By Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin & Arthur E. Nowlin, LMSW, CAADC
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This article was written by Dr. Kim and Arthur Nowlin for Message Magazine : Drama Files
While they dated, Shawn and Terri were always in church. That was then. How family counseling put Jesus back into their happy, happy home.
Shawn and Terri Lennon have been married for 15 years. They have two sons ages 12 and ten. They enjoy being married and being productive positive parents.
Terri contacted our office to receive family counseling in spirituality enhancement. She thinks that her husband is a great husband, devoted and amazing father, but when it comes to spirituality and being the spiritual leader of the home, he falls short.
Shawn thinks that his schedule is too busy for family worship everyday. Everyone can study and pray on their own and attend church when possible, he told us. Terri totally disagrees with her husband and expects him to raise the standard within their home regarding this matter. Shawn stated he was not going to argue with Terri but would attend counseling with her and their sons.
Terri holds onto the scripture: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). She was reared in a Christian home, while Shawn strayed away from his Christian upbringing when his job became very demanding.
While they dated, the couple attended church, and each served as an officer, but lately Shawn would not participate. Terri is disappointed in what she sees as her husband’s resistance to his leadership-calling within the home and church. Shawn sends his tithes and offering with his wife each week, and does not prevent her from taking the children to church. Terri believes, however, that God expects much more.
Within the counseling process we suggested that the couple write down five aspects that are important to their family development.
They both wrote down:
3. Quality Time
However, Shawn entered Education as his number five. Terri was little disturbed by his answer. We reminded her to be patient during this process and a change will come.
We asked their two sons about any concerns regarding their family. During the counseling process it is important, when possible, to let the children be included in the dialogue. Their input is very valuable and it offers support to the entire family. Both boys agreed that their father needs to attend church and become involved in the work of the Lord as he did in the past. Shawn was surprised because he thought they never noticed what he was doing. He feared going back to church because he had been away so long. The boys told him that they were proud of his commitment to God and it gave them a sense of understanding the importance of serving God through his example.
Shawn was so thankful for the family sessions that he has decided to no longer to resist God and wanted to be the example God called him to be. He apologized to his family for allowing his work to supersede God’s plan for his family. He committed to changing his schedule, attending church and bible study faithfully. Terri is very elated and she said “it was the best call she could have made.” To God be the glory, for God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind, (2 Timothy 1:7)
A wonderful tool to use with your family is a vision board. It outlines your expectations for the family. It’s fun, provides quality time and dialogue among family members. Try including scriptures or words of encouragement by texting daily to each other as part of the vision. It will bring a smile.
The Lennon Family continues counseling on a weekly schedule.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent.