Meaningful Dialogue

November 25, 2014

One of the things that motivated me to write the book: Love As a Way of Life is what I see on television day after day. Watch any talk show and you will see that we have lost the art of meaningful dialogue. We have little respect for those who disagree with us. Politicians and religious leaders seem to be in an attack mode most of the time. Someone recently asked me, “Do you really think that love has a chance in today’s world?” I believe that love is our only chance. If we come to respect all people as persons for whom Christ died and we treat them as potential brothers and sisters, we have a chance of bringing them to Christ. He is their only hope.

Q&A: Boundaries for an Ex Spouse

November 21, 2014

Q&A: What should be the boundaries for an ex-spouse who is still in the family picture?

Gary: This is one of the difficult things about second marriages. Whenever divorce takes place, that person isn’t dead, they’re still there. Chances are they’ll be at the wedding of the children and they may be there when the children are sick. And just a lot of other interactions that you cannot avoid. We have to accept that as reality, they’re going to be in the picture, they are part of the family even though the divorce is final. They are still the parent of your children and they’re still your ex spouse. As long as it is not destructive behavior when you are together, you need to make the most of it, you need to accept each other where you are, and you need to ask God to help both of you.

What If Christians Really Were

November 20, 2014

What if Christians really were? The word Christian means ‘Christ like’. In the first century it was not a name chosen by the followers of Jesus. It was a name given to them by others. The best way to describe these people was to call them Christians. Their lifestyle was based on the teachings of Jesus. Central in these teachings is the command to love. In fact, Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love our neighbors. I think ‘neighbor’ starts with the family and spreads outward. Love begins with an attitude, which in turn leads to acts of service. “How may I help you,” is a good question with which to begin. Today is a good day to express love.

Hope for Those Who Live with Anger

November 18, 2014

Many people have no idea why they are cranky, critical, and condemning. They make life hard on others and hard on themselves. Almost always, these people are filled with anger. Everything they encounter seems wrong. They read into the present what has happened to them in the past. They were hurt by parents, siblings, and others. The hurt turned to anger and the anger to a critical attitude. There is hope for those who live with anger. It begins with taking a look at your history. Write down the names of the people who have hurt you. If they are still alive, then it’s not too late to seek reconciliation. If they are dead, then turn them over to God and pour your anger out at the foot of the cross. Jesus knows all about being mistreated. You can trust Him with your anger.

Q&A: Husband Kissed Other Woman While Engaged

November 17, 2014

Q&A: I have been married for 7 years and recently my husband revealed that he kissed another woman while we were engaged. He insists that nothing else happened, but just wanted to be honest with me about it, but I am still heart-broken.

Gary: You were engaged and not married, and there’s a difference between the two. If I were you I would thank him for sharing this with you even though you find it painful. Because, he’s trying to build an authentic relationship with you; he’s trying to be totally honest with you. So I would thank him for sharing that— let him know it hurts you deeply—but let him also know that you choose to forgive him because you love him and you’re not going to allow one event in the past to mess up your future.

A Long Standing Offense

November 13, 2014

Do you have a long standing offense with someone? They mistreated you and you have never gotten over it. Let me urge you to take positive action. Don’t sit around the rest of your life letting anger control your life. Make one more effort in seeking reconciliation. Go to the person and tell them that you would like to ‘make things right’. If they are open, they will confess their wrong and you can forgive. If they are not, then ask God if there is anything else you need to do. Such as ‘return good for evil’. Whatever He brings to mind, do it. Then give that person and your hurt and anger to God. Pray for them, but don’t allow their behavior to control your life. God wants you to be free to follow Him.

Eaten up with Anger

November 11, 2014

One of the common problems I encounter in the counseling office is people who are eaten up with anger. They have been deeply hurt by others. In an effort to be good Christians, they have held their anger inside. They didn’t want to explode or be unkind, so they said nothing. Anger held inside leads to bitterness, hatred, and often depression. If you have internalized your anger for a long time, it’s time to release it to God. Tell God how much you have been hurt. Then, release the person and your anger to God. He is a just and loving God. If the person repents, God will forgive. If they do not, God will punish them. When you release people to God, you put them in good hands.

Q&A: Military Couple How to Speak Love over Distance

November 10, 2014

Q: I am recently engaged and we are in the military stationed on opposite sides of the country. With physical touch and quality time being our LL’s, how can we survive?”

Gary: You would think that physical touch is impossible half a world away. But, I remember one lady who said, “I put my hand on a sheet of paper. I traced my hand and I mailed it to him with a note that said, ‘Put your hand on my hand, I want to hold your hand.’” He told me later, “Gary, every time I put my hand on that paper, I felt her.” It’s not literal touch but it’s emotional touch. I suggest you get the book: The 5 Love Languages Military Edition. It will give you a lot of practical ideas on how to speak the love languages long distance.

Q&A: Astrological Signs and Compatibility

November 7, 2014

Q: If my and my significant other’s astrological signs are not compatible, will this cause problems in the long run?

Gary: There are people who put a lot of stock in astrological signs, I am not one of them. I believe that our relationship with God is the thing that really impacts our relationships with each other more than anything else. If you seek God and you seek to follow His Word, and you build your relationship on the principles of scripture, then you’re going to have good marriage regardless of what your signs might be.

Releasing Anger

November 6, 2014

Do you have memories of being mistreated as a child? Have your siblings treated you unfairly? When is the last time someone deeply hurt you? How did you respond? Jesus gave clear instructions: When we are mistreated we are to lovingly confront the person who hurt us and seek reconciliation. When we fail to do this the hurt and anger live inside and eventually make us bitter. A bitter man or woman will never reach his or her potential for God and good in the world. The first step in getting rid of anger is to make a list of all the people who have hurt you through the years and then release these people and your anger to God.