Archive for February, 2010

Keep the Game In Bounds

One of the great truths of life is that no one in the world can harm you as badly as the person who loves you most. That sounds really strange because the assumption going into marriage is that no one in the world is more unlikely to harm you than the one who loves you the most! Something very special happens in marriage. We get to know the other person. That other person allows us access to the deepest thoughts and most closely guarded secrets. We see each other in ways that no one outside of the marriage will ever know them. We become open and vulnerable to that other person.

Then We Have Conflict

In an argument we start into a cycle of exchanges where things are said in anger and frustration. In almost an instant of time the emotions flare and we start thinking of things we could say that would lash out at our adversary. Almost without hesitation, we say the most hurtful thing we can think of. And away we go! What got things started so quickly? It can be anything that we know will hit at the most tender spots. Most wives know that words like “idiot”, “moron”, “klutz”, “dumb as a post” and (the list can get very colorful) “stupid”, will almost always hit with the power of a baseball bat to the head. Why do those words (or ideas that carry the same message) hurt so badly? Go back to the lesson on the Greatest Fear of Men and you will find that every man carries that basic fear of being considered a fool and unworthy of respect.

Wives know that words like “fat” (or “skinny”), “ugly”, “witch”, “the old lady”, and many more that I don’t need to detail in this message,  cut deeper than any knife. When a husband threatens to leave and never come back, he has “dropped the nuclear bomb”.  Those words carry the message, “I could never love someone like you,” to the person who is already afraid that she will be left alone and unloved. Go back to the lesson on the Greatest Fear of Women to see why those words do so much damage.

There Are So Many Hurtful Things We Can Say

When someone brings up a past failure and says, “You blew it again, just like last time,” (or they list the failures), things will not go well from that point on. When someone finally lashes out and says, “I will never understand what I saw in you that I ever loved”, we don’t need a map to see where things are headed. We feel guilty about things. We feel sad about lost opportunities and broken dreams. We feel regrets and remorse. We feel grief and loss. We feel hurt and wounded. These things are unguarded, unprotected areas of vulnerability and the only person who knows where those special feelings lie buried is the person who is now in conflict with us.

This is a Very Dangerous Situation

To keep from causing the worst damage we can inflict on each other, we must sit down during quiet times and make a list of words and ideas that we are going to put off limits… out of bounds… foul ball territory, and make penalties that require “loss of yardage”! Anytime these words are used, the other person has the right to call “Time Out” and recognize the inappropriate words or ideas. The other person may not realize that their words carried that message so powerfully. But, that is the whole reason for making the list. We are trying to learn what happens inside the other person even in times of conflict!

If that person is willing to call a halt and explain what just happened to them when we used that word or idea, we have learned something important.

Husbands and Wives are to meet each other’s needs from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

Conflict in Marriage

Conflict is as much a part of married life as breathing is to our physical bodies. In marriage we usually underestimate how different we really are from each other. In these lessons you will learn that our differences are massive but never hopeless. Each husband and wife brings the same kinds of issues to the marriage; some marriages end badly while others become stronger. It is not the absence of conflict that makes the difference. It is how we handle the differences between us that is the key to letting conflicts build us up rather than tear us apart.

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Be the Spouse not the Parent

This is the third lesson in our discussion of the Parent-Child-Adult within each one of us. I will be honest. Some people tell me that they have difficulty getting their minds around the idea that we have three different people living inside our heads! It is not hard for me because I have listened to hundreds of couples tell me of their battles. I listen to who said what to whom (and then back and forth a few dozen times). In just a few minutes I can see the patterns of who is working in the Parent and who is working in the Child (or both trying to be the dominate Child and this one is very bad). Most of the time couples have the same arguments over and over again once they establish a pattern. Once I see the pattern of how they interact with each other, I can make recommendations that will allow them to disagree without continuing to do damage to their relationship.

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The “Child” Within Us

This is the second of three articles on the discussion on the Parent-Child-Adult within us. The discussion about the “Child” part of our personality is much more fun. The Child is that automatic, built-in emotional core of who we are. It is not learned because you will find a newly born infant crying his eyes out like his heart is broken even in the delivery room of the hospital where he was born! That child is protesting the cold temperature of the room, the harsh treatment of the doctors and nurses, the abuse of being scrubbed and cleaned as well as being humiliated by being treated as a separate object for the first time in his life! That infant is 100% living in the Child!

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Who’s in Control?

I was a very young father who was coping with being a part-time church custodian, a full-time student as well as having our first toddler at home. At one point I became frustrated with my young son and yelled, “If you do that again, I’ll nail your hide to the wall.” When he heard my words he asked, “When can I get down?” I just had to smile for two reasons. First, I had never used that expression before in my life. Second, it was a word picture that I did not even recognize what it was. All I could think about was, “Where did that come from?”

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Guilt and Grace

Nobody knows you better than your marriage partner. So no one can answer the question of how well you do your job as a husband or wife, better than they can. We all make mistakes. We don’t do it right all the time. So how do you handle this kind of  guilt? How do you show grace to your spouse? Listen and learn.

Guilt and Grace are indispensable in marriage from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

Are You Drifting Apart?

Do you feel like you’ve drifted away from your spouse? How do you re-connect? How would you answer the puzzle we give you in this video? After you watch the video, drop me a note and let me know your answer.

….When you DRIFT Apart! from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

Making Marriage Work

There’s never a day you should not be bringing your “A Game”  into your marriage relationship. If professional athletes accept advice and take lessons to improve their game, we should be willing to learn new ways to improve our marriage. Listen to the video and see where you can tweak it up a bit. You will be pleased with the results.

Why do YOU think I need MarriageHelp? from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

I can just hear the screams of protest when people in our culture hear that the Bible makes it very clear that sex is for a HUSBAND and WIFE….and for no one else. That means before the marriage ceremony as well as after the marriage ceremony and excludes everyone except that one man and one woman in every definition of sexual activity.  Any questions?

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Self Worth Comes From Others

Our self esteem does not come from within ourselves, but from others.  The value that we receive from our spouse, our family, our employer, and friends is what gives us our self esteem.

Your Self Worth does not come from Yourself from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.