Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

VOTE TODAY

posted by Linda Mintle

 GET OUT THERE AND VOTE TODAY!

It’s important! No excuses! Just do it!

3 Needed Tips for Dealing With Family Stress

posted by Linda Mintle

Reader Question: 

When mom and dad are so stressed from kids and work, what kind of strain does that put on marriages? And what about temptation?

Stress either pushes you closer together as a couple or moves you father apart. It also taps your resources and can wear you down if you don’t have the right kind of support.

Couples who support each during a crisis and remain intimate with God, do best. When stress hits, too many couples allow the stress to pull them apart versus band together. Unhealthy couples take out their stress on each other versus come together to get through a difficult time.

Looking outside the marriage for emotional support and distancing yourself from God, both put you in a position for an affair, addictions and other negative coping methods. It’s tempting to medicate or escape your problems with another person, food, alcohol, pornography, etc. rather than deal with stress.

So anytime stress hits hard, consider your resources.

1) People of faith always have God as a resource. He is the number one resource to prevent stress from taking a toll. Scriptures tell us to cry out to God, to cast our cares on Him and He will relieve the burden and bring peace. We can’t always prevent stress from happening and we don’t always have good outcomes to every problem, but God promises His presence and that He will walk us through a stressful time.

2) Turn towards your spouse when stress gets high and use each other to buffer stress, not create more stress. Couples who can do this weather storms much better than those who take out their frustrations on each other and turn away from the emotional support they could build in their relationship. This is how temptation begins to take hold–you feel someone else is a better listener, understands your issues and gives you attention. You allow negative thoughts about your partner–He is preoccupied, she doesn’t care, someone else is a better listener, etc.

3) Practice ways to calm each other down. For example, pray together, problem-solve, enlist the support of others when needed, take a few deep breaths, encourage each other, escape through a good book or funny movie to relieve a little pressure, etc.

 

 

For practical tips to break free from stress, click on Dr. Linda’s book, Breaking Free from Stress

Why The Abortion Debate Will Never Be Resolved

posted by Linda Mintle

“People who are pro life are pro rape.” “People who are pro choice want to kill babies.”

I’m sickened by both political parties making outrages attacks and statements about people grappling with the abortion debate. Pro-life Republicans accused of hating women and pro-choice Democrats portrayed as baby killers. This is shameful. Inflammatory rhetoric does little to open a dialogue for meaningful conversation. Abortion is a moral issue and related to a person’s values. Yes, there is a legal aspect to abortion in terms of the role of government, but that conversation seems to be lost amongst all the mudslinging on both sides.

How do we ever have an honest debate when a Catholic is vilified for following her religious beliefs or an abortion doctor’s life is threatened because he is doing a legal procedure?

Most people feel passionate about their abortion beliefs. What you believe about abortion is deeply embedded in your morals and values. But we don’t make headway on the debate of this issue but trying to bully people into taking our position. And we Christians have an even higher calling, to love those who see the world differently and don’t hold a biblical world view.

I was so impressed by the Abbey Johnson story, UNPLANNED, not because she decided to become pro life, but because her decision to move from pro choice to pro life was motivated by her experience, her beliefs and people loving on her, praying for her and being in relationship with her. Love won the day.

People who support abortion and want the government to pay for it are not evil. Nor are the people who believe abortion is a moral or religious grievance and don’t want their tax dollars paying for it. The debate will never be solved by vilifying each other in political ads.

This political season, we have reached a new low in civil discourse. The lies, attacks, lack of decency are enough to make me say, “November 6, come quickly.” Let’s get the vote over with and stop the madness. Of course, the election won’t stop all the madness because there is now permission to attack people without knowing the facts and presenting things that aren’t true with no accountability. Emotions rule with no restraint.

The conversation about abortion can only begin with love and  following the directives of Christ to love your neighbor as yourself, pray for your enemies and do good to those who despitefully use you. Christians take your positions but do so in love.

After The Storm: How We Respond Matters

posted by Linda Mintle

It has been a traumatic week. The raging winds and rains of hurricane Sandy have wreaked havoc in the lives of so many along the East Coast and even inland this time around. Now, days after the storm has finally abated, we witness the devastation left in its path—people who died, pets swept away, homes and even an entire community destroyed, coastlines washed away, cars tossed about like toys, boats smashed into houses and marinas, and businesses in rubble. The images are hard to comprehend. There is so much damage.

Storms remind us that there are forces operating in our lives bigger than we are and that we are often powerless against these forces. How we respond to the storms of life matters. Our response is the only part of a storm we can ultimately control.

The Apostle Paul knew this well and did not give in to panic or worry when the storms of his life hit (imprisonment, torture, etc.). His example challenges us to not lose perspective when times are tough, to trust God and to patiently submit to His ways. Hope is always present. It was God who brought a quiet calm to Paul’s faith in the middle of trials. Paul lived independent of everything, and dependent on God. This is how he could  rejoiced in all circumstances. What a challenge for us this week.

After the storm, our dependence on God is evident. Like Job, we gain perspective—we are small, God is large. And the largeness of God is comforting. He holds tomorrow and today in His hands. Nothing happens away from His watchful eye. He sees the devastation and promises to rebuild our lives if we allow Him to do so. The challenge is to not give in to despair, but hope in God, to center our lives on the One who can remake disaster into something new, and to trust that beauty can rise from ashes.

Be encouraged, God is with us. He sees the damage but promises to rebuild! He will make something new out of the rubble.

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