April 2016, Family Life


by Dr. Roger Butner

Dr Butner 2“… and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:5 (NASB)

Several years ago, when the time came to launch a website for my practice of Christian counseling, the Holy Spirit guided me to use hopeforyourfamily.com. We are all in need of hope. Aren’t we? We need to know something better is coming. We want to know the struggles, hardships and sacrifices are worth it. We long to see the fruit of our labors, particularly the toiling and investing we put into our kids as we do our best to lead them on the path God would have them live. Remember that first week after you brought each of your kids home from the hospital? Weren’t you filled to overflowing with joy and love at this new delight in your life? And hope. Hope for your child’s health. Hope for the life your child would live. Hope for your growing family. Hope for your efforts as a parent.

And all those hopes began to grow and take shape through the life of your little one. For some of you, as your precious little baby grew and transformed and somehow made it all the way to adolescence, your hope may have taken a hit. Things haven’t gone quite the way you thought they would, maybe not even close. And sometimes you wonder where you went wrong, or why God has punished or abandoned you, or simply if things will ever take a turn for the better in your teen’s life. If this picture of discouragement looks all too familiar, please allow me to breathe a word of life from God into your spirit today.

There is truly hope! Consider the story of Elijah ready to give up on everything after his showdown with the prophets of Baal. Or the faithful hope of the father of the prodigal son after many months of waiting, wondering and suspecting just how bad things had gotten. Or the profound words of the prophet Jeremiah from Lamentations 3:22-24, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”

So if you need some fresh hope – reach out and find it! God will supply the hope you need to see that all is not lost, life is not over, and He does have a great plan for the life of your teen. Sometimes we just have to reach out in a new way to grab hold of that hope we desperately need. Share your heart with your spouse, with trusted friends, with a Godly pastor, or even with a Christian counselor. Allow someone else to breathe fresh hope back into the lungs of your spirit. Ask for prayers. Ask for hugs and encouraging words. Ask for resource suggestions – books, websites, groups or other tools that may be God’s instrument to guide you and your teen to the path you’ve been desperately hoping someday you would find together. But whatever you do, don’t give up hope. Not today. I have seen family after family experience the joy of healing after long struggling to make it. And it usually begins with one common element … HOPE.


About Roger: Dr. Roger D. Butner is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who delights in bringing hope to teens, parents, families and couples through the Truth of God’s Word and a compassionate approach to professional therapeutic guidance. His practice in South Baton Rouge is conveniently located directly off I-10 for those throughout the Greater Baton Rouge area, and his website (www.hopeforyourfamily.com) is available to anyone looking for encouragement, resources, guidance and HOPE.