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Owning "My Stuff"
Photo: Craig Jewell
Some people will do anything to avoid taking responsibility. Take the Toronto man who recently hired someone to kill his ex-wife so he wouldn't have to pay child and spousal support. Fortunately, his plot was uncovered before it could be carried out. Now he's sitting in prison hoping that his incarceration will keep him from having to make the payments.

According to Reuters, "Ronald Schulz pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit murder, admitting he hired a hitman to break his ex-wife's neck." Fortunately for her, the man he hired was an undercover police. 

Marvin Kurz, who is representing Sheryl Janssen, the man's ex-wife, said "It's like the child who kills the parents and then throws himself at the mercy of the court because he's an orphan... that's really what he did." *

Following Through with Commitments

What happened to the idea of following through with commitments, working to provide for our family and accepting the consequences of our actions? Unfortunately, many people have never grown up; they've never been taught how to make decisions and solve interpersonal problems.

Those of us who grew up with positive examples of how to accept personal responsibilty have an advantage over those who experienced the opposite. As you interact with these people, look for opportunities to:

1). Model showing respect for all people, especially members of one's own family
2). Complement their positive strengths
3). Write notes of encouragement when stress levels rise
4). Make yourself available to talk through hard spots, as needed
5). Encourage those with difficulty to seek professional help, if problems persist

Somehow we need to dispell the myth that successful marriages and families spontaneously occur--without effort. In reality, managing relationships, especially in the home, is the most difficult, yet potentially rewarding work we can ever hope to accomplish. May God give us the strength we need to "own our stuff," as we grow and mature.

* © Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved. Nov. 8, 2006.

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By Rich DuBose. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®.

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