Category Archives: divorce

A Tribute to Father-Love

I haven’t known many good fathers. It’s a difficult position to fill. It may be partly due to the way we’ve raised boys for the last 50 years–mothers tend to do too much for them and be too soft on one hand, or be disengaged on the other. Fathers tend to be either disengaged or harsh and controlling–not having good fathering themselves, they don’t have a healthy blueprint.

I’ve said before parenting is hard! You may have a picture of who you want to be, but being it feels so foreign. We have to concentrate and be purposeful if we want to change much from how we were parented. However, it is important and worth the effort. There is nothing more important than raising emotionally and spiritually healthy children. They grow into adults who can care and serve, improve the lives of others and society, be strong enough to make change for good.

I love it when I see people putting in the effort and time to be present with their children–being intentional, engaging them in conversation, holding boundaries, having clear and stated expectations, and showing affection. Such parents are my daughter and her husband. Yes, the one I called out here. I also said he was a good man. He treated me well when I met him, he included me in their plans, and opened up and shared his heart. God knew I would need that information for the potholes on the road ahead.

He seems to be always thinking about how he can grow his four sons into good men. He models service and takes them with him to keep the lawns and flowerbeds around their church looking good. He engages their help on projects so they can learn how to handle tools and themselves. And he usually takes them one at a time either to help him or run errands. They love being with him. And that speaks of his respect for them.

I remember before they got married asking the two oldest if they wanted them to get married. (It was pretty obvious–they had been praying for him to come over for six months before he did, but I wanted to hear what they would say.)

They both said a feeling yes, so I said, “You like the way he treats your mother?”

And the younger said, “We like the way he treats us!” I was so impressed to hear a 7 year old say that!

Their step-dad sold his beloved motorcycle because “it wasn’t the time of life” for one. He got a motorhome so they can all go camping. He’s a busy man but he has gotten an old truck so he and the oldest can fix it up together for when he is ready to drive–about two years from now. He is capable like my daughter’s father, and can do most anything. He will be a great teacher for her boys. But the best part is that he wants to be. And even better than that, I know he prays for help and direction daily.

There isn’t a more influential position, no more powerful job than parenting. And fathering is so important that Jesus was purposely planned to be born in a stable, most likely a cave, so he could be birth-bonded to Joseph, his stepfather. The father-love of God would be his favorite topic, and he needed to have a good earthly experience of that from birth. Joseph obviously died before Jesus was 30, but by that time, Jesus had formed such a powerful, real connection with God, his biological father, that he transitioned that loss well.

He modeled for us the relationship we can have with God as our own father. So don’t despair if your father was less than good. Satan has worked very hard with his forces to distract fathers and discourage them from filling their roles well, because he knows how important it is to our maturity.

Consequently, many of us didn’t have great fathers. But we do have one in God. And He is just as available to us as He was to Jesus while he grew up here as a human man. Abba pursues you more ardently than any human father would or could. You can talk to Him at any time, in any place no matter what. All you have to do is want to. No, you don’t even have to want to. You can choose to even without the feeling. He honors any tiny step toward him no matter how feeble, any tiny choice for Him no matter how flimsy, and takes a huge compensating step toward you.

He will give you what you need, what you want in a father, the approval and structure you crave, even to a sense of his personal presence holding you. You never have to feel rejected or alone again because He loves you as if you are His only and His own. Make a special time to be with Him and He will be there for you; you will feel His smile.

In the words of Kristine D’Marco’s song, “He is my father; I never wonder if His plans for me are good, if He’ll come through as He should; for He is provision, and enough wisdom, to usher in my brightest days, to turn my mourning into praise. I am who He says I am. He is who he says He is. I’m defined by all His promises, shaped by every word He says. I am no victim. I’m not a poor man. With the King I have a home, the kingdom’s now become my own. He is my father. He is provision.”

If you want to get a good look at the father-love of God read episode one of Love’s Playbook! 

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Filed under fathering, Fathers' Day, Love ed, Loved, Parenting, parenting and divorce, Uncategorized, What is God like?

Don’t Try This With a Narcissist | Narcissistic Personality Disorder Blog

“There is a story I love about a butterfly struggling to leave it’s cocoon, it is tempting for someone watching to want to try and help – because the whole process looks so painful and takes many hours. But if you step in and cut the cocoon off the butterfly it will never leave the ground and soon die – because forcing itself out of the cocoon is what pushes the newly hatched insects vital fluids into its wings.”

This link is from a couple in Australia who have a recovering narcissist/codependent marriage. They have powerful support and a great ministry around their own experience. I don’t know if Steve was a clinical NPD; he sounds more like a programmed one or the son of an NPD, but they have great articles and books, and do an excellent job of getting information and support and HOPE to those in these kinds of marriages.

via Don’t Try This With a Narcissist | Narcissistic Personality Disorder Blog.

 

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Filed under Bullying, divorce, Help with Narcissism--, Love ed, Marriage, Mental Health, Respect and disrespect, Uncategorized

Got Love? If you are alone today…

Valentines Day–the day we celebrate love–happens to fall on the same day I celebrate God, but then I’m growing into doing that every day.

So, of course you’ve got love today, but do you know it? Are you living in it? Letting it lift you? Letting it nourish you? Celebrating it?

God’s love is as available to you as air! Truly! There is only one requirement, you have to want it.

And it is the sweetest, most affirming, most knowing love you have ever had or could have. God loves you wildly. More than you love your children. More than your parents love you. More than your greatest infatuation.

How do I know this? Because I am experiencing it, and it is truly amazing. I thought I grew up loved, and yet I have such incredible love deficits that sometimes I think I don’t know how to give or receive love at all. But I am learning. I am discovering how to accept, how to receive love, how to let myself be loved.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? I find that it’s not. God has been teaching me to be still and know Him.

We all long for love, but we are not good at it.

We aren’t even good at loving ourselves. Many of us grew up believing it wasn’t right, even. Yet Jesus said God’s law was summed up in “love God with your whole being and your neighbor as yourself.” Don’t love yourself? Can’t love your neighbor.

This past week I said to a client, “When you are loving yourself, who are you working with? God? or His enemies?”

It was a new thought to her. It often is. God loves you, so naturally wants you to love you too. It makes His work easier.

Our problem is getting confused. We think negativity about us is a good thing. We also think loving us is a soft thing. Not true. While kindness is very important, sometimes hard love is the best love you can give yourself. Hard love as in discipline–not eating that extra piece of cake, getting up to exercise because your mind and body work better. Stopping long enough to imagine the situation from your children’s eyes. Fasting 40 days from chocolate, or at least sugar.

But the most important thing is the hardest: Sitting still long enough to let God love you. Sitting still, purposely, just to be in His presence. Even ten minutes to start is good. Breathe and count 7 seconds in and 7 seconds out. Listen to your breathing. Invite God to be with you, to speak to you, to tune you to His voice. But don’t worry if you don’t hear Him, just be with Him. Know that He wants to be with you 1000 times more than you want to be with Him!

And His love is not just like the best Father or Mother you can imagine. It is a lover’s love as well. So whatever kind of love you need, He has it all for you. All you have to do is ask. You do have to want it. He waits for your invitation. Just ask Him to meet you.

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Filed under Becoming real, divorce, Living well, Love ed, Loved, Mental Health, Uncategorized, What is God like?

Love can Alter Perspective

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This picture brought to mind the old saying, “If you want to understand someone, walk a mile in his shoes.

But what if you can’t? What if they are just too heavy to walk a mile? Or across the living room! You might have to rest.

He was trying to walk his stepdad’s boots to his room for Mommy, but they are so heavy he had to rest half way.

Some of us try to walk in the shoes of Our Father and find them just too heavy–way too heavy–to make it to our destination, and instead of resting we give up.

Interesting. Jesus said being connected with Him makes life light. So why does it sometimes feel so heavy?

Last week I had so many commitments, it could have felt way too heavy, especially since I was fighting off some virus, but my weakness made me focus on Him and relax, until the last day. He told me to rest, but I had so much to get done, that I got all tense and tired and irritable! But at least I learned from it–the next day was a great day because of “resting” in His love instead of trying harder and getting tense.

Maybe we don’t rest enough. Maybe we are too conscious of us, and not conscious enough of Him.

I’m sure my grandson had no thought of quitting. He might have been surprised how heavy those boots were, or how hard it was to walk in them; but he just needed to rest a bit–no big deal. In fact he felt honor, I’m sure.

There’s three of them adjusting to a new life, new home, new Dad; but he loves them, and that takes most of the pain of their new life away. When they focus on him, and how he feels about them, how he treats them, it’s worth it. He’s worth it. They feel his love. They rest til they can see their dad again.

Just like their new Dad, your Father-God is worth it. Focussing on His love, His respect, even His discipline, makes you feel secure and safe. He’s worth it. Let yourself rest and feel His love. He will reveal more and more love.

Research says the younger ones (<4) are typically most impacted by life upsets like divorce, but I’ve noticed where there is love on both ends, the little ones do much better than predicted. Sometimes even better than the older ones.

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Filed under divorce, fathering, Fathers' Day, Grief, Love ed, Loved, Mental Health, Parenting, parenting and divorce, Separation, suffering, Uncategorized