Mar 26

A Short Primer on Depression

Depression is probably the most common personal problem for which people seek counseling. There are physiological as well as nonorganic causes for this condition. I would like to take a brief look at three of the most common nonorganic causes of depression—at least, three of the things I look for when counseling someone who is depressed.

The most basic cause of spiritual depression is living out of harmony with Scripture. But to simply call something “sin” without identifying its exact biblical designation does not help us effectively treat the problem. Just as a physician can prescribe a specific antibiotic once he’s identified the exact strain of bacteria causing an infection, biblical counselors must strive for a more accurate diagnosis of (and remedy for) any functional (nonmedical) depression those they counsel may be experiencing.

Please keep in mind that there is a bit of overlap between these three categories. In other words, the walls between these rooms (the three causes of depression) do not go all the way to the ceiling. Technically, they all fall under the same roof—the rooms are all covered by the roof of sin.

Unrepentant Sin

The first category of sin that causes depression is Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 26

On Preaching the Gospel to Yourself

To my way of thinking, the place of the doctrine of justification in the believer’s life is much like the operating system on a computer. I’m a PC guy. My personal computer operates under a Windows operating system. Windows is always up and running, but most of the time, it runs in the background. I don’t see it. I can go for days without looking at it (although I know it is functioning as long as the other programs are operating properly). Occasionally, I have to go to the control panel to troubleshoot a problem, make some minor adjustments, or defrag my hard drive, but I don’t give it another thought because I have faith that it is doing what it is supposed to do. So it is with my justification. It is always up and running. Though I am not always consciously thinking about it, everything I do flows from it. Indeed, I could do nothing without it. But there are many other things I am called to do

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 16

How to deal with Disrespectul Teenagers – Part 3

In this final blog article, I will address the question, “With what will your teen replace his discourteous deeds?”

Below is a worksheet your can use to help train your teen to be more respectful. The ‘form’ encourages your child to rate each suggestion according to its ease or difficulty.”


Specific ways I can show respect to my parents

Using the following rating scale, identify the specific new ways you may begin to demonstrate respect to your parents in order of ease (and comfortableness) to difficulty (and uncomfortableness).

5 Easy       4 Comfortable             3 Not Easy      2 Uncomfortable         1 Difficult Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 02

How to deal with Disrespectful Teenagers – Part 2

Last time we explored the selfishness and pride that often generates all manner of disrespectful attitudes. But there are other reasons teens find to justify disrespecting their parents. Here is a worksheet to go over with your children to help them identify other sinful thoughts and motives behind their impertinence.

Why am I disrespectful?

The motivation behind my disrespectful attitude toward my parents is often:

To divert their attention (to keep from having to do what my parents ask of me)

To get even (to vindictively pay them back for not giving me what I want)

To protest (to teach them that “they can’t treat me that way”)

To be myself (to help them to see that this is just the way I am, and I’m not going to change the way I talk for anyone) Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 19

How to Deal with Disrespectful Teenagers

As a rule, nothing provokes parents to anger quicker than disrespect. There is something about an insolent son or daughter that upsets a parent and incites him to action—often the wrong kind of action. In this post and the ones that will follow, I’ll explore what disrespect is, how it is displayed, why teenagers might be motivated to show it, and what parents can do to help teens correct it.

Disrespect is first and foremost an attitude of the heart. It is rooted in the sins of pride and selfishness. It is a root out of which flows all manner of other sins (i.e., resentment, abusive speech, and hatred).

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3, emphasis added)

Disrespect has to do with not esteeming others more highly than ourselves. It is the belief that we are wiser, smarter, “cooler,” or otherwise better than others. Beyond this, it is not giving others the honor that they are due and, in some cases, showing contempt for them. Because it is rooted in pride, disrespect loathes humbling itself in the presence of others by treating them as if they were in any way superior. Yet, ironically enough, it selfishly longs for others to esteem itself highly. Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 12

Love Communicates

You’ve seen it a thousand times. Two Christians, members of the same family (or of God’s family), are trying to resolve a conflict when one of them shuts down right in the middle of the process. “What’s going on here?” you wonder. You’re not sure where to begin probing. “Is he angry? Is she afraid? Is it a matter of vengeance—is she purposely shutting down in order to pay back the other for some hurtful comment that was made earlier in the conversation? Has he never been taught proper biblical communication skills? Is she trying to avoid conflict, or, is it simply a matter of her choosing to not answer because she doesn’t know what to say?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 21

Serving up Homework Asian Style

I love Asian food! When I was a boy living on Long Island, my grandparents would often drive in from Brooklyn to visit with us for the weekend. When they did, they would sometimes take my parents, siblings, and me out for Chinese food. We usually ordered “family style.”

What this meant was that we could order an entire meal for one set price based on the number of people in our party. But, the really neat thing was that we would have our choice of several dishes which were listed under each course. First, there was Column A: Soups. We each could make one selection from at least three varieties: Egg Drop, Wonton, and Hot and Sour. Then, there was the oversized appetizer plates from which the entire family could make two selections (Column B). This course contained such delicacies as egg rolls, barbecue spare ribs, crab rangoon, and my absolute favorite, butterfly shrimp (which were wrapped in bacon, dipped in batter and deep fried). Then, of course, there was Column C—the entrées—a rather long scrumptious list from which (depending on the number in our party) we could select several.  Finally, we had our choice of one scoop of vanilla, chocolate, or pistachio ice cream, which was carefully crowned with a fortune cookie.

“You are making me drool, but I really don’t understand what all of this has to do with Biblical counseling.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 19

Why Do We Do What We Do?

There are many reasons for doing biblical counseling—the ultimate of which is to glorify God. But there are other reasons—one of which I would like to briefly address. This particular motivation falls under the second greatest biblical commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). I counsel biblically because I truly believe that the gospel of Christ can change (help) people better, faster, and more completely than anything the competition has to offer (cf. Romans 1:16).

“Competition?” you ask.

Yes, competition. You know, those other 250 or so theories of counseling out th Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 15

Postmarital Checkup Questions

As a biblical counselor, you know all too well the importance of taking engaged couples through a thorough premarital counseling program. But, what do you do for them once the honeymoon is over? It has been my practice to schedule a postmarital counseling session approximately three months after “the big day” to help ensure that my newlyweds are off to a good start. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 12

Video of Lou speaking at conference in Brazil

Below is the video of Lou speaking through his translator, Professor Mauro Meister from the Instituto Presbiterian (Seminary) Mackenzie. Lou returned saying

Thank you so very much for your prayers for me while I was in Goiania. The Lord answered them beyond my expectations! The conference was a huge success. There are many Presbyterian churches in this part of Brazil but most of the pastors have not been trained in how to help their flocks solve problems biblically.

Lou Priolo

biblical counseling conference

Watch live streaming video from pipgyntv at

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