Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Divorce Proof Your Marriage

posted by Linda Mintle

Jack Hayford, gifted pastor, teacher and speaker, posed the question: “Do marriage vows matter?” It’s an important question that deserves more discussion. Hayford states that confronting the problem of divorce among Christians is not “a showdown between those who have failed and those who might criticize them–it’s a confrontation needed to face down a mind-set that, if left unchanged, will bring an onslaught of hellish delusions.”

The blur between secular and Christian views begins in the mind and heart. When we entertain the lies of our culture, we become disillusioned. Lies build on lies. They work on our feelings and eventually alter our relationships.Over time, we “fall out of love” and excuse those who do the same. This pattern of thinking and behavior is the subject of my book, I Married You, Not Your Family.

In my experience, most Christian divorces are not about abuse, repeated infidelity or abandonment. Christians divorce over solvable problems. Christian couples say: “We’ve grown apart. We’re not in love anymore.” Divorce becomes the solution to unhappiness or lost passion.

Marriage is no longer seen as a covenant but as a breakable contract. When the costs of marriage outweigh the rewards, divorce happens! The attitude is, “Time for a new partner who can better meet my needs and make me happy.”Happiness is the ultimate end–so underlying the marriage vows is the unstated escape clause, “I’m outta here if it doesn’t work out.” In short, postmodern followers of Jesus have ditched the concept of a marriage covenant for the secular view of a marital contract.

The pull of cultural deception is like an undertow. Many fight it for a while but ultimately succumb to its strength. The fight is against delusion. The problem with being deluded is that you rarely know when you are! If you believe marriage to be at best tenuous, divorce becomes a viable option. But believe the covenant to be sacred and honorable, and marital relationships will survive. Marriage will still have its unhappy times, but problems will be solvable, forgiveness will abound, godly obedience will be manifest and blessings will be restored when covenant is invoked.

In I Married You, Not Your Family, I identify 10 popular cultural lies Christians use to support divorce. The first lie is that marriage is a contract. Most Christians say, “No, it’s a covenant.” But their behavior doesn’t support their claim. Behavior follows belief. Too many react to marital difficulty by seeking an escape from their vows.

Reread the chronicles of the Old Testament kings. The Israelites endured king after king: Good kings. Bad kings. Kings whose behavior was despicable. But God in His mercy and grace maintained the covenant with His chosen people. His decision to do so was unconditional. Though He sometimes had to deal with His people’s behavior through judgment, He never opted out of the covenant.

What is the application to Christian marriage? We have entered into a holy covenant, before God, with another person: Good spouse. Bad spouse. Our mind-set should be “till death do us part,” not “till I’m unhappy.” Deal with the unhappiness but stay in the covenant. Without God, most marriages simply limp along. That is precisely why secular culture reframed the institution of marriage to make it more disposable.

As pastor Hayford reminds us, this mind-set leads to an onslaught of hellish delusions–more lies, more anguish and more breakup.

Ways to Resist the Cultural Pressure to Be Thin

posted by Linda Mintle

Check out this by clicking on this link

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A Christian Response to Suicide

posted by Linda Mintle

This past week we all heard the tragic news of Rick Warren’s son’s suicide. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family  as they mourn this painful loss.

Suicide is not a topic talked about in the church even though Christians can be tempted to see suicide as an escape from life’s pain when depressed. Today I am actually presenting on elderly suicide in the church, a problem that is more prevalent in older people than in the young. Suicide is the cause of 11 out of 100,000 deaths in the US (NIMH) and impacts all ages.
I am often asked  to comfort those who have experienced suicide in their families. The question of eternal destination comes up. Eternity with God is based on one thing- does a person claim Jesus Christ to be his or her Savior? Scripture is clear that there is one way to heaven, through the saving grace of Christ. No act, no one, can take salvation away from a person. Salvation is not based on works, but on the work of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:2-24).
In those cases in which the person does not claim Christ as his or her personal Savior, we still don ‘ t know what transpires in those last moments of life. So it is not out place to make a judgment call on someone ‘s life.
So why would someone who professes Christ commit suicide? The answer is found in Scripture as well. The temptation of suicide is a satanic one. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, Saul killed himself after consulting the witch, and Judas hanged himself after Satan entered him. Jesus ‘ response to Satan was to resist, knowing this was not God’s plan for his life. In a moment of desperation, a person can give in to temptation and cut short the purpose of God in his or her lie. He or she can momentarily believe a life of hopelessness.
In a helpful sermon, given years ago by Pastor Jack Hayford, he gives  four areas of help for those touched by suicide:
1) Release the guilt, the anger and the shame that comes. Release it all into God’s mercy and hands. People can succumb to temptation and give in to despair when depressed, but you are not bound to carry the guilt or shame that can accompany suicide.  God does not override our free choice.
2) Recognize the thought of suicide in not sin, but a temptation that is demonic. Satan is the father of lies. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. But Jesus can to overcome the darkness and deliver us from all temptation. Christ in us can bring victory,
3) Resist the devil. Put on the helmet of salvation. Daily, renew your mind with the truth of God ‘s word. In Christ, there is always hope and peace to be found. Exalt Christ in every detail of your life, honor the power of the cross and let it work deliverance in your life. Know the warning signs of depression and stay in the truth.
4) Surround yourself with fellow believers who can lift you up when you are tempted to give in. Link together and stand firm on the Word. We need each other when we face our pain and the lies of the enemy.
As a therapist who has treated many with depression, I would add that depression is treatable in many cases. Don’t be afraid or feel stigmatized for taking medication if it helps. Recognize that some types of depression are more resistant than others but don’t give in to despair. What Pastor Warren told us all is still true, God has a purpose for every life. Don’t cut that purpose short.
Dr. Linda Mintle is the author of Breaking Free from Depression,  depression treatment from a biblical perspective.

And the Worst Customer Service Retail Award Goes to…

posted by Linda Mintle

I can’t comment on heavy stuff everyday, so after yesterday’s shock and awe about Yale, I need a lighter blog!

If you shop and care about customer service, check out the top 9 worst retailers for customer service according to  a story in USA Today (3.16.13).

Are you surprised by any of the picks?

Only one was an on-line retailer.

9. Walgreens  -they certainly are on every corner and I never can find anyone to help me at the Photo section!

8. TJ Companies (T J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods)-pretty much a do it yourself kind of place. The people checking in at the dressing rooms never look like they want to be there!

7. The Gap  -this one surprised me. People have always helped me! I like Gap and am satisfied!

6. Supervalu –supermarkets (Save-A-Lot, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Shop N Save)–Name a grocery store that has people available to help. When you ask for help in an aisle, they usually say they don’t work for the store and are only stocking shelves.

5. Sears–the one in my town just went out of business….hmmmmm

4. CVS-Caremark -Are prescriptions ever ready when they say they are? And some of the in-store pharmacy counters treat you like a military drill–get in the right line, now!

3. Safeway-supermarkets–can’t remember the last time I was in one! No comment.

2. Netflix--e-commerce –increased pricing didn’t sit well with the neighbors.

1. Walmart–it’s hard for me to go there after a kid on a cart in front of me spilled a 5 gallon jug of oil on me. I kept asking him to get off my cart, his mom ignored me and didn’t say a word or offer to help me when the kid made the mess. And no one in line or at the register would help me either. So I tried to clean myself up with paper towels I found behind an unmanned register and move on. Forgiveness doesn’t mean going back.

 

Based on 14/7 Wall St. review of America Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI);  & MSN MOney/JZ analytics 2012 Customer Service Survey

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