Get to know Shawn Maguire
Brian and Janelleâs save their marriage through Christian counseling
Brian and Janelle came to counseling as many couples do wanting a quick fix. They struggled with issues in communication and lack of connection. They came off and on for a few years. They would come in crisis, and then when the fires were put out they would stop coming. Unfortunately, they didnât invest enough time to go past putting out fires onto the deep work of true and lasting change. That all changed the last time they came in. Janelle exclaimed at the beginning of session, âIf you donât change I am done. You are going to finish building this massive house and you will be all alone because the kids and I will be gone.â This got Brianâs attention, so he began to invest. You see, Brian was a highly successful salesman and knew how to get people to see things his way. Unfortunately, this technique does not work well in building a marriage that lasts a lifetime. He began coming two to three times per week for individual counseling, but he still didnât see where he was going wrong. Janelle was getting more frustrated and he was getting more desperate to save his marriage. The solution; invite all the people in your life that love you and your wife and are willing to help you in this journey. At the next session, I created a panoramic mirror with all of his friends. It was a really big mirror because he had way more friends than I anticipated. Why a mirror you may ask? A mirror gives you the opportunity to see what needs to change. Can you imagine leaving your house in the morning without looking at yourself in the mirror? No way! Well, what I have discovered is that many of us have journeyed through marriage without ever looking in the mirror (the Bible, friends and family, prayer, etc.) to see who we really are and what needs to change. The session was really intense. I helped Janelle tell her story of how much she was hurting. I helped their friends see clearly what was happening without Brian selling them on his side of the story. Some of the women began to cry and one of the guys grew increasingly angry. He simply couldnât understand how Brian could be so insensitive. After everyone was done asking questions and confronting Brian in mostly loving ways, something felt different. Brian shed one, maybe two tears, but there was a crack. A crack in the image of the Christian husband he was portraying to the world that was different from the husband he really was at home. Thankfully, the crack grew as he began seeing how callous and hurtful he had been to Janelle. This created a sense of repentance and flowed into humility. Now, he began to change deeply. Through many tears and several counseling sessions he was following Christ instead of trying to get Janelle to follow him. Where are they at today? At this post they are living in their big house. The house is now used to share Godâs love with couples that they mentor, and to provide a place to stay for those who are in need. I praise God for their story and the inspiration they have had on my life and countless others. Faith Forward, Shawn Maguire, LPC
—- 1 Timothy 2:13-15 —–
As part of the curse, women suffer great pain in childbirth. However, that pain doesnât end when the child is born, it is but the beginning. Many women are deceived in believing raising their children should not be so very difficult as long as the right things are done. They quickly discoverÂ how wrong their idealized view of parenting was.
Mothering is not intended to be easy. It is a fight for the souls of our children.Â In no other place is the good fight so evident in the life of a mother than in herÂ home, raising her children to love the Lord. She is fighting a battle on so manyÂ fronts, that only our Omni-powerful God could make her an over-comer againstÂ such odds. She is fighting against herself and all the fleshly desires she has,Â against the will of her children to rebel and sin, and against the tide of a worldÂ ruled by the fallen prince, satan. A prince that parades around as an angel ofÂ light, deceiving our children and the world with empty promises of money,Â power, fame, fun, ease…
Let us reconsider the role of dear mom. She is a warrior who isÂ responsible for training the next generation of warriors. She is the one teachingÂ them by her example how to fight and win battles just as Jesus did while on earth.Â Hers is the example they will learn in how to treat their siblings, love theirÂ daddy and others, work, ethics, habits (quiet time, prayer, Bible reading and study…)
Mom is more than a homemaker, she is a life-changer.Â Men, we must take her for granted no longer. Our role is to equip and empowerÂ her in ways only God, His Word, and His body can reveal and sustain.Â Ours is the opportunity to remind this warrior princess that she is so muchÂ more than a cook, maid, and babysitter. Her value is incalculable this side ofÂ Heaven, but our role is to help her discover and live up to the great calling placedÂ upon her life. She has been anointed like no other. She is the one God chose toÂ bring life into this world, and childbirth is just the beginning of that process;Â not the end.
One of the greatest struggles for me has been consistent and purposeful parenting.Â Not parenting out of my emotions in the moment or not just come up with a temporary,Â quick fix goes against I guess what I know and what comes so natural to me.
Remember how I said my husband was a good father a few days ago? Well, this is where my husband completes me. đ He studied this in college and workedÂ with children in therapeutic foster care for 4 years at St. Anthony hospital before I even metÂ him, and for the last 9 years in private practice, he has helped many many couples in the parenting department. And besides the academics, he just really has a God-given ability to think so clearlyÂ even in the throws of a toddler tantrum or in the heat of a fight between siblings. He thinks forwardÂ and is able to not let his emotions get involved.
The Lord has done such a work in my life regarding parenting (although I still struggle a lot) that now I am feeling a desire to share from time to time what hasÂ helped me. We approach our parenting from a Biblical perspective first and then we have usedÂ other resources over the years, that I am compiling a list of and will hopefully share soon.
I did want to share this little video glimpse into how my husband dealt with an “issue” last nightÂ with Hayden. The issue was Hayden not wanting to do his chores for the last couple of days and meÂ calling Shawn to cry to him at work because I was so frustrated. Last night I just sat back and admired. Please excuse the poor video quality and I wish I would have gotten the whole thing on video.
Basically, Shawn went through Hayden’s chore list and gave him a “solution” to every choreÂ that he no longer wanted to do. Genius.
FYI– Hayden’s chores are age appropriate. For example, he is required to do “laundry”Â twice a week. This consists of him switching the clothes from the washer to the dryer andÂ then taking the clothes out of the dryer to the couch for me to fold. I promise you we areÂ not running a sweat shop. đ
âDonât ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come aliveâÂ – Howard Thurman
This quote sounds so amazing. I read it and I think wow! that is so good! And then my eye catches something else or my phone rings and the quote is all but forgotten in 3 seconds.
But I don’t want that. At least not at this point in my life. I want truths to change me, not just be another golden nugget to be tossed like trash. I don’t want to read a whole chapter of my Bible and then get up with nothing to chew on for the day. We were designed for input but in our culture we have to be so very picky and selective or else we will drown in nothingness. I read somewhere that we have the ability to access more information in one day then our great-grandparents did in their entire lives! But do we know more?
Are we better off with all of that access, information, and “knowledge”?
Sometimes I feel like there is too much trash lying around to actually findÂ any great nuggets that I know I put right here in this drawer. I mean that closet. No, I mean what did I come in this room for?
Our minds are like our house. The rooms get dirty. Baggage gets left unpacked and there are piles of junk mail that we keep adding to every day. And the nuggets, God’s truths, affirmations from our spouses, that thought to call an old friend, get buried, lost, and forgotten.
What piles do we need to throw away? Maybe it is unsubscribing to the magazine that makes you feel fat and ugly every month. Maybe it is deletingÂ that app on your phone that steals too much of your valuable time. Or maybe it is turning off the tv in the evening so that you can remember the nuggets of the day and decide what to do with them. It is the nuggets that will actually make you come alive. Pay attention to them and keep them dusted.
Here is an excerpt from a letter I wrote explaining to a couple my thoughtsÂ about premarital counseling. If you know of a couple, young or old, who is heading in the direction of marriage please encourage them to consider premaritalÂ counseling! Some of the most common excuses for not seeking out counseling is time and money. This is comical in light of how much TIME and MONEY go intoÂ most American weddings! I could go on. And on. And on. But I will jump off my soapbox and let you read the following:
For couples who feel they are called to be together, this will be an exciting journey. During the premarital process, you will continue to reaffirm your love for and commitment to each other. This will serve to strengthen the relationship and commitment you already have. In addition, you will learn ways to cope with life’s struggles and challenging situations that often fracture many couples who were caught unprepared. You will learn how to grow closer in the storms of life instead of being pulled apart – how to keep the lines of communication open, even in the midst of a battle.
Many of the common issues that come between many couples after marriage are addressed during this period of time. My role is to encourage you to not fear each other’s weaknesses and flaws, but to identify ways to openly discuss and work through them. Whereas most couples would avoid these areas before marriage out of fear it would destroy their relationship; I encourage you to address and work through them. If there are issues that would destroy the relationship if discussed before the wedding, then I challenge the couple to consider what their relationship has been built on.
It is my belief that both of you should have the freedom to openlyÂ address any issues that are present, and fear should be put in its place –Â far behind love. Love does not shrink back from issues but is strongÂ enough to address and work through them. I help you moveÂ beyond the best representative of the person you areÂ engaged to until you find the person you will marry. I’ve discoveredÂ that most people wear a mask and do not reveal their trueÂ nature until after they are married. I think it is not only beneficialÂ but absolutely necessary to know someone on this level before you marry.Â It is out of this belief that I approach premarital counseling.