Has Your Teenager OutGrown Having a “Lights-Out” Time?

By | Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
Has your teenager outgrown having a “lights-out” time? In a word, “no.”

Of course, as your kid starts becoming an adult, it might seem “not cool” to set bedtime guidelines.  But, let’s face it, most of us have given up on being a “cool” parent some time ago.

Here’s why you should care about your 15-year-old’s bedtime routines:

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Is jealousy in marriage normal?

Is Jealousy in Marriage Normal – Part 2

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | One Comment

Part 2

Is it normal for your spouse to feel jealous even if you haven’t done anything wrong?  How do you respond to them when they are jealous?  And how do you best respond to the jealousy that can crop up in your own heart sometimes?  In this two-part blog post, I tackle these tricky issues.

Read Part 1 of This Post

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Five Questions that Will Make You Look Like a Communication Pro

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
The best kept secret about how to communicate in a tense conversation is this: forward movement will usually happen because of something you hear, not because of something you say.

I have written in my books and on this blog about the fact that when conversations turn sharp, it usually ends in two people talking (sometimes very loudly) and no one listening.  Arguments and heated exchanges often do nothing to move the ball down the field, and do far too much to elevate your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall stress level.  And what’s the point of that? Read More

When You and Your Spouse Disagree About Politics

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It’s one thing to disagree with friends and co-workers about political issues, but what do you do when your spouse is rooting for something or someone that you can’t stand?

Here are a few ways to safeguard the heart of your relationship, and avoid a November marriage meltdown. Read More

Wise, Foolish, and Evil People – How Can You Tell the Difference?

By | Goals, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Ministry, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Years ago, Dr. Henry Cloud introduced me to the idea that there are three kinds of people in this world: wise, foolish, and evil. I love that observation! It comes straight from the book of Proverbs where the Bible outlines the difference between each of these life paths. The wise person is headed for a bright and exciting future, the fool a life of hardship and frustration, and the evil person a fittingly disastrous and tragic end.

This is very important for those of us who parent, coach, lead teams, supervise, hire, fire, or are in any other type of authority role. We need to be able to quickly recognize the difference between these life patterns, because they massively impact the future of our families, teams, and organizations. Read More

Free to Live What I Believe?

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This article is quite a bit different from the posts I normally write.  I usually blog about marriage, leadership, family issues, or personal growth; current events commentary isn’t exactly my gig.  But when I started the blog, I mentioned that I would also talk about “life challenges”.  And this post addresses something that is a personal challenge for me.  As a husband, dad, and pastor, I’ve grown increasingly concerned by our government’s tendency to punish those who live by traditional views of gender and sexuality.  And when I read Target’s recent statement about bathroom usage, I decided it was time to address the issue on the blog.  This post represents my opinion, and I have tried diligently to keep the ideas and wording thoughtful, balanced, and graciously stated.

Religious freedom is a big issue right now. Watchdog groups on both sides of the issue spend tireless hours trying to make sure their side of the debate is protected. Those who feel that religion has no place in public discourse or the “secular” world have, for instance, fought hard to remove the Ten Commandments from government related spaces, even if the display in question is considered a piece of artwork or a historical monument. They continually pursue the idea that public schools and universities should be religion-free zones, and one by one, any remaining vestiges of faith-based life have been pulled from the education system. They suggest removal of the reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance, the motto “In God We Trust” on American coinage, and the phrase “so help me, God” in many public oaths. On the far opposite side, I sometimes meet individuals who feel strongly that religion–their religion–should be embedded in the government’s gear work. I recently read a post on social media from an individual who insisted that it was time for our government to start “legislating from the Bible.”

I suggest that it’s important for all of us to take a balanced and pragmatic look at the issue before we go too far in either direction. Read More

The Defense Won’t Rest

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | 2 Comments
David and Stacy have a real challenge when it comes to communicating. Neither of them ever feel they are truly heard by the other. When they discuss points of conflict, they automatically default to arguing mode; they completely miss the opportunity to share their true feelings with each other. When they talk, defensiveness rules. They refuse to admit responsibility for causing their spouse pain, and instead, they place blame back on the other.

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the “Believer”

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
Henry Ford changed the world.  He didn’t invent the automobile, but he figured out how to design, build, and mass-produce one that America could afford and wanted to drive.

He was undeniably brilliant, with a mind that seemed to be custom-built for the industrial age.  He was at once an inventor, designer, and production engineer.  If he hadn’t been a dreamer as well, he might have ended up just another cog in the fast-growing machine of industry.  But in the early days of Ford’s adult life, he did have a dream.  A big one.

When not at work, he spent endless hours in a little garage in which he and a few friends endlessly tinkered and experimented with the technologies they believed could combine to create a working prototype vehicle.  In those days, Ford was just another hobbyist, playing around with the dream of building a car.  He was not the billionaire captain of industry that we now think of when we think of Ford.  He was not internationally respected as a pioneer of mechanics.  He was just a man spending his evening hours mucking around in oil and grease, trying out ideas that might or might not lead to something. Read More