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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love & Respect: Keys to a Successful Marriage

Marriage Keys: Love & Respect

By Gayla Fields, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” -- Ephesians 5:33

Guess what? God made men and women different. Of course, you know that. But, did you know He also made their individual needs different? That’s why He commanded women to respect their husbands and men to love their wives.

It’s simple. Men need to feel respected. Women need to feel loved. I’m not saying that men don’t need to feel loved and women don’t need to feel respected. They just approach these needs differently.

When a woman feels loved, she also feels respected. When a man feels respected, he also feels loved.

While it’s impossible to meet every need your spouse has, it’s helpful to try to meet the needs you can. It makes sense. When your spouse’s needs are being met, he/she is much more likely to meet your needs. Besides, the Bible says it's the right thing to do!

Husbands and wives should talk to each other about their specific needs. In general, women have a need to spend time with their husbands face to face, talking and sharing thoughts, feelings and daily circumstances.

Wives want to share. They feel connected when men just listen, without being critical or trying to solve problems.

Many women complain that their husbands hear them, but don’t truly listen because they quickly try to “fix” the problem.

What women need to remember is men have a great ability to fix problems. It’s their natural tendency. But women don’t always want this.

If you want your husband just to listen, help him out. Tell him you don’t need a solution, you just need to talk. Don’t get angry if he slips into that problem-solving mode. It’s his natural bent. God made him that way.

Husbands remember: your wives need connection, not correction. Women want to know they’re cherished and valued.

Men can fill this need by showing appreciation for their wives, acknowledging all they do to help the family, complimenting their appearance, meals, or work, and telling them they're important.

When women hear they’re valued, they feel loved. They’re more likely to show more respect for their spouses.

Men feel respected when their wives support their work and show confidence in their ability to lead and provide for the family. Men often tell me they feel disrespected (and unloved) when wives complain, make too many demands, or are critical of the way they spend time.

When a wife complains that her husband is always working or doesn’t spend enough time with her, the husband is likely to feel disrespect. His view is that he works hard to support his family.

As a result of this disrespect, he may pull away from his wife. The wife interprets this as unloving. A vicious cycle begins. This cycle can be broken if couples stop and think.

If a wife says how proud she is of the work her husband does or notices when he is working hard, the husband will feel more respected and less criticized.

In addition, men generally enjoy shoulder to shoulder (instead of face to face) time. They don’t have the need to have deep conversations during these times.

Companionship is important to men. Women can meet this need by accompanying their husbands to sporting events, or fishing, watching TV or exercising together. This time of companionship reminds men that they are liked (not just loved) by their wives.

Again, when the husband feels his needs are being met, he is then more likely to be more loving and meet the needs of his wife.

So… get this cycle rolling:

The more loved women feel, the more respectful they will be. The more respected men feel, the more loving they will be.

Usually, if one spouse will begin being more loving and respectful, the other spouse will follow. You just have to decide to act in the right way.

It’s important to know the decision to act is based on CHOICE, not feelings. You may not “feel” like doing any of this. That does not matter. Do it.

Husbands and wives can DECIDE to do the right thing. Feelings will follow action, so make the right choice.

Great Books on Marriage Relationships can be found in the Faith Family Resource Center, located at Faith Baptist Church. There are also several videos and tapes by Dr. James Dobson and others on Marriage Relationships. Call 539-3434 to reserve your book or other material.

The Faith Family Resource Center will be open Wednesday, October 27, from 12 noon to 7 p.m. Come visit and explore!

Capture His Heart/Capture Her Heart by Lisa Terkeurst.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Family MATTERS: UNPLUG!!!!!

Here is another article published by Faith Baptist Family Resource Center. "Family MATTERS" articles focus on helping your family and your marriage. ENJOY!

UNPLUG!

Faith Baptist has teamed with Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Gayla Fields to bring you this column. All books in our articles can be found on the shelves of the Faith Family Resource Center. You may call 539-3434 if you’d like to reserve a book. Leave your name, book name and phone number!



Recommended Books: The Bible and “364 TV-Free Activities You Can Do With Your Children”

Bible Verse: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” -- Romans 12:2


WARNING: Parents! It’s time to unplug! Our electronic-obsessed world is creating individuals who can’t communicate beyond a push button.

Parents can help children juggle the constant stream of stimulus by setting boundaries early and helping their children be discerning about what they watch, type, communicate and absorb.

Statistics show children and adolescents spend between 4 and 7 hours per day using electronics, TV, music, cell phones, video games and computers. They go on to show that children under 6 years old who spend a lot of time with electronics are at increased risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder.

Children are learning to swear at younger and younger ages, according to a report released by Socioliguistics Symposium. Why? TV and music has taught them.

It’s time to unplug. The electronic culture can be encroaching and all-encompassing. There is no down time any more. Constant stimulation is always available. If a person can’t talk on the phone, they can text.

If a teen can’t e-mail, they can sit and face a constant flow of info at the open window of their computer. It’s getting harder and harder to close that window.

Cyber bullying via computer or texting is on the rise. Studies show this bullying increases the risk of depression in teens.

Parents need to discuss computer and cell phone problems with their children. Encourage them not to post negative, threatening remarks on social network sites or texts. Explain that all postings are permanent and may be retrieved by future employers, teachers, the government or even spouses!

Parents should also be open about instances they’ve been a victim of or observed cyber bullying.

Parents should be careful not to become hooked themselves. Electronics rob individuals of relationship and communication skills. Their impact may be subtle, but it is disturbing.

Not all electronic media is evil, but we must learn to limit our exposure. As the Bible says, there should be moderation in all things.

Electronics often disrupt sleep. Those who get less than 5 hours of sleep are more likely to experience mental illness within the next year. Children should not go to sleep with a TV or computer on. This is artificial and often too stimulating.

TVs and computers are also robbing children of reading time. The result is poor stimulation to brain receptors that control problem solving and analytical skills.

Parents may consider having an electronic bed-time in which computers, phones, and I-pods are turned in to parents. Any items after 10 p.m. on a school night can be dangerous.

Parents should monitor TV, video games, and internet use. Video games are often violent, and those exposed to them are more likely to be aggressive and defiant. Parents must make sure the games are age appropriate, and parents should not be playing or viewing violent games or TV in presence of children.

Parents may consider having their own facebook (or other social network) page in order to be able to see what types of messages /communication are posted by and about their children.

Remember: use of electronics is usually sedentary. Obesity continues to grow in America as people crowd around TVs, video games, computers and i-pods.

Parents need to be good role models and not sit in front of the TV or computer too much! Try to engage your children in outdoor activities, playing with toys or games together, and outings.

Participate in TV-free weeks. Give prizes! Play games! Go places where TV and computers cannot go.

Break free of our electronic culture and unplug every once in awhile. You and your children will benefit.

Family MATTERS -- Newspaper Article - Helping Your Child Excel in School

Every other week, we publish an article for families in our local paper. We will post them for your benefit.

Faith Baptist Church presents
family MATTERS


Welcome to a corner of the paper where you’ll find help for your family! Faith Baptist Church is pleased to offer this column focused on bringing you practical, Godly advice to tackle today’s challenges!


Are you wondering how to help your child excel in school? Do you have questions about effective discipline? Do you need advice on handling stress? Struggling with a challenging teen? - Want to give your marriage a lift?
Faith Baptist has teamed with Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Gayla Fields to bring you this column. Together, we’ll explore the Bible to find God’s direction. All books referenced in our articles can be found on the shelves of the Faith Family Resource Center, which is open from noon to 7 p.m. the last Wednesday of the every month.
Our goal is to pull families together in the Light of Christ’s love. This is the key to building strong families!

This Week’s Topic: Helping Your Child Excel in School
Recommended Books:
The Bible & “Home Life: The Key to Your Child’s Success at School” by Cheri Fuller
Bible Verse: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
– Proverbs 22:6


1. Maintain structure. Children and teens may complain about your rules, but they need them. Maintain a routine after school: snack time – homework – play – dinner – cleanup. Children feel protected by structure and perform better with it.

2. Create a study area . Fill it with all the items needed to complete their work. Make sure this area is NOT in front of a TV!

3. Form a positive relationship with your children’s teachers. This allows parents to support the teacher and school experience.

4. Give kids consequences for their choices/behaviors. If a child does homework without complaining, praise the child and give a reward such as playing a game with them or spending time together (NOT in front of the TV!) If a child refuses to do homework or lies about homework, remove a privilege or make bedtime earlier. Allow you child to experience consequences!

4. Love your husband or wife. Statistics show that children in homes whose parents have happy marriages do better in school.
Watch for more info in the future! Recommended books are available through the Family Resource Center, located in Faith Baptist Church on the corner of Alton and High Streets in Freeburg. The Center is open the last Wednesday of each month from noon to 7 p.m. Call 539-3434 and leave your name and number to request a book.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Don't miss our upcoming Family-Friendly Programs!

Check out the programs below and call 618-539-3434, if you have a question!

ALSO - Note our church website: www.faithbaptistfreeburg.org !

ALSO - Check out these Library Titles: "Parenting Isn't for Cowards" by Dr.James Dobson
"Help! I'm Drowning in the Carpool!" The Faith Family Resource Center is open the last Wednesday of each month noon to 7 p.m. Come see us and our resources! Movies & DVDs also available!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More Mouth Verses...Good to know

Yesterday, I wrote about My Mouth. I promised more mouth verses. Here goes:

Psalm 19:14 (New International Version)
14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.


Psalm 64:3 (New International Version)

3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim their words like deadly arrows.
(Yikes! Don't do this!)

Proverbs 10:19
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. (Do I talk too much?????)

Proverbs 12:18
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (I've gotta remember this one!)

Proverbs 16:21
The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction. (hmmmmm....parents.....)

Proverbs 17:27
A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. (Yikes! Convicting!)

Proverbs 18:8
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts. (A Gossip Tip: Don't.)

Did you notice a lot of these are in the Book of Proverbs? Open your Bible to the center (OK, I'll give you a minute to find it - Look on that shelf beneath the coffee table.) Psalms is in about the center. Next comes Proverbs. Here you will find some of the greatest instructions known to mankind.

This stuff is practical. You'll want your teen to read (just leave it on the floor open -- You never know...they might pick it up!)

There are more mouth verses to come. In the mean time:

"Use helpful words, not harmful words...the kind that build others up."

Faith, Family and Freeburg....Reflections on Life

If you live in our beautiful little village of Freeburg, you may read the newspaper, The Freeburg Tribune. The following column appears in the Tribune each week. I will try to post my column every week....just in case you are not one of the Tribune's faithful readers:

I Love You This Much


I have to relate a story I heard on the radio. It just fits

He didn’t know his father. There was a distant memory of shouting and pain and misery. That was a shadow.

His life had been a shadow ever since. He dodged in and out of the darkness, hiding. He lived in the shadow of drug addiction, trying to find something to fill the emptiness.

He lied. He stole. He destroyed….until he was caught.

He spent several years in prison, drawing his loneliness and bitterness around him like an impenetrable cloak. He kept to himself. He was still empty when they freed him.

His life, his home, even his country, seemed strange to him. He decided to travel to fill an emptiness he really did not know how to fill.

He ended up in a village in Africa, among a simple people. He was introduced to a tribal family and was invited to stay the night in their hut, sleeping on a mat.

As he lay his head wearily on the mat, he noticed the father of the native family squatting by his bed, watching him.

“What are you doing?” he asked the man.

“You have come here alone,” the native father said. “You have no wife or family with you. It is my duty to watch you as you sleep, to let you know you are not alone.”

The young man did not know what to do. He really could do nothing, but fall asleep.

As he drifted off, he suddenly sensed something. The native father gently placed his hand on the young man’s shoulder.

In that moment of tenderness, tears welled in the young man’s eyes. Suddenly, the violence, the depravity, the emptiness of his life came flowing to the surface. All he wanted to do was to ask for forgiveness.

The love of the father brought him to this point. For the first time in his life, he felt at peace.

Long ago, another Father reached down and placed a hand upon the shoulder of mankind.

“I love you this much,” He said as He struggled to pay a debt that His children could not pay. Through it all, His hand never left our shoulder.
Some of us shrug off this loving hand, refusing to look at the things we’ve done wrong, seeking to live our lives alone with our impenetrable cloak drawn about us.

But the hand is still there. The love is still there.

My prayer is that you feel this love. My prayer is that you let the Father touch you. My prayer is that you let God fill your empty places.

May you feel God’s hand resting on your shoulder as you let Him take control of your life.

My Mouth

If you thumb through my Bible, you're going to find many verses highlighted, marked and paper-clipped. What do the verses have in common? My mouth.

I have trouble with my mouth. Do you? Sometimes I put my foot in it. Other times, I open it way too quickly and spew out things I'd just as well should not have said.

My mouth is my biggest blessing and my biggest curse. -Gotta get a handle on that mouth. Friends and family would appreciate it.

James had a good idea about the mouth. He wrote about it in the Bible. Just check out these verses referring to the "tongue" (i.e. the mouth):

"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.

"Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

"All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

"Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." ( James 3:3-12)

Hmmmmm....sounds like God is concerned about what we say. Maybe I should be, too.

I'm gonna keep reviewing those mouth verses. Watch for more "tongue-taming" verses in the future!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Faith, Family & Freeburg....Reflections on Life

...An article I wrote in the Freeburg Tribune. Thought you might like.

A Trip to Dad’s House

“In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” -- John 14:2

You step out of the car and you’re hit. A flood of memories wash over you and wakes you up to the past.

It’s Father’s Day and I’m at dad’s house. I’m a kid again.

I remember this neighborhood, which seemed bigger and broader when I was a kid. There were bicycle streets that never ended and big fields that knew no bounds. They all seem small now.

I step into the tiny kitchen and shout, “Hi, Dad!” He’s in his easy chair. He’s been working in the yard and has found his rest there. I’m so glad he’s here and thank God for this home.

My dad has always been a worker. He taught his children never to sit when others are working, to always pitch in and help, even if you don’t know the people who are working. Always lend a hand. That’s my dad.

I know my dad by sweat and projects and helping. That’s just the way he is. If we had something to sell, he’d sell it. From Girl Scout Cookies to Boy Scout Candy, my dad would hawk our wares like a crafty salesman.

I’ll never forget the day I went to his retirement celebration at work. There on his desk sat one last box of my sister’s school candy, labeled with a sign, “Final Closing Sale!”

“Hi, Babe,” I hear my dad say from his chair. He can’t see me too well these days, but he can tell it’s me by my clatter and clamor in the kitchen.

He walks in, a bum knee slowing his pace. He and mom and I sit in the tiny kitchen by the coffee pot and talk. There’s nothing like family talk over coffee. It’s a sweet time.

I don’t know when was the last time my father slept a full night. When I spend the night, I hear him up and down.

At four a.m. he may be washing the dishes. At six a.m., he’s brewing coffee and singing a soft song.

“There is a shanty in old shanty town…hmmmmm” When the words fade, he hums. I could listen forever to my father’s music.

I’m thinking of my father’s music this morning as I get the word of the death of another dad. This dad was a young and vibrant, a precious man who worked with us at Kids Community Bible Study in Belleville.

I remember how he carried his toddler in his arms as he passed out juice and cookies to the children. I remember his giving spirit and kindness.

Cancer has taken him away. This is a hard one. This is a God-sized ache.

God is reminding me of a verse, however, a verse about going to Dad’s house. I cling to that verse this morning, thanking God for my dad and the other daddy who has gone home…to his Father’s house.

“In my Father’s house there are many rooms.” My prayer is that you know the Father who has prepared a place for you to come home to. I know that is where the young daddy is today, perhaps even listening to the Heavenly voice of a Father’s song.

We will miss you, my friend. Have fun at Dad’s house.

Thoughts Worth Sharing...Are You Weary?

Weary? Remember the words of a Savior who loves you: "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Jesus goes on to say we should walk with HIM -- in fact, be "yoked" with Him. If you're a farmer...I mean an OLD farmer :) You know young horses or oxen pulling a plow or cart were often "yoked" with older, wiser animals who set the pace and kept those young ones from straining and stressing.
So....let's slow our pace a bit. Invite Jesus to walk with you. Focus on Jesus and settle in to HIS pace. After all, He said (29,30)"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
I'm feeling better already. Hope you are, too.

Faith, Family & Freeburg...Reflections on Life

If you live in our beautiful little village of Freeburg, you probably read our local paper, The Freeburg Tribune. I write a column for that paper. I will post my articles from time to time. Enjoy.

A Strange Mom
I’m a strange mom. There are certain things I do that can send chills up the spine of a normal kid (especially a teenage kid).
I want to list the ways I'm a strange mom. Perhaps some of you moms out there can relate.
___I do not dress like a teenager. My typical uniform of turtleneck and slacks sets off a grimace among my daughters. I don’t care. I’m the mom and I might as well look like one. I’m cozy and warm and covered and don’t have to worry about anybody thinking I’m trying to look young. I am not young. I am the mom.
___I don’t “relate.” Long ago and far, far away…I was a teenager. I can barely remember those days. I know I did a lot of theater and sang a lot. That kept me out of trouble. Now, however, I am the mom and I can’t compromise just because at one time I was a little flaky. I am the mom now. Sorry, I can’t relate.
___ I can say no. That’s a tough one for any mom. It’s so easy to cave in. I’ve done it. But I’m one of those strange moms who wants her kids to know that some things are just not a good idea. My kids may not like me, but I have to say no. I can only protect my kids if I build some fences. I can’t kick the fences down just because they’re whining.
___I can be the bad guy. Go ahead, kids. Blame the strange mom. I love being an excuse to get you out of embarrassing situations or tight spots. Sure, anyone under the age of 17 may think I am strange and strict. I don’t care. I’m the mom and I only care what God thinks. He’s in charge.
___I embarrass my kids. I've been caught singing show tunes at the top of my lungs. I’m sorry, kids, but it just comes out sometimes. I also sing Veggie Tale songs and about every Kids Bible Study song in the book. Singing is my thing. I try to hide it, but sometimes it bubbles out.
___I’ve been known to dance. I love it. Usually I’m in the basement where no one is watching. Sometimes, however, I start swaying to the music in public and, if my daughter isn’t there to grab my arm, I weave my way onto the dance floor and mortify bystanders with the sight of a mom dancing.
___I pay attention to my kids' movies, TV shows, internet and songs. “Is it decent?” I ask. My kids moan. When they can’t say “yes,” it annoys them. At least they understand that what they watch and listen to could affect what they think and do.
___I love my kids. Don’t we all? But I’m the strange mom who holds them accountable…because I love them. I’m the mom who wants them to work…to build integrity. I’m the mom who questions them …to make them think. I am the mom who talks about God stuff… because love doesn’t get any better than that.
I’m a strange mom and mighty proud of it.

Coming SOON!

Hello, my friends! Please know this is a work in progress. Family, life, work and dirty clothes often stand in the way of organizing and writing. We hope you enjoy our information. Thank you for your patience! -- Laurie (The Cracked Pot waiting to be filled by my Savior!)