We typically view boundaries as a hindrance to our freedom. We define freedom in terms of a lack of boundaries, an absence of limit. But ‘doing anything we want’ is not the same as being free. And setting personal boundaries can, paradoxically, expand the freedom out of which we live. Defining Freedom First, we need to address our understanding of freedom. Freedom is not the absence of boundaries but the absence of negative consequences. When we laud the value of… Read more

I was on the phone with a missionary recently and we were talking about the value of metaphors. He is an aspiring actor and we were discussing the value of storytelling to communicate truth. Jesus Himself spoke in parables. Movies and books are all the rage in modern society. We love when a good story tells a good truth. We were talking about the value of casting vision. He is in a leadership position and is having a hard time… Read more

As one of the three things we can control, deciding who we trust is an extremely important part of a well-lived life. It sets up our expectations for community and reveals what we value in relationships. So, who can be trusted? Can the government be trusted? Can you trust your family or your friends? Can you truly trust your spouse? Can you trust the media? Can you trust advertising or insurance? Can you trust yourself? Can you trust God? The… Read more

There are lots of things that destroy relationships. Anger. The battle for control. Unmet expectations. But there are few things as dangerous as complacency. It may very well be that complacency is the first manifestation of all of the relationship killers. A passive lack of purpose and intention is a wedge that separates all sorts of relationships. Why do we give in to apathy and what is so dangerous about it? A Lion in the Grass The reason complacency is so… Read more

It’s a common practice among singles. The making of The List. This is a catalog of the things the single wants in a spouse. The idea being to establish a standard to help guide them toward finding a spouse and having a healthy marriage. Name exactly what you want and don’t settle for anything else. Is this a healthy practice for singles? Are they establishing healthy boundaries or setting unhealthy expectations? The Good Part Intentionality is a good thing. Purpose… Read more

The first few years of marriage are vitally important. Patterns are set, established, and reinforced. Patterns that become more and more difficult to change over time. Our culture is a nest of lies when it comes to marital expectations. It’s a wonder any of us ever manage. If you are starting in a new relationship. Or trying to trouble-shoot an old one, here are some essential elements to ensure a healthy and stable foundation. 1) Hold The Tension Advice for… Read more

When it comes to relationships, we are experts in the game of self-preservation. We build up walls, fortify defenses, create story. All to protect the deep chamber of our souls, the core of us, from facing rejection and hardship. The problem is that we have become too good at this game. The result is that even we cannot penetrate those walls! The stories created become the perspective through which we view truth. Everything is a little bit tainted, a little… Read more

We’ll try just about anything to salvage our relationships other than the thing that clearly needs to be done. Healthy relationships are not about retreats or unique practices or vibrant concepts. The heartbeat of relationships is the pursuit of truth. And the simple, but not always easy, answer to saving our relationships is to stop avoiding truth. Pursuing Definitions Definitions are essential to healthy relationships. What does the word commitment mean? What does respect mean? What is the definition of success? In toxic relationships, we… Read more

Superhero adventure movies are all the rage. We can’t seem to get enough of them. We love these movies because we love the idea of wielding power for good. Having the power to defend, to change. The power to influence. In today’s world, there is little that suggests power more than physical strength. Force is the most direct path to influence, according to our culture. There’s nothing so American as punching our way to change. And, therefore, our heroes are… Read more

My friend Jim had no idea how close he was to second-tier change. Sitting on a beach in South Africa, Jim was confused and frustrated. He’d done all the right things. Obeyed the principles. Followed the prescriptions. Looking back over the last six months, he had changed. So why did he still feel so dissatisfied? So confused? It is a great challenge to change. To learn. To grow. To adapt. To take a step forward and be better is a… Read more

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