plays footsies with you in the sand, he might be flirting.”

If a guy starts rubbing his feet all over yours, that’s not a sign of flirting, people; that’s something way more. Ladies (and I am talking to women at this point), either get wedding invitations ready, or make use of a well-placed knee. You need no other signs.

Your welcome. 

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Filed under current events, General Observations, Humor, Life Lessons, wisdom