By Dr. James Dobson
Would you be more specific about the relationship between the sexes? Am I to assume you do not favor a fifty-fifty arrangement in the husband-wife interaction?
When you speak of "rigid specifications" on which human worth is evaluated, what characteristics rank the highest to us?
My husband and I are distressed because our teenager seems to be rejecting her Christian beliefs. She was saved at an early age and in the past has shown a real love for the Lord. My inclination is to panic, but before I do, can you offer a word of encouragement?
You mentioned the relationship between self-esteem and one’s physical body. I have never felt beautiful or even attractive to the opposite sex. Does this explain why I am extremely modest, even being ashamed to be seen in a bathing suit?
In the middle of your highway to forgiveness there may be a giant roadblock called pride. You know in your heart that you offended your wife with that comment about her body, or her intelligence, or her family. You realize you hurt your husband with that remark about his selfishness or his waste of money. But something is keeping you from admitting wrong and seeking forgiveness. Even though you know you’re guilty, you can’t get the words out of your mouth. At best you can mumble, “I’m sorry,” but you don’t really want to know if your partner heard you.
Sometimes it’s not the fight itself that’s damaging, but what happens when the battle is over. Think for a moment about your own verbal spats with your mate. Do they usually result in a time of healing, or are issues left hanging for a “rematch” later on? Do you and your spouse agree to leave an argument behind after you’ve talked it out, or is there a prolonged period of distance and silence?
You have told us what kinds of homes produce children with the greatest intellectual potential. Are there other studies that would tell us how to raise kids with the healthiest attitudes toward themselves and others?
Do you believe the Lord still performs miracles today, or has the era of supernatural intervention passed?
I have a great deal of resentment and anger toward my father, for what he did to me and my mother when I was a child. I have struggled with these deep feelings for years; I don't want to hurt him, but I can't forget the pain he caused me and the rest of our family. How can I come to terms with this problem?
By what means can I test my own feelings and impressions? What are the steps necessary to prove the will of God?
I can commend no better model of selfless, unconditional commitment than Robertson McQuilkin. In his book A Promise Kept, he relates how he served as president of a thriving seminary and Bible college in South Carolina for more than twenty years. His wife, Muriel, supported him in many ways, including as an excellent cook and hostess when they entertained guests of the college in their home. They were an effective ministry team.
One of the greatest destroyers of faith is timing that doesn't fit our preconceived notions. We live in a fast-paced world where we have come to expect instant responses to every desire and need. Instant coffee.
It’s important to understand how kids think. Their conflict often becomes a way of manipulating parents. Quarreling and fighting provide an opportunity for both children to capture adult attention. It has been written, “Some children had rather be wanted for murder than not wanted at all.” Toward this end, a pair of obnoxious kids can tacitly agree to bug their parents until they get a response—even if it is an angry reaction.
Like their brothers, many girls are being victimized by cultural influences that are increasingly more violent, hypersexualized, and spiritually impoverished. And this is the key: our society is at war with good parents who are trying desperately to protect their kids from the harmful forces swirling around them.
You have said that children of godly parents sometimes go into severe rebellion and never return to the faith they were taught. I have seen that happen to some wonderful families who loved the Lord and were committed to the church.
The culture is at war with parents for the hearts and minds of their children. I don’t need to describe this battle because you see it, too. Parents in decades past would not have believed what was about to happen to the institution of the family. I am not sure many of us understand it, either.
Another component of “love must be tough” is that it is most successful in a crisis. That’s when change is most likely to occur. It doesn’t happen when two agitated and angry people are engaged in a collision of wills. The “coming together” usually happens later, when conviction and compassion interact. Again, Windsor responded like the Christian mom she is. She asked for guidance from the Holy Spirit and received it.
The concept of who God is has always been difficult for me to comprehend. I'm still not sure I understand Him as I should. How can my children possibly grasp who He really is?
Our society is telling us that we're all victims of some sort of abuse. Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians, Jews, Native Americans, women, children, and now even white males are supposed to feel discriminated against. Yes, discrimination and racism are still serious problems in this culture, but it doesn't help to make us all feel like we're being "had" in one way or another.
You said the concept of “love Must Be Tough” has applications other than this narrow definition. Talk about that in the context of marriage.
Justice In The Home
Never Give Up
"Above All Else"
The Influence of Friends
From Mourning to Morning
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Connect With Dr. James Dobson
Dr. James Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, “Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.” He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family, including The New Dare to Discipline; Love for a Lifetime; Life on the Edge; Love Must Be Tough; The New Strong-Willed Child; When God Doesn’t Make Sense; Bringing Up Boys; Marriage Under Fire; Bringing Up Girls; and, most recently, Head Over Heels.
Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised three U.S. presidents on family matters. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame. Dr. Dobson recently received the “Great American Award” from The Awakening.
Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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A Message To Husbands and Wives
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