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Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

Air Date 09/03/2018

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Psychologist Dr. Kelly Flanagan discusses the origins of shame, the search for self-worth in all the wrong places, and the importance of extending grace to ourselves. He also explains how parents can help their kids find their own sense of self-worth, belonging and purpose.

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Episode Transcript

Opening:

Excerpt:

Kelly Flanagan: I would encourage parents to shift that focus from “All I want is my kid to be happy” to “All I want is my kid to be my kid, to be who they are. To be who God sent them into the world to be.”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Dr. Kelly Flanagan is our guest on today’s Focus on the Family. And your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller. 

Jim Daly: Today we want to remind each of you that you are loved. You are loved by God, period. There’s nothing you can do to earn it. He gives it willingly. And so often for us, we think if we could just behave better or do better, God will love us more. That’s not the equation, folks. That’s what’s so amazing about God’s love. It’s unconditional, and we’re gonna talk about that today. We wanna equip you to be that way in your life, in your marriage, but also as a parent. And, uh, this is difficult because I think it’s one of the greatest areas of struggle for parents. Uh, we tend to shame ourselves. We tend to shame our kids at times. And I just don’t see the character of God in that. Jesus demonstrated that so beautifully. The woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery - He would speak truth, but He always seemed to have that arm around us to say, “I love ya, but...” and that’s what we’re gonna talk about today.

John: And our guest, as I said, is Dr. Kelly Flanagan. Uh, he’s written a book called, Lovable: Embracing What Is Truest about You So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life. We’ve got that and a CD or download of our conversation today at focusonthefamily.com/radio or call us 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

And, uh, Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist. He’s a podcaster, and he founded a popular blog called, UnTangled

Body:

Jim: Uh, Kelly, welcome, for the first time, to Focus on the Family.

Kelly: Thank you for having me here. It’s a huge honor.

Jim: Now you’ve written this book called, Lovable. Um, let’s start in that spot, um. Several years ago, uh, you bought a coffeepot. I love this in the book - this analogy of the coffee pot.

Kelly: Yeah.

Jim: Because I have the same problem with my coffee pot, but it wasn’t the beginning of a spiritual lesson for me.

(LAUGHTER)

So tell us how the coffee pot, uh, was used by God to speak to your heart.

Kelly: Yeah, exactly. Well, I think we were - at that time, we were still using the coffee pot that we’d bought in grad school - maybe the one we’d gotten when we’d gotten married in grad school. And it finally gave up the ghost. And, you know, we ordered one on Amazon and it was - had great ratings. It was advertised as this sort of fancy thing that didn’t require heating pad, and, um, we couldn’t figure out how to get it to work. Uh, we couldn’t figure out to keep our coffee hot in it.

Jim: That’s why it didn’t need a heating pad.

Kelly: Yeah, it had nothing warm in it.

(LAUGHTER)

So I went to Google, as we do these days, and I - I said, you know, I started to type in, “how to keep coffee hot”, but I typed in “how to keep ‘h’“ and sort of misspelled it. And, uh, Google auto-completed that search. And the number one search that came up was “how to keep him interested”. And as a psychologist and a guy who’s been interested in marriage and so on and so forth, I went, “Well, that’s interesting.” I clicked on it. There’s all these articles about the specific things that a woman needs to do to keep a man interested in her.

Jim: Huh.

Kelly: And most of them involved bringing the sandwich at the right time or a drink at the right time or stroking his ego in just a certain way, looking a certain way.

Jim: And that kind of offended you though, right?

Kelly: Yeah, well...

Jim: It put you off.

Kelly: As a dad with a daughter who’s three, right? I’m picturing her - what? 20 years down the road...

Jim: Exactly.

Kelly: ...And having to search that on the Internet because she can’t figure out why he’s not interested. And yeah, and so it sort of got me hot. The coffee wasn’t, but I was. I - I found that a letter sort of just flowed out of me explaining that, uh, she is inherently interesting, and that relationships are about two people coming together who have decided “You are interesting. And now I just want to become a student.”

Jim: Well...

John: This is a letter you wrote to her?

Kelly: I wrote it to Caitlin. She’s three at the time. Obviously, not going to be able to understand it, but I read it to my wife, and my wife started crying.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Kelly: And to that point, I’d never published anything incredibly personal on my blog. And she said - she said, “I think you need to put this on your blog.” And so I did, and it was the start of something new in our lives.

Jim: Well, it took off.

Kelly: It took off.

Jim: I mean, it went viral and people read it. And in that context, I mean, you’re trying to convince your daughter - or at least have a conversation with your daughter - about beauty and worthiness and what it means.

Kelly: Right.

Jim: Um, I would say every woman just leaned in, because that’s the desire of their heart, in terms of, “Am I beautiful and am I worthy enough for your love?”

Kelly: Yeah, so in the year after that, uh, first letter, uh, Caitlin and I had developed a bedtime routine. We say the Lord’s Prayer. And we alternate the - the verses of it. And, uh - and then I would say to her, “Are you beautiful on the outside?” And she says, “Yes.” And I say, “And where are you the most beautiful?” And she says, “On the inside.” Um, so trying to affirm that we can enjoy our outer beauty, but that there’s a - there’s an eternal, unfading, undying beauty on the inside, um, that is much more reliable.

And around the time that we developed that ritual, a friend of mine, you know, texted me and said, “I’m in the makeup aisle of a - of a department store, and this is - this is heavy.” Like, he was picking up something for his wife, and he imagined his daughter and his wife in there. He’s like, “The messages in this aisle are too much for any woman to handle.” So I wanted to find out what that was all about. And so I - I went to a makeup aisle and, uh, saw these words plastered around the makeup aisle - all these really great words, but words about physical beauty, uh, that just, uh...

Jim: Do you recall them? I mean, I’ve not been in a makeup aisle lately. But...

Kelly: So I put them in a letter...

Jim: What does it sound like?

Kelly: I put them in a letter to Caitlin. And so what were some of them? Like, naked, um, infallible, flawless finish, brilliant strength, liquid power, go nude, uh, age defying, instant age rewind, choose your dream, um, nearly naked, natural beauty - like all these words. Right?

Jim: Yeah. And what messages do they give young ladies?

Kelly: Yeah, young ladies.

Jim: Teens.

Kelly: Exactly. And this is when - the teens are the ones entering this aisle for the first time and getting these messages, so, um - so I wanted to write a letter that didn’t give her different words, but reclaimed those words for her inner beauty. And, uh - and so I wrote second letter to her about a year after the first, and that one also went viral. And she and I wound up on The Today Show, which was a total blast.

Jim: Um, let me ask you about shame. We mentioned it in the setup. Shame, to me, is poison. It’s hard to control. And I do it, you know, unfortunately. I try not to do it, but it squirts out. It’s like, almost uncontainable.

Kelly: Right.

Jim: Where you shame your children ‘cause they’re not meeting a performance standard that you have for them. And, you know, it can be subtle. It can be aggressive. I hope I never do that, but, you know, little things like, “If you don’t get a better grade, you may not be going to college.”

Kelly: Yeah.

Jim: “If you don’t get that trash taken out, it means your character is a little flawed. You can’t follow directions.” I mean, whatever it might be and how you do it, speak to shame and the power of shame in all of us.

Kelly: I think there’s at least two reasons we find ourselves doing it as parents. And I really appreciated your introduction to the show, because I think what you were getting at is that whatever is inside of us overflows, right? So if we have a lot of shame that we carry around inside of us, it’s going to overflow accidentally onto the people around us. If we’re filled with love, then we are going to - that’s what’s gonna overflow. We’re gonna pass love on. Um, so I think that’s part of it is that we’re just all carrying around a lot of shame. You know, it accumulates over the course of a lifetime. And, uh, so it eventually is going to spill out on even the people we love, the people we don’t want to shame.

I think the other reason that we sometimes do it a little bit less accidentally is that it works. Shame is a great short-term motivator. No one wants to feel it. And so we’ll do it with our kids because, you know, if we need to get them studying, um, shaming them is a great way to - to motivate them.

Jim: But long-term it’s unhealthy.

Kelly: Long-term it’s unhealthy because shame ultimately de-motivates us. Shame ultimately becomes something that we - we hide, that we think we need to hide ourselves. Um, it causes us to shut down, to become less creative, to become less innovative, to become less who we were here to be - who we are here to be. So, uh, yeah, eventually, shame becomes corrosive. But in the short-term, we get results. And as a parent, we all know, like, it’s exhausting. It’s hard. You don’t know what to do half the time, and if you can get a result today, you know, you go for it.

Jim: Well, that’s human nature, too, to be fair. We’re looking for shortcuts. How do I get to where I need to go with my child as quickly as possible? But it’s important to pull that back because of the, again, the long-term damage that that can do. In fact, you have a story growing up that was hard, uh, where you were shamed. And what was that?

Kelly: My father had gone back to school. Um...

Jim: How old are you?

Kelly: I’m in the - it would have to be the third grade. Um, my father had gone back to school a couple of years earlier after sort of turning his life around. And, uh, my mom had gone back to school, as well. So now we’re trying to - she’s working nights as an RN trying to pay for his schooling. We’re living in a trailer park in Missouri, uh, while he is, uh, wrapping up his undergrad degree at Evangel. And, uh, you know, so he’s exhausted. It’s late at night. She is, uh, working. He’s trying to get three kids ready for bed while figuring out how he’s going to get his studying done. And the hot water heater breaks in the trailer. And, uh - um, he just sort of got fed up. And, uh, what I remember of that - you know, we all have our filters. And who knows what the actual facts are? But my memory of that was him getting so fed up - he’s saying, “I’m just - I’m out of here. I can’t take it anymore. I’m gone.” And what I remember is wrapping - wrapping myself around his leg and just not - refusing to let go. Um, and I actually had not thought about that for probably 25 years. Uh, and then I was in my own therapy. And I was - arrived at a session, a session where my therapist usually picked me up, uh, right on time, and five minutes passed. And 10 minutes passed. And 15 minutes passed. And I started to get this horrible feeling inside, and I thought he forgot about me. Um, he scheduled somebody else and so on so forth. He eventually came out, wisely brought me into the therapy room and said, “How did it feel to be sitting there waiting for me that whole time?” And I said, “I - it’s a weird feeling. It feels like embarrassment.” And he said, “Can you think of another time in your life when you felt that?” And all of sudden, I had this memory come back of that time in third grade. Uh, and I said, “It felt like that.” And he said, “Maybe it’s not embarrassment. Maybe it’s shame. Maybe it’s feeling like you’re not good enough for me to remember you, not good enough to keep me sticking around,” and so on and so forth. And so that was a - sort of a game-changer for me, too, to go, “Oh, yeah, I got it, too. I’m a human being, too. I’ve got the shame as well.”

John: Kelly Flanagan is our guest on Focus on the Family and your host is Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. And you can find more about his book, Lovable, at our website. We also have a CD and a download of our program today. That’s focusonthefamily.com/radio or call us and we’d be happy to help - 1-800-232-6459, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Kelly, you - I’m not going to let go of the shame thing because I think it’s so foundational to what we’re talking about. Uh, in the book, you mention that shame is our original wound. That’s true in the garden isn’t it - of Adam and Eve?

Kelly: I think so. Yeah, I think that’s exactly what we see there, um, is that in that moment in which they’ve done something they knew they shouldn’t do, they then became ashamed of it, right?

Jim: And cover it up...

Kelly: Cover it up.

Jim: ...And all of the things they did.

Kelly: Separated themselves from God in that moment, started to hide, um, and then went on to live separately from Him. And, uh - and, yeah, so I think it’s, um, incredibly important to distinguish between sin and shame and to say that we can have sin without shame. Um, but to do that, you have to also distinguish between guilt and shame, right? Because guilt is the sense that I’ve done something wrong. I need to correct it. I need to go out and, uh, apologize or whatever. Um, shame is the sense that I am something wrong, and I need to hide it because, uh, it’s unfixable, uh, it’s simply who I am, and, uh, and I need to protect myself from others essentially. And so we can have sin and have guilt about it and let that guilt, in a very holy way, motivate us to go out and redeem what’s been done. Um, but if we have shame about it, we’ll just hide it and bury it and let those wrongs fester.

Jim: Let me ask you this - when you look at the culture at large and, you know, the average person, I guess, and you see what appears to be such indifference to activity - to behavior in the culture that - where does the Holy Spirit get a hook into somebody to bring a healthy sense of guilt - the way you mistreated somebody...?

Kelly: Right.

Jim: ...The way - and you see so much of it in the world today. There’s just this polarization that’s occurring. It’s like few people have the presence to say, “I shouldn’t treat another human being the way I just treated that person.” Why is that occurring? Is it up from other decades? Is it different from other generations? Is this really the normal human experience, and it’s just unshackled, and this is often how human beings treat each other? And then that indifference - speak to that, especially for the Christian community where we can tend to absorb some of the cultural trends. And we start speaking in ways about people that we shouldn’t. How do we open our hearts up to the Holy Spirit to teach us and to rebuke us...

Kelly: Right.

Jim: ...In healthy ways?

Kelly: Right.

Jim: It’s a big question.

Kelly: Well, there’s a lot there. I will say that, personally, I think that the data that we’re starting to see shows that we’re seeing vast changes in culture, especially among these adolescents who are increasingly connected online and through social media. We’re seeing a, uh, a very rapid change in behavior - kids who are more depressed, more anxious. Um, those things are happening. I don’t think it’s fair anymore to say, “Well, every generation goes through its thing.” Um, technology is shifting things.

Jim: It’s more intense today...

Kelly: It’s more intense.

Jim: ...Than ever before.

Kelly: Absolutely.

Jim: Let me shift back to the household because, uh, I think, um, where we find our worthiness is also an issue. I mean, obviously, the right answer is to say you find that in your relationship with Jesus Christ. He’s our anchor. He provides the way and even lists, very clearly, our behavioral type, what we should - if we’re rooted in Him, how we will behave - if we’re rooted in Him.

Kelly: Yup.

Jim: That’s Galatians 5. Um, but to try to find our worthiness outside of that, either with our spouse...

Kelly: Right.

Jim: ...Or in our children.

Kelly: Yeah.

Jim: You know, a lot of women struggle with that - finding their worthiness in their kids. And it’s leading to a lot of separation and divorce within the church...

Kelly: Right.

Jim: ...Because the kids are leaving at 18, 19. And women, for the most part, are opening their eyes going, “I don’t even know my husband anymore. We’re no longer friends.”

Kelly: Right.

Jim: “My whole life now has been committed to these kids.” And they, in some ways, are even lost in that moment.

Kelly: Right, yeah. In my experience, when we’ve decided that what is inside of us is not good enough, it’s not worthy, then we draw the natural conclusion - is we have to go look outside of us for our sense of worthiness, uh, and that there’s two particular areas that we tend to look for that in. It’s in people, in our relationships and in our families and our friendships and those kinds of things. And then also in our, if you want to call it, our purpose, or our sense of vocation, or our compulsion to do something great to prove that we’re good enough, right? And so I do think that what you’re describing is that when we get into families, we are expecting our spouse to make us feel lovable.

Jim: Right.

Kelly: Um, and oftentimes, as that’s not working out, then we will shift our focus to our kids. Maybe they will make us feel lovable by reflecting us or, uh, making us proud. Or maybe we’ll prove, like - kids become our projects, right? We’ll prove that we’re good enough by producing children that are - the pressure on a child to have to prove your worth by doing things that make you feel like you’ve done a good job as a parent, that’s intense. So we wanna be cautious of this idea that we’re going to get a sense of worthiness from the people around us. We really do have to take an interior journey, not an outward journey.

Jim: And that’s part of the parenting process - is how do you build up your child’s sense of self-worth in a healthy, biblical way?

Kelly: Well, and I go back to what you just asked about the indifference piece of things. So recently, my - I can’t even remember what my daughter did. But I reacted to her. I gave her a consequence, relatively calmly, probably not perfectly so. And then about five minutes later, I said, “So Sweetie, what do you want for lunch - grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly?” And she goes, “Daddy, why are you making me lunch? Aren’t you mad at me?” And I said, “What do you mean, Sweetie?” She goes, “Well, you just punished me.” And I said, “Well, yeah, you have to have consequences when you do things that you really shouldn’t be doing. But I love you. I’ll - I’m always going to feed you and care for you and no matter what you do, you know.” If the only reaction to misbehavior is shame, and we don’t want to shame our kids, then we decide we have to be indifferent to it, right? Or we have to be indifferent to our friend’s behavior. “Oh, it’s okay. I’m just not even going to address it.” It’s possible to say, “I don’t like what you did, but I adore you. I delight in you,” right?

Jim: And it’s important...

Kelly: Absolutely.

Jim: ...For the parent to make sure that, even if they don’t ask the question, that you’re reinforcing that...

Kelly: Right.

Jim: ...As best as possible.

Kelly: Yup, exactly. She gave me an opportunity...

Jim: Right.

Kelly: ...Right? I love that, that she’s like, “Um, this isn’t adding up. But...”

Jim: Right.

Kelly: ...It’s never adding up for our kids.

Jim: Yeah.

Kelly: And so we have to go out of our way to explain that.

Jim: But oftentimes, a child won’t express that.

Kelly: Right.

Jim: And you’ve got to be in tune enough, as a parent, to know that they may be wounded and how do they better understand that. So that...

Kelly: Yeah.

Jim: ...I think is a good approach. You had a piano experience, I think, with your daughter, that really caught my attention.

Kelly: Yeah.

Jim: I love the way you learn through what’s around you. So what happened with the piano?

Kelly: You just get to watch your kids - they’re so unfiltered - they teach you, uh, just through the fact that they’re not hiding anything or protecting anything.

Jim: That’s right.

Kelly: So yeah, she had been wanting to, um, take piano for years. And we finally were able to get a piano. And I could hear her downstairs playing. And she came upstairs, uh, shortly thereafter, and I asked her how it went. And she said, “You know, Dad, it’s really hard to play the piano when you’re thinking about how happy - how happy your mom and dad are or that you’re playing the piano.”

Jim: No, that’s right.

Kelly: Right. And, uh...

John: She was very cognizant...

Jim: So precious.

John: ...Of that.

Kelly: Yeah, like, she’s sitting down there playing, and her mind’s going to, “What are people thinking of what I’m doing?”

John: But it’s not like you had expressed, “Do it right.”

Kelly: Oh, no, not at all, not at all. She was just thinking, “Mom and dad are really happy that I’m playing the piano.” And so it’s not just, “Mom and dad are going to be disappointed in me.”

John: Yeah.

Kelly: It’s this constant referencing of, uh, “How will people be reacting, even if it’s positively, to what I do?” It’s - a lot of what we do is we go out in the world hoping that the crowds will respond positively to it, right?

Jim: Yeah. Kelly, let me ask you, though, when you’re trying to, um, fill your child up with that kind of self-confidence, I think you can go overboard, too...

Kelly: Yeah.

Jim: ...Where they have a false sense of that. In other words, they know they’re not - it’s giving a trophy to everybody. I mean, we see that in the culture today.

Kelly: Yeah, right.

Jim: There’s no first place winner.

Kelly: Right.

Jim: Everybody’s a first place winner.

Kelly: Right.

Jim: Well, the world really doesn’t operate that way.

Kelly: No, it doesn’t.

Jim: There is first place and second place and last place.

Kelly: Yeah.

Jim: And, um, I think there’s...

Kelly: Yeah, you see this pendulum swing from...

Jim: Right.

Kelly: ...We’re going to shame our kids as coaches to we’re going to give everybody a trophy.

Jim: So how do we, as Christian parents, do a, again, a biblical job, a godly job of making sure our kids are not - uh, you know, the rug’s not taken out from under their sense of self-worth, yet they have a dose of reality?

Kelly: Yeah. Well, you know, in the Bible, when someone encounters the unconditional love of God, they’re often renamed. Um, and...

Jim: Interesting.

Kelly: Yeah. And I think - so one of the things, for instance, since you mentioned soccer, one of the things that we do - myself and my co-coach - on our soccer teams is, um, somewhere near the end of the season, after we’ve gotten to know the kids, uh, we do “a-words” instead of awards, um, and...

John: “A-words.”

Kelly: “A-words”, right. So we pick a word that we think exemplifies who they are.

Jim: Unique to that child.

Kelly: Unique to that child.

Jim: Oh, that’s good.

Kelly: Not how they played, not - we write the word on it. We write their name, the word and then the definition, and then we give it to them in a ceremony.

Jim: What would be an example? Does one kid pop out for you?

Kelly: Oh. Yeah. Uh, so loyal, uh, would be one that pops out for my son.

Jim: Okay.

Kelly: When he has decided that you’re one of his people, his teammate, his friend, or whatever...

Jim: He’s all in.

Kelly: ...He - that kid is all in, man. I would - someday, some people are going to be really lucky to have him for a friend. Um, and so loyal would be an example. And so we identify these words. And so they didn’t get trophies saying everybody performed the same, everybody’s behavior was equivalent. But they got words that actually distinguished them from each other and tried to name who they are and the beautiful thing that was in them.

Jim: Well, and again, I love your blog. I love what you are saying to your daughter in the letters you’ve written. What a great idea for all fathers. You know, I’ve tried - I’ve journaled for my two boys, and that’s what I’ve done, you know, when I did the international work. I’d travel, and I would spend hours journaling. I’ve got a nice leather-bound journal now. I haven’t given it to them yet. I think it will be at the end of their senior year, they’ll both get their...

Kelly: Very cool.

Jim: ...Journals and thoughts and ideas and praise...

Kelly: Yes.

Jim: ...And concern, you know. I’m stating what I’m concerned about. But hopefully in a way that is constructive for them. And to be, uh, have an eye on...

Kelly: Right.

Jim: ...For their own character and behavior.

Kelly: So if they’re typical young men...

Jim: I’m sure they are.

(LAUGHTER)

Kelly: ...They’ll ignore it. They’ll ignore it for four or five years...

Jim: Right.

Kelly: ...You know. And then...

Jim: About 26-7...

Kelly: Yes.

Jim: ...They’ll probably crack it open.

Kelly: Yes, and they will be...

Jim: Oh, look...

Kelly: It will be...

Jim: ...Dad said that?

Kelly: ...Totally - it’ll be a treasure at that point.

Jim: But it is what you enjoy doing, and it’s a great model for the rest of us. I do want to touch on the idea of grace because it’s so critical, so misunderstood today, I think. And in a culture that buries you, you know, takes you down if you don’t measure up to some kind of criteria, we can forget God’s grace toward us and for us, especially the person listening right now who may not have a relationship with Christ. They - let’s just paint the picture. She has been buried in relationships. Not found any worth - a sense of worth the way men have treated her. Maybe she’s had an abortion because that relationship she had ended poorly and she didn’t feel like she could raise a child because of her finances, whatever the reason. Speak to me as if you’re speaking to her about God’s grace. What would you say to me? Now, I’m in the bottom of the barrel right now. You don’t know my life.

Kelly: First thing I would say is that your pain, the pain you feel right now, is not going to go away in a moment of me saying anything. Um, this pain is something that will have to be redeemed over the course of a very long time for you, and that’s okay.

Jim: So know that...

Kelly: Know that.

Jim: ...Emotionally. It’s going to take time.

Kelly: If you feel like you have to feel better immediately, uh, then there’s more shame, right? “I’m not good at healing. I could never recover.” Healing takes time. If I feel like something I say needs to heal you immediately, now I’m shaming you because my sense of worth is dependent upon you responding to my words. So we have to be really careful of expecting immediate results. But I think what I would say is, uh, you know, there’s one person who knows you better than anyone else. Um, this person created your soul, uh, sent it into the world in this particular body. And it hasn’t been easy for you, but there is Someone with a capital “S” who still remembers the little one that He created, um, and can see that little one still in you and is just waiting for you to see it, too. And, uh - and He’ll - if you dedicate your life to listening for His voice within you, you’ll get there. You’ll discover that little one again. 

Closing:

Jim: That is so good. And I hope, if you’re in that spot, my goodness, um, let us be a part of introducing you to who Jesus is. We have a great, uh, booklet or PDF download called Coming Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family. And it would be our privilege, uh, to be a part of that with you. So if you’re in that place of pain, and you have never felt worthy enough for God’s love, just know it doesn’t work that way. God loves you unconditionally. His grace is for you. I don’t know what voices you’re listening to, but, um, that’s the anchor of the Christian life - that God is for us and that our circumstances don’t dictate our joy. But it’s our relationship with Christ that dictates who we are. And that’s probably the best place to start in reclaiming, uh, your life.

Dr. Kelly Flanagan, author of the book Lovable, uh, you have given us so much to think about. And, uh, it’s the right stuff. Don’t be awkwardly overconfident, and don’t be awkwardly, uh, searching for meaning and worth in what the world has to offer. Find it in Christ and let Him be your identity. And, man, this life is so much better when you’re in that spot. And if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t feel worthy, you don’t feel like God can love you because you’ve done something so egregious, man, we have counselors here. We have tools, like Kelly’s book Lovable that we would, uh, want to put into your hands. But it starts only when you call us. Do it today. Don’t hold back. Do something that lays a firm foundation for your life moving forward. Don’t let the regrets, uh, blur your future path. So contact us.

For a gift of any amount, even if you can’t afford it, we’ll put this book into your hands. Just call us, contact us, let us know and, uh, our way of saying thank you for support will be to send you this book by Kelly Flanagan - Lovable. And, uh, I hope you would do it for a friend, maybe somebody in your life that needs this message and you know because you’re having tea or coffee with that person. You know the pain. This is the kind of resource you’ll want to give to that person. 

John: Yeah, and to donate to Focus on the Family and get your copy of Lovable, just stop by focusonthefamily.com/radio. And while you’re there, look for that Coming Home download and a CD or free download of this audio conversation. It’ll include quite a bit of extra content that we just couldn’t present to you today on air. Also, look for our 7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessment. It takes just a few minutes to complete and it’ll help you learn how you’re doing in 7 vital areas of parenting. And maybe offer an opportunity to look inside and find one or two ways you can improve as a mom or a dad. And of course, it’s Labor Day here. Our offices are closed, but we can talk tomorrow if you’d like. Our number is 800-232-6459.

And tomorrow, we’ll be here with Dr. Kevin Leman. And he’s gonna be asking you this question:

Teaser:

Kevin Leman: So if he gets hammered, or she gets hammered, and they’re home, and they’re hammered in the peer group out there, where’s the kid gone?

End of Teaser 

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Guest

Dr. Kelly Flanagan

View Bio
Clinical pyschologist Dr. Kelly Flanagan is the co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. He writes weekly about living out redemptive stories on his popular blog, UnTangled. Kelly has also written a book titled Loveable: Embracing What is Truest About You, So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life. Kelly is married to another clinical psychologist named Kelly, and the couple has three children.