God Loves the Single…on a date?

Disclaimer….you all know that I have a low opinion of dating! I really like the Josh McDowell book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, until I realized he was twelve years old (lol). But, really, too often we dismiss the awesome, wonderful Christian brother of sister because they are “too familiar”, “seem like a sister”, “too sweet”….etc. and chase after that tall dark and gruesome stranger. Why?

Ok! So, this post is not to talk you out of a date. It is to tell you what to do to have a nice time and please God.

You have a date…..

Things to think about:

* Dress comfortably and appropriately- It would probably be a good idea to discuss where you plan to go and dress in similar fashion. If you are going to a casual restaurant then dress comfortably. It can be awkward if the guy wears flip flops and a t-shirt and the girl is in a little (not too little, mind you) black dress. If you plan to walk or run, sneakers could be a good choice. Wash your hair, brush your teeth. Good hygiene is appreciated by most.

* Respect the wallet! Guys, don’t go broke trying to impress a woman with how much you can spend on dinner. Ladies, even if he seems loaded, help him keep some jingle in his pocket. It will be noticed.

* Respect the morals- I know none of you are tempted to go anywhere trashy but you could be surprised by circumstance. I’ll give you an example. As a young adult, I took a nice girl to the Lamplighter Dinner Theatre in Montgomery, AL. This was and probably still would be the pinnacle of sophistication in that city! Good choice? Yes! Affordable! Able to dress comfortably. BUT….didn’t research the play. “Cactus Flower”. The play opened with a girl in a skimpy night gown on a bed. I lost the connection with my date immediately. She was an elder’s daughter (and the sister of a boy who become a preacher). She was uncomfortable and it was my fault. And I drove too fast…..Fail!

* Consider the time- Even if neither has to awaken too early one should not keep someone out too late. Consider what your date (or you) might need to accomplish in the morning. Start a little early and come home early. If a Saturday night date, remember church service on Sunday morning.

* Compromising positions- Don’t! Beware hanging out on the couch…yada! yada! yada!

God recognized that it “was not good for man to be alone”. Enjoy your time getting to know potential mate…..or making a good friend. God loves you!

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GOD Loves the Children of the Single Parent Equally!

God Loves the Children of the Single Parent Equally!

Statistics tell us that the children of Single Parent homes suffer in many ways:

*Higher incidence of depression

*Higher use of drugs and alcohol

*Higher rate of teenage pregnancy

*Higher drop out rate and/or lower grades

*Lower college attendance rate

I could simplify matters and state that it is simply a case of less parental supervision. I could villianize the parents, both the custodial and the absent parent. I could state that money and time is better spent on the “sure thing”, the kids with two interested parents. Ahh! So simple. Of course, if I did this I would have to admit that I would have done better if I had a stable upbringing. I would have to discount many wonderful and awesome successful men and women who were raised in single family homes. My oldest daughter suffered through the divorce of her parents (yes, I am half of that).

What is needed is equal access to finances when churches plan events for kids and their single parents. Also, needed are men and women who are willing to mentor these kids and who are willing to give the single parent support, encouragement or maybe a break in their busy schedule. Single parents and their children do not get enough attention from church leadership (or at the workplace). Take the plight of a single woman working as an RN at the local hospital.

*The single parent RN will spend almost twice as much money on child care as the married counterpart

*The single parent will miss twice as many days for illness of the children

*The single parent of a teenager will leave the child home alone at night more often because of work  responsibility. This will result in increased opportunity for involvement in pornography, drug and alcohol use and will increase the opportunity for sexual activity.

GOD loves these children too! Does the church?

 

The Effects of Substance Abuse on Marriage

By Karen Kleinschmidt

author imageKaren Kleinschmidt
Karen Kleinschmidt has been writing since 2007. Her short stories and articles have appeared in “Grandma’s Choice,” “Treasure Box” and “Simple Joy.” She has worked with children with ADHD, sensory issues and behavioral problems, as well as adults with chronic mental illness. Kleinschmidt holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Montclair State University.
The Effects of Substance Abuse on Marriage
Substance abuse can cause physical, emotional and financial strain on a marriage.Photo Credit John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Substance abuse has detrimental effects on a marriage, any children involved, extended family, friends and colleagues. Fighting and stress, caused by financial and emotional issues due to the substance abuse, can set the couple up for a vicious cycle in which substance abuse increases to reduce tension created by the conflict, according to American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Domestic violence may also occur when the partner under the influence grows uncontrollably angry. If the substance abuser admits there is a problem, treatment is an option.

The Bridge Between Us

While the substance abusing spouse needs help to control the illness, the sober spouse needs help in dealing with strong emotions that continue to arise due to the drug abuse, according to “Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy,” available through the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The sober partner may feel depressed based on an inability to express disappointment, anger, stress and anxiety. This partner may neglect personal needs while attempting to keep the peace with the substance-abusing spouse. The sober spouse may live in fear of a failed marriage or others discovering the problem. Financial issues may arise if substance-abusing party loses a job or spends money frivolously, or if the family’s insurance is unable to cover needed treatment.

Behind the Mask

At some point, the sober partner in the marriage often begins to cover up the problem to prevent friends, family and colleagues from noticing that anything is amiss, according to Dr. Harry Croft in the article “Effects of Substance Abuse on Family Members” on the Healthy Place website. In some instances, the sober parent may try to be everything for the children in an effort to ensure their comfort, according to the NCBI book. This parent may hide the other’s substance abuse from the children, which may cause emotional damage as the children’s reality is denied.

Shame plays a big part in the sober spouse’s desire to cover up any mistakes the other spouse might make or to deny that there is a problem in the marriage. For example, a wife may call her husband’s boss and say he has a stomach virus when, in reality, he is passed out and hung over from the night before. The sober spouse may feel helpless, and this may lead to secrecy and withdrawal from the outside world in an attempt to project the image that all is well, according to Dr. Croft. The more a sober partner enables the addicted spouse, the more co-dependency develops, reports the NCBI publication.

No Longer Hiding

The sober spouse has likely heard many broken promises that the other partner will “stop using” or “get sober.” Maybe the substance abuser has stopped, only to start up again. Substance abuse is an ongoing, chronic problem, and relapses are common in the early stages of treatment, according to Dr. Croft. While the non-abusing spouse may feel hopeful, that hope can turn to anger with each repeated relapse or broken promise. Substance abuse treatment programs can assist both the substance abuser as well as the spouse. Family therapy, with extended family members and children, as well as 12-step programs can help assist in recovery for everyone involved.

About DAD!

We have a weak nation, because of weak churches,

because of weak families, because of weak fathers……..

” Pistol” Pete Maravich

Father’s day is coming (in June) ! A day to (possibly) receive a bad tie or cheap cologne. A day to be the #1 DAD and wear the T-shirt. So dads, I challenge you to speak out and share what we (men) can do to change the profound truth in the Pistol’s statement. My contibution:

  • Be a patriot- Serve your country by serving your community and be a great example to others who may not have a dad.
  • Be a Saint- Strengthen the church by leading, implementing and serving. Don’t wait for permission to do the right thing.
  • Be a Patriarch- Lead your family. Provide, nurture and encourage.
  • Be a Papa- Teach, empower, and mature your children through a balance of tender love and discipline. Raise respectful, reverent, hard working children.

So, what does this mean to the single father or the never been a father. If you are a father, pay your support dutifully and cherish your visitation. Don’t talk bad about the mother (if she’s bad, they know). Take them to church and Bible School. Teach them to pray.

Mentor kids who don’t have a dad. Volunteer in the community or church. Spend time with the kids. Substitute teach at Sunday school and tell them why GOD lead you to your profession. Pray for kids and other fathers who struggle.

I hven’t forgotten the widower fathers. As you glorify GOD, remind them why you loved their mother. And be a tender “mom” as best you can.

Your turn! Talk to us! What did your dad do right and what can we do better???