This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.
Recently, our church launched a program dedicated to serving children with behavioral diagnoses such as autism, ADHD, and attachment disorders (common with adoption). Your mileage will most certainly vary, but I wanted to share some possible steps toward serving what seems to be an under-served community in our churches.
- For more on raising an autistic child, consider the late Lauren Hendrickson’s book. She wrote with the multi-faceted background of a parent of an autistic child, biblical counselor, and psychiatrist. Her book is referenced in the “What I’m Reading” section below.
The Sufficiency of God for the Single Parent by Anna Meade Harris
Six years ago, my husband died of cancer and I became a single mom to our three boys, ages nine, twelve, and thirteen. There’s a reason God involves two parents at every conception; parenting is a job built for partners, too big for any one person to handle alone. Most people would not choose to parent without a spouse: death, divorce, and abandonment add substantial pain to the challenges of raising children. As a mom with her husband, I often felt ill-equipped and unqualified for the task of raising godly young men. As a mom without her husband, well, let’s just say I am in over my head.
- Here is a collection of resources on parenting.
How Not to Help a Sufferer by Gavin Ortlund
It’s easy to criticize Job’s friends, but let’s be honest: We can all be like them. In fact, a good litmus test of our heart’s alignment with the gospel—whether functionally we believe in a world of grace or a world of karma—is how we respond when a Job comes across our path. Suffering pulls out our real theology like a magnet. Here are four things in particular to avoid when with a sufferer. Think of them as four ways we, like Job’s friends, can pour burning coals on the heads of those already sitting in ashes.
- Here is a collection of resources on suffering.
While my ninth grade health class prepared me for avoiding teenage pregnancy, it did not prepare me for inheriting motherhood to my 13-year-old sister when my mother’s mental health took a turn for the worse a few years later. I was 16.
- Here is a presentation, article, and panel discussion on “Towards a Christian Perspective on Mental Illness.”
Spiritual Abuse: What it is and Why it Hurts by Phil Monroe
Spiritual abuse is the use of faith, belief, and/or religious practices to coerce, control, or damage another for a purpose beyond the victim’s well-being (i.e., church discipline for the purpose of love of the offender need not be abuse). Like child abuse, spiritual abuse comes in many forms. It can take the form of neglect or intentional harm of another. It can take the form of naïve manipulation or predatory “feeding on the sheep.”
What I’m Reading
Finding Your Child’s Way on the Autism Spectrum: Discovering Unique Strengths, Mastering Behavior Challenges by Dr. Laura Hendrickson. Dr. Laura Hendrickson is a trained psychiatrist, biblical counselor–and the mother of an autistic child. She understands the struggles parents face as they try to communicate with their autism spectrum child and manage behavior challenges.
With an approach that is grounded in a deep understanding of the challenges those caring for autism spectrum children face, Finding Your Child’s Way on the Autism Spectrum gives the reader sound, practical tools for understanding how to guide an autism spectrum child to function more fully as the person God created them to be.
Tweets of the Week
Our problem is not that we're reaching for God while he refuses to be found, as rather God's reaching for us while we're clutching our idols
— Joshua Ryan Butler (@butlerjosh) February 16, 2017
Loneliness is the devil's playground. God created us for community.
— Burk Parsons (@BurkParsons) February 18, 2017
I didn’t need 2 be improved, edited, updated, rebooted, enhanced; but forgiven, restored, redeemed, & resurrected…2 be SAVED!-@jdgreear
— Chris Green (@ChrisG_UNC) February 19, 2017
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.