Friday, 2 September 2011

Is Your Spouse One of God's Tools?

I am not by nature an angry person. I do get visibly “upset” however when things don’t go the way I think are supposed to go or don’t work the way I think they are supposed to work. In those instances I might be upset with myself, an inanimate object or occasionally another person. To my chagrin I learned that when I behave like a four year old having a snit, my wife feels my anger splashing on to her. It is not directed at her, she has absolutely nothing to do with what has upset me but none the less she feels the impact. I wish I could say that I have gotten this under control – I wish I could but I can’t.

One evening, not too many weeks ago, my wife and I were talking about some lessons that I was learning from Scripture. These lessons did not particularly paint me in a good light unless you consider being prideful and self-centered positive qualities. It was a good natured conversation in which I was acknowledging these frailties. Then in the most kind, gentle, subtle way my wife asked me a seemingly innocent question. She said when you get upset because things are not going according to your plan who are you angry with? Yes she ended the sentence with a preposition. A puzzled look came over my face, a look with which she has become quite familiar. She said ever so sweetly, “Are you angry with God?” The point being that God could prevent any of these annoyances from happening. He could eliminate my frustrations with my computer, He could remove the clueless people from my life, and He could enable me to complete a mechanical task without grumbling and complaining about the moron who designed the object of my frustration. Okay, so who among us wants to admit that they are angry with God?

A Pruning Process
Our spouses can be one of God’s best tools in our sanctification process. The critique is obviously best received when it is delivered in such a loving way that we think we just received a compliment. We should encourage our mates to help us to become more Christ-like. When two people are so committed to one another that they can freely give and receive feedback it brings glory to God.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Gap Theory

Perhaps I am strange (now there’s an understatement) but as best I can determine if I say I know something to be true then I am also saying that I believe it is a fact. I know that the earth revolves around the sun. I know that 12 times 9 equals 108. I know that night will follow day. I believe the facts that I’ve just stated and to me knowing and believing are one and the same. This holds true for everything except when it comes to my faith and God’s Word. At times there is a gap between what I profess to know and what I profess to believe, at least if my behavior is any indicator. Surely I am not alone.

I think the majority of Americans profess that Jesus is the Son of God. That suggests some intellectual assent to the death and resurrection of Christ.

Probably more Americans believe that God was involved in the creation of this world than those who believe in evolution. If that is true why wouldn’t they believe that He could write a book that contained no errors?

There are more Bibles purchased every year than any other book, most of which go unread. These purchasers must believe something positive about the Bible but obviously don’t accept it as fact.

Since many couples still get married in a church they must believe that there is some connection between getting married and God. Yet many couples never consult God’s Word, or follow God’s plan with regard to marriage. Thus indicating that there is a gap between what they believe and the fact that God is the creator of the institution of marriage.

Oops I may have just overstepped my bounds. I stated as fact that God is the creator of marriage. In my case there is no gap between what I believe and what I consider fact. I also believe that God wants us to have marriages that glorify Him. I also believe that God wants couples to have a unity of purpose (biblical oneness), not trying to become one by getting rid of differences but learning how to value and utilize those differences to develop our fullest potential. I believe as fact that God intends marriage to be an enriching, joy filled experience. I also believe as fact that for many couples this is not their reality.

A.W. Tozer said “What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.” This is particularly true when there is no gap, when what you believe and what you know to be true about God shapes and molds you into the person God has called you to be.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Marriage and ADHD

The Diagnostic Manual for Mental Disorders estimates that 3 to 7% of school age children suffer with ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (Attention-Deficit Disorder). Yet, it seems as though each year a greater number of children and adults are diagnosed with this malady.

The Manual lists nine symptoms of inattention and nine symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. To qualify for this diagnosis a patient must have at least six of the symptoms that have persisted for six months or more.

If your spouse has ADD or ADHD they will need grace, understanding, compassion and help. Medication can help. They may need help to develop coping strategies such as learning to ask for help in organizing things, getting help when filling out forms that require accuracy, breaking tasks into smaller chunks, asking for help to find things, etc. Even if the person truly suffers from one of these disorders it must not become the person’s identity and provide an excuse for whatever they feel like doing or not doing.

The person who thinks they have this malady should seek a doctor who has experience dealing with this disorder. If confirmed it will require patience on the part of the family and the person so afflicted. Such a condition will without a doubt put a strain of sorts on the individual’s relationships. They must be careful not to “hide behind” the diagnosis and be willing to understand the frustration their behavior may cause others.

Most likely there is much information on the Internet and ample books on the subject. Whether you are the one who suffers from the disorder or you are the caregiver it will be most helpful for you to get as much information as you can.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 12, the Apostle Paul states,” there was given to me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” God does not waste pain, look for ways that he may be using this disorder to draw you closer to Himself, or enabling you to be a better witness for the Kingdom.

Finally as best you can maintain a sense of humor.