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.
What Is Normal? by Steven Novella
In medicine use of the term “normal” has fallen out of favor, because it is imprecise, and also because it may contain a moral judgment. We still use it when referring to numbers, such as normal blood pressure, but even then it is not conceptually precise. Normal may be different for different people in different situations. When we are making an effort to be clear in our language we will use terms such as “healthy” or “physiological” (which is distinguished from pathological).
- Here are some reflections if you are interested in how to think about the concepts of mental health and mental illness.
Increasing The Mental Ability of Young Children by Dr. James Dobson
Question: We have a one-year-old daughter, and we want to raise her right. I’ve heard that parents can increase the mental abilities of their children if they stimulate them properly during the early years. Is this accurate, and if so, how can I accomplish this with my baby?
- If the idea of making more time is daunting for you, consider this time auditing tool and reflection.
Pray With Your Spouse 31 Day Challenge by Mike Leake
I think it’s time to do a new challenge. I’m really excited about this one. When Nikki and I were first married we prayed together frequently. But rather than growing in this grace I think we’ve declined. I’ll chalk all of that up to my leadership. Truth be told, I think I just need the discipline. Committing to 31 days of intentionally praying together should put us in a good rhythm for continued times of praying together.
- If this prompts you (and I hope it does) to want to engage in more marital enrichment, consider one these resources.
Aggression in Twentysomethings’ Cohabiting, Dating, and Marriage Relationships by Scott Stanley and Galena Rhoades
A number of studies have shown that cohabiting couples are more likely to experience physical aggression in their relationships than married couples. Here, we look at two studies that shed light on this subject by exploring how aggression in the relationships of individuals (mostly) in their 20s is associated with various commitment dynamics.
- Here is a resource with more sociological and biblical concerns about cohabitation and a prompt for starting a lovingly awkward conversation.
Sexual Infidelity: The Post-Discovery Longer-Term Aftermath by Robert Weiss
After you discover infidelity, your emotions are out of control. Cheaters are typically OK with that—to some extent, they expect it. Unfortunately, your emotional reactivity will likely remain for many weeks, or even months, dissipating slowly (if it all), and only as relationship trust is re-established. So you and your cheating partner can expect a very bumpy ride for an extended period of time. In therapy, we sometimes refer to this as the emotional roller coaster.
- If you need guidance on traversing the terrain of infidelity, consider the complementing False Love and True Betrayal studies.
What I’m Reading
Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness by David Powlison. Powlison reminds us that God gets angry too. He sees things in this world that aren’t right and he wants justice too. But God’s anger doesn’t devolve into manipulation or trying to control others to get his own way. Instead his anger is good and redemptive. It causes him to step into our world to make wrongs right, sending his own Son to die so that we can be reconciled. He is both our model for change and our power to change.
Good and Angry sets readers on a path toward a faithful and fruitful expression of anger, in which we return good for evil and redeem wrongs. Powlison offers practical help for people who struggle with irritation, complaining, or bitterness and gives guidance for how to respond constructively when life goes wrong. You, your family, and your friends will all be glad that you read this book.
Tweets of the Week
Don't waste time seeking your "life purpose." Live out who God has called you to be where you are TODAY. That is your purpose. Seek Him 1st.
— Callie Cowan (@Callie_Cowan) February 5, 2017
It sounds harsh to say it, but it's true: insecurity is really just a form of self-centeredness. Help is needed but not coddling.
— Joshua Rogers (@MrJoshuaRogers) January 31, 2017
Envy is the art of counting someone else's blessings instead of your own. – Marc Chernoff
— DanDumas (@DanDumas) February 1, 2017
This time its in video form.
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.
All I can say is, “Amen!”
The older I get, the more introverted I'm becoming. (ISFJ – T).
— D.A. Horton (@da_horton) February 6, 2017