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Ask Dr. Pettis: Spouses w/ separate accounts | Apologizing parents

Q: What do you think about husbands and wives having separate bank accounts?
A: If both spouses are in agreement and it’s not done maliciously or to hide funds, this can definitely work. Whether it is separate or joint accounts, it is important that both spouses agree and are open and honest with what they have and with what they are purchasing. Sometimes a joint bank account can be a strain on a marriage if one spouse is not a very good financial steward. Both ways have their benefits – sometimes separate accounts can be better for surprise gifts. The key is that both spouses are in complete agreement to have separate accounts while allowing your spouse insight into your account and what you have.

Q: I’m an adult, but I feel I didn’t have a good upbringing as a child. Should parents ever apologize to their children for their mistakes?
A: There are many adults who still carry issues from their childhood and these things will never go away unless you address them and face them head-on. Keep in mind there is no such thing as a perfect parent because there such a thing as a perfect person. Most people, including parents, make decisions based on the knowledge they have at that point in their life. Mistakes can be made based on the lack of knowledge at that time. Also, ignorance plays a part and can leave room for mistakes. In some cases, parents simply did not know how to be parents. This can sound like an excuse but one cannot give something that is not in them (such as parenting).
Mistakes can also be made due to selfishness on the parent’s part and the fact they did not make their child a priority. By the same token, some children also have a selfish mindset. For example, they get upset 20 years later because they didn’t get the latest name-brand clothing that their peers did.
This issue really is situational but it is not out of order for a parent to apologize. If this is bothering you, discuss it with your parents and ask God to help you with understanding and to get past this – He will. It is not good for anyone to carry past hurts because this will cause issues in your future.

 

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FIND YOURSELF, ENCOURAGE YOURSELF, LOVE YOURSELF

If you’re being honest, on a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your life? Before you answer, let me say that this message is for you only. It’s not for your friend, your spouse, your boss or anyone in the room with you. Just you. I want to declare that everybody is looking for something in life. But the most common thing we are all looking for is identity. Many are on a search for love, peace, prosperity, happiness, purpose, etc. but most people don’t know you’ll never find these things in life until you first find yourself. One of the biggest mistakes on this journey of life is searching for things on the outside when you’ve never searched for self on the inside.

How do you know what makes you happy or what you want or need if you’re still not confident in who the real you is? I’ve been there myself: searching for the external without settling the internal. I too, used to believe people, places and things were the missing link in life. If I had more money, a better job, bills paid, a spouse, a house, a car, if I lose weight, were taller, was younger…
We must understand that people, places or things were never designed nor have the power to complete your life. None of us would actually say that we depend on these things to complete our life or feel fulfilled but the truth is that many of us do.

In 1980, country singer Johnny Lee recorded a song “Looking for Love (in All the Wrong Places)”. Could it be that what you’ve been looking for in life you’ve been looking in the wrong place? Here are some troubling statistics:

  • In 2016 over 10 million American adults have dealt with depression
  • On average, there are 123 suicides per day in the U.S.
  • Over 9 million people had a suicidal thought in the past year
  • 4 out of 5 women have low self-esteem
  • Only 2% of women think they are beautiful
  • 80% of men are affected by their body image and are unhappy with the way they look
  • One of 3 adults admit fear of being alone.

I could go on, but it’s clear that most people are looking for something or someone to bring some contentment to their lives. What you should understand is the problem has never been about what you think you don’t have. The real problem is that you haven’t found you yet – and it doesn’t matter what your age is, be it 21 or 91 years old. Why is it that we still see people with seemingly everything they would want in life but are still living with an empty hole in their heart?

John Chapter 4 tells a story of a Samarian woman who realized that what she had in life wasn’t fulfilling. She came to a water well where Jesus is sitting and he asks her to give him a drink. With Jesus being a Jew and her a Samarian, she felt unworthy to even pour him a drink. Jesus, knowing that she’s already had 5 husbands and was still searching for something in life, told her he could provide her “living water” which after drinking, she’d never thirst again. Of this living water, Jesus said in v. 14:
”the water I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life”.
This Samarian woman knew that there was a void needing to be filled and asked Jesus for this living water “that I may not thirst” (v.15).
This woman represents most people. Going from one husband to the next, she was looking for fulfillment outside of the Living Water. Jesus said, “the water I give, you’ll never thirst again”. Without the Living Water that’s rooted in our identity in Christ, we will always be thirsty.

Many of us are looking for something to satisfy or fulfill us when in truth it doesn’t have the power or ability to do that. The reason this letter has the title it does is because, truth be told, you can’t really love or encourage yourself if you haven’t found yourself. You may ask “find myself how? I’m not lost”. At one point or another, we all can get lost in the challenges of life as well as the expectations of our existence and lose ourselves in the midst of what we’re going through – even lose yourself in the midst of your duties and obligation to others. You find yourself only going through the mechanics, the motions and routines of life, be it the husband wife, father, mother, work, school, church and even ministry leader routines. But even in all that you’re saying to yourself “I’m not sure if I see me anymore.”

One of the ways the enemy can get you is when you’ve lost your identity. Low self-esteem, an inferiority complex, and insecurity are only manifestations of a lost identity. I’ve found out that the moment you can no longer find yourself, you have automatically weakened your capacity to encourage yourself. Whenever you start forgetting your self-worth and value (especially as a child of God) you start leaning towards and looking to people, places and things to find you and bring you back. As we’ve discussed, drinking that water will keep you thirsty. We’re currently selling a 3-part series called “Find Yourself, Encourage Yourself, Love Yourself” where we will dig deeper on the keys to finding yourself. I believe many people are dealing with general dissatisfaction and I believe these keys can shed light on some solutions. Click here to receive your copy on MP3, CD or DVD.

SUDDENLY

I pray that all is well with you and your household, and all things are working together for your good. First of all, I want to let you know how much I appreciate you as we continue to work together to change lives through the power of The Gospel.

During my meditation, I was thinking on how fast this year is coming to a close. But the Lord told me to tell you to not give up on what has been promised to you.  (more…)