I (Dr. Cloud) was once meeting with a couple who had given up hope in their relationship. I knew that they were at the end of themselves. From their perspective, divorce was the next option. At the same time, I knew that their problems were curable. I felt that we first needed to put this couple’s hopelessness on the table, so I asked, “Do either of you have any hope for this marriage?” “No, we don’t,” they both finally admitted. Then I said something that threw them: “Good! Now we can get to work.” “What do you mean?” they asked, surprised. What they did not know was that I knew they both had a deep love for God and, although they were ready and willing to forsake each other, they were not ready to forsake Him. I trusted their faith in God. I knew that if they could stop lying to themselves about wanting to change “for the other,” we could get to someone for whom they would change: God. So I told them so. “I think that both of you are so disappointed in each other and in your relationship that you have very little hope of solving your... Continue Reading »
When people have a healthy and honest friendship, Facebook is a great way to stay in touch because it is so convenient and efficient. However, the other side is true as well. If a relationship is struggling, it’s hard to fix it over a digital connection. Anything negative or confrontational seems much worse when you read it. I tell people to not confront each other digitally at all, as it is easy for the responder to feel attacked or judged. Facebook is a way to connect, but face-to-face has not yet been matched in relationships. It’s important to connect with friends in person. – Wise words from Dr. John Townsend on his Facebook page. Read more here.
Many Christians fear that setting and keeping limits signals rebellion or disobedience. In religious circles you’ll often hear statements such as, “Your unwillingness to go along with our program shows an unresponsive heart.” Because of this myth, countless individuals remain trapped in endless activities of no genuine spiritual and emotional value. The truth is life-changing: a lack of boundaries is often a sign of disobedience. People who have shaky limits are often compliant on the outside, but rebellious and resentful on the inside. They would like to be able to say no, but are afraid. So they cover their fear with a half-hearted yes. Take Barry for example. He had almost made it to his car after church when Ken caught up with him. Here goes, Barry thought. Maybe I can still get out of this one. “Barry!” Ken boomed. “Glad I caught you!” The singles class officer in charge of Bible studies, Ken was a dedicated recruiter to the studies he presided over; however, he was often insensitive to the fact that not everyone wanted to attend his meetings. “So which study can I put you down for, Barry? The one on prophecy, evangelism, or the book of Mark?”... Continue Reading »