Parenting Goals

In the rush of day-to-day living we sometimes forget to stop and think about our long term goals. As parents, we are faced with many different roles we could fill. Pastor Bob helps lead parents through the process of finding the best ways to prepare children to live as  independent adults.

What are your Goals as a Parent? from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

Love Your Enemies

When marriages run into problems, it is easy to feel like you are living in a war zone. Sometimes we treat our marriage partner like the enemy who is “out to get us”. We divide our world into “us” and “them” and trade shots back and forth. Pastor Bob teaches about how to love your enemy even when you are married to them.

Jesus told us to “Love your (spouse) enemies” from PastorBobDouglas on Vimeo.

Broken Trust Requires Forgiveness

I hear it all the time, “I will NEVER forgive that person for what they did to me. I trusted them and they made me look like a fool. I will never give them another chance to stab me in the back again.”

Betray my trust once, shame on you. Betray me twice, shame on me!

You have heard it too. Forgiveness is not even an option. Or is it?

There are only two kinds of people who do not need to forgive. The first are the people who have never failed anyone in any way.  Once you can verify that you have never needed forgiveness from anyone in your entire life, you are one of the two kinds of people who do not need to forgive someone else. The second are those who have reached a level of performance that they will never need forgiveness in the future! You see, if you refuse someone your forgiveness today, you are cutting yourself off from receiving forgiveness sometime in the far distant future when you will need it for yourself.

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Broken Trust Requires Rebuilding

It is in your best interest to repair your relationship following a broken trust. I know there are many people screaming just the opposite viewpoint. They have experienced hurt and betrayal of every description and degree. I understand how hard it is to face an uncertain future with only a broken past for a reference point. Let me explain to you the reasons why I believe that it is in your best interest to find healing and restoration instead of separation.

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Broken Trust Requires Healing

We have talked about how we cover up our deepest thoughts, feelings and desires. We have talked about how we can paint over the outsides without changing the insides. We have already discussed our desire to be seen as “unbroken people” even though we know the truth about ourselves.

When those broken things show up in our relationship

If we continue to use our fixer-upper house illustration, we can do one of two things; we can put up another layer of wall paper and cover the problem again, or we can tear off the dry wall and fix the real problem before we do the things to make it look acceptable again. Broken trust is simply finding out that the other person is a flawed individual that could not conceal the truth forever. The marriages that survive these points of crisis are the ones that focus on fixing something deeper than they had ever imagined could exist and moving forward together. Those that eventually do not survive are those that paper and paint until they give up on what they believe is a hopeless case.

There are no hopeless cases. There are only cases that are not fundamentally fixed.

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Broken Trust

Nothing breaks our hearts more than when someone breaks our trust. We work with an assumed social contract with those people closest to us. The people we call our closest friends are assumed to be those people who would never do anything to harm us. We expect our friends to support us and encourage us. We are expected to support and lift them up as we do our part of keeping that social contract of friendship.

The closer the friendship, the more devastating the results will be from a broken trust. Take it one step further; we never expect our marriage partner to do anything that would break our covenant vows. The reality is that sometimes friends will let us down. When it is our marriage partner it is as destructive as an 8.5 earthquake and a 25 foot tsunami besides!  We look at our spouse afterward and wonder, “Can I ever trust that person again?”

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Parenting as a Single Parent

Life sometimes leaves us in difficult circumstances with big challenges. Being a single parent is one of those challenges.  We have been saying that it takes two people in partnership to live out a healthy relationship for the children to witness. I don’t see being a single parent as a “second class” option or an impossible task, but being a single parent requires different coping skills. The needs of the children are the same. We just have to get to our goal by a different path.

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Parenting Partnership

We, as parents, are basically different people who need to be working in partnership. When we see old western movies where teams of horses were harnessed together, their combined strength was much greater than their individual strength; each pulling separately. The trick is to keep both parents pulling in the same direction. There are times when both are pulling as hard as they can but they are headed in opposite directions.  Our partnership has turned into a tug of war. This is bad.

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Conditional – Unconditional Love

There are two kinds of parental love; conditional and unconditional.  Every child needs to have the unconditional love of their parents and mentors as well as a good healthy dose of conditional love. Parenting is a constant struggle to find the right balance. In my early years as a parent, I would feel like I had gained a pretty good balance and then suddenly things would go spiraling out of control again. It is part of the ebb and flow of how we are coping and how those around us are adjusting to the demands of life.

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Parenting-101

Being a parent is a non-stop event. We face daily challenges, crises and emergencies. Schedules become impossible. Illnesses and injuries catch us off guard and are emotionally (and sometime financially) draining. We face homework, practice sessions, tutors or team meetings and the pressure only gets worse as we move along. This constant pressure often results in marital stress and conflict. Arguments and struggles become more manageable and healthy when we set down common goals.

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