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Posted on Feb 13, 2014 in Culture, Featured, Parenting, repost

A Love Delusion

A Love Delusion

Before you read this: this isn’t an article for parents. As you read it, you might think that’s the case. And while it definitely applies to parenting, it also applies to any loving relationship.

There is a huge delusion our culture has bought into, and it’s absolutely devastating. That delusion is if you love someone, you let them do whatever they want. You don’t say anything to them, even if you see them driving into a mine field – love doesn’t say anything.

This delusion plays into all of our relationships, for instance how we parent. If we really love our kids, we will let them do whatever they want and become whomever they want to be. It also plays into our “romantic” relationships. We see our spouse or the person we love the most doing something that is going to be harmful to them or to their coworkers, and because we love them, we don’t say anything.

“They’ll figure it out” we say, “just give them enough time, and they’ll finally understand.”

But, then they don’t. And this one wrong decision they make leads to another one. If they went right to this 2nd wrong decision the first time around, they would’ve said no. But because they made the first wrong decision, the second wrong decision was now within reason.

Add a couple dozen other bad choices on top of that, and they’ve created a whole lifestyle that’s paradoxical to who they could have been. And now who they become will be greatly affected by this new person they are.

Is this always devastating? No. In fact, I completely believe that God can use these stories for great thing in reaching people for His glory.

But is it best? I don’t think so.

Call me old fashioned. I don’t really care.

It’s easy as a parent to look at your child and see all the possibilities that wait for them. You can see all the potential they have. You can see the pitfalls too, but mostly what you see is potential. Does this mean what you see for them is the best option? Not necessarily. But, you have life experience to add to what you see in them, and you can help them steer away from their pitfalls and toward their possibility.

But you can’t do that if you just let them do whatever they want.

The same is true for other relationships. You can see all the potential that lies within people around you. You can see the pitfalls too, and if you can steer them toward their strengths, you can help them.

Lest you hear me wrong, I’m not advocating for manipulative and controlling relationships. I don’t think it’s our responsibility to control people around us and to manipulate them into doing what we think they should do.

But, I also don’t think we should sit silently and not offer the insight we have.

If we really love someone, wouldn’t we want the absolute best for them? Of course. Well, what if the absolute best for them will only come about if you speak truth into their life? Even if it’s hard and uncomfortable.

What if the most loving thing you can do for a person is confront them? And when did confrontation become such a bad thing?

It’s easy to say we would stop our loved ones from hitting the gas heading into a curve that could send them over a cliff. But, why don’t we do everything we can to stop them from starting down the path that can lead them to the point that they will end up in a car headed for the cliff without you in it to stop them?

“So, what are you saying Writing Man?”

I’m saying we need to love one another enough to sharpen one another. There are several passages in the bible that talk about the effects of teamwork and working together. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

Ecc. 4:9-10

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.

To me, it feels like forcing people to walk alone. If we don’t help people walk this journey, we’re forcing them to walk by themselves. If we don’t love people enough to tell them the hard things, do we really love them?

What we have been taught is love, isn’t love at all. It’s a delusion. Fake love is careful not to hurt someone’s feelings. Fake love goes out of its way not to offend.

But real love, seeks a way to share the truth in a loving way.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” – Eph. 4:15

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Posted on Feb 7, 2014 in Blog, Featured, Leadership, Parenting, repost, Responsibility

The Blame Game Danger

The Blame Game Danger

“The successful man will profit from his mistakes and
try again in a different way.” – Dale Carnegie

“I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work…
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

I have discovered a danger that I want to share with you.

Who’s going to fix it?

When you always blame someone else, you put yourself in a helpless position. If someone else is always the wrong one, how are you ever going to get out of what ales you?

This is a concerning trend. It exists in every level of society. From the Political leaders (from all sides) & CEO’s to teenagers and the homeless, there is a trend to push the blame off to someone else. Common phrases for this are things like “I wasn’t aware of that” or “there’s nothing I can do to change it.”

But, what I’ve noticed is that for those who always push to blame for their position to an external source, there is never any growth or personal progress. As long as there is someone else to blame, no one ever owns their own junk. So, since they never own up to their own mistakes, they never grow as a result.

Lost Authority

Another effect of pushing blame is this: when you’re blaming others instead of taking responsibility, you have no authority. The perfect example of this is as a parent or in a relationship. It’s easier to blame someone else than to deal with someone you care about being mad at you.

Let’s say you have to go into work on your day off. The truth is that the boss asked if anyone would volunteer to take the time and a half pay and you volunteered. But, when you get home to tell your spouse about it, all of a sudden it’s the boss’s fault. “The boss is making me come in to work tomorrow,” you tell your spouse. So now your spouse is mad at your boss for something that was your decision. Not only is this dishonest, it takes all the authority between you and your boss and puts it all on your boss.

Or, as a parent, let’s say that the kids are really wanting to go to the park, but you don’t want to go. So you call your spouse and get them to take the responsibility. They say, “You can just tell them that I said no.” So your kids get mad at your spouse because they’re not letting them go, and you don’t have to go to the park. Everything’s peachy right? Not really, because you pushed the authority of the decision off to your spouse, now you longer have authority to make that decision in the eyes of your children.

 Why does this matter?

Because it is through making mistakes that we often learn lessons that we will remember for a life time. It is through the emotional and mental anguish we go through when we’ve screwed up that we find the power to change and do it better the next time.

When we’ve lost that, what’s left? How to we grow and change?

To be honest, I think the rate at which we make personal change goes way down without taking responsibility. I think we end up with a lot of people who are convinced they are the best version of themselves they will ever be, that they can never get any better and that all the turmoil they face in life is because of someone else.

So, where are you? Do you take the blame for your own mistakes or are you always blaming someone else? It may seem easier in the moment to push the blame off to someone else, but you are doing yourself more damage than you can possibly imagine.

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Posted on Dec 29, 2012 in Fathering, Parenting

We Need Dads! (Stand up for Dads – Stand up for Family!)

I saw this headline today, and it broke my heart. This is the headline: “One In Ten Children Asked for a Daddy For Christmas.”

The facts are depressing. 15 million kids grow up in a house without a dad, 5 million without a mom. The number has risen from 11% in the 1960’s to 30+% today. No wonder there are so many confused young men out there! They didn’t have a dad to love them, so they don’t know how to love as a man. The same is true for our young women, they didn’t have a dad to love them so they seek to fill that void in very shallow and unfulfilling ways.

It should come as no surprise. Dad’s have been under attack for decades. Your normal, average, providing for his family dad has been ripped apart in the media for quite a while. According to them, we’re a bunch of bumbling idiots who like to wear ugly sweaters and risk injuring ourselves with amped up power tools. No average dad could handle the task of parenting if he had to, he’s not smart enough.

Today it’s just an accepted fact that dads are dumb. It’s not even questioned anymore. I’m sure this is being driven by some agenda somewhere, but I’m not going to get into conspiracy theories here.

Instead of wasting time blaming the losers who control the media, how about a new proposal. Stand up for dads! What we shouldn’t do – blame the dads. Sure, there are dads who have been idiots and created many problems for their families. And, yes I’m also sure that a lot of the kids who don’t have dads are the product of a dad who left when he found out his girlfriend was pregnant.

But continuing to blame men and dads will do nothing but sustain the agenda driven crisis in our country. What we need is people to start defending dads and the need for dads in our families.

We need men and women who will take a stand and say, I can’t be both parents. We need women who will stop taking all the credit for all the good things in the family and give the dad some credit. Part of the reason it takes two people to make a human is that it takes two people to raise a human. It takes a lot to raise a mature adult, even many households with two parents struggle with this. Imagine the challenge it is to do it with just one parent who has to be both parents. The nourisher, punisher, and provider.

I’m lucky, as I have a wonderful wife who is also a wonderful mother. And she also freely admits that it takes two of us to raise our kids. But if you’re a wife who takes all the credit for raising your kids, please don’t. Even if it’s in good humor. You have no idea how much damage you could be doing. And you may find yourself discouraging your husband to the point that you will be raising the kids all on your own.

Husbands, don’t discourage your wives by belittling the work they do at home. It’s hard work, and you don’t want to do it. We need our wives.

In fact, we need the whole family. It’s the unit that provides the strength.

Will you join me in taking a stand for dads? We need see a shift in our culture, or there may perhaps be no hope.

Don’t stand for jokes about lazy, good-for-nothing dads any more. If you know a dad who is thinking about leaving, try to talk him out of it. If you know a young man who has gotten his girlfriend pregnant, encourage him not to run. Be bold. Nothing will change if we don’t start making the change.

I believe we can make a difference. I believe we can turn the tide on this storm. Perhaps we just need to try.

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