By Julie Clinton
I was sitting with my daughter Megan as she read through this chapter’s outline. When she read the title “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not,” she giggled comically.
“What’s so funny over there?” Tim asked, watching TV from the sofa nearby. He had just asked me if I used to play that game with daisies when I was little.
By Dr. Tim Clinton
Google the phrase “heart health” and over 49,900,000 sites pop up. That’s 49 million. Read just a few of those articles and the evidence is overwhelming – there is a direct correlation to what we put into our bodies (diet, exercise, rest, supplements etc.), and the health of our heart.
By Dr. James Dobson
Given all that was placed before us, Shirley did a pretty good job of preserving our family life and getting into the world of our children. But as I reflect, I can’t help but ask, “Could we have found a compromise that would have permitted Shirley and me to have done even better?” I wonder.
Flip Wilson once said, "If I had my entire life to live over, I doubt if I'd have the strength." There must be many women who agree with him, for Fatigue and Time Pressure rank as the second most frequent cause for depression among those completing my questionnaire. As I have journeyed across the United States, from the metropolitan centers to the farms of Iowa, I have found extremely busy people running faster and faster down the road to exhaustion. We have become a nation of huffers and puffers, racing through the day and moonlighting into the night. Even our recreation is marked by this breakneck pace.
Let me turn now to the people who are most likely to give you the help you need. I’m referring to maternal or paternal grandparents. They have a God-given responsibility to influence their grandkids, and most of them are more than willing to fit the bill. There is a very helpful book that may stimulate some ideas. It is called The Gift of Grandparenting, by Eric Wiggen. Here are some excerpts from it that will, I hope, not only motivate single parents to look to their parents but will inspire grandparents to get more involved with grandkids. These are the considered words of Eric Wiggen:
Gratitude fuels faith. How do you feel when you’ve cooked a wonderful dinner for your family and they wolf it down and jump up from the table…without even a “Thanks, Mom!”? Instead of expressing gratitude, they turn on ESPN or jump on Facebook. Sound familiar? How do you feel when you’ve spent lots of time helping a friend, and she seems to take your availability for granted? I think that’s how God feels when we don’t stop to thank him for his blessings.
The front half of the “everything” is easy. Thankful for the birth of a child. For great health. Family. A good job.
The backside of the “everything” is more difficult. The death of a loved one. Cancer. Divorce. A job lost. The empty chair at the head of the table from which dad said the Thanksgiving prayer just last year.
It’s hard to get our hearts and emotions around thanking God for the dark days, for pain, or overwhelming loss.
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, God may have had a dream for me, but I missed it. Or I’m too far along in life for God to be able to use me. Or God might want to use me, but my life is a mess right now!
Regardless of what your circumstances are, what your background is, how much money you have, or what your skills are, God is looking for is a willing heart. And that’s something you can develop—even if you’re not quite ready to commit at this point. God’s is ready whenever you are.
There is still no substitute for the biblical prescription for marriage, nor will its wisdom ever be replaced. A successful husband and wife relationship begins with the attitude of the man; he has been ordained by God as the head of the family, and the responsibility for its welfare rests upon his shoulders. This charge can be found in the early writings of Moses in the Old Testament, returning at least 5000 years into Jewish history. Deuteronomy 24:5 (TLB) reads:
The art of communication doesn’t come naturally to most of us. Some folks just don’t like to talk much. Others talk incessantly without ever really saying anything. But when it comes to marriage, communication is one of the keys to intimacy. Those who master this skill are likely to enjoy a close, fulfilling, productive relationship. Those who continually fail to understand each other, however, often feel isolated and alone. This is a major contributor to divorce.
Bickering. Backbiting. Selfishness. Grudges. Disagreements and full-fledged arguments. Fighting over things that don’t matter with family and friends, even (and sometimes especially) in the church. We all experience these realities of being in relationships with others. We are each unique and so too are our opinions and approaches, our personalities and habits.
Each of us has a heartfelt need to be honored and respected. All too often, however, we take our spouses for granted at home. Is it any wonder that so many mothers hold down jobs in the workplace today? Many work for financial reasons, but some do so to find the recognition and praise they don’t get from their mates. Could this also be why many men spend excessive hours at work—to receive from colleagues the accolades that they don’t get at home?
In an effort to draw on the experiences of those who have lived together successfully as husbands and wives, we asked married couples to participate in an informal study. More than six hundred people agreed to speak candidly about the concepts and methods that have worked in their homes. The advice is not new, but it's a great place to begin.
Husband, we’re speaking especially to you. Just as selfishness is a sure marriage killer, an attitude of service and sacrifice—the “I’m Third” philosophy—is an indisputable marriage builder. We urge you to study your wife. What is it that speaks to her heart?
No matter how hard we try to define romance, it remains in part a mystery. Yet Solomon’s Song of Songs does give us several clues to its nature. In this evocative description of romantic love, we see that it means both intimacy and intense emotional excitement:
One of the most breathtaking concepts in all of Scripture is the revelation that God knows each of us personally and that we are in His mind both day and night. There is simply no way to comprehend the full implications of this love by the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, majestic and holy, from everlasting to everlasting. Why would He care about us—about our needs, our welfare, our fears? We have been discussing situations in which God doesn't make sense. His concern for us mere mortals is the most inexplicable of all.
Some people have the notion that the Lord is entitled to 10 percent of our income, which is called our "tithes," and that the other 90 percent belongs to us. Not true. I believe strongly in the concept of tithing, but not because God's portion is limited to a tenth. We are but stewards of all that He has entrusted to us. He is our possessor--and sometimes our dispossessor. Everything we have is but a loan from Him. When God took away his wealth, Job had the correct attitude, saying...
Are you going to merely live? Or are you going to live your dreams? These are questions that every woman must ask herself and answer at some point in life. If you haven’t asked yourself these questions, now is the time. How you answer them will determine what the rest of your life will look like, starting today...
There's nothing wrong with having a passion and a dream. It should, however, be kept in balance with other valuable components of your life--your family and your relationship with God being chief among them.
Early this year, my husband of eleven years announced that he didn't love me anymore. Joe told me that he would be leaving, though by begging and pleading with him I convinced him to stay for a while. Then one night he became so cruel and said many mean things before walking out. Every time I see him I humiliate myself. I beg him to call the kids and me, but he only says, "I don't want to talk to you." I tell him how much I love him, and he'll reply, "I have no love for you! I don't hate you, but I don't love you either." I was recently told by my doctor that I must have surgery on my eyes next week and that I might lose my vision. Out of fear and panic, I broke down and called my husband, but he responded with indifference to the news. I asked if he would take me to the hospital and stay in the waiting room while I had the surgery. Joe hesitated and then said, "Well, I guess so." Why is Joe acting this way to me? Is there something I am doing wrong?
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Dr. James Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, “Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.” He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family, including The New Dare to Discipline; Love for a Lifetime; Life on the Edge; Love Must Be Tough; The New Strong-Willed Child; When God Doesn’t Make Sense; Bringing Up Boys; Marriage Under Fire; Bringing Up Girls; and, most recently, Head Over Heels.
Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised three U.S. presidents on family matters. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame. Dr. Dobson recently received the “Great American Award” from The Awakening.
Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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