Love, Peace, & Joy for You!

I was asked again, just yesterday, “Now what exactly is it you do with families?” So I thought I’d just publish the short answer for those of you who have been wondering.

What do I really do?
I teach couples – not-yet married, married, or divorced parents – to understand, embrace, and effectively use …
Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-Control
in their marriage relationships, their parenting, their post-marriage parenting relationships, and in their lives in general.

What are these characteristics?
These are the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, as found in Galatians 5:22
These are the natural character of God’s Spirit which is living in each person who has accepted and confessed Christ as Lord of his or her life. The Bible tells us that if you have accepted Christ as your Lord, then you do have His Holy Spirit living in you. And, if you have His Spirit living in you (in your heart, mind, soul), then you already have these qualities in you. The word picture is that of planting, say, an apple tree in your yard and it bearing apples. Plant the Spirit in your heart and He will bear those fruits.

So why do so few Christians demonstrate these beautiful fruits in the words the say, the way they act, their own character? Well, just because you’ve got an apple tree in your yard doesn’t mean you are well fed on apples if you neglect to go to the tree and pick the fruit it grows, right? And just because you’ve got God’s Spirit producing these sweet characteristics in your heart doesn’t mean you’re using them. Many Christians just let the fruit lie and rot on the ground beneath the “tree.” In other words, you may have the ability to be joyful, but still choose (CHOOSE!) not to embrace and show that joyfulness.

Why? 
Why in the world would anyone choose not to be joyful if they had the opportunity? And that’s the answer: “in the world.” If you keep your eyes, mind, and heart focused on the upsetting events of the world, you can’t focus on God’s gifts right inside your heart.

Let’s say your child is in a rare cuddly, lovey mood. They just want to crawl into your lap, lay their head on your shoulder, and share time with you. But, right at the same moment, your neighbors have decided to have a loud, angry fight in the street outside your window …

Your mind has a choice: focus on the love and sweetness of your child in your lap, or focus on the angry, loud mess outside your window. You know, right now, what you should do, but in the moment you’ll probably either push your child away to see what’s happening, or at least give that child less than the attention he or she deserves …

You make choices like that many times every day. And all too often you are subconsciously choosing to ignore the Fruits of God’s Spirit inside your heart, mind, and soul in favor of upsetting situations around you, in your family, at your job, or just distractions in your mind. Free Will can be both a blessing and a curse so often, can’t it?

So, how do I help couples learn to tap into those precious Fruits so they can have happier relationships and lives within their families?
By reminding them regularly that the option to be joyful is available, guiding them to find the Fruit inside themselves, and developing practices that will strengthen their ability to live more in the Fruits than in the distraction. Now, these practices vary depending on the couple and their particular issues. For some, they may involve creating solid household Rules that will help them work more successfully together; for others, we may find better ways of communicating with each other; and for others, gentle confrontation of upsetting issues may be necessary in order to get those issues resolved.
 
And it works.
It works beautifully. I’ve done it many times for many married couples, parents, and divorced parenting families.

So, if you’re not enjoying your family as much as you wish you could be; if you’re not living the Love-Joy-Peace-filled lives you long for; if you find yourself more often pulled down that lifted up,
let me help you find that joy. You, your children, and your marriage will be much better off for it.

All you have to do to get started on better family relationships is to contact me by email or by phone (479-522-7490) and start asking questions. I’ll be happy to answer anything you’re not sure about. Then we can set a time to begin building your new Love, Joy, and Peace-filled family.

I’ll be waiting for your email so we can get started. God bless your whole family!

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