Marriage Advice

Committing To be Married

Posted on Apr 22, 2017

I’ve been thinking lately about cohabitation. Pastor Jimmy Evans believes that it’s on the rise because people are trying to avoid problems they’ve seen in other relationships. I agree with this but I also see a fear of making a real commitment. People are leaving themselves an out just in case things don’t work. Marriage is a legal contract designed to protect my rights as a spouse financially. It’s designed to protect children and uphold monogamy. All of these things seem like benefits to me. When I see cohabiting couples they’re often having the same conflicts as married couples but they don’t have the legal rights and commitments that come with marriage under the law. One of the first things you should look at if your living together is the true level of commitment you both have in the relationship. Are you both 100% committed to working thing out? Are you the chicken or the pig? The chicken participates in breakfast, the pig really commits. Rest assured if you are living with another person, there will be conflict. If your living together so you will have a way out, you may not have to go through a legal process but nothing can protect you from the emotional consequences of the end of a serious relationship. If you happen to be christians marriage also gives you a blood covenant which makes your marriage a permanent sacrificial relationship. A lot of people don’t understand that relationships are based on giving to one another. The more you give to your partner, the more you will receive from them. There is no greater way to give than sacrificial love. Really giving up what you want because your love for the other person is so great. Thats a big concept for us mere mortals. Lucky for us theres a book about how to do that. John 3:16 “For Christ so loved the world that he gave his only begotten...

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The Source of Joy In a Christian Marriage

Posted on Apr 17, 2017

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of attending a Marriage on the Rock conference. Its based on the book Marriage on the Rock, Gods Design for your Dream Marriage. As a Christian counselor I’ve always know that God is the true healer and that marriages centered on God were healthier and more committed. As I heard Pastor Jimmy Evans talk about biblical principles of marriage I began to formulate even more strongly how God sees marriage. Too often people expect their partners to be the source of their happiness and well being. The reality however is that people will fail you just because they are imperfect. The clients I see are often disappointed that their spouse does not ‘make them happy’ or ‘meet their needs’. I don’t know where we ever got the idea that someone else makings happy was the purpose of marriage. Perhaps thats from the fairy tales of ‘happily ever after’. The reality is Jer 17:5 “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength…” I’ve often told couples that our happiness can’t come from people, it has to come from with in us. Most importantly, true peace and joy can only come from the supernatural source of the Holy Spirit of Christ with in us. When we grasp this concept, we no longer expect our partner to be the source of our well being. I believe that when we have self esteem in Christ we have a foundation of joy, thats our cake. When we have a spouse to share our joys and burdens, thats the icing. The first step in repairing your marriage is to stop expecting you spouse or any other person or earthly thing to be your source. Let your source come from your Heavenly father. Once you let Him be the source of your well being, He will fill you with the ability to love, forgive and minister to your spouse and they will be able to do the same for you. Your personal relationship with your source is one of the best gifts you can give your...

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Radio Interview: Work on Your Marriage

Posted on Apr 2, 2017 In this radio interview with Stephanie Mitchell we talk about my hope being to help relationships stronger deeper and safer. We talk about childhood wiring and how what we learn and experience in our childhood home affects our current relationships. Stephanie talks about finding fairy tale love and I share that I’m the most unromantic therapist you’ll ever meet. The romantic part of the relationship is wonderful but more important is what we do when we go into conflict. Its important to learn to have conflict in ways that are not damaging.I give a simple formula for having a conversation about something you need in a relationship. I take a call from someone who’s having conflict with her partner over the use of social media. I talk with her about being able to address this in a way that won’t make her partner feel attacked. A second call was from a lady struggling with anxiety. I discussed the use of cognitive therapy and the reason I do divorce mediation. Stephanie and I also talked about what marriage is and the importance of working on...

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Christian Counseling & ReBuilding Trust in a Relationship

Posted on Mar 27, 2017

  Linda Miller deBerard-2 17 17 Counselor   In this show we discussed how Christian counseling helps couples because of sharing beliefs and knowing that God is the true healer. But it’s important to respect the beliefs of others. Being a Christian counselor means I run my life and my business in accordance with Biblical truths and principles. We talk about the reality that all relationships go into conflict and how the kind of conflict we have and the resolution of conflict can make or break a relationship. As well as what romantic brain is and that it is short lived. We talk about my preference to see clients face to face but that I am willing to do sessions online or on the phone and why I work the late hours that I have. In the second half of the show we talk about the origin of anxiety and a simple technique to help children overcome anxiety. I take a call from a caller dealing with trust issues and have a discussion about a therapeutic separation. I also talk with a caller who asks about the possibility of getting benefit from one session and dealing with a family member with long term emotional issues.  ...

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Diminishing The Sting Of Divorce, by John Kennedy

Posted on Feb 17, 2017

People seem to want to know if I advocate for divorce. I don’t, anymore than I advocate for cancer. But both of them happen. When divorce happens families need to learn to treat each other with kindness, dignity and respect. They need help making decisions for their lives and their families. They don’t need to spend thousands of dollars paying an attorney to make decisions that leave a winner and a looser and breed life long contempt. This article is by John Kennedy of PE News. Diminishing the Sting of Divorce Mediation service is designed to keep couples talking through the process, rather than raising the stakes through courts. By John W. Kennedy Christian marriage counselor Linda Miller-deBerard of Colleyville, Texas, never advocates that couples, including Assemblies of God adherents, divorce. Yet, in her more than 25 years of practice, Miller-deBerard has witnessed many husbands and wives who are unable to resolve their differences hire attorneys to initiate proceedings. And when that happens, Miller-deBerard says, partners who might have been able to settle matters amicably often turn nasty. The bitter sentiments can last a lifetime, and when children are involved, Miller-deBerard says families can be damaged beyond the already turbulent upheaval of divorce itself. The traditional route of hiring a lawyer to develop a legal case against a spouse can quickly turn antagonistic, according to Miller-deBerard, especially once the attorney files temporary divorce orders. These legally binding decrees typically invoke terms ranging from forbidding the other partner from moving funds in joint bank accounts to not associating with child sex abusers. “It looks as though the spouse is being accused of stealing money and child molestation,” says Miller-deBerard, who has been married for three decades. Customarily attorneys charge $3,000 to $6,000 to file such orders, but Miller-deBerard contends such an expense is unnecessary in most cases. Certainly when spousal abuse, neglect, or drug addiction is involved, a judge needs to make decisions for the safety of the victim. But those constitute a minority of cases, and in the past decade various therapists and attorneys have noticed that the litigation system can be unhealthy for families. Besides the cost, Miller-deBerard says unexpectedly being served with legal documents can wound and offend the other party — and start a mudslinging exchange as a husband and wife become entrenched in trying to finagle a better financial settlement from courts. Miller-deBerard believes she and an attorney friend, Stacey H. Langenbahn, have devised a better path. Under their Détente Family Mediation plan, couples are invited to sit down together and discuss what their lives — and the lives of their children — will look like after the split. What will be the related expenses for the spouse who retains ownership of the home? How will the daughter’s braces be paid? Who will keep attending the home church? Will the family still be able to gather for holidays? “Our goal isn’t to get them divorced, but to get the couple to continue talking in ways where they can co-parent and the child doesn’t have to choose sides,” Miller-deBerard says. Langenbahn, newly elected president of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, cites the apostle Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 as a reason for believers to use neutral mediators rather than the government judges in an effort to work out marital strife. “It’s important to go to another Christian to try to resolve differences instead of the court system,” says Langenbahn, who has been married 27 years. Since the early model settlement service started 6½ years ago, 95 percent of the more than 100...

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Put Love In Your Marriage for Valentines Day

Posted on Feb 7, 2017

Valentines Day is just around the corner. This year don’t go out buy a gift for you loved one. Yep, I said that. Do something truly special. You have a few days to truly notice your partner. Pay close attention to what they do on a daily basis to make your life easier, then make a card expressing gratitude for all those things and what they mean to you. Offer a shower of love: Have them sit down, slowly walk around them and tell them all the things you love about them physically, emotionally, personally an intimately then jump up and down and shout I LOVE YOU a couple of times. You’ll both get a belly laugh which builds intimacy. Ask them about their dreams then just listen to them with a smile on your face. Offer to do an activity that THEY enjoy, even if it’s not your favorite thing. Find anything that will bring the two of you laughter. Make a personal coupon book for your partner to use throughout the year. Put specific things in it that your spouse would like to receive like a foot rub, a shoulder massage, putting gas in their car etc. Being in a relationship requires effort. The effort doesn’t have to always be difficult or expensive. It needs to be fun and light sometimes. Imagine what your marriage would look like if you both did these things for one another on a monthly basis! You will build positive neural pathways- you’ll have positive feelings about each other and you’ll build emotional intimacy. Here’s wishing you relationship...

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