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Understanding Your Child’s Needs

Have you ever wished that parenting came with a manual?  Imagine that glorious day in the hospital when you had your first baby.  You name her Rachel Jones, After baby arrives you rest for awhile.  The next day you and baby are anxiously awaiting to be released to go home.  The doctor comes in, while thumbing through some books in his arms he says “Let me see here, Robert, Julie, James,  oh, here we go, Rachel”.  He hands it to you and says, ” Mrs. Jones, here is your parenting manual made up specifically for Rachel Jones.  It will guide you through her whole life, informing you of God’s great plan for her life, and all the needs she will have and how to meet them”.   Wow, it sounds so wonderful!

But, God HAS given us many tools to become part of our manual.  Number one is His Word.   The Bible is clear about the need for every human being to receive love, affection and affirmation.   We see this in the Baptism of Jesus.  God said to His Son, “You are my Son (acceptance), whom I love (affection), in whom I am well pleased” (affirmation).   If Jesus needed to hear this, how much more do each of us.

His Word also says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”.  This tells us much.  If we want our children to grow up thinking of others first, being successful in career and family, and serving God with all their heart, then parents must model these things in their own home.   Remember that children are “trained” more from what they see than what they hear.

We also see promises in the Word of God over our children, so we pray daily for them and trust God that He will accomplish His will for them.  Trusting God, means dealing with the fears that we sometimes have.   Get rid of them by replacing them with faith, love, and hope (time in God’s Word and His presence will produce these things).   There are instructions in Ephesians 6 and Colossians 3 for parents to teach their children to honor and obey them.  Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loves the church, and the “love of Christ compels us to serve Him”.  So it is with the husbands love for his wife and children.  The servant type love of Christ, displayed by a husband and father, compels the family to follow his leadership.  Wives are told to respect/prefer their husbands.  Each are called to submit one to another.  These are all very important if you want your children to obey and respect you as parents.  (Single parents: God is your helper, receive His love. honor Him in your home, and prefer His ways over the worlds)

There must be love in the house between parents for the children to be secure in their love.  Also, it says for fathers not to exasperate their children.  Exasperation happens when parent is expecting more out of child than they understand, or not spending time with them in relationship but scolding them consistently, or speaking down to them or the other parent, or by living inconsistent with what they teach, or by not being consistent with rules and discipline, or most of all by never showing acceptance, love, or affection.   Rules without relationship will create rebellion. Structure and consistency, not legalism and domination.  Parents make a note to yourself “my peace comes from the Lord in me, not from everyone around me agreeing or obeying”, then hold your peace so you can respond to each moment in love and not offense.  “The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God”.

Another great tool to add to that manual is the understanding of each child’s unique temperament.   They each have different needs in the areas of socialization, intellect, taking on responsibility, decision making, and giving and recieving love and affection.  Thankfully we can test children at age 7 or 8, depending on the child’s level of understanding.   We use the Arno Profile System, which is the most in-depth analysis available, and the only one that identifies the fifth temperament.

From this analysis you can make a chart on your child’s needs that looks something like this:

Joey needs lots of socialization and attention – two way conversation with family and others.

Johnny needs quiet time alone each day  –  but may need encouragement to not isolate for long periods of time

Gail is motivated by rewards and punishment.

Joey is not, more self motivated.

Joey needs to learn how to trust God when making decisions – teach him to trust the leading of God at an early age to avoid the confusion and dependency on the wrong people which is common to this temperament.

Gail needs lots of physical affection and quality time spent with her by family members and close friendships – (this will decrease her chance of going out into the world looking for affection in the wrong places).

Johnny receives love from things being done for him or given to him.   He also gives love that way, so be sure to receive it with enthusiasm.  (He still needs affection, but not as constant as Gail needs)

As you can see having this understanding can be a great help in accepting each child for who they are, and increasing both parents ability to step out in sacrificial love to be used by God to meet the needs of their child.   Remember:  Each parent has their own temperament, as well.  This means you will tend to do with your child according to what your needs are,  and possibly miss for years why you and your child are not connecting.  That is not God’s plan.   His plan is to give you all the wisdom you and your children need.

If you have further interest in temperament analysis for you and your family please contact   Lisa Winchell, M.A. in Clinical Christian Counseling at:



Suggested Reading:

Parenting at It’s Best   by Fred A. Hartley III

The Key to your Child’s Heart  by  Gary Smalley

Is God Calling You to be a Christian Counselor?

There is much to consider when pursuing a career or ministry in Christian Counseling.   First and foremost, is asking the Lord if this is His plan for your life.  One way to confirm that is in the mouth of two or three witnesses.   Most counselors have been told all their life they have a gift for helping others, or listening to others.  Although, we do not take man’s word over God’s will,  we understand that God has placed His plan in our heart since before we were born.  Therefore, we can recognize the signs and evidence of that plan working out all through our life. The plan becomes very apparent to us and others as we tune in to what the Holy Spirit has been revealing through the years.

The Holy Spirit will reveal gifts, tendencies, a passion, strengths and weaknesses.   This will happen from a very young age.  As we get older there are several tests that confirm to us what those gifts are.   One of those tests is the APS (Arno Profile System) that we use at In His Image Counseling.   It will reveal the strengths, weaknesses and tendencies, as well as bring clarity to the gifts resident in you.  There are also spiritual gift tests used in churches and several online that pinpoint the specific gift God has place in you to be used in the Kingdom of God.   I would suggest that you do both of these first if you do not have a clear picture of God’s will for you in this area.

Prayer and listening to God is the most important way to confirm His will for you.  We often talk alot and do not listen to the Lord.  Make sure you are taking 5-15 minutes after prayer or Bible Study to just let the Lord know you are there and ready to be still and listen.   If you do not know how to do this refer to the article “Listening to the Lord”.    Pray over your  passion for a period of time, asking God to guide you and show you what doors are open to you, and confirming that open door with a peace in your spirit.    Then step out in faith knowing that God will complete that which He has started in you.  That means he will provide the finances, the time, and the mental strength to complete your studies.

Be blessed in all that He has called you to!

To have your personal temperament analysis run, contact us at 813-684-7927, or 817-337-8977.

Reaching Your Children

Children go to the arms of love, with utmost freedom.  If you want to reach them, love them.  Never scold.  Don’t criticize. Don’t show frustration, or discouragement.  Don’t tell them how bad they are. Tell them how good they may be.  Never preach sin, preach it’s cure.  They want to obey, just like you want to obey God.  Consider the mercy given to you, and receive it.  Then show them mercy, revealing Jesus.

Extreme actions never get it, but consistency will. Be consistent with love, and with loving discipline.

Settle in for the long haul, walk in love, and trust God.  Teach them, train them, and watch them grow. They are awesome! They are your great reward!

Resources:  A New Kind of Love,  EW Kenyon;   The Bible

Listening to God

We hear much about praying and talking to God these days.   But, how much do we hear about listening to God.   What does that mean?  How does that look?   Does He really talk to us?

As I write this I must grin.   Because, I know so well that He sure does talk to us.  Not only does He, but He wants to even more.   He wants to talk with us, and share His heart, His thoughts, and His love with us.

So how do I hear from God?   It is great you asked.   A good way to start hearing from the Lord is to spend time reading His Word first, in a quiet place.  Then set 5-15 minutes aside to listen to Him.  Have a notebook and pen in front of you, and start with letting God (and yourself) know that you want to be still and wait on Him. Thank Him that you will hear His voice only.   I often say, “speak to me Lord”, and wait, knowing that He will answer.

At first you may hear “I love you..”   “You are doing great”, or “I have been waiting for you”.  Yes, God has been waiting for you.  He loves to communicate with us.   Keep your mind on a visual of Him, or on the Word you just read and let Him give you deeper insight as you ponder it.

Do not just sit with your mind blank and accept anything that comes in.  Remember, you have an enemy.  His name is Satan, and his demons.   They are certainly able to speak to us as well.  But, you have the witness of the Holy Spirit and the Word to help you be sure of God’s voice.  Also, if you ask to hear from  God and His Holy Spirit, you can trust that God will protect you from any other spirit.   If what you hear does not line up with the Word, than it is not God.  It could just be your flesh, also.   Cast it down, do not be alarmed or moved by it in any way.   Then put your mind back on Him, or even say verbally again, “thank you Lord that I hear your voice only”.  Sometimes it takes time for your flesh to learn to be still in God’s presence.

An important point to remember is that, as Christians,  we have God’s Spirit living in us.  It is through Him, the Holy Spirit, that God speaks to us.   The Spirit talks to our spirit, which feeds the information to our minds.  When you hear God you can often sense it coming from inside.  Although, there are times you just look around and are sure you just heard an audible voice.  Therefore, when making a decision about something, do not depend on words you hear in your mind only.  Confirm that those words are from Him, by making sure it lines up with the Word and then by making sure you have peace in your spirit about it.

You are practicing His presence.   It takes time, commitment, and patience.  Just as it does when you have to give yourself to someone else, to listen to them and really understand what they are saying rather than just wanting to say what you want to say.  This is even more awesome, because He is God, the Almighty God and He loves you so much.  One word from God can change your whole life!    Enjoy your time with Him!

Helpful Resources

Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

The Master is Calling by Lynn Hammond

Call us if you need want more information about our ministry.

813-684-7927, or 817-337-8977

Counseling at it’s Best

As counselors we must understand that all mankind interacts with the world around us based on how he or she see themselves. The root of all counseling issues is found in the client’s perception of themselves and their God. The Word of God tells us, “As a man thinks so is he”. We have all read much and listened to much that reminds us that the battlefield is in our minds. But do we get it, do our clients really get it, or do we just see it as too much work , and hope to skirt by or find another way?

Romans 12:2 says “You must not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Many go from relationship to relationship, judge others, change their surroundings, go from revival to revival, change spouses, change careers, or become legalistic all in an effort to find peace, while ignoring this very simple truth. Being personally transformed is what will bring peace and lasting joy.

God’s Word is so very clear of our need to be transformed, and the only way it happens is first being born again through Jesus Christ (John 3:3), and then a lining up of the soul (mind, will, and emotions) through agreement with God’s Word. The New Age movement teaches their own version of this truth, teaching the changing of reality by changing their thinking. They call it “positive thinking”. Well, praise God. It is God’s principle, and it works for all that use it. Yet, they are trying to think themselves into victory and divinity. We as born again Christians already have the victory (Romans 8:37) and we are already of a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), under our Lord and King Jesus Christ. According to II Corinthians 5:17, “we are new creatures, the old has gone and the new has come”. Our spirit man is alive, and brand new, therefore our “positive thinking” is faith filled thinking that is learning to get in agreement with what God says is true about us already.

When this happens we and our clients begin to experience the truth that already lives inside of us. This is when our client’s countenance changes, it is when their relationships become transformed, and it is when they find themselves experiencing the joy of being God’s child. They begin to understand that they are deeply loved, completely forgiven and whole, totally accepted, and fully pleasing to God in Christ Jesus.

Suggested Reading:

Search for Significance, by Robert McGee

Bondage Broken, by Craig Hill

Who Switched Off My Brain, by Dr. Carolyn Leaf