Hey guys, tree Dixon here, executive director of true north ministries where our mission is to create environments where men can hear from. God, thank you so much for being here this morning. I am so excited as we get ready for the holidays. Uh, with Thanksgiving, just being a couple of days away, um, wanting to get with a very good friend of mine, Sean Maguire – a great marriage counselor Edmond, you’ve probably seen shown on here before. He’s been a Christian counselor for 20 plus years. He’s an amazing guy, good friend, close countability for me. Um, and man, when I really started thinking as the holidays, these are incredible times at so many of us love being around friends and family, but that friends and family can bring drama, um, in inlaws and outlaws and all those kinds of things. And so I wanted to bring Shawn in to basically share some words of wisdom, what he’s seen of how we really deal with the inlaws, how we deal with those, you know, those hard family conversations when you have those people in your family that you just don’t even really want to engage with. Um, how do you get along with them and how do you keep that drama to a minimum? So Michelle, thank you for being here.

That’s a fantastic question. And I just want to say tres, one of my favorite people in the world, he’s been like a brother to me. You know, brothers fighting, arguing can wrestling matches. That’s been our relationship. Sean wins though. Oh, it’s obvious, right? So I just want to say that he has really challenged and encouraged me to share my story to, you know, just because I wasn’t addicted to drugs and I don’t have a crazy backstory like a lot of people do. It doesn’t make my story any less significant than then anybody else’s because God wants to work through all of our lives. And he inspires him because he goes around the really the, the country starting men’s events and they equipment to hear from God to live out their lives, to God’s calling. Not Whatever society says a man is, but who god says a man is.

And guys, if you haven’t heard of true north ministries, you’ve got to go to their website. What does it true North Dot. Live true north.live and it, it really has majorly impacted in my life. And if you are in Oklahoma City, marriage counselor Edmond, Oklahoma period, and you go to nutrition counseling, you will be strong arm. I mean strongly encouraged to go to one of these events because it really does change your life and begin a process of living for God and seeing who you really are that weekend. So just wanted to say thank you for all that you do and really impacting our community in the world at large. So it laws is a huge issue this time of year when people start to get ready for their holidays, they start to plan. If you’re married, you have these conversations about where are you going to go? Who’s family you’re going to go to this you’re a family or your in laws.

And then what of your inlaws divorce? Oh yeah. Then you’ve got like four sets of parents potentially earthing divorced more than once. It just gets really crazy. So something I have found is really effective, especially this time of year, is start by setting your expectations clearly and let your marriage counselor Edmond help. What that means is it looks like you’re having a conversation with your spouse and after you have a conversation with your spouse, talking to your kids about what you’d like to see happen, what you guys have agreed on, and then sharing it after you’ve talked with your spouse, only after it, you sit and you come to an agreement. Do you share it with your children? Because they may want to go to your parents and this may be your wife’s here and you’ve decided that’s the right thing to do. You know, expectations are so big. I remember when I first got married, I feel like my wife has like 10,000 people in her Ma and her family.

We had like maybe 30 I think she has like 10,000 I don’t think anybody in her family has ever left Oklahoma. I could be wrong, but they were all at our wedding. Yeah. Why would you leave a club? I mean it’s obvious, right? Exactly. So if we go to this first, this first thanksgivings, our first experienced together and I’m there and all this stuff’s happening, and I’ve got 50 now, maybe 60 people, and about 1100 square foot mobile home. People are on couches. People are on stool to pour on calendars. People are on the, uh, the makeshift porch and they’re clipping coupons and bed. Dude, I’m overwhelmingly overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do. And then about four hours later, she’s like, all right, we gotta go. We gotta go. I was like, why? She’s like, it’s, we got to go to my mom’s house, my mom’s family.

I was like, what? And so we had this crazy day of her people get angry at her mom’s side because we stayed too long and her dad’s side never had that experience. And so we’ve got an arguments over it. I was frustrated as a marriage counselor Edmond. I was like, look, I didn’t take off work to get in fights with your parents, trying to rip a sent to my poor wife. And so from then on we prayed about what God wanted us to do each holiday season. Littler, like we spent one thanksgiving and golden corral because it was so chaotic. Both sides. We spent other ones in Florida. We’ve, I mean, we’ve done it all. If we weren’t crazy horrible, it was horrible. It was before the organic movement really hit his stride. Organic sounds horrible too. That’s another, that’s right. But we started to do that and what we started to discover is we were both living out of these belief structures that we had expected to happen on Thanksgiving, on Christmas, on new years that we were taught growing up.

And so what would happen is we gave God the freedom to let us create new expectations and traditions that were right for our family. Now many of you, this looks like setting boundaries with your family of how long you will stay, how long you’ll uh, you know, stay past. You know, if you’re having a great time, you can do the ones swirl. If you’re having a really bad time, it’s the peck. You have all of these. Outline them with your marriage counselor Edmond Now you guys are going to know my cues. You’re gonna have all these subtle and not so seller kids to kind of wrap it up. Here we go. Land. If I was speaking and traits, say land the plane, land the plane, things that will help you to stay on the same page, reduce the drama and also realize God didn’t give you your family’s family to live out.

God gave you your family to live out. He gave you your film me to step into. He gave you your family to let God your kids and that unique way. So here’s some that’s countercultural. We don’t do it fairly at all. We started out doing it fairly, but God’s not a god of fairness. He’s got him justice. He’s got whatever his will is, we call do a band. And so that’s where the prayer to seeking him and following his lead, you know, part of the family, we didn’t see them for a few, maybe five years, six years, because of some of the things that were going on over there. We just spent it with one side of her family out the other, you know, praise God, the buying his faithfulness and just us submitting to him. We see all of her family now and we see all of my family because we, but we stayed in step with God and we made a lot of mistakes along the way, but we did it together and every time we had a big disagreement, but it’s happened a lot with inlaws and a marriage counselor Edmond. We came back together and we allowed God to be the one that had the final say because some some sometimes I was so angry and living out of unforgiveness, don’t judge me. I know Trey doesn’t, but man, but I didn’t even feel capable. So I’d say I’d say tandem, which is my wife’s name. Hey, I need you to come in and make this decision because I don’t know what I should say. I don’t know what to do. And so she would make the decision.

That’s really good. Well, in guys, one of the things I’ll share real quick and shown that setting boundaries, having clear expectations, having some secret codes. Okay. Those are really good little things. One that thinks too in a huge pitfall that I’ve seen with so many couples but also in my own life, my own family is, let me just say it this way. If anybody in your family, anyone in your community, anyone that you’re at, if they know your political beliefs and they don’t know your Jesus, you’ve totally missed the boat. You’ve completely and totally missed the boat. If they know your politics and they don’t know your Jesus, realize something has gone wrong. That’s priorities are just out of order.

That’s good. You know it doesn’t mean you don’t have beliefs. It just means you lead with Jesus and then Jesus can open the door to things that you would never get access to if you started out with something other than love and God. Do you know something else that we do is I also want to encourage you to role play and he’d say, what do you mean role play? Well, you guys have seen movies before, right there. They’re playing roles in advance so they learn their roles before they go on camera. So the same thing is true when you go to these inlaws situations or you know, a family drama, particularly you role play. What we will do if, so for example, what typically happened is we went to her mom’s house. They would always like no exceptions to this rule. They would say, well, why don’t you come around more?

Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you stay longer? Oh, you got to leave so soon. And my wife being the people pleaser that she tends to, your wife’s the same way. We married really sweet women. There’s a reason why to kind of balanced this out. It’s right, but she would just give in and then I would get super frustrated and angry and I had to repent and ask God to help me instead of role. Play that out for the marriage counselor Edmond in me. What are you going to do when they say, why don’t you just stay for this? There’s the last board game. Why don’t you just say, we’re going to play this fun game? Why don’t you just say for these opening a presence, why don’t you just stay and they part laid out late. Well, so-and-so’s an hour late. Can you just wait to see them? This happened our last thanksgiving, this person, this person was about an hour, maybe two hours late to Thanksgiving and we waited.

Everybody waited two hours to eat thanksgiving dinner. Yeah. Trey’s like, are you crazy? I’m at Mcdonald’s or golden corral. I can’t really, 20 minutes, two hours for thanksgiving. There’s no way he’s thanking God before Thanksgiving food. So what happens is you role play these scenarios also I Christmas a great one to role play is what if somebody gets your child a present that you don’t agree with a video game or something that I, I closed that are maybe too revealing or something that you just don’t, a drum set for your young, oh my goodness. I’ll share a story off camera about what I did last time. Somebody got my nephew recorder. Let’s just say that the recorders they throw pretty far outside your front door. It was right by his car waiting for him when he left though. So I just encourage you to role play these situations out.

That’s good. And be patient and remember your, your wife or your husband, their family, super important to them in most situations. And although you don’t have that same affinity, that same compassion or affection to them, they do so don’t treat, don’t, don’t just stand from your position and evaluate what should happen. You don’t get down with them and their story and literally asked the Lord to give you eyes to see and ears to hear what he wants to see happen. And even if you have to set hard boundaries and say no or leave early or maybe not even go, remember to do it with love. Remember to be really compassionate with your spouse, with your kids. Because a lot of times the kids don’t understand what’s happening. They just see that you’re making decisions on their behalf. And so movements can passion moving his love. As a marriage counselor Edmond, don’t just give a solution or shut down a problem with the people that you love. You know, your wife, your kids, but maybe walk them through it and educate them on why you’re doing it as best you can. And you know, I find that love and compassion opens a lot of doors. Absolutely. Harshness

shuts. That’s so good. And so guys is we get ready and ladies remember last thing, and we’ll close with this. In God’s economy there is no inlaws. It’s the scripture’s very clear to be just outlines how those could be your family too. Um, but here’s the thing, we so often we’ll say, well that’s your family. It’s your parents. You married, you made a commitment in a covenant and to literally become one. That’s your family too. And so love them, respect them and honor them the same as you do your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, and just like show them was saying that. Love, that compassion, the grace, the mercy to patients that forgiveness the fruits of the spirit. Walk those, this Thanksgiving in this Christmas. That’s so good. So thank you so much everyone for being here today. We so appreciate it, Sean. Thank you. Thank you for your work, which you do. New Vision Counseling Day. I an amazing, amazing group. If you have family issues, marital issues, personal issues, whatever it is. Sean and his team are unbelievable. Um, you know, is being a pastoral counselor one the highest compliments you can ever pay to another counselor is that my family and my son have actually been here and seen him and his group. And so literally the highest possible compliment that you could ever give.

And I want to say something about that. And that’s what he just showed was on May amazing, godly, biblical proportion, authenticity, transparency. And that’s one of the things that changes any relationship. That’s one of the things that tray constantly challenges me on is to just be authentic. Don’t, don’t hide anything. You don’t have to be afraid of what people think. You serve a God that loves you no matter what people say about you. And so I just want to say that, that that’s amazing that you are able to just communicate that because I think that opens the door to so many people when you share your story, it just invites them to get help. It invites them to step in. And I know for me that it’s a, it’s a super honored to have served my brother here as a marriage counselor Edmond, even in the Christmas season, right? He’s just encouraging people to live out this season, which is about Jesus at exhibit 11 grateful. If we keep them at the primacy and the focal point that he’ll bring everything together,

right? Well, in Thanksgiving, the whole thing, no thanksgiving may be more of a secular holiday, but it’s about giving things and who are we giving things to? Giving thanks to God for our freedoms, for the food or shelter for this country, for the blessings, for all the things that we have. And if we let family and we let drama rob that, then we’re robbing, giving thanks in the glory to God. And so don’t let family drama rob you of the blessing of thanking God for everything that he’s done.