Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Something Fundamental Missing in Most Troubled Marriages

Remember your wedding day?  Can you still recite your vows?  Whether you know them word for word, you probably recall promising to love, cherish, and honor each other until the day you died. You meant well. You hoped that would happen and more.

But many of us know that things change. And while we still try to love each other we know there are way more fights or at least major disagreements that often become hurtful and harmful. We don't know why we spar over the little stuff or why our spouse irritates us so much.

Well, there are lots of factors when it comes to our conflicts but there is one that is especially worth considering.  It's what I call the Identify Factor. Most of us have a case of mistaken identity. We think that our spouse will fulfill us, do or say enough things everyday that will make us feel whole and important.  And while we should attempt to love our spouses, encourage them and build them up we can never be enough for them.

However, many couples struggle with arguing and fighting over some of the dumbest things. Why? Well, it's often because they are fighting for their worth, not about what restaurant they should go to or whether one of them picked the right outfit for little Suzanna. We go at it with the one love because they are not agreeing with us or telling us about something we might have done better and that only reinforces that, yes, we really aren't OK.

But if you're a Christ follower, you ARE OK in God's eyes. Jesus died so that we could be OK again. And there are five things we must be reminded are always true of us once we join God's family.  Let me tell you what they are: We are loved, we matter, we have purpose, we are forgiven and we're a child of God.

On any given day those things are always true. And since they are then when we approach our spouse to talk and they need to say something difficult to us or we aren't on the same page we don't have to win. We are freer to say tell me more or I'm sorry I responded the way I did or let's figure out how to make the best decision here about the kids (or whatever).

Our messed up identify has all sorts of implications: how we will do our work, how we will react to difficulties and even how we parent. If you've been trying to improve you marriage and have even gotten counseling but can't seem to put any new ideas into place, consider your identity. You just might be mistaken about it. Thankfully, God has a better offer for you.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Help Your Family Discover True Riches

I read recently that Mark Zuckerburg, founder of Facebook, only wears T-shirts and jeans most of the time. And I suppose when you're that successful you can wear whatever you want.  Nonetheless, it's kind of interesting that this billionaire goes around looking like some average college student. You would never know how rich he is by his clothing choices.

But more importantly I wonder if our children, especially here in America, know how rich they really are.  Sure, we may not have millions or billions in our bank accounts or stocks, but we truly are wealthy in so many ways. And it's vital that we remind one another at home of that.

For example, we're rich financially in comparison to the majority of the world. We often spend on one pair of shoes what much of the world earns in a week, month or year. We spend billions in this country on things that many people don't even know exist nor would they think matters like massages, make-up, sports memberships and television.

Secondly, we're rich because of our freedoms. Travel to many other foreign countries and you'll discover how monitored and regulated their worlds are. Many countries allow the police to stop you for no good reason or to keep you from saying anything negative about the government. Some places would never allow a church to be built or even meet.

Third, we're rich because of our opportunities. Yes, we're struggling a bit on the economic front but there are still myriad ways for people to succeed, expand their knowledge and live out a dream here.

Fourth, we're rich because of our faith in God.  Too many people have no purpose, meaning or hope in this life. Remind your kids often that God is a God of hope who placed us on this earth to do something that matters and makes a difference.

So whether you consider yourself wealthy or not, have the house or other possessions you've wanted, you really are rich. So think and live like it - even if you only wear T-shirts.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.