Tag Archives: love

MEDS

I recently attended therapy workshop by Dr. David Burns.  Dr. Burns’ book, The Feeling Good Handbook describes a type of therapy that is very similar to what I use with my clients.  The Feeling Good Handbook is a long time New York Times bestseller.  Dr. Burns was for many years a researcher and professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is now a visiting professor of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine.  Many of the therapy topics that David Burns addresses are also addressed in my book, Perfect Circle.  Even though he is a psychiatrist, Dr. Burns has always been somewhat cautious about the use of anti-depressant medications.  In The Feeling Good Handbook he recommended using some anti-depressant medications for short periods of time (up to six months) but then suggested going off of them.  He has always felt that the cognitive behavioral therapy as outlined in his books was a superior and safer alternative to medications.  I pretty much say the same thing in my book Perfect Circle in chapter “D” of the ISLAND acrostic.  That chapter is “Deal with depression and anger”.  I believe that anti-depressant medications can be helpful but they should be monitored closely by a psychiatrist if they are going to be used.  My main argument is that they are generally safe or you could not have 200 million prescriptions written ever year, and they seem to work dramatically with a small number of my clients.

At the therapy workshop, Dr. Burns was much emphatic that anti-depressant medications are not any better than placebo (sugar) pills.  That is quite a statement for a psychiatrist to make.  He bases much of his argument on the work of Irving Kirsch and his book, The Emperor’s New Drugs.  Kirsch’s main point is that the drugs don’t really help more than placebo.  Both Burn’s and Kirsch argue for empirically based therapies for people with depression.  This is certainly worth considering.

just one more reason to AVOID porn

I found this video on the great blog site – “To Love Honor and Vacuum”.  It  is a video of Chris Hedges discussing what he learned about the malicious treatment of women in the porn industry.  Porn will kill your marriage but it also harms women.  See the chapter on “Avoid” in my book Perfect Circle.

Chris Hegdes on Porn via YouTube

 

She’s Perfect!

beautiful woman

She’s Perfect!

Take a look at Song of Solomon chapter 4 in the Bible.   It’s worth a quick read.  The husband is praising the beauty of his wife and he is really over the top and quite explicit in his praise of her body.  Then in verse 7, he sums in all up by saying she is “flawless or without spot or blemish”.  She is perfect!  Such is young love, but that is how he sees her.  No woman is actually perfect but that is how love works.

Of course this is a very non-subtle metaphor for how God sees the church, his bride, in Christ.  God looks at us in love and sees us perfect.  Not because we are perfect (we are not) but God see us in Christ.  This is same language in Ephesians chapter 5, where Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church.  It tells husbands to present their wives to God without spot or blemish.  How can this happen if we never start seeing them the way God does in Christ?

Now let’s talk man to man.  How do you view your wife?  Is she perfect in your eyes?  If not, maybe you are not loving her with the eyes of faith or from the perspective of grace.  This really is a choice.  Love looks past the faults and flaws and sees the perfection.  According to research, men who feel that they have “married up” have better marriages than those who do not.  Zig Zigler, the wildly successful motivational speaker always said that he had a great marriage simply because he counted himself so lucky to be married to his wife.  He placed her high above himself.  Let me ask you this, “What harm will actually result if you started seeing your wife as generally perfect”?  Maybe she will feel really loved…if you started acting like she was perfect.  Start with the concept that she is the standard of beauty, that she is correct and wise, heck, start thinking she is perfect.  You won’t be any worse than Solomon in love.

TURN IT AROUND TUESDAY TIP #4 of TEN

This blog is about husbands who are unhappy.  It seems that this is a major marital disease.  There are a lot guys out there who are just not happy.  It may be because they are NOT dealing with their anger and depression (see my book Perfect Circle).  It is my firm conviction that it is husband’s mood that sets the tone in any home.  If the Sargent isn’t happy, the troops are not happy.  If the head coach is mad – watch out in practice on Monday!  Too often we believe, wrongly, that is mom isn’t happy the house is not happy.  But this is wrong because if forgets that it is actually dad that who it the head.  He is the Sargent, coach and leader – if there are kids they will look to him.  A wife will have her emotions.  Not because she is a female, so save the PMS jokes.  She will have emotions because she is a human.  Plus she has to deal with marriage to you.  So she is not always happy, but when the leader leads in terms happiness you get a happy home.  It is up to the husband to be happy.

Why should you be happy?  Well if you are a Christian you could start with Gospel.  God saved you when you didn’t deserve it.  But for some deep material I turn to the One-hit-wonder group from 1969, called Mercy (interesting don’t you gospel folks think?).  They wrote a song with this title “(Love) can make you happy.”  The parentheses are part of the title.  Some of the copyrighted lyrics are as follows:

Love can make you happy if you find someone who cares

To give a life time to you and who has a love to share

La-love, la-love

Love can make you happy

Love can make you happy

Love can make you happy,

Love

Here is my point – you were VERY fortunate to be found by Jesus.  He actually came to you.  Then, you found someone who would give their entire life to YOU, someone who cares for you.  That should make you very happy.  Now as the coach or Sargent would yell – “get out there and act like it”, even if you are not feeling it right now.  Commands to love and even happiness are to be followed not debated.  Feelings will take care of themselves.

Turn it around Tuesday Tip – want to be in a happy marriage?  Realize you found someone who loves and cares and then put a smile on your face and keep it there.

Verse of the week:

Proverbs 10:28 the hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Turn it around Tuesday Tip #3 of Ten

husbandandwife

My wife and I attended a marriage retreat hosted by our church this past weekend.  The speakers were Greg and Erin Smalley. I was very impressed with their approach to marriage and I would recommend buying their books and I certainly would suggest if you get a chance to hear them that you do so.  I do not have permission to share their material so that is all I can say publically.  I was however reminded of something very general that makes a good tip for this Tuesday.  We participated in an exercise where we were asked to make a list of spouse’s positive traits.  We had to write them down and then we were encouraged to expand on them on occasion.  The list should grow with time. The idea was that we should visit that list and meditate on it especially when we have negative feelings toward our spouse.  This makes great sense.  The Smalley’s shared some stories of how helpful this can be – you will have to see them in person to hear their compelling stories.  In the meantime, when was the last time you made a list of your wife’s great qualities?  She has them you know.  Begin by thinking of how attractive she was to you when you first met.  Her smile, her looks, her hair, her positive or fun attitude, or whatever it was that made her stand out in a positive way.  Since then, what about her hard work, her faithfulness, her putting up with you, her tireless efforts as a mom.  Her wisdom, her perseverance, her intelligence, and her generally loving attitude.  The Bible commands us to love our wife, but in reality we have lots of lots items on our list of respect.  Put them down and look up the Smalley’s.

Tuesday Turn it Around Tip # 2 of Ten

“She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 2 Samuel 11:3 (NIV) – A lesson in Avoidance of sexual sin

Everybody knows the story of David and Bathsheba – a morality tale regarding the fall of king David into adultery and murder.   Certainly, there is a lesson that these “big” sins are to be avoided, but the story is much more sophisticated than just “do not do that”.  It is a story about the fruitlessness of trying to cover our sins, the consequences such sin has directly on our families, and how God’s blessings can easily be taken for granted.

In my book the “Perfect Circle” I discuss the need to Avoid sexual sin as way of creating a successful and lasting marriage.  This is never easy in a society completely awash with sexuality. Whether it is the ubiquity of pornography, bikini babes on sports sites, or simply the girl in the office with tight clothes, lust is hard to avoid.  I believe the story of David and Bathsheba gives a very subtle hint on how sexual sin can be avoided.  Bathsheba was introduced as someone’s daughter.  This is a very important observation.  She was the daughter of Eliam, one of David’s own warriors.  And so it goes with internet girl, sports calendar girl, or office girl – even though we make them sex objects, they are in fact, actual persons with actual fathers.  They are someone’s daughter.  Do you have a daughter?  God had a Son, his name was Jesus.  He was an actual person and he was treated poorly.  The story in 2 Samuel 11 ends by saying that God was displeased with David’s sin.  No less when we forget that objects of lust are someone’s daughter.  Perhaps you should point that out to yourself the next time you find yourself tempted to not avoid some person or image.  It all starts with a look – like David over his palace wall – and ends with us forgetting there is a father somewhere.  By the way, if there is no father, God says He is father to the fatherless.  Think about that.

Look past HER wrongs

happy couple 2

Quick! What is one of the most difficult Bible verses to follow in your marriage?  For many the answer to that question is found in the middle of the “love” chapter, also known as I Corinthians Chapter 13.  Here is the section to which I refer:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (v. 5-7 NIV).  All of these descriptions are difficult for men.  Patience is everybody’s problem.  Anger seems an emotion all too familiar to husbands.  But for me the clincher is “keeps no record of wrongs”.  That is a deal-breaker right there.  What if my wife does something really bad?  What if she has long track record of repeatedly doing things that offend me?

In my book, Perfect Circle, I have encouraged husbands to see themselves as prophets, priests, and kings in the spiritual sense, in their marriage.  A key feature of a good king is his ability to look past a sin or transgression.  Kings can do this.  They can commute sentences and cancel debt.  They can even choose to treat those unworthy as worthy members of his kingdom.  This is a model of grace.  This exactly what God the High King of Heaven does for us.  He looks past our sin every minute of the day.  We don’t even belong in His presence, but because of His Son Jesus, he treats us like friends.

Look past your wife’s transgressions and treat her as a friend.

 

LOVE MORE!

Happy couple embracing and laughing on the beach

It’s a family joke.  My oldest daughter had a swim coach for her competitive swim club who used to tell the swimmers that if they wanted to swim faster they should “go faster”.  He was actually a very successful coach with this rather ridiculously profound formula.  So it became a family joke that whenever one of my kids encountered a school or sports challenge we would say with tongue in cheek, “go faster” or “study harder” or some variation on that theme.  We would laugh all the while knowing there was an element of truth to the joke.

Marriages are about hard work.  This is one of the ideas that I explore in my book, Perfect Circle: A Husband’s Guide to the Six Tasks of a Contemporary Christian Marriage.  The second task is on the topic of love.   Husbands are commanded directly by God to love their wives.  My book chapter provides insight into how to carry out the command to love.  However, it is a very a profound reality that often what we really need to do is just “love more”.

In order for my daughter to swim faster at swim meets she has to swim faster in her daily practice sessions.  In order for my son to be a better cross country runner he has to run faster in his daily running work outs.  In order for me to a have a better quality marriage I need to love my wife more on a daily basis.  I can’t show up to the race having gone slow for weeks on end and expect to do well.  Unless a husband does a better job of loving his wife on a day to day basis the marriage does not improve.  If you want a better marriage – love more.

Don’t neglect to buy a copy of Perfect Circle and review the chapter called, Show Love.