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Posted by Clare


Q  “My husband and I were in a movie recently and I had the impression to leave because of the profane language. He whispered, “Let’s stay. I think it will get better” and it did. But, it still bothered my conscience to stay, but it didn’t bother his. What should we have done?”  Julie

A  This is a great time for a pre-decision. What will you do as a couple next time? My wife and I have made this movie or TV, pre-decision; if either of us finds the content of a movie or program offensive, we defer to their conscience – no questions asked and no complaining.

Our decision comes out of I Cor. 8. There Paul says that if one person has no problem with eating meat sacrificial to idols, but another Christian does, then don’t violate their conscience by eating such meat in front of them. In other words, never tempt someone to violate their conscience, even if you feel the freedom to make a different choice.

So, if you’ve found yourself in this movie dilemma before with a spouse or good friend, it’s time for a 10 second rule pre-decision. Decide now how you’ll handle it differently.  Clare

Please share your own 10 second rule questions by commenting here, or emailing me at


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A Gift for Father’s Day
Posted by Clare

For Father’s Only!

Next Sunday is Father’s Day. Instead of getting a gift – I’d like you to think about giving a gift to your family.

Just this past month, I met with a father of two, who made a series of sinful and stupid choices that unless God intervenes, will cost him his marriage. I asked him if he had ever set some boundaries in his life. The puzzled look on his face told me he was clueless.

I’ve never met a godly man or woman yet who hasn’t made some intentional decisions about moral or relational temptations they were bound to face in the future. In The 10 Second Rule I call them “pre-decisions”. Some of those pre-decisions involved setting boundaries for relationships, work or play that guard our hearts.

By the way, setting boundaries isn’t legalism. It’s only if I tell you which ones you must adopt, is it legalism. When you prayerfully set your own boundaries, the Bible calls it wisdom.

There is a free download on the Resources page of this site entitled Personal Boundaries for Men. To make accessing it easier, just click below and it’s yours.

Please consider adopting some of these boundaries for yourself, so that next Father’s Day, and every Father’s Day for the rest of your life, your wife and children will praise God for your life and witness. That beats getting a Father’s Day card and a dorky set of golf club covers, all day long. (Better yet – a godly man gets it all!)

Question: Once you’ve read these boundaries, do you have any of your own you’d like to share with us?

Personal Boundaries for Men (PDF)

Following Jesus in Real Life

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Questions About The 10 Second Rule from Readers
Posted by Clare


Q  “My wife had one of your 10 Second Rule impressions that we should help someone out financially in a small way. I didn’t think we needed to. So what do we do? Who decides when we disagree?”  Karl

A   First, if the gift she was being impressed to give was so significant, that might really impact both of you, then you should pray about it together first: Perhaps you should even get good, godly counsel about how to do that wisely if you sense God moving you to do so.

But if it’s a relatively small amount of money, go with your wife’s impression and don’t quench the Holy Spirit speaking to her. If God is impressing her to generosity, error on the side of obedience. I’ve found it’s rare that both my wife and I get the same impression, at the same time. Therefore, my principle is that unless it’s a major decision, yield to the one to whom God appears to be speaking. Both God and she will love you for it.  Clare

Please share your own 10 second rule questions by commenting here, or emailing me at


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A Warning About “Buts”
Posted by Clare
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Have you ever thought about the power of the simple word “but”?

Sometime ago, I met with a young married couple who were obviously having serious problems. One of those indicators was that almost every time either of them said anything, the other began their rebuttal with the word “but”. The buts were flying all over the place. We were getting nowhere and here’s why.

I’ve noticed, almost every time a person uses the word but in a conversation where tensions are running high, what the speaker is really communicating to the other person, whether they mean to or not, is this; “The importance of what I’m about to tell you is either my reason or excuse for not taking more seriously what you just told me.”

In ordinary conversation, we use the word but, generally to introduce another opinion. Only rarely is the other person offended. However, when there is conflict, or when the other person is asking you to do something you really don’t want to do, the word but builds walls – not understanding. It almost always negates whatever statement came before it. It’s as close to a “No, I don’t believe you,” as we can get. (more…)

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