Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Penn State Football: Success Without Honor

posted by Linda Mintle

The Penn State’s football motto is “Success with honor.” After the news of this week, that motto is suspect.

The reason has to do with Jerry Sandusky, a 33 year defensive coordinator at Penn State who retired after the 1999 season,. He was charged with seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, four counts of unlawful contact with a minor, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child and other charges related to the sexual abuse of eight minors, charges that could lead to imprisonment for the rest of his life if convicted. Additionally,  two Penn State administrators face perjury charges for covering up the scandal. And Coach Paterno’s involvement is being discussed. According to reports, he was  informed of an alleged incident and did report it to his superiors. However, Paterno did not follow up to identify who was victimized or ban Sandusky from the football program. Those two missteps of apathy may force him out of his job and bring a stellar career to a shameful end.

The alleged sexual abuse of eight boys, over a 15 year period of time and under the guise of charity work for at-risk youths, is sickening to even think about.

But the real story here is about college football programs and what people will do or put up with in order to win a national title. The list of scandals this year (e.g., Ohio State and the University of Miami to name only two) makes you wonder how much greed is guiding the grid iron.

College football is big business, making it ripe for greed and scandal. Coaches are often the highest paid at universities because their programs make millions for their institutions. Thus, they wield an enormous amount of power.

Based on the number of scandals, recruiting violations and cover ups we have seen this year, we need to take a hard look at reforming a very broken system. Obviously, we need better policing of programs and the coaches that run them. I’m sorry JoPa, but it is unacceptable to hear about possible sexual abuse and then only report it to your superiors. I hope this is a wake up call for college athletics to reform. Sadly, the lives of many young men may have been forever altered before that wake up call is answered.

If true, my heart goes out to the families who thought they were sending their students to a safe place, only to learn of horrific violations.  While coaches may be retired and fired, the families’ grief will continue.

10 Possible Reasons For Kim Kardashian’s Divorce

posted by Linda Mintle

Yesterday I was interviewed multiple times on the radio, once in LA, to discuss the Kim Kardashian divorce. The interviewers felt Kim owed her fans a better explanation for the ending of her marriage.

Here are  10 reasons I could find that have been proposed. They are all speculation since the couple is not being clear about what really happened.

As a licensed marriage and family therapist, the reasons given for this divorce make no sense so far. And none of the reasons are beyond repair if the couple really want to work things out.

Here are my thoughts on the speculation:

1) Kim is a hopeless romantic. In her original statement Kim said she married for love. A 31-year-old woman is not an inexperienced 20-year-old. She was divorced before this marriage and should know that it takes more than love  to sustain a life long commitment. I’ve counseled women who fall in love with men in prison and tell them not to marry these guys. Feelings aren’t enough to make a marriage work. If this is how she makes decisions, she needs therapy.

2) Kim didn’t feel right about it. These are her words. The message is that you follow your heart and get out if it doesn’t feel right. How about, if you don’t feel right about it, don’t get married in the first place. If  you do, go to counseling and try to work it out. Give it more than 72 days.

3) Kim  wants a family and children. This is something that all couples should discuss before they marry, If they don’t, it is an on-going conversation until there is agreement.

4) The couple can’t agree where to live. Again, this a topic for premarital conversations. Living arrangements can be navigated with their money. Like many famous couples, they can have several residences and make this work.

5) Kim did this for the money. I can only hope this is not the case because it really undercuts the sanctity of marriage. She vehemently denies this is the case.

6) Kim did this for fame and publicity. Kris couldn’t handle her fame. Kris is younger, less famous and doesn’t have her money. Women with money and power tend to divorce more than those who are dependent on their spouse for survival. But this was known on the front end of the marriage. The rush to the alter may have preempted working through these issues. Kim’s life is all about fame but again, I would hope that she wouldn’t go this far just to get her name in a tabloid. She admits getting caught up in all the wedding planning, but did no one talk to her about the magnitude of the decision to marry? If not, this would be sad. Usually friends and family can talk sense into you if you are willing to listen.

7) Kim is self centered but wants a relationship. If this is true, then go to counseling and work on your issues so that you can be a better partner. People go to therapy all the time to work on intimacy problems. Divorce does not solve this.

8) The couple has nothing in common. Step one of building a sound marital foundation is developing a friendship. That is why you need time to get to know one another.

9) Kris doesn’t fit with the Kardashian family. Tabloid reports love this explanation and have him arguing over money, flirting with girls, smoking pot and being rude to a cameraman. In my book, I Married You, Not Your Family, I remind people that marriage is a union of two people, but brings together two families. You marry someone and you get the family as a package deal. So families are important, especially when you live with them, depend on them and work with them in reality TV land.

10) The couple didn’t really know each other. This is probably the best speculation. With cameras constantly on them, the surreal world of  Hollywood, I am guessing the dating, engagement and marriage took on a life of its own and the reality of what she did hit after the hoopla was over.

Whatever the reason(s), I hope the two of them will get out of the public eye for awhile, work with a couple therapist and seriously process what happened.

Do you feel Kim and Kris owe their fans more of an explanation?

To divorce proof your marriage, order my book, I Married You, Not Your Family

Responding to Unfair Treatment

posted by Linda Mintle

Personally, I have had to deal with a situation where someone was treated unfairly. There was no apology and no indication that the offense would ever be acknowledged. And confronting the offense was not a safe thing to do. So how do you handle an injustice that you can’t address directly?

Our flesh wants to lash out when we’ve been treated poorly and our culture promotes revenge. But as Christians, there is a clear path to dealing with offense and injustice that doesn’t go along with our flesh or the culture.

First, you acknowledge the hurt and anger you feel. I am hurt that someone willingly chose not to do the right thing because he was afraid and would not stand up for his conviction of what was right. The more I think about the situations, the angrier I become.  So thinking about it over and over does not help.

Second, I must deal with the anger. I know, life isn’t fair, people do not always act the way they are supposed to, and sometimes people are scared to stand up for what is right. Intellectually, I understand why someone would do the wrong thing. My feelings have to catch up with my head.

The Bible is clear that we can be angry but not sin. Scriptural guidelines tell me to not give full vent to my anger (Proverbs 29:11), to not seek revenge (Romans 12:19), to forgive (Matthew 6:14), not to stay angry (Colossians 3:8), give the anger to God (1 Peter 5:7) and not take offense (Proverbs 12:16). Behind the anger is hurt.

Next, I choose to forgive the person and refuse to hang on to the offense. This is an act of obedience to God. As I release the person with forgiveness, I ask God to heal the hurt I feel. I meditate on 1 Peter 2:22-23—Jesus left his case in the hands of God. That is a good place to leave the offense—in the hands of God.

Finally, I need to release the person from my judgment. God sees what he did and will deal with him. I do not have to be the Holy Spirit for that person, God already is! My job is to pray for the offender and continue to allow God to touch my heart when the hurt surfaces.

The process of letting go isn’t easy when the offense impacts your life in a major way. But, asking God to help and refusing to hang on to unforgiveness will end in healing.

Is there an offense or injustice you are hanging on to that you need to release today?

For more help, check out my book, Breaking Free from Anger and Unforgiveness.

 

How to Fight Discouragement

posted by Linda Mintle

Whatever it is that is discouraging you, note the cure the psalmist David employed in Psalm 103:1-5. David talks to himself in a way that uplifts his soul. He tells his soul to bless the Lord and to remember the benefits of serving God.

David wrote this psalm to encourage himself in the Lord, something we need to do regularly. Instead of focusing on all of his problems, David decided to engage his will and rehearsed the goodness of God. He begins the psalm by blessing the Lord.

Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:1-2

Then, he speaks to his soul and reminds himself of all that God does for those who are faithful to Him. So if you feel discouraged, encourage yourself in the Lord. Use Psalm 103 and apply it to your life.

Psalm 103 says, the Lord:

1) Forgives all my sins. There is no need to live in condemnation or guilt. The past is forgiven and gone.

2) Heals all my diseases.  A bad report is subject to the healing power of Christ.

3) Redeems my life from the pit. And in that process, crowns me with love and compassion.

4) Satisfies my desires with good things. He renews my youth like the eagle’s.

This is only a partial list of all the benefits that come with serving God. Yes, bad news comes, life gets crazy and stressful, but we must remember who we serve and the blessings that come from being one of God’s children.

To fight discouragement, do what David did and encourage yourself in the Lord.

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