day job. So there is much free time. He spends his evenings attending club meetings, c la s s e s , committee meetings, or at home pursuing his many interesting hobbies. Weekends and holidays are my un doing. By Sunday, I am a nervous wreck. I get so upset because he spends his whole time poring over his own personal i n t e r e s t s . He chooses to ignore the upkeep which every home requires, and he will not hire anyone to do it for us. The yard goes untended, the shrubbery untrimmed, the appliances and house unrepaired, unpainted, untended. His answer is, “ Why don’t you take care o f it? ” The whole family seems to feel, “ Let Mother do it!” — mostly because that is their father’s atti tude. I am contributing to the family income also. L ife is very good to my husband. He has a home and children and a wife who carries the load o f the family while he pursues his treas ured hobbies. But when the load gets too heavy and my nerves crack, he treats me like a disobedient and ob streperous child to be reprimanded. Dr. Narramore, how do I learn to live with this situation? What would God have me do? This is a great emotional drain on me. En ergy that rightfully should be chan neled to something constructive is being expended on my frustrations. Can you offer any suggestions? A. Your letter reads like a broad sample of many that come to me. I appreciate it that while you list your husband’s frustrating lack of cooperation around the house, you do acknowledge that he has his good points. In particular', you state that he loves his family and enjoys them. This is so important. Now, your problem is obviously the fact that you have a husband who has never grown up. Many hus bands (and wives also) never reach a maturity that matches their chrono logical age. In some ways, at least, they are stunted in their emotional development. Their actions and re actions are like those o f children. Undoubtedly, these problems stem from emotional deprivations o f child hood. Their basic needs for belong ing, fo r love and affection, and a sense o f worthiness were never met in their early years. I would suggest you do two things. Pray fo r your husband — and for yourself, that God will meet your needs as only He can. Then I would encourage him to get professional counseling. If he had received such help years ago, it could have made such a difference in your home. But it is not too late.
fMUtqit ovU" with Dr. Clyde M. Narramore Dr. Narramore, graduate of Columbia University, New York City, is a nationally known psychologist. He is the director of one of America’s largest psy chological clinics / The Christian Counseling Center in Rosemead, California. SHOULD WE FORCE OUR 14-YEAR-OLD SON TO GO TO CHURCH?
he can associate in other activities besides actual worship services. The church will have a contribution to make in his social life as well as his spiritual and wonderfully, the two will merge. Undoubtedly, such a church will also have a fine adult program and something for each member o f your family, so you will not lose out by making the change. You may find you have to travel a few miles to find such a church, but wouldn’t it be worth it, with your boy’s spiritual health at stake? (3 ) Does your home life reflect Christ and have a true Christian emphasis? Many Christian parents do not think it important to surround children with Christian influences in the home, yet are very particular (as you state you are) about the family’s church attendance. It is my belief that it is even more important to bring a child up in a Christian atmosphere in the home, where Bible reading and prayer is a daily habit. I would seriously question the ad visability o f whipping a boy of 14 in order to get him to go to church. I believe there are other, much more effective means o f discipline: for ex ample, taking away some privilege, or denying him something he wants to do. But this is a less desirable way o f meeting the problem than to do it in a positive way. IMMATURE HUSBAND Q. I would like to have your help. It is hard fo r me to ask for help. It seems I ’ve spent my life looking after other people. It never occurs to anyone that I need help for my self. I am married to an immature, self- centered man who, I am sure, mar ried me to care fo r him as a mother would. We are both college gradu ates. He has a good job and is a good man. In all honesty, I have to give him credit for his many vir tues. He attends church with us; he loves his family and enjoys his chil dren. He is very good to help with caring for the children. But the thing that I have not been able to accept is the fact that he considers all the time he spends at home as his own, to do with as he chooses. He has a five-day-a-week, S-hour-a-
Q. We are a Christian family, with strong convictions about church at tendance. Lately, however, our four teen-year-old boy has rebelled against going to church. With some pressure, he does go to Sunday school and morning service,, but he says this is enough. He just refuses to go Sun day nights. Do you think he should be whipped or forced to go ? This is what it takes to get him to go! We’ve talked and talked, but he just doesn’t see why he should be made to go if he doesn’t want to. Is this just a phase he is going through and how should we handle him? We have younger chil dren who are beginning to copy their big brother. We would appreciate any help you can give us in this situation. A. This problem about which you write is a very common one among Christian families. There are several reasons why your son does not want to go to church, and you will want to consider each possibility. (1 ) Is this boy really saved? Does he know Christ as his personal Sav iour? It is so possible for a child to go along to church fo r years, to “ go forward” or “ raise his hand” follow ing a prescribed course o f ' action, without ever actually experiencing the new birth. Unless a person sur renders his life to Christ and has the Holy Spirit indwelling his heart, there is no real desire to be in the house o f the Lord. He may go along out o f a sense o f duty, or because his parents insist, but not out o f a de sire to know more o f God and to fel lowship with those who love Him. (2 ) Is it possible you may be at tending the wrong church? Often parents have gone to a certain church for many years— it is “ their church” but it holds little interest for young people. You cannot expect a teenager to like a church if there is nothing there for him particularly. You will be wise to make sure the church you attend has a strong young people’s department. There, your boy will find those o f his own age with whom
THE KING'S BUSINESS
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