Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Back when you were growing up, was there a doghouse in your family? Not outside for Fido, but a figurative doghouse that one of the family members always occupied?

Maybe there was a favorite child, another who was usually in a more neutral spot, but also a son or daughter everyone knew was regularly in the doghouse. That was for doing something bad or embarrassing. Along with putting a family member in that position went the withholding of love. For example, a parent might not talk to the person for days … or weeks … or months! The family “doghouse” can be an awful place for the person in it.

But how does one get relegated to the “family doghouse”?

Lots of ways. Maybe you didn’t keep your room clean, or you broke something, or you stepped on the neighbor’s flowers while retrieving your Frisbee, or you wore your hair too long, or you dated somebody your parents didn’t approve of, or one year you didn’t drive home for Thanksgiving to be with the family. You can still be put in the family doghouse long after you leave the home you were raised in.

Just as there would be a lot of hurt involved in having to live outside in a literal doghouse, so this position of receiving criticism is an awful place to be consigned to. You know that if you’ve ever been in it. That’s why families tend to joke about who’s in the “doghouse.” The pain is too great to talk about in a more-serious way. A family doghouse is often part of a dysfunctional home where love is given more on the basis of performance than it is unconditionally. The unstated rule is, “Please me, and you’ll earn my love. Go contrary to my expectations, however, and you’ll know my displeasure, believe me!”


The 2012 Olympic Winter Games will be front-page news in America soon.  These upcoming events occur from July 27-August 12 in London, England, and feature world-class competitors who are vying to become recognized athletic champions.   Pastor, you can leverage all that media attention into spiritual lessons taught at your church!  Preach through the brand new sermon series Go for the Goal: Becoming a Spiritual Champion.  While they watch others on TV strive to become athletic champions, you'll encourage your congregation to put into practice what the Scriptures have to say about becoming spiritual champions!

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