Josh Spurlock MA LPC | Professional Counseling

The Relationship Center provides Biblically Christian and Clinically Proven Professional Counseling services. TRC is a multi-specialty professional counseling practice with 8 therapists in Springfield and Branson, Missouri offices. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling, Sex Therapy, and Eating Disorder Treatment.

About Josh Spurlock

Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC is Director of The Relationship Center.

The Relationship Center provides Biblically Christian and Clinically Proven Professional Counseling services. TRC is a multi-specialty professional counseling practice with 8 therapists in Springfield and Branson, Missouri offices. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling, Sex Therapy, and Eating Disorder Treatment.

Daddy Has A Job To Do


Your daddy has a job to do and I accept it permanently with all the joys and pains, sorrows and celebrations it comes with. It’s an important job that is one of the highest honors of my life to be entrusted with. My job is to love you. To love you like our Father God loves us. To show you how to live the most fulfilling, satisfying, whole life possible. To shine a light on your potential, explore it with you, and help you develop to your greatest.

A job to protect you from all threats to your health, well-being, and future, including yourself. I will love you enough to say no even when you don’t understand why.  I’ll teach you to cuddle, be playful, and how to work hard. How to be a friend and how to be wise with your money, saying no to your desire for instant gratification. I will love you enough to teach you how to be a woman of honor that will attract a man of honor.

Your daddy has a job to help you find a man who will be gentle with you and have passion for your dreams. A man who will serve you. A man who will pledge himself to fill my shoes protecting and providing for you and share a zeal for life with you until you’re old and gray. A father for your children that will lead you and them to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind. I’ll encourage you to save your heart and your body for that man for all your life. The man who will treasure you such that he will protect your honor from his own desires until he seals a life long commitment to you with marriage.

Your daddy has a job to raise a Rare Breed of Woman and it could be the best job ever.

All my love, Daddy

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10 Quick Tips for Disciplining Children

discpliing children parenting family counseling

  1. Keep explanations simple and brief. Say less, do more. Let your children connect the dots and figure out the lesson they are learning.
  2. Be respectful in speaking to your children, modeling what you want from them.
  3. Your anger is a valid, but ineffective tool to modify your child’s behavior.
  4. Say only what you mean, always following through with what you say.
  5. Consequences should have a specific, targeted behavior.
  6. Disciplinary measures need a defined beginning and end.
  7. No bargaining or bribing to get a desired behavior.
  8. If immediate change in your child’s behavior does not occur, this does not mean discipline is not working. Change is only part of what you are after when you discipline. You are after a relationship; a secure stable parenting relationship with your children is established via discipline regardless of change.
  9. Enjoy your kids! Spend time playing with and getting to know them. Relationship will keep them from rebelling and keep you from getting resentful. This is just as important to effective discipline as the act of disciplining itself.
  10. Obedience comes before understanding.



A Word on Parenting Boys

parenting boys family counseling

In an age of political correctness and gender neutrality, it is important to remember that boys and girls are different because God created them uniquely. A mature understanding of parenting requires that we not be gender avoidant, but sensitive to the notion that boys and girls each require a different approach.

Parenting Boys

While both genders need leadership from their parents, boys seem to need it in greater amounts, and at a more simple level. Boys require love and nurturing, but will often grow very unhappy and get into trouble without firm leadership, specifically in the form of a father. Any group of boys, on the playground or on a sports team, will quickly form a hierarchy of leadership. This happens naturally, as boys, and men, function by establishing an order of dominance. Keep it simple when parenting your young man. He needs to know he is not the dominant male in the home. The way to accomplish this is to have men in his life who lead by example, not just with words. You will quickly be aware of the importance of this principle when it is not practiced. Even well adjusted boys will push the boundaries of their own influence and authority in families where there are not men to hold them in check. In a sense, they attempt to become a man in regards to freedom, while keeping the responsibilities of a boy. The result is a young man who disrupts the home and increasingly defies authority. Love him enough to stand up to him.

Friendship Parenting vs. Courageous Parenting, A Biblical Perspective

parenint kids friendship family counseling

Television and the media portray the family as a broken, compromised idea that is out of date. Parents are incompetent and need to accept their children’s self-expression, really defiance, as normal. The child’s role is to have an attitude and defy parental authority. Children’s disrespect of adults is used as entertainment, providing comedic relief. Such behavior should be a call for mourning and repentance. The family was created and ordained by God. What He has established does not waiver with the passage of time. The family is crucial in the development of a person, to the point that long-term successes or struggles, so often have their genesis in the home of origin. It is both a joy and humbling task taking on the role of parent. To that end, the world is in need of courageous parents ready to make a profound impact in the lives of their children.

Friendship Parenting

One of the most tragic mistakes we see in parenting is the phenomenon of “friendship” parenting. When speaking with parents, they often cite wanting to be their child’s friend, a kind of benevolent mentor. However, these children are often unhappy and struggling emotionally, not knowing that the reason for their problems is their unmet need for a parent. Parents don’t understand that having parental authority in the home is critical to the healthy emotional development of their child. Children will have countless opportunities over the course of their lifetime to make friends. They only get two chances to have a parent.

10 Indespensible Habits of Successful Parenting

family counseling parenting

  1. Invest in your relationship with God. Attend church regularly, pray for your family, and read your Bible every day.
  2. Be the person of integrity and character you tell your children to be. What is your ego strength? Among the psycho-babble we use to talk about a person’s condition, counselors will often take a person’s ego strength into account. Put in practical terms, an individual with good ego strength can handle thinking critically about themselves and shaping their life in a more positive direction. Those without, well, the response to encouraging them to evaluate themselves is anger and outrage. Following a counseling session, they will quickly be on the phone with a friend whom they know will confirm their own beliefs and agree that the counselor is totally wrong. In fact, that may even be their last session, which begs the question, what were they hoping to accomplish in the first place? We ALL need to look in the mirror regularly and determine, with the Bible as our measuring stick, how we are doing in life. This takes great courage, as we risk what many of us fear most, rejection; not at the hands of others, but by our own selves. When parents bring their children to see a counselor, they often expect the child to have the courage to do what they are afraid of doing themselves; taking a look in the mirror and making changes. Great parents lead their children, they don’t follow. Leadership is not simply the setting of bedtime or inspecting of chores; that is an immature and simplistic understanding of the concept. Real leadership takes great courage and sacrifice, which is why people long for others of character they can follow. Make the bold decision to start improving your family by first looking in the mirror.
  3. Speak well of those in authority. It is ironic that one of the chief complaints that counselors hear from families is that children do not respect their parents. Digging into this issue a bit, it is often the parents’ attitude about those in authority that is poor. To be more specific, they speak ill of their boss, complain about church leadership, and run down local public officials. Not that every person in leadership is doing a job worthy of respect. However, the Bible does not make a distinction in these cases. God’s word is clear; respect them anyway. If you sow seeds of rebellion in your children via your words and actions, you can only hope to harvest rebellion. Use care in what you say and how you say it. Honor those in authority. In doing so we are obedient to the Lord and we establish our own authority as parents.
  4. Take time with your children. If you don’t have time, make it. If you can’t make it, re-evaluate your priorities. Remember, teenagers need attention too. Do you have time? Can you make time? Your children need you. Driving down the road there are billboards urging mothers and fathers to engage in the lives of their children. Well-meaning non-profit groups implore us to seek out time to spend with our little ones. Many parents our counselors work with express the same feelings over and over again: guilt. Guilt over not being there, guilt over being so tired after work, and guilt for leaving their child with others much of the time. There is no simple answer to finances and other obligations that keep parents from their children. However, making meaning full changes is essential. The decision, the honor, of parenting must take precedence over career aspirations. That job transfer is not worth making more money, if it keeps you away more, leaves you more exhausted, and uproots your family from a great church home. Our counselors have sat with many parents who have figured out they can’t have “it all.” However, you can have what is of greatest value.
  5. Set rules and enforce them, even when you don’t feel like it. Don’t worry so much about children always understanding why they must do something or the reasons behind it. Remember, obedience comes before insight.
  6. Love and cherish your spouse. Your relationship with your spouse is critical in the development of your children. Sons will learn what it means to be a husband and father. Daughters are taught how to be a wife and mother. Children learn how the sexes should treat one another and how important a marriage really is, versus all else that demands your attention. The condition of your marriage has, is, and will shape your child’s future.
  7. The Bible is your measuring stick for the way a family should operate, not the tv.
  8. Never stop loving your children with your words, actions, and intentions.
  9. Take care of yourself. This is a passing statement that parents laugh at, but it is a very serious manner. You can’t have anything to give to your children, if you are used up yourself.
  10. Forgive yourself when you mess up, and ask your family to forgive you. The concept of forgiveness is powerful, not only as a cornerstone of our faith, but as a character trait we want to possess and see developed in our children. It is learned, so lead your children through humility. Asking for forgiveness and forgiving others are tremendous acts of courage, not signs of weakness.

Courageous Parenting

parenting family counseling

Courageous parenting is not easy, but it is possible. Courageous parents:

  • Accept their roles as parents, nothing less.
  • Do not use children to meet their needs
  • • Take responsibility for both the good in the home and the things that need improvement
  • Do what is best for the child, not what is easiest in the moment.
  • Set firm boundaries for their children and enforce these, disciplining attitude as much as action.
  • Expect their children to actively contribute to the family by taking part in activities, care of the home, and exercising respectful behavior.

Courageous Parenting is Developmentally Sensitive

Children are not small adults; they are children and need to be understood as such. Families should understand what normal behaviors and expectations are for a given age. Much frustration develops out of not knowing what to expect of children. Children cannot be expected to handle adult problems with skill. Instead, they need tasks that fit their abilities.


Keys to Having A Great Family

family therapy counseling

God-centered and parent led. The structure of your home is key to the success of the family. You are a servant of God first, a spouse second, and a parent third. God must be first in the home. His plan and purpose must be honored above all. Parents must be dedicated to worshiping and serving the Lord. Everything else flows out of this commitment, as a relationship with God and obedience to His commands allows us to live life as He intended, at its best.

The relationship between husband and wife comes next. Time with your spouse and the health of your marriage is foundational to your role as a parent. You cannot parent effectively if you are both on different teams. This is in contrast with the tendency for families to be child-centered.

In a child-centered home, the children are the sun around which everything else orbits. The key to happiness in families such as these is the faulty idea that addressing a child’s problems is the answer. The child will improve and all others in the home will benefit. However, in a God-centered and parent led home, children follow. This might sound unkind, but please consider, children left without guidance are not happy. They are further upset by the insistence that they grasp abstract concepts of relationship, which they are developmentally incapable of processing. The end result is an angry child, who resents, rather than appreciates his or her parents.

When to Get Family Counseling?

family therapy counseling

Most of us put things off until we can’t any longer. If you have taken time to look at getting  family counseling, you probably already know it’s time or past time to get help.  At The Relationship Center, we know issues don’t simply go away; they just demand our attention more loudly over time. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring a problem until it becomes unmanageable. Common issues include:

  • Lack of Communication
  • Damaged and Distant Family Relationships
  • Disrespect and Defiance in Children
  • School Failure
  • Destructive Peer Relationships
  • Effective Parenting
  • Abuse and Neglect

Who Gets Family Therapy?

“Normal Families.” Often, families assume they are abnormal or lesser if they need help. We use the word “normal” as a measuring stick for our lives. However, part of living is having real challenges, and overcoming requires getting help at times. All families have difficulties. Not all families overcome.

Who Needs to Come to the Session?

Initially, your counselor will meet with all of your family together to gather information, gaining an understanding of the situation. You will be asked to consider what you want to work on. Next, he or she will make recommendations on how to proceed. He or she will likely set times to meet with children or parents individually. This can vary from family to family, taking into account the particular issues present in each case.

How Long Does Counseling Last?

The duration of counseling depends on two basic variables: extent of the problems and what you hope to accomplish. First, the extent of the issues takes into account the severity of symptoms and the extent to which healthy functioning is disrupted. Second, each family must decide what they want to accomplish. If the goal is quick alleviation of symptoms via behavioral means, the counseling intervention is generally brief. However, if core issues are not addressed, long-term problems will likely rise again. This is a “band-aid” approach. A more thorough intervention involves taking time to get to the root of the problems, not simply addressing symptoms or problem behaviors. This takes longer and is more involved, but is generally more effective long-term. It is a “surgical” approach.

What If My Child / Teenager Is Really Upset With the Idea Of Counseling?

Resistance is a norm in counseling, not a rarity. As a parent, you are often put in the position of knowing what is best and making sure this occurs. Therefore, it is no surprise that counseling is like eating vegetables, frowned upon by children although it is healthy. Your counselor is experienced at dealing with resistance and it is rarely an ongoing issue. Regardless, be encouraged. As a parent, you do not need your child’s permission to improve your family situation.


family-250x250Over 1,400 families in southwest Missouri trust the counselors of The Relationship Center to serve their counseling needs. With more than 14,000 hours of therapy in the last 5 years alone TRC counselors have the experience that can make the difference. We specialize in Biblically Christian and Clinically Proven Counseling provided by Licensed Professionals. Session fees range from $75-$125 and we have payment plans & scholarships to meet every budget. Have more questions? Click Here to Learn More About Family Counseling at The Relationship Center

What is Biblically Based Family Counseling?

biblical family counseling

What Do We Believe?

We believe that the family was created by God to be the best way to raise children and build healthy relationships. The family is as relevant as it has ever been. Getting the help needed for your family is a sign of leadership as a parent and a trait of a successful family. Working with great families is what we do at The Relationship Center.

The Bible is God’s Word and provides us with His plan for living at its best. We are provided with a clear course that guides behaviors, attitudes, and roles in the family. We believe in a Biblical family model, which we uphold in counseling sessions. Parents are in charge of the home, having the mantel of leadership and responsibility. Children are not equals, and are not happy being treated as such. Instead, they are to respect and be led by parents.


Successful families and successful people for that matter, are not rigid. They understand the need to adapt over time to maximize effectiveness. Strength requires that we be firm in our commitment to the standards laid out for us in the Bible; able to apply these in a broad array of circumstances. This is not the same as compromise, which entails the gradual erosion of standards. Families should never stop learning.

What Happens in a Family Counseling Session?

family therapy child counselingWhat is Family Counseling?

Family counseling is a dynamic way of helping a family to overcome difficulty and become all that God intends for them to be. It’s completely confidential.

Family Counseling sessions involve parents and children coming together for the purpose of overcoming difficulty and increasing communication. With this in place, your therapist will guide you in communicating as a family, targeting needed changes. This will take the form of exploration of issues, behavior modification, didactic work, and processing emotions.

What Do Children Do In Counseling?

To answer that question, first we first consider the child’s age and level of functioning. Next, your counselor takes time to assess the issues needing to be addressed. If a child would benefit, our counselor will utilize techniques and an approach appropriate to maximize benefit. The goal when working with children and teenagers is not to help them “think like an adult.” Instead, we want to reach them where they are. Children and teenagers can benefit from counseling; the approach simply requires some modification.

What Is My Role As A Parent In Counseling?

To answer that question, first we first consider the child’s age and level of functioning. Next, your counselor takes time to assess the issues needing to be addressed. If a child would benefit, our counselor will utilize techniques and an approach appropriate to maximize benefit. The goal when working with children and teenagers is not to help them “think like an adult.” Instead, we want to reach them where they are. Children and teenagers can benefit from counseling; the approach simply requires some modification.

How Do We Get Started in Counseling?

Give us a call or send us an email. One of our counselors will call you back promptly to discuss your situation. Then, a first session, or time for you to come into the office can be scheduled.