How We Deceive Ourselves

Do you ever find yourself acting contrary to what you know is good or what you really want to be about? Or perhaps you know someone who says the right things and seems to present good intentions, but, in fact, they do not actually do much that is consistent with such beliefs. I call this self-deception.
Continue Reading

Is your anger covering up vulnerable emotions?

Ed sat across from me in an intensive session, not able to wrap his head around the idea that his wife desperately needed him to have some sort of feelings for her. A long marriage, kids, and financial success were in the balance, as she was ready to divorce him because he could not express any kind of deeper emotion and was stoic and cold. I could see him struggling with this notion that he had feelings and needed to share them. One of the first things I do in counseling is see where your deep feelings begin to come
Continue Reading

Navigating Stress and Depression Around the Holidays

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. As I write this, Thanksgiving is coming up and, this year, my mother and daughter will join my wife and me, as well as an aunt who I rarely see. Others have also been or will soon be invited so we can fill the home with loved ones and enjoy time together for at least a few hours. Holidays can be a wonderful time to bring together the family that you don’t get to see every day. But, for some people, the holidays also bring stress, loneliness, or depression. To-do lists pile up this time
Continue Reading

You Reap What You Sow

I learned long ago the rule “garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, you usually get out what you put in. It is the idea of sowing and reaping. If all I plant is corn then that is all I will get. This concept can be applied to marriage as well. What do you want to reap in your relationship? Do you want a relationship that is meaningful, helpful, loving, caring and affectionate? Are you sowing what’s necessary to meet that goal? If not, perhaps you need to sow something else. In other words, change what you’re doing.
Continue Reading

Money and Relationship Manipulation

Is money important to us? Does it influence us? Most people would agree that money is a powerful motivator that can be used for good or bad. It can help a relationship grow and feel secure or it can be used as a manipulative tool. The Bible teaches that love is the value we need to exude. Love is about relationship.
Continue Reading

Could Online Therapy Work For Me?

Have you ever seen a man and woman together in a restaurant who are more engaged with their phones than they are with each other?  One of the curses of our day is that it’s easier to mindlessly scroll through our phones than it is to connect with the person across from us. At the same time, when used well, current technology can allow us to connect with friends and family across the globe, allowing us to keep our relationships strong. We can Facetime or Skype with a loved one and almost feel like they are right there with us!
Continue Reading

Quality or Quantity Time?

A number of years ago I planned a weekend getaway for me and my wife.  I booked a bed and breakfast and planned a tour of part of the Olympic Peninsula we had never seen so that we could enjoy some time together.  But in the days leading up to the event, a family in the congregation I pastored experienced a loss and I was called upon to lead a memorial service. We were still able to go on our trip, but we left later than expected, got lost on the way, and if all of that wasn’t bad enough,
Continue Reading

Faith, Hope and Love: A Mindset for Your Marriage – Part 3

The greatest of these is Love. Our culture offers us many definitions and examples of what love is. For example, you may have heard, “Love means never having to say you are sorry.”  But love actually means the opposite – it means saying sorry when we have not acted in a loving way, and accompanying our words with a true behavior change. The True Meaning of Love The Bible is clear on its definitions of love. First, love is much more rooted in action and commitment than in feeling. On this point, it seems that our modern world has really
Continue Reading