Competing Spouses

When the Dolans, a Christian couple, came to see me, they had not spoken to each other for several weeks. The tension had become unbearable.

The issue was over dancing in gym class. Hal Dolan had said flatly that their son should not participate.

Melissa Dolan had agreed in front of her husband, but privately gave their son permission to participate. Hal found out about it through a conversation with a neighbor who had visited the gym class. [Read more…]

A Divided House

“Oh no, not another family fight,” groaned 16-year-old Carole, and she fled to her room in tears.

Carole had asked her mother if she might go roller skating with the church youth group, and Mom had replied, “No. You were at Bible Study last night and you studied late the night before.”

Just then Dad had come in and urged, “Let her go. She’s young only once.”

“But Carole needs her rest,” Mom insisted. Then the seesaw argument began, and both her mother and father were soon angry. [Read more…]

Everyone Wanting Their Own Way

Jon was 14, a handsome, tough young man. A likable guy, he noticed the pictures on the wall of my office and asked what it took to graduate from the college I’d attended. Someday he wanted to be a professional man, he said. I found out that he liked sports, reading, and church, and had lots of friends.

But when it came to talking about his folks, his eyes became slits, his lips pressed into a line, and his voice raised a couple of levels as he shrilled, “I hate them!”’ [Read more…]

Damaging Comparisons

Sisters Kendra and Connie Evans were much alike, except that Kendra was an “ugly duckling” in comparison with her blonde, blue-eyed, younger sister. The difference had been repeatedly noted even in childhood.

”What a perfectly beautiful child!” strangers had exclaimed over Connie. And through the years, Mrs. Evans never tired of hearing this praise for her younger daughter.

”Connie is a pretty child,” she would reply. ”It’s just too bad that her sister couldn’t have shared her good fortune.” [Read more…]

Freedom in Christ

Freedom in ChristPeter’s parents had always been strict, but to obey them was his second nature. He knew that to step out of line would displease them and invite the wrath of God. So he tried hard to get all A’s in school and he never ran with a gang or took part in questionable pastimes.

But Peter, now 22, was far from being the happy fellow that folks supposed him to be. After a promising start as a tool designer, he lost his job and then two others after short trials. He renounced his church. He became involved in escapades that would have been public scandals had they been known. [Read more…]