Life Challenges

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Biblical Perspective on Debt

What do the Scriptures say about people who find themselves owing a lot of money? Like most of our friends, my husband and I are carrying a certain amount of debt. Does this place us completely outside the will of God?

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Contentment vs. the Love of Money

What does the Bible mean when it says that "godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6)? How do I apply this to the way I manage my finances? And why does Paul go on to state that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil?"

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Biblical Principles and Perspectives About Money

What are some biblical principles and guidelines that will help me understand God's perspective on money and finances?

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Four Stages of Drug Addiction: Recognizing the Signs

What are the progressive stages of drug addiction, especially as it plays out in the life of a teenager? My oldest son has been exhibiting some strange behavior lately, and I'm worried that he may be getting involved with some form of drug abuse. Can you provide me with any helpful hints and clues?

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Discerning the Signs of Alcoholism in a Loved One

What are the tell-tale signs of alcoholism? I'm worried about my husband, but I'm not sure if I have grounds for insisting that he do something about his drinking. When football season comes around, it's five months of him and his friends sitting in front of the TV drinking beer. That doesn't happen every night, of course. In fact, one of his key defenses is that they only drink on weekends and during the games. He says it's just "guy time" – a chance to take a break from work, get together with friends, and show loyalty to their favorite team. He also maintains that they never really get drunk – just "buzzed." As he sees it, it's just part of being a fan to have a few drinks with the game. What do you think?

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Am I an alcoholic?

Can you help me understand whether I have a serious problem with alcohol? Here's my situation. I'm a hassled and harried mother of three young children. After school, I pick up my kids and go to the market, where I have to rush to grab a few things and get out of the store before the kids have a meltdown. Then we hurry home and I try to start dinner while helping with homework. Meanwhile, the laundry is piling up and the house is a mess. When my husband comes home, I get a glass of wine and sit down to dinner to unwind. But instead of enjoying a relaxing meal I find myself cutting up the kids' food, pouring drinks, serving my husband, and trying to talk to him about his day. Then the kids need a bath, homework has to be checked, and lunches have to be packed. By bedtime I need another glass of wine to calm down. Some nights I just lie in bed with the television on and have another drink or two to get sleepy, but this doesn't happen very often. Do you think I'm an alcoholic?

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Alcoholic Seeking Help

Do you have any assistance to offer to someone who seriously wants to stop drinking? Where do I find the professional help I need? I'm desperate to overcome my problem with alcohol, but hard experience has convinced me that I can't beat this addiction on my own. Now my wife is threatening to take our children and leave, and to make matters worse, I just got a warning from my employer about missing too much work. What should I do?

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Spouse Struggles With Drug Abuse

Where do I turn for help with my spouse's problem with substance abuse and drug addiction? It has had a devastating impact on our marriage and family, and I feel as if I've just about reached the end of my rope.

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Finding Freedom From Addiction Through Faith in God

How can I trust God enough to be released from drug and alcohol abuse? I once heard a Christian speaker who had suffered from addictions describe how he found healing when he turned his life over to God. I've prayed for this, but I guess I'm not trying hard enough or don't really know what it means. How can I really give my heart to Him?

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Dealing With an Alcoholic Spouse

How can I help my spouse overcome an addiction to alcohol? She's "given up drinking" several times only to soon end up back on the bottle. She's lost her job, our household is a mess, and the whole family is slowly going to pieces. What can I do to turn things around?

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Hopeless, Feels Like a Loser

How can a loser like me ever be happy? I hate myself for who and what I am. I hate myself for the laundry that's not done, for the dirty socks and clothes on the floor, for a bunch of clean and unfolded clothes, for dirty dishes all over the house. I feel like the filthiest person in the world. My love life is a mess, too. I feel broken. I don't deserve to be happy, and even if I were, I'm afraid someone would show up and remind me about my past and how awful I've been and everyone would hate me again. Can you help me?

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Pregnant, Scared, and Overwhelmed

Can you help me deal with the debilitating emotions that have swept over me since finding out that I'm going to have a baby? I just learned that I'm pregnant, and I feel scared, alone, and completely overwhelmed. So far I haven't yet shared this with anyone. What do you think I should do?

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Overcoming Eating Disorders

Can you help me deal with the starving, binging, and purging problem I've had ever since I was a teen? Thoughts of food rarely leave my mind. My body weight has become an idol. I feel guilty, shamed, and dirty. How can I change?

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Book Recommendations on Mental Health

Can you direct me to any good books addressing mental health problems from a Christian perspective?

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Dealing With the Practical Aspects of a Spouse's Death

Can you help me cope with the practical, day-to-day aspects of my spouse's death? I'm already seeing a therapist, and close friends are helping me work through the grief. Where I really need some guidance is in the area of business details, daily responsibilities, house repairs, car maintenance, paying bills – that sort of thing. Decisions about little things of this nature are about to do me in. Do you have any helpful advice for me?

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Christians and Social Gambling

How does God view social gambling between friends? My buddies and I enjoy getting together for a game of poker now and then. Everybody who knows anything about the game understands that it's just not the same if it doesn't include a real risk of some kind, however small. How do you feel about Christians playing games of chance and betting a nickel, a dime, a quarter, maybe a dollar at times? Is God okay with that?

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How to Help a Compulsive Gambler

How can I come alongside a compulsive gambler and encourage him to take steps to overcome his addiction? After observing my husband's behavior, seeking out the opinions of pastors and friends, and researching the issue on my own, I've come to the conclusion that he has a serious problem in this area. I'd like to help him if possible, but I have no idea where to begin. Can you offer any advice?

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A Biblical Look at Gambling

Does the Bible really say that gambling is wrong? I realize that it's one of those activities – like dancing and playing cards – that religious conservatives have traditionally been "against." But I'm not convinced that there's any solid biblical basis for their opposition to what I regard as innocuous games of chance.

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Recognizing the Signs of Compulsive Gambling in a Spouse

How can I tell if my husband's recreational gambling is becoming a serious addiction? At first it was just an occasional poker game with his buddies, but a few months ago he exchanged this activity for weekly outings to a casino. Twice in the last month he has called in "sick" so he could make a mid-week gambling trip, and some of his closest friends no longer seem important to him. He assures me that he's just relaxing and enjoying himself, but I'm feeling very anxious about the changes I'm seeing. Is it possible that he's become a compulsive gambler?

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"Magic" in Movies and Entertainment

What do you think about references to wizardry, sorcery, spells, and magic in storybooks, films, TV shows, and various other forms of entertainment? It seems our children are being bombarded with this, not only in Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, but even in relatively innocent Disney movies. To complicate matters, our church recently hosted an event featuring a "Christian illusionist." What's your opinion of this kind of thing?

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Tithing and Giving While in Debt

Should we keep tithing to our church while trying to pay off debts? My husband and I are on a tight budget and trying our best to pay off a large backlog of debt that has been building over the past several years. Would it be better to put our giving on hold until we've satisfied all our creditors?

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Dealing With the Pain of Miscarriage

Is it normal to experience deep grief after the unexpected termination of a pregnancy? I recently lost my first child through miscarriage, and my husband and I are surprised at how devastating this experience has been for us. Is this typical?

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Dealing With the Memory of a Deceased Abusive Father

How can I forgive my deceased father for his cruel words and behavior? He treated me horribly when I was a kid, and as a result my relationship with him was strained and distant until the day he died. I never worked things out with him in person, and now I'm struggling with feelings of anger, bitterness, guilt, and remorse. How do I resolve this issue?

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Treating Insomnia

What can I do to address my ongoing inability to sleep? Is medication a good solution for insomnia? The problem has lasted several weeks so far. It seems to be rooted in anxiety, and it's becoming worse: the more I worry about getting to sleep, the longer I lie awake. If anxiety is the issue, will drugs help, or will they simply mask the deeper issue?

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