The holidays are upon us with several days that allow us to take time of rememberance, spend time with family, and look back on life. For those that struggle with mental health and substance abuse disorders, this time may actually be a very difficult period. Whether you are trying to avoid using, but going to family functions where alcohol is in high supply and siblings or parents who you use to drink with or struggling with trauma symptoms including mood swings and flashbacks which are triggered by memories your family brings up, this may be a hard time of the year.
Having served both in the capacity of a pastoral role as well as a licensed professional counselor, one of the big, dark secrets that are often not discussed within the Christian circles is the idea of practicing what we preach. What do I mean by this? It is a fairly common point of failure that we lack vulnerability as professionals and pastors.
My request to you readers, pray for your professions and pastors as you would for everyone else. For they hold a role that is important but at times unsteady. I have several in my life that while I am legally bound to not talk about my clients, they know when it is time to pray for me. But I feel this is more the exception than the rule.
When I talk about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD for short, invariably I get all kinds of comments. Many times, those beliefs are incorrect. Unfortunately, people continue to harbor many inaccurate beliefs and so we need to address these myths and instead offer facts to you.
A new article on The Wall Street Journal hypothesis’ that Alexa, and all voice-assistant devices, will be and are currently being used for more than just search results. The WSJ article notes that the developers of Alexa have discovered users are treating their devices more like relationships.
If you didn’t know, there was a study on if you wear socks while having sex, you are more likely to have an orgasm. There is great scientific thought behind this idea. Gert Holstege, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the center for uroneurology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands where the initial study was done states, “In order to calm the amygdala and prefrontal cortex—the brain areas responsible for anxiety, fear, and danger signals—you need to be in a pleasant environment in which you feel safe, secure, and comfortable.” Warm feet from warm socks help a lot.
But the image of wearing socks during sex has also obtained a meaning of “boring,” “have to,” or “it’s my duty.” So people begin to talk about spicing up the sex life in marriage. But for Christians, spicing up a sex life would be bad, right?
In a conversation about marriage, the topic of sex has to come up at some point. The top three things people are cited in having problems are sex, money, and improving conversations. It would make sense to need to talk about sex at some point from a clinical standpoint. But for the modern-day Church in a world where the internet in all its wonder but lack of filters around sex and pornography is immediately available 24 hours a day, we have made it taboo. So, can we write about sex? If so, how far is too far?
But it was like this before the internet too.
One of the best parts about marriage also tends to be one of the most significantly impaired. While no conclusive research has come out on these top three, a general assumption among marriage therapists is sex, money, and conversation are the biggest failure points for a marriage.
It would make sense that communication between two people are the most important. We even see this in our faith, right? When we struggle with our relationship with God, what suffers first? Attendance at church and worship? Prayer? Reading Scriptures? These are all ways we commune with God. Sin blocks our communication, whether with God or the one we love the most.
The last article we wrote asked the question “What Is Godly Marriage?” and immediately noted that most people do not understand what that is. Our solution should be Scripture, but too many times, we are cherry-picking what we want and not using proper hermeneutics. To better help with this, we went and found Scripture that speaks to the heart of marriage.
Marriage in this day and age feels very subjective. For people who do not have a Christian background, it may be something you do because it’s what your parents want, it’s a tax write off, you do it because you are pregnant, or because you have fallen in love. Within the context of a Christian worldview, why do we get married? What does a Godly marriage look like?
Professional: Do pastors feel prayer alone can fully heal depression?
On the surface, that seems like a difficult question, but it’s actually an impossible one. If you don’t mind, I’m going to side-step this question and come to an answer from a different angle.
First of all, I don’t think that prayer heals anything. Prayer is simply speaking with God, putting our requests before him. I can order my pizza through a app on my phone, but neither the app nor the act of submitting the order makes the pizza appear. Someone on the other end must receive the request and respond.
Prayer is the method by which we bring our requests to God. He then responds according to His will, His plan to bring glory to His name and eternal good to our soul. So, right off the bat, I’d like to make it clear: prayer doesn’t heal anyone of anything.