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Mini-Resolution No. 2 – Send Your Pastor A Thank You Email

Today’s mini-resolution is to thank your pastor.  Send an email or drop a note in the mail to let them know you appreciate their leadership!

Share your resolution stories with us by leaving a comment below or calling our studio line at 855-987-4463.

Rude Grandson

Dear Dr. Bill,

My 9-year-old grandson likes to express his views in a rude and critical way.  Recently, I took him and his younger siblings on a trip to Florida.  But when things weren’t going the way he wanted, he began to criticize me about how his little sister who is 4, wasn’t having any fun.  In reality, I had made a special point of entertaining her while her brothers were fishing.

We seem to get into a situation like this every time we spend an extended amount of time together.  I love my grandson dearly, but I can’t stand his rudeness.  What should I do?

–Nicole

Dear Nicole,

If your grandson is rude and critical, that is a character problem that his parents need to deal with.  I’m assuming you’ve discussed this issue with his parents—if not, you need to.

Naturally you’ll want to choose your words carefully, and whatever you do, don’t criticize their parenting skills.  Instead, let them know how much you love your grandson and want him to succeed in life.  Explain that you’ve noticed he often expresses his opinions in a rude and critical way.

If his parents agree that it’s a problem, ask if they would like your input.  If they’re open to it, you might suggest they read a good book on instilling character in kids.  One suggestion is Jill Rigby’s book “Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World”.

If his parents deny there is a problem with his behavior and react defensively, there are obviously much larger issues at play in the family.  In that case, you can only control how you respond to your grandson.  Be loving but firm, and instruct rather than simply getting angry.

Thanks for writing Nicole.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Click here for the audio version of this article.

Who’s Your Person of the Year?

It’s Garrett from Shine Afternoons….and the magazines have all announced who their Person of the year is, but what about you? Who is your “Person of the Year for 2012?” Is it your spouse, a parent, a child a co-worker or your pastor? For me it was my Step-Dad Roger who went home to heaven in June. He shared Christ with everyone he met, even as he was in the final stages of cancer. He encouraged me to love people no matter what….and I miss him a lot. Who is YOUR person of the year? I’m not looking for the usual “Big Names,” but those who influenced you in a BIG way in 2012.

Pinterest-inspired Jewelry Organizer

This year I was inspired by Pinterest and something my wife needed. So, my oldest son, Jake, and I took several ideas on jewelry organization from Pinterest and came up with this. What do you think?

Reconciliation

Dear Dr. Bill,

My ex-husband and I were divorced several years ago because he was not committed to spending time with our son.  He was not a Christian at the time.  But since then, he found the Lord and has changed dramatically.  As a result, we are thinking about getting remarried.  We both feel like our past issues have been sorted out, but we’re a little unsure of how long we should wait before making this new commitment.  What do you suggest?

–Lexi

Dear Lexi,

First of all, let me tell you how encouraged I was to read your e-mail.  In a day when divorce is so rampant and reconciliation is so rare, it was truly a blessing to hear your story.

Regarding your question, it’s hard to give you a specific timeline for remarriage.  You say that your “past issues have been sorted out,” but other than the parenting problem, I’m wondering what other issues you’ve worked through.

Also, you mention that your husband has dramatically changed since his conversion, but you’re a bit unsure about remarriage.  That leads me to believe you may still have some lingering concerns.

Jesus tells us that a “good tree produces good fruit.”  Given your past, it’s important to see the “good fruit” of your husband’s conversion manifested over time before you jump back into marriage.  Your son has already been impacted by your divorce, and you certainly don’t want to make matters worse by remarrying and then splitting up again if things don’t work out.

My advice would be to meet with a family therapist who can help you determine the best course of action.  He or she can help you fully explore whether you are truly ready for remarriage.

Thanks for writing Lexi.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” tab on the Family Expert page.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.

Student Asks About Marrying In College

Dear Dr. Bill,

I am a 19-year-old college student on a full-ride scholarship. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for about 5 months and I already know this is the woman I want to marry. We were both raised in solid, godly families — and we’ve made a commitment to purity before marriage. After much prayer, we’ve decided we’d like to get married in 2 years.

The good news is that both sets of parents approve of our plans. But my parents disagree about the timing. They think we should wait until after I graduate. I think this issue is about their preference rather than facing the fact that I’m ready to make this decision for myself. What do you think?

–Cody


Dear Cody,

It sounds like you and your girlfriend are starting off with a good foundation. I also admire your decision to pursue sexual purity. However, at 19-years-old, I don’t think it’s wise to make a decision about marriage after dating someone for five months.

Your girlfriend sounds wonderful, and she may be just the person God wants you to marry. But during the first 3-6 months of your relationship, you’re in the “infatuation” stage. Your brains are releasing chemicals called endorphins, which contribute to a heightened sense of happiness and well-being.

During that time, we’re basically “in love with being in love,” and we’re unlikely to view our dating partner or our relationship realistically. That’s why I advise couples to date for at least a year before getting engaged. I believe it’s better to have a longer courtship and a shorter engagement, rather than vice versa.

Also, most people don’t know this, but research shows that people who wait until they’re at least 23 to get married, have a much lower divorce rate than those who marry younger.

You didn’t mention how old your girlfriend is, but I’m assuming she’s around 18 or 19. Although your marriage might work out fine if you marry during college, your chances for success will greatly increase if you give your relationship an extra year or two.

Thanks for writing Cody. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.

Exchanging Deep Relationships For Social Media

Some new stats on Americans’ use of technology are out, and some of them are startling.

Focus on the Family’s PluggedIn.com reports on several new studies, including new research on smart phone use from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business.

It turns out that most college students in the US interact with their phones about seven hours every day. That includes sending an average of 110 texts, receiving 113 texts and checking their phones 60 times.

James Roberts, a Baylor professor and author of the book Materialism 2.0, says this about the findings, “At first glance, one might have the tendency to dismiss [this level of] mobile phone use as merely youthful nonsense—a passing fad. But an emerging body of literature has given increased credence to cell phone addiction and similar behavioral addictions.”

Another new study looked at social networking. The Neilson company found that the average woman who uses social network sites spends 18 hours and 20 minutes on sites like Facebook each month. That’s compared to about 13 hours for males.

Among 18- to 24-year-olds, both men and women spend an average of 21 hours a month social networking. 25- to 34-year-olds are close behind at 20 hours a month.

Many experts are concerned that we are spending so much time communicating electronically vs. face-to-face, and I tend to agree.

God calls us to deep, authentic relationships with others. First Peter 1:22 tells us to “love one another deeply, from the heart.” Is that really possible if our relationships are based on texts, tweets and Facebook posts?

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.

Grandmother Asks For Advice About Her Grandson

Dear Dr. Bill,

My son and his wife have been separated for 3 years.  They have joint-custody of their 4-year-old son and I help care for my grandson when he’s with my son.

But now conflict has erupted between me and my former daughter-in-law.  That’s because whenever my grandson visits me, he resists going back home to his mother.  He kicks and screams, and tries to run away with his arms outstretched for me.

I’ve been accused of treating the boy like a king and being lax with discipline.  His grandfather and I do give him a lot of attention — playing games and taking him fishing.  But I can’t imagine why he doesn’t want to return home to his mom.  What should I do?

–Linda

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Dear Linda,

Since many divorces involve a great deal of animosity between the ex-spouses, and that anger can spill over into relationships with grandparents.

I’d sit down with your former daughter-in-law and discuss the situation.  Tell her that you know it’s been difficult for her, and that you never intended to do anything that would interfere with her relationship with her son.

Also, ask yourself if she may have a point.  Do you give in to your grandson when he tantrums or demands his way, or do you set appropriate limits on his behavior?  If you allow him to always get his way when he’s with you, you are definitely making his mother’s job harder.

That being said, I’m concerned about the way he violently protests when returning home.  Could there be a possibility that he is being abused or neglected?

If your daughter-in-law is parenting appropriately and your grandson is acting out simply because he doesn’t want to leave grandma and grandpa’s “fun house,” you’ll need to work together to find a compromise.

Thanks for writing Linda.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, just click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

CLICK HERE for the Audio Version of this post.

12-12-12 is Tomorrow

Tomorrow is 12-12-12, which means an increase in weddings. They say that 7500 couple will get married tomorrow. Seems strange since it is a Wednesday and who really wants to get married in the middle of the work week. Most brides consider it lucky to get married on a day like 12-12-12. Grooms also consider it lucky because it will be easier to remember their anniversary! @ShineBMac

We’ve Become a Nation of Yellers

Have you yelled at someone today? According to a story in USA Today, we’ve become a nation of yellers.

Apparently most of us yell in anger, in frustration, or simply to “vent.” It seems that for some Americans, they’re preferred mode of commutation may be yelling.

A few years ago, researchers asked a thousand families about yelling and found that 88 percent of parents admitted yelling, screaming or shouting at their children during the year. In families with 7-year-old kids, that number climbed to nearly 100 percent.

The USA Today article reports that raising our voices is exhausting. Especially if it becomes our reaction to stressors — or our way of relating. Not only does it take a physical and emotional toll on the yeller, but it deeply affects those on the receiving end of the angry communication.

Psychologist and Researcher Myra Shure, author of Raising a Thinking Child, says children’s brains are so sensitive to yelling that a child who is yelled at regularly can become “immune” and start to “tune it out.”

In her research, she found a troubling correlation between kindergartners whose parents disciplined through yelling and the children’s own expression of aggression.

Dr. Sure says that chronic yelling can create a kind of “relational erosion,” damaging trust and security between two people.

There are some key triggers that tend to drive our yelling: stress, impatience, needing to be heard and feeling anxious.

For some ideas on “quelling the yelling,” go to USAToday.com and enter “yelling” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this post.