BOUNDARIES – What Does a Boundary Look Like?

Galatians 6:5-7 – “For each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” The parents of a twenty-five-year-old man came to see me with a common request: they wanted me to “fix” their son, Bill. When I asked where Bill was, they answered, “Oh, he didn’t want to come.” “Why?” I Continue Reading

BOUNDARIES – 4 Secrets To Set Boundaries That Succeed

Proverbs 29:17 - “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” I don’t know if this boundary stuff really works for me,” Jill told me (Dr. Townsend). She was having problems with her 14-year-old daughter. Holly was skipping classes at school and had been caught drinking. Things were definitely headed in the wrong direction, and Jill wanted to act before it was too late. “What happened?” I Continue Reading

Digging Out of a Little Sin

Joshua 7:1–26 “Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.” / Joshua 7:11 I’m tempted to cry, “Not fair!” upon reading the story of Achan. First, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal for him to have taken some treasure as reward for victory in battle. And second, all of Continue Reading

BOUNDARIES – How to Take a Boundaries Risk

1 Peter 4:8 – “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Great relationships are fulfilling. Great relationships involve risk. You can’t have the first without the second. Great relationships require that you be open to taking risks—risks of being misunderstood, of alienation, of someone being hurt by you as well. It doesn’t mean relationships aren’t worth the risks, for the good ones are. It is Continue Reading

Differing Assumptions

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:5 As in last night’s story, “The Argument,” a difficult day can quickly lead to an unnecessarily heated exchange between spouses. Fatigue, problems with the kids or job, illness, or financial worries can make anyone more susceptible to a fight. So can the condition I (JCD) call “differing assumptions.” For Continue Reading

The Argument

by Gigi Graham Tchividjian He walked out, closing the door firmly behind him. I heard the car drive away, and with a heavy, aching heart, I leaned against the closed door. Hot, angry tears filled my eyes, spilled over, and ran down my cheeks. How had it happened? How had things built to this point? Neither of us had intended our little discussion to develop into a heated disagreement. But it was late, and we had both experienced a hard Continue Reading

A brawling and contentious wife

Proverbs 25:24 24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house. This is the same with what he had said, ch. 21:9. Observe, 1. How those are to be pitied that are unequally yoked, especially with such as are brawling and contentious, whether husband or wife; for it is equally true of both. It is better to be alone than to be joined to one who, instead of being a meet-help, is a great Continue Reading

Error Or Opportunity?

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25 Many years ago, at what was then Standard Oil Company, an executive’s mistake cost the firm more than two million dollars. On the day the news leaked, the firm’s employees feared the wrath of the powerful head of the company—John D. Rockefeller—and found various ways to avoid him. One partner, however, kept his previously scheduled appointment. When he walked Continue Reading

Sticks and Stones

“The poison of vipers is on their lips.” Psalm 140:3 The old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” simply isn’t true. Anyone who has felt the stinging barb of criticism knows that words can deeply wound. Lewis Yablonsky, author of Fathers and Sons, observed the effect such negative comments had on his own father. At the dinner table, Lewis’s mother would say things like, “Look at your father! His shoulders Continue Reading

Transforming Love

“In all our distress and persecution we were encouraged…” 1 Thessalonians 3:7 When I (JCD) was thirteen, we adopted the most wonderful dog in the world. Penny, as we called him, was smart and obedient. He loved everybody, and everybody loved him. But when I went off to college and my parents moved, our family reluctantly decided to give Penny away to another family. After a while, Penny decided that my father wasn’t coming back. The dog began Continue Reading