Children Need Love Above All Else

bond-of-perfectionIt is absolutely true that hurting people hurt people. Don’t be quick to judge the behavior on the surface and not see the need below.

A child needing the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways. When children feel unwanted, unheard, not valuable, incapable, powerless, or hurt, they often lash out. Parents love your children well.

The lack of love will damage a child emotionally and will have consequences throughout their lives affecting their own children. Stop the generational sins.

You cannot do it alone. Put on God’s love. His love is perfect. It leads to wholeness.  In Him broken things are made new.

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A Hardened Heart

softheartA deep wound, a broken heart, disappointments, bitterness, and unforgiveness can cause the heart to become hardened with time. It causes us to put up walls. Our defenses go up. We self-protect, and we don’t let anyone in including God.

Self-protection leaves us running on reserve and is the cause of intimacy issues and conflict in relationships. It seems that it’s easier to be hard than soft and vulnerable because we don’t want to get hurt. But you were not created to live that way. God made you to be tender and responsive.

It’s hard to shape stone. As long as your heart remains hard you will miss out on the abundant life Jesus came to give. So let the living God come into your heart, heal your wounds and tear down your self-protection and defenses.

The amplified version of Ezekiel 11:16 says “And I will give them one heart, a new heart, and I will put a new Spirit within them, and I will take the stony, unnatural hardened heart out and give them a heart of flesh, sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God.”

Give your hurts to the Lord. Let God shape you and heal your heart. He makes broken things new.

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He Mends Broken Pieces

brokenheartedGod can heal your broken heart, you just have to be willing to surrender all the broken pieces. He makes broken things new,  gives us beauty for ashes and a life of abundance and purpose beyond the pain.

You may not have had a choice of becoming a victim, but you have a choice to stay one.

Give your hurts over to the One who can heal and mend your wounded heart. When you do that – He will leave His fingerprints all over your heart, and you will come to a realization in the depth of your soul as Job came to know that your – Redeemer Lives! And that you are a precious child of the living God, deeply loved, who holds every one of your tears in a bottle.

Let Him comfort you as He applies His soothing healing balm to your hurting heart. Jesus is the Balm of Gilead.

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Do You Have Hidden Anger?

anger-heartAnger can be overt – screaming, yelling, rage, throwing things, physically abusive, or it can be very covert. Many people suffer from underlying anger – slow simmering suppressed beneath the surface that surfaces occasionally. While this hidden anger is usually rooted in past childhood hurts, what lies underneath is ready to erupt at any moment much like a volcano.

For instance when someone does or says something wrong, the one with hidden and suppressed anger often overreacts. Or when someone makes an innocent mistake the magnitude of anger unleashed is out of proportion with the simple mistake. If you have hidden anger, you may find yourself at one extreme or another – hopelessness to extreme hostility and yet be completely unaware why you are experiencing these feelings and may even be clueless to the severity of your outbursts of anger towards others and how they are being hurt emotionally in the wake of your anger.

Unresolved anger causes deep wounds in your relationships with God and others. And it hurts little ones who are caught in the aftermath of a parent’s anger and may cause them to learn this modeled behavior to deal with conflict they will carry into adulthood affecting relationships at all levels.

This powerful emotion robs your heart of peace, joy and steals contentment from your spirit. It’s never too late to get to the root of anger and allow God to heal your heart. A willingness to admit you have hidden anger is the first step to freedom. God is faithful to heal and restore those who come to Him for healing

The Bible describes this perfectly. “When my heart was grieved, and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.”

(Psalm 73:21–22)

Signs of Hidden Anger:

Do you become irritable over little things?

Do you smile on the outside, while you hurt on the inside?

Do those close to you say that you blame others?

Do you become easily frustrated?

Do you find your identity and worth in excessive work?

Do you deny ever being impatient?

Do you have to have the last word?

If you find that you have hidden anger commit to letting go with God’s help.

 

“You must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8). These things defile our hearts and keep us from intimacy with ourselves,

God and others.

A willingness to admit you have hidden anger is the first step to freedom. The next is identifying the source. Anger is a secondary emotion. It’s typically started and fueled by one of four sources: hurt, injustice, fear, or frustration. With these roots, anger is a secondary response to one or more of these four sources. Digging into buried feelings from your past can be painful. So, it can seem easier to stay angry than to uncover the cause, but God wants to set you free. He wants you to get rid of the bad fruit and be a storehouse that houses a plentiful harvest of good fruit. It’s not easy. It requires work and persistence. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

“ Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking a anything.” (James 1:4)

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The Snare of Rejection

The Fear of Man

It’s been said that if you live for the acceptance of others, you will die from their rejection. If your sense of self-worth is based on the approval of others, your value is at the mercy of what others think about you. Your identity, who you are, how you see yourself is determined by how others see you and respond to you.

In our brokenness, we tend to give people a lot of power. People on the outside control my thoughts, feelings, and my will. They own me. I don’t know who I am, and I live in fear of failing to meet their approval and being rejected.

Only God is allowed to have control over our lives. We need to give our fear of rejection over to the Lord. He created us and established our worth. When we let His love pour into us, we learn to trust Him, and He will turn our fear into faith, and we will find full acceptance in the arms of our precious Savior.

If you believe that you may be living for the approval of others, evaluate the following statements and see if you identify with any of them.

I am not good enough.”

“I have to try harder.”

“I have to earn love.’

“I flatter people so they will like me.”

“I have to be perfect.”

“I always feel less than.”

“I know what I think is not important.”

“I know that I am not likable.”

“I never feel like I belong.”

“I don’t measure up.”

If you can relate to any of the above chances are that there is a deep root of rejection driving your need for approval and acceptance from others. Please understand that just because you have been rejected in the past, you don’t have to walk in fear that you will be rejected again by others. We can be so crippled by the fear of being rejected that without realizing it we can push others away, or create situations where we will be rejected fulfilling a self-imposed prophecy which causes us to continue to believe lies about ourselves and feel alone and rejected.

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Understanding Fear

Understanding FearFear is a strong emotional reaction to imminent danger – real or imagined, rational or irrational, normal or abnormal. It is a natural emotion designed by God. However, living with a fear based mentality or with a spirit of fear is not from God.

Sometimes fear is real, we get a call in the middle of the night. Those calls are usually never good news. Often, the caller is delivering some bad news such as someone we love has been in an accident. As a result, our hearts are gripped with fear of the unknown. Is my loved one going to survive? We can find out that we may lose our jobs due to layoffs. Or the doctor tells us we have a terminal illness. Most of us will face some of these life issues at some point in our lives. The fear is real. But often times it has no basis in reality. We can fear what has not happened or will never happen. We may be gripped with fear about the possibility of getting sick, getting in a car accident. We can fear rejection and never pursue friendships, job opportunities, relationships, and we can fear failure and never pursue anything

If you grew up in a home where fear reigned, and you didn’t experience love, safety, and security, you might have easily developed a fear based mentality. This abnormal fear cripples and stunts any personal growth or aspirations. It prevents a person from even trying, or leaving bad situations even abusive ones. It can also prevent us from seeking help for fear of what will be uprooted. Fear can also be the driving emotion behind anger. This is bondage, and we need to be set free.

God’s word tells that “perfect love cast out all fear.” (1 John 4:18) It makes sense then that if we are love deficient we are fear based. The solution is to Get God’s love in you. As easy as this may seem, for those who have been crippled in their ability to love and be loved because of the wounds of the past, it is extremely difficult. Only the truth of God’s love can penetrate the hardest of hearts. We can overcome fear through faith in a loving God.

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Domestic Abuse

I will sustain You.One out of three women is a victim of domestic abuse. They are everywhere. It could be the neighbor next door, the girl sitting next to you in Bible Study, or a family member close to you. They are very skilled in hiding their bruises and live lives filled with shame.

Because their spirits have been broken, they are terrified to get help for fear their abusers will follow through on their threat to kill them or their children. When they do seek help from their church, they are told to go back home and submit to their husbands. However, they are not giving the whole counsel of God.

The Bible teaches mutual submission in love and reverence to the Lord not a one sided abusive and demeaning tyrant like authoritarian submission that tears down and destroys hearts and families. That goes against God’s very Word which tells us to “Above all else, put on love which is the bond of perfection.” (Colossians 3:14) It also teaches that “Love does no harm to its neighbor.” (Romans 13:10). Nowhere in Scripture does it teach that wives are to submit to abuse.

However, as awful as the abuse is there is a root driving it, and there are reasons why victims allow the abuse to continue. Both are in need of help. But in order for the cycle of abuse to stop only one person needs to change. Either the abuser will get help, or the abused will stop allowing it. God offers healing to all who are hurting and broken. He sees it all. You are not alone and are not without hope. Seek help and stop the abuse.

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered. Or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24-25)

True wisdom and guidance are found only in the whole counsel of God.

 

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Removing Shame

Removing ShameShame has no room in the life of a believer. Jesus has covered our guilt and shame. Our past does not define us. The sins that hurt us whether ours or someone else’s perpetrated against are not who we are.

They kept us from becoming who God creates us to be causing us to adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms and put up walls around our hearts to guard against being hurt. They kept everyone else out including God.

Addiction, sexual sin, bodily abuse, eating disorders, trauma, neglect, violence cannot be erased from our minds, but we can be free from their damaging effects on our souls.

God sets us free by helping us walk through and process the pain, removing the lies we have believed about ourselves, and offering and receiving forgiveness. This releases us from the bondage of being a byproduct of our past. Through the Sacrifice of our beloved Savior and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we are set free.

We can replant and be rooted in God’s love and grace, but we must let go of the toxic things that keep us from living in freedom, growing and becoming who God created us to be

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A Hardened Heart

A Hardened HeartA deep wound, a broken heart, disappointments, bitterness, and unforgiveness, can cause the heart to become hardened with time. It causes us to put up walls. Our defenses go up. We self-protect, and we don’t let anyone in including God.

Self-protection leaves us running on reserve and is the cause of intimacy issues and conflict in relationships. It seems that it’s easier to be hard than soft and vulnerable because we don’t want to get hurt. But you were not created to live that way. God made you to be tender and responsive. It’s hard to shape stone.

As long as your heart remains hard you will miss out on the abundant life Jesus came to give. So let the living God come into your heart, heal your wounds and tear down your self-protection and defenses.

The amplified version of Ezekiel 11:16 says “And I will give them one heart, a new heart, and I will put a new Spirit within them, and I will take the stony, unnatural hardened heart out and give them a heart of flesh, sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God.”

Give your hurts to the Lord. Let God shape you. When you do that…He will leave His fingerprints all over your heart.

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Unhealthy Boundaries

unhealthy boundariesGod’s boundaries are everywhere throughout scripture. They separate light from dark, land and sea, good and evil, holiness and unholiness. They also define ownership. In our personal lives, they protect what we value and assign worth to.

God’s word says that we are the temple of the living God. This means that we are precious and of tremendous worth. We belong to Jesus. Sadly, many believers don’t see their value so they allow people to hurt and mistreat them.

Healthy boundaries are essential in establishing healthy relationships. Unhealthy boundaries lead to unhealthy relationships, and broken boundaries result in broken relationships.

People with unhealthy boundaries allow wrongful behaviors that hurt them and others, compromise values to please others, expect others to fulfill all their needs, feel guilty when they say “no,” and feel used, taken advantage of, unappreciated, threatened and victimized by others, they feel responsible for others feelings and allow others to tell them how to think, feel and behave. They also struggle with being afraid to disapprove of others, receiving criticism, or losing the love of others.

When we allow God to heal our hurts and show us the unhealthy ways we have been operating in relationships, we will start to see our value and worth in Him, and we will no longer wish to engage in the negative patterns of behaviors that ruin relationships. He will teach us how to set boundaries to guard our hearts and temples against getting defiled with bitterness and resentment.

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