By Eric Scalise, Ph.D.
Some years back, my wife and I, along with our two sons, took one of those vacations that provide a lifetime of memories. However, for me, the highlight was our time together in Sequoia National Park. It was here, in the midst of God’s beautiful creation, that I finally understood the power of a seed...
Every family has its own unique set of rules. They are typically established by parents and set the tone for communication, decision-making, and conflict resolution, as well as defining the parameters for how relationships are supposed to function within the home environment.
When it comes to the brokenness seen in many toxic relationships, including a chaotic marriage, the road to freedom and restoration is often a process. Just as hurt and pain usually develop over a period of time, recovery and healing also tend to follow a progressive journey back toward stability.
By Eric Scalise, Ph.D. and Stephanie Holmes, M.A.
What do music composers Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, artists Michelangelo and Vincent van Gogh, physicists Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci, President Thomas Jefferson, and Microsoft Founder Bill Gates have in common? All are known or suspected of fitting somewhere on the autism spectrum.
My wife and I remember the day quite well. Our identical twin sons came home from school one afternoon and announced that they had decided to enter the United States Marine Corps. The terrorist attacks of 9-11 were still fresh in our nation’s psyche and military operations were already underway in both Afghanistan and Iraq. As parents, we had visions of college and “safe” jobs with a future.
Every marriage and every home offers the opportunity to create meaningful relationships, to lay the groundwork for a secure and healthy self-identity and to incorporate scriptural principles that lead to a vibrant and active celebration of one’s relationship with God. In 1 Corinthians 8, the Apostle Paul tells us that “love edifies” or builds up. Love helps build a marriage. Love helps build well-balanced children and a legacy that moves from one generation to the next. Yet, what about the things that tear down?
An oft quoted verse of Scripture related to marriage is, “The two shall become one” (Eph. 5:31). Unfortunately for many couples, once the marriage ceremony is over, the adventure begins when a husband and wife start arguing about, “Which one?”
By Dr. Eric Scalise, Ph.D
I once told a group of counseling students I did not really believe in premarital counseling. After the awkward pause and allowing the confused expressions to settle in, I smiled and said, “That’s because I believe in pre-engagement counseling.”
By Eric Scalise, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT
What does it mean to manifest Christ? Within our homes? To our children and families? What is required of Christian mothers and fathers? According to Webster’s, the term “manifest” is defined as, “making clear or evident to the eye or the understanding; to show or be distinctively perceived; to prove and put beyond doubt or question.” It is also the root word in manifesto, which is a public demonstration or an openly declared statement.
Everyone has a story to tell and everyone needs to tell his or her story. As a husband or wife, your life also has verses and chapters, and that narrative is being lived out each day with your spouse.
Let’s take a closer look at the process of recovery. Years ago, a good pastor friend of mine, Stuart Rothberg, shared with me four simple steps on this pathway to freedom.
So what about you? Has your husband or wife done something that was deeply hurtful? Or has there been an ongoing pattern of hurt and disregard? Perhaps you have wrestled with some of the reasons I listed as to why it can be difficult to forgive. Do you struggle with who you’re looking at in the mirror every day? Has God seemed distant and out of reach in your situation or marriage?
Irish poet, Oscar Wilde, once said, “Men always want to be a woman’s first love and women always want to be a man’s last romance.” My first date with my wife was an absolute train wreck and something I have worked diligently at erasing from my memory banks (smile). As I recall, everything that could go wrong…and more…unfortunately did. I spilled popcorn and soda on her at the movie theater, accidently turned right into two lanes of oncoming traffic when we pulled out of the parking lot, and inadvertently left her standing in the rain after we finished having a bite to eat. Why? Because I lost the car keys. Yes, this all happened in one glorious evening and that’s not even the whole story. Of course, my beloved maintains I was distracted and merely falling hopelessly in love with her, but just didn’t realize it yet.
By Eric Scalise, Ph.D., LPC, LMF
When tempers flare and words fly… help couples and families reconnect and work toward meaningful conflict resolution! At AACC’s Specialization Counselor Training and Coaching Intensives, you have the opportunity to learn from national trainers Dr. Eric Scalise and Dr. Linda Mintle, who bring 60+ years of combined clinical experience.
In Part I of this series, we examined and defined what stress is and what it does. Now, in Part II, we will look at some tangible and practical steps which can be taken to better manage the stress.
In this two-part series – we will first examine and define what stress is, as well as the consequences of prolonged exposure, and in Part II, we will look at some tangible and practical steps we can take to better manage the stress we face on a daily basis.
In Part II, we looked at the middle three factors that help produce a world class, gold medal marriage. This included Time, Perseverance, and Consistency. We will now examine the final two factors that help create a marriage two die for, Sacrifice and Accountability.
Factor #6 – Sacrifice.
In Part I, we looked at the first two critical factors that help produce great marriages. The first was Capacity and the second, that of being Goal-Oriented. Together, these two factors create the necessary foundation from which to build a healthy and vibrant relationship between a husband and wife. Let’s examine the next three factors, Time, Perseverance, and Consistency.
By Eric Scalise, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT
Have you ever stopped to consider someone who isn’t merely good, but absolutely great at what they do?
Justice In The Home
Never Give Up
"Above All Else"
The Influence of Friends
From Mourning to Morning
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Eric Scalise, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, is the President of LIV Enterprises & Consulting, LLC and CEO for the Alignment Association, LLC. He is the former Vice President of the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), as well as the former Department Chair for Counseling Programs at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He is an adjunct professor and the Senior Editor for both AACC and the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. Dr. Scalise is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with 36 years of clinical and professional experience in the mental health field. Specialty areas include professional and pastoral stress and burnout, compassion fatigue, mood disorders, marriage and family issues, combat trauma and PTSD, addictions and recovery, crisis response, grief and loss, leadership development, life coaching, and lay counselor training. He is a published author with Zondervan, Baker Books, and Harvest House, is a national and international conference speaker, and frequently works with organizations, clinicians, ministry leaders, and churches on a variety of issues. Dr. Scalise and his wife, Donna, have been married for 36 years, have twin sons who are combat veterans serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, and three grandchildren.
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