By Dr. James Dobson
Almost all husbands and wives experience conflict from time to time, which is not necessarily unhealthy to their relationships. A verbal spat that stays within reasonable limits can open the windows and give the couple a chance to vent frustrations and release some steam.
Inevitably, these differing assumptions collide head-on during the early years of marriage. Young John is out there competing like crazy in the marketplace, thinking his successes are automatically appreciated by the lady at home. To his shock, she not only fails to notice, but even seems to resent the work that takes him from her. "I'm doing it for you, babe!" he says. Diane isn't convinced.
I have a very unhappy and miserable neighbor who can't get along with anybody. She has fought with everyone she knows at one time or another. I decided that I was going to make friends with her if it was humanly possible, so I went out of my way to be kind and compassionate.
Question: Would you describe more completely the nature of the conscience and how it functions? You implied earlier that a person's sense of guilt is dependent, in part, on what he was taught in childhood. Is that correct?
The surest way to avoid an affair is to flee temptation as soon as it confronts you. Author Jerry Jenkins has referred to this determination to preserve moral purity as building hedges around marriage so that temptation is never given a foothold. You take steps to protect yourself and enhance the level of trust in your marriage at the same time.
You must give them a desire to stay within the confines of the family and conform to its system of beliefs. If you fail in this task, you could lose the battle of wills later on. The law today favors rebellious teens. They are likely to prevail in any nose-to-nose confrontation between generations, perhaps even leading to legal emancipation at an early age. Here’s what you can do to prevent it.
We come now to the final task assigned to mothers and fathers, that of releasing grown children and launching them into the world of adulthood. It is also one of the most difficult. Several years ago, we explored this topic by conducting another informal poll of radio listeners. I asked them to react to this question: "What are the greatest problems you face in dealing with your parents or in-laws, and how will you relate differently to your grown children than your parents have to you?" An avalanche of mail flooded my offices in the next few days, eventually totaling more than 2,600 detailed replies.
Most marriage counselors emphasize communication as a foundation for a healthy relationship: Nothing should be withheld from the marital partner.
In our efforts to understand the strong-willed child, we must ask ourselves why he or she is so fond of conflict. If given the opportunity to choose between war and peace, most of us would prefer tranquility. Yet the tough-minded kid goes through life like a runaway lawn mower. He'll chew up anything that gets in his way. The taller the grass, the better he survives and thrives.
If you and your spouse really love each other, won't that hold you steady when the storms come?
Is sustaining an iron-willed commitment fundamental to a good Christian marriage?
By Dr. James Dobson
Guilt is one of the most painful emotions in human experience. Sometimes it is valid and represents the displeasure of God Himself. When that is the case, it can be forgiven and forgotten. On other occasions, it is entirely of our own creation.
It is also no wonder that parents are more concerned in the present era. Their children are walking through the Valley of the Shadow! Drugs, sex, alcohol, rebellion and deviant lifestyles are everywhere. Those dangers have never been so evident to me as they are today.
If you have begun to slide into despair, it is extremely important to take a new look at Scripture and recognize that you are not unique in the trials you face. All of the biblical writers, including the giants of the faith, went through similar hardships.
Let me offer some counsel now, to mothers and fathers who want to handle the instruction of their own children and are looking for a few helpful "how-to’s." My hat is tipped to them. Even in this enlightened day, the subject of sex is charged with emotion. There are few thoughts which disturb Mom and Dad's tranquility more than the vision of answering all of their children's probing questions--particularly the ones which become uncomfortably personal.
By Dr. Dobson
Every day is a struggle now for his mother and father. He will not yield to their leadership. This young man, whom they have cherished, seems bent on destroying himself before he is grown. He comes home at all hours of the night reeking of alcohol and smoke. If they demand to know where he's been, he blows up. "Get off my back!" he screams. They are worried sick.
To be a princess is to be considered beautiful, to be pursued, and to see all your hopes and dreams come true. Now who wouldn’t want to be a princess?
The question to ask is whether or not leaving large amounts of money to off- spring is worth the risk it imposes on those you love. You must decide if you want to remove from your children the challenges that helped you succeed—the obligation to work hard, live frugally, save, build, and produce by the sweat of your brow. Do you feel right about replacing that need for discipline and industry with a ready-made empire that can be mishandled or squandered?
Let me turn now to the people who are most likely to give you the help you need. I’m referring to maternal or paternal grandparents. They have a God-given responsibility to influence their grandkids, and most of them are more than willing to fit the bill. There is a very helpful book that may stimulate some ideas. It is called The Gift of Grandparenting, by Eric Wiggen. Here are some excerpts from it that will, I hope, not only motivate single parents to look to their parents but will inspire grandparents to get more involved with grandkids. These are the considered words of Eric Wiggen...
In the days of the wild and woolly West, a lone cowboy went riding through a valley and came unexpectedly upon an Indian lying motionless on the road. His right ear was pressed to the ground, and he was muttering soberly to himself. "Ummm," he said. "Stagecoach! Three people inside. Two men, one woman. Four horses. Three dapple gray, one black. Stagecoach moving west. Ummmmm." The cowboy was amazed and said, "That's incredible, pardner! You can tell all that just by listening to the ground?" The Indian replied, "Ummmmmm. No! Stagecoach run over me thirty minutes ago!"
Justice In The Home
Never Give Up
"Above All Else"
The Influence of Friends
From Mourning to Morning
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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.
How to Raise a Brat
A Message To Husbands and Wives
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