The Difference Between Giving up and Letting Go

A few years ago,  my daughter had her first job pet sitting and I felt like, at her still young age, she might need a little bit of back up. We took in a toy poodle for the weekend and things were going smoothly until someone (who shall remain nameless here) let the dog out of the house by accident. Our calm Saturday morning at home turned into pandemonium as all 5 of us, plus a few helpful neighbors, sprung to action to find and retrieve this little black ball of fur.

My daughter was in a panic. This was her first real job as a hired pet-sitter and she lost her first client already! Stephen went in one direction on foot, and I went in another by car. It felt like hours had gone by before someone in our neighborhood spotted the little guy under their neighbor’s porch. Picture this: frightened poodle, feeling trapped under this porch (surrounded by lattice), with strangers cajoling and bribing with treats to come out. I’m sure it was a fun sight to watch, but it was NOT fun to experience!

All of a sudden, the little guy FLEW out from under the porch! And by some miracle, I was able to grab him by the collar. And then everything went dark.

Continue reading article by Shelley Hendrix >>

Understanding the value of apologizing.

I was giving a lecture on the five love languages of apology. At the break, a man approached me and said: “For the first time in my life, I understand the value of apologizing. My father’s philosophy was that ‘apologizing gets you nowhere. Do the best you can and never look back.’ That’s pretty much the way I lived until my wife committed adultery.” “So, what would it take for you to forgive her?” I asked. “I want her to admit that what she did was wrong and to promise me that she will never do it again. If I knew that she would never do it again, I think I could forgive her.” This husband was demonstrating the necessity of apologies. There are no healthy marriages without apologies and forgiveness.

Q&A: Husbands That Don’t Want to Talk

Q: Gary, my new husband doesn’t want to talk and just wants to be with his friends. How do I show him that it’s not too late to start over?

 

Gary: It sounds like he’s withdrawing from the relationship and there must be a reason for that. Either in his efforts to talk he has felt put down by you and consequently doesn’t want to talk. On the other hand, I’m wondering, if he wants spend all of his time with his friends, why did he get married? So I think I would ask him, “Can you help me understand why you don’t want to spend time with me?” There has to be a reason. I don’t know what it is, but something is going on if a newly married husband doesn’t want to spend time with his wife.

Q&A: Love Languages and Dating

Q: Gary, should I be concerned if my boyfriend refuses to take the Love Languages quiz? How can I determine what his language is?

If someone refuses to take a positive step in helping the relationship, yes, it’s a red flag waving because they’re not likely to be open to other things you request. In answering your second question, you determine his love language by asking yourself, How does he respond to others?” Observe his behavior. Is he giving pats on the back, is he giving words of affirmation, does he spend time talking to people? The second question is what does he complain about? The complaint reveals his love language. And then, what does he request of you most often? That also reveals his love language. So you can determine his love language even if he won’t take the quiz. But don’t overlook the fact that he’s refusing to do something you’re requesting.

Q&A: Is it Possible to be Forgiven?

Q: Gary, my spouse is having a hard time forgiving me after years for hurtful depression from me. Is it possible to be forgiven?

Gary: Forgiveness is always a possibility, but so is resentment. The biblical pattern, though, is always to forgive. When people express to us an apology for a pain they caused us, we must be ready to forgive. That’s the model of God, and that’s to be our model. On the other hand, we can’t demand forgiveness. We can’t make our spouse forgive us. You can say, “Honey, I understand and I see how difficult it may be for you to forgive me with all the pain I’ve caused you through the years, but I hope you do forgive me because I want to have a good life with you in the future.”

What do You Consider to be a Sincere Apology?

What do you consider to be a sincere apology? What does the person need to say or do that will make it possible for you to forgive them? I have discovered that there are five ways that people typically apologize. I call them the five languages of apology.

  1. Expressing regret. “I’m sorry for what I did.”
  2. Accepting responsibility. “I was wrong.”
  3. Making restitution. “What can I do to make things right?”
  4. Genuine repentance. “I don’t want to ever do that again.”
  5. Requesting forgiveness. “Will you please forgive me?”

Which of these is most important to you? That is your primary apology language. Why not share this information with your family and friends so they will know how to apologize to you.

7 Steps to Get the Most Out of Anger

I grew up in a family that understood anger as a threat to relationship. As such, raised voices or certain vocal tones got us a ticket to our bedrooms where we were supposed to magically get over it. Only we didn’t…

…The unfortunate conundrum is that unless humans pathologically detach, we cannot avoid anger. If you are awake and paying attention, there’s actually a lot going on around the globe to inspire this threatening emotion. Thankfully, God does not call us to be emotional agnostics. Anger is one of many appropriate responses to atrocities, particularly those that end in premature death. When Lazarus died and Jesus faced his grieving sister, Scripture tells us “a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled” (John 11:33). Because of his connection to God the Father, Jesus didn’t sin in his anger. As Paul referenced in Ephesians, we occasionally do.

How are we to respond honestly without hurting others when the inevitable anger rises up within our marriage?

Continue reading article by Dorothy Greco >>

When is the Last Time You Apologized?

When is the last time you apologized? What did you say or do? Did the person to whom you apologized seem to accept your apology? Did they forgive you? Was the relationship healed? If not, I have an idea as to why they found it hard to forgive you. They did not hear your apology as being sincere.

When someone hurts us and is now trying to apologize, the question in our minds is: are they sincere? We judge sincerity by how they apologize. If they simply say, “I’m sorry,” that may seem a bit weak. We may want to hear them say, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” There are five ways to apologize. If you speak only one, you will likely come across as insincere.

Q&A: Long-term Gift Giving

Q: Gary, how is it possible to fulfill my spouses’ “Gift giving” language every day?

Gary: Well, I don’t think you have to give gifts every day to a person whose love language is receiving gifts, but I do think you should do it periodically. The other thing I would say is: don’t think in terms of expensive gifts all the time. It can be a flower you picked out of the yard, it can be a red leaf in the fall, it can be a feather you found while you were taking a walk, it can be a candy bar, it can be anything small. It’s really the thought that counts. And for the person for whom gift receiving is their love language, these periodic gifts that are given out of a heart of love speak deeply to that person.

Understanding Anger

Q: My Spouse has had serious anger issues for a long time and knows how to hide it very well. How do I deal with it?

Gary: Well, mismanaged anger, or anger that is held inside (which is not a good way to manage anger) is not going to go away with the passing of time. people have to learn how to manage anger. In my book Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion, I talk about such things as where does anger come from? Understanding why you get angry, what makes you angry, is the first step in processing anger. And the second step is learning how to control it for a moment while you think about “What would be a good way to handle my anger?” Really, anger is a gift of God! When we understand that, we stop fighting anger itself and ask how can we use it for good purposes in our lives.