“Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”” (Acts 16:26-28 NKJV)
Circumstances and responsibilities and emotions can make life hard to bear at times. Even in the middle of what many perceive to be a “blessed” life.
Temptations can go beyond starting something that we should not – they can actually cause us to consider ending something that we should not; even something as important as our own life.
When the feelings the Philippian jailer felt hit like a ton of bricks because our world has been shaken to pieces and it seems as if we are losing or have lost everything that makes life worth living, we need to stop and remember the love of God. It’s a love that causes others to care, a love that looks to re-create and a love that does not want to see us do any harm to ourselves.
These types of emotions can be a sensitive topic but they are important because people are important and God wants us to be saved … even from ourselves at times.
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25 NKJV)
Premarital Counseling is very important to those planning to wed. Marriage is a complex concept and if we’re going to do it well, we need guidance from someone with the training and knowledge to help us. These questions help facilitate these goals. Some or all can be used for these purposes.
With the couple before me, I have them fill these questionnaires out separately and then we discuss them together. Marriage brings people of diverse experiences and teachings together and these questions help them see what they know and whether they’re truly compatible.
In doing so, we can steer them to Scripture and give them spiritual guidance along the way. However, many of these questions are of a practical nature and cover subjects most couples never consider before their nuptials.
I’ve heard it told that a teacher once asked a student to sum up Socrates’ life in four lines. The student replied with: 1. Socrates lived long ago. 2. He was very intelligent. 3. Socrates gave long speeches. 4. His friends poisoned him.
If you didn’t know any better after studying that list, one might think Socrates’ death was connected to his “gift” of drawn-out gab.
All humorous illustrations aside, there are times in life when we need to remember that listening to others can mean more to them than speaking. This doesn’t mean that truth must take a backseat to indifference when it comes to giving advice. It only means that to some people, listening ears equates to a caring heart as much as good advice given does to other people. And when a person knows how much you care, then they will be more interested in what you know.
“The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.” (Proverbs 20:12)
#caring, #conversation, #counseling, #listening
We’ve not had a Nudge in a long time, so here goes one for you. What advice do you wish you’d received before you needed it?
Advice is usually considered something unwelcome. Let’s think about a piece of advice that we would have been glad to have received, perhaps helping us to avoid a mistake or live on a higher plane.
If you need help with material to use in performing premarital counseling, I have put some of my questions and links on my blog.
Today’s Daily Nudge asks the Fellows to share some recent advice they gave to a Christian.
After a recent meeting of the SJC church here, a brother rose on his own initiative and stated his opinion that we’d have problems in a project we were considering. His comments were extensive. This is a brother who consistently sees the downside to opportunities. So I rebuked him publicly, which I almost never do. I told him that in order to bring before the church an issue, he needed to have facts and data, not an opinion. He was throwing a bucket of cold water on the project. I was stern and when he tried to insist, I overrode him by raising my voice somewhat, but not yelling. I have never done that before. Some of the brethren may have been taken back by it. Afterwards, I treated this brother normally, with no rancor nor resentment.
Perhaps we will decide the project is not for us; that will be fine. I do not feel strongly about it one way or the other. But we must, at least, give it a chance to go forward by a judicious consideration of our situation. Otherwise, naysayers will keep us from ever doing anything.