Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Post Boston Explosions: 8 Ways to Respond to Fear

posted by Linda Mintle

Fear is a normal response to what was witnessed at the Boston Marathon yesterday. The prospect of harm causes fear. Many were harmed and three people are now dead.

Yet we cannot allow fear to get a grip on us and cause us to live in anxiety. Our responses to trauma impact us and are felt by our children. So how do we live in the reality of an unsafe world and yet not be anxious for what could happen?

Here are 8 suggestions to help:

1) Don’t overburden your children with too much information and viewing of the trauma. Listen for their questions, give brief information and reassure them that you are doing everything possible to keep them safe. Too much exposure to graphic images can cause psychological problems so limit exposure.

2) Consider the developmental level of your child. Young children may not grasp the finality of death or images they see on TV as real. So deal with the appropriate developmental level of your child in terms of explanations.

3) This is an opportunity to talk about good and evil. There are bad people in the world who want to hurt others, but there are also good people who want to make the world a better place. Sometimes the bad people do bad things and hurt the good people. But God is always with us and promises to help us when bad people do bad things. That is one reason why we pray and ask God to help us. God is on our side and He is the most powerful. Keep it simple.

4) Engage your children in the healing process. Pray for the families involved in the bombings, the people who were hurt and those who witnessed the events. 

5) Talk about where our confidence comes from–the Lord, not things or people. God is in control. When fear enters our minds, quote 2 Timothy 1:7–God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.

6) Talk about all the good stories that come from tragedy--people who opened their homes to strangers, those who offered meals, the police and firefighters who responded with courage, etc.

7) Use this as an opportunity to talk about forgiving people who do bad things. Bring this down to their level. Maybe use an example in their lives of a bully, a mean classmate, etc. and talk about how we are to respond to those who hurt others.

8) Help children understand that we always have a choice as to how we respond to bad things. We can give in to fear or we can trust God. Trust in the Lord. God says he will not forsake the righteous (Psalm 119:172). Turn to Him and allow His peace to come.

 

 

Teen’s Junk Diet Heightens Risk for Heart Disease

posted by Linda Mintle

Is your teen consuming too many processed foods and unhealthy snacks. Well consider this new study. Your teen could be at risk for heart disease. Watch the short interview.

Click here for the link:

Tackling Marriage Myths and Making Marriage Work (Video Blog)

posted by Linda Mintle

Dr. Linda tackles the marriage myths:

YouTube Preview Image

I am a victim of my past

I can’t change.

Infidelity means automatic divorce.

We are just two different people.

We’ve grown apart.

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.


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