Showing posts from June, 2010

A GREAT AMERICAN BUT A POOR CHRISTIAN: How our patriotism can hinder our walk with Christ

By: Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC, CSOTS

No….I’m not anti-American. Really, I’m not. My father was a WWII and Korea veteran, my oldest brother fought in Vietnam and my other brother has served in Iraq for the most part of four years. I’m proud of each of them and believe in what they did and are doing. Truly, in so many ways, America is the greatest country in the world. Yet….as I review the traits that will lead people to say we are “great Americans” I cannot help but notice that many of them are the opposite of what God wants from us. Let me show you what I mean:

-Great Americans are known to be fiercely independent…yet Jesus spoke of being in total submission to the Lord……being a “slave” to Him and dependent on Him to meet our needs.
-Great Americans are known to take “pride” in all that they do…yet scripture speaks of pride coming before a fall….and that we are to be humble and put others ahead of ourselves.
-Great Americans are encouraged to work for what they want and pursue their …

Recession hurts most when you are Married to an Unmotivated Man

By Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Life Coach;
With Linda Riley, LMFT & Certified Sex Therapist

Right now you know a woman working at least two jobs, (not counting parenting children and running a household), who is married to an unmotivated man. It may be a co-worker, a sister, a neighbor or friend at church, but you know this woman. Here’s what you don’t know.

She’s hurting more now than she ever has before. Why? Because recession hurts the most when you’re married to an unmotivated man.

These women have a major problem, they believe they really love the guy on the couch who just can’t or won’t keep a job. This causes another major problem, because they don’t want their children to suffer or do without the basics, like new shoes, school supplies or playing little league. And so they do the only thing they think they can do- they work, and work and then they work some more. Work is all they do because an average family needs 60-80 hours of income to take c…

The Four Relational Germs

By Dr. Howard Markman & Dr. Scott Stanley

We discovered through over 20 years of research there are four main risk factors (germs) that can lead to divorce. In our book, Fighting For Your Marriage, we share how to greatly increase the chances of staying in love and in harmony by avoiding these four negative patterns.

Here are the four main "germs" that can produce too much anger and possibly lead to divorce:

1. Withdrawal during an argument.

Here one mate closes the other person out after an argument starts. For example, statements like:
"I'm not talking about that any more, it's too hurtful.""I'll just leave the house if you continue talking about this. End of discussion; it's over.""That subject is not open for discussion."

2. Escalating during an argument.

Here, the argument can get ugly. Escalation is when a person starts defending or trying to win an argument. Here, he or she volleys back and forth with shame and defensive sta…

Losing Love and Sex while Married

By Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Life Coach

Why do so many people lose love and sex while losing their marriage? Research shows many different factors that lead to relationship failure but let’s make it personal and explore some hidden reasons that move couples from ‘happy ever after’ to over to shattered dreams and hatred.

Jessica and Phillip have been dating six months. They spend long nights together talking about how good things are for them. It feels like they have shared their entire life’s history with each other, so Phillip eventually asks Jessica to marry him. They feel so “in love”, that she instantly says “yes”! Soon they are off to see their pastor for premarital counseling. They discuss finances, children, careers, houses, and in-laws as they map out what it would be like as they begin their lifetime together. One summer day they stand before God and their friends in a little church to say “I do”. Ironically, less than a year later they were in…

Too Damaged to Love Again?

By Linda Riley, LMFT and Certified Sex Therapist

Stories of trauma and pain are part of my normal day as a therapist. I hear about hurt that starts in early childhood for some and continuing throughout life for others. Have you ever wondered how early childhood pain or trauma affect ones capacity to love? And to those who have been seriously hurt, is it possible to be so damaged emotionally that you actually can't love again?

To start answering that important question, let's look at the research. There seems to be a significant increase in the number of people in our culture who exhibit narcissistic personality traits. They learn to deal with their hurt by over loving themselves. While there may be a difference between traits of a narcissistic personality and full fledged narcissistic personality disorder, it is getting harder to diagnose and distinguish. When I was a graduate student narcissistic personality disorder was commonly believed to be present in only about 1 % of the …

Crazy in Love- or Driving each other Crazy?

by Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Family Law Mediator

Have you ever wondered why so many couples are crazy in love and can't wait to get together, and then drive each other crazy and can't wait to split up? I sure have and developed some key factors to use in tracking marital connection or marital conflict. Below are the most common factors that can lead to marital crisis. As you read through this list, think about your relationship or perhaps the relationship of your friends and co-workers. Get real- get honest because the future success and fulfillment of your marriage is at stake. Once you identify key areas that need attention then you can focus on the importance of working through those issues now so you can find peace and intimate connection instead of the risk of growing distance which can lead to a miserable life or even divorce.

Financial & Career
-Conflict over spending issues (unresolved spending conflict can linger for years)

Lord, I Want The Adventure…or Do I?

By Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC, CSOTS

I wrote, recently, that I have been in a spiritual funk. I know, the word “funk” is not very technical but it’s hard for me to fully explain what I’m dealing with. After three years of drawing closer and closer in my walk with God, I suddenly have come upon a new period of “wilderness”, of testing. Umm….this one caught me off-guard. I wasn’t ready for it. I thought that I would just continually move towards knowing the Lord better, praying for Him to make me a warrior for Him and that all would be hunky-dory. So, when suddenly my prayers felt distant and my time in the Word felt hollow; when my finances were less than my bills; when fasting produced little immediate results, I did what any self-respecting “warrior” for God would do: I panicked. I freaked out. I became fearful and began to doubt my ministry, my calling, my heart, my relationship with God, pretty much everything. I began to look for ways to take matters into my own hands. My f…

What Motivates a Man?

Written by: Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC

I’m sure that many of you who are reading this would LOVE to answer the question of what makes a man do what he does. I would dare say that this is a burning question in the hearts of many of those readers who might be, well...........of another gender. Just as men often question why females act the way they do, women have to wonder why on earth the men they love handle life in the strange and mysterious ways they do. Certainly, there are many facets and underlying factors in what drives a man to pursue life in a particular manner. I mean, we’re truly not the simpletons we are painted out to be, are we? (Notice I am now writing in 1st person, as I fit into the “male” category). Actually, “simple” is the last way I would describe my fellow comrades. In being truthful, every man is different and every man is unique; each of us develop our ways of coping from a combination of natural temperament and the environmental factors we were exposed to as we deve…


By Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC

A Sons Need To Feel Valuable To His Father

My last article focused on the growing issue of mother/son conflict and the response I have gotten has confirmed the trends I am seeing between moms and their boys. However, it is important for me to note that the relationship between fathers and their sons is still primary to emotional health and the overall development of boys.
In this article, I want to caution all of us dads out there to make sure we don’t put the “cart ahead of the horse”. You know, make sure first things are first when dealing with our sons. This is a sensitive area because the truth is that many of us guys don’t have a clear idea of how to build a healthy relationship with our boys. The reason for this is because many of us had fathers that were equally uncomfortable in the process of building intimate relationships. It is so true that many of us grew up with dads who were much more comfortable in their roles at work than they were in the…


A Closer Look at Mother/Son Conflict During Adolescence.

Oh, how things can change. Maybe it’s all in my head but I am noticing a dramatic shift in parent/child conflict lately. It used to be that I would work with teenage guys and their big issue would be with a demanding and overbearing father. The common problem was that their dad was always wanting to control them and was in their business all the time and that these boys never could live up to their dad’s expectations. I would see lots of anger come out in these boys but, in this scenario, there was also a strong underlying sense of pride in their fathers and the urge to relate to them in a powerful way. I would have to say that this scenario was the norm for a long time. I believe I am noticing a real shift in the issues I see now amongst adolescent guys. Not that there are no controlling or overbearing fathers anymore. This is still a fairly common issue that I deal with in the counseling room. But, there has been a su…

The Yoke’s On You: Slavery to Sin or Freedom in Christ

By Aaron Welch, LMHC, NCC

God has really been speaking to me lately. Yes, really. Amazing as it sounds for a man who has been a Christian for 31 years, I am just now learning that God still speaks to us, if we will only listen. For years, I don’t think I fully believed this…..that we could really hear the Lord’s voice. I just thought that God only spoke through the scripture….an attitude that results from being raised in “the age of reason” where anything of the heart is portrayed as naïve at best and, at worst, a trick of the devil. It never dawned on me, until recently, that this attitude does not fit the God portrayed in those very scriptures. A God that actually states, when choosing David as king, that He looks MOST to the heart, while man looks at the externals. A God who continued to speak to and through the disciples even after Christ ascended to His throne. The question I never asked myself is, “why would He stop now”? Well, I’m not sure why it took me so long (I gue…