Emotions & Relationship Conflict

oftheheartThere is a direct correlation between relationship conflict and negative emotions. We were designed for love and intimacy.  Sadly, many of us were not given healthy forms of love. So we enter relationships with baggage full of skewed love systems and unmet needs expecting the other person to meet our emotional needs.

However, since unhealthy people tend to attract unhealthy individuals into their lives who enter the relationship with their own emotional baggage – unmet needs and skewed forms of love expecting us to love them as they think they should be loved – it’s  a great recipe for emotional pain and conflict.

People enter relationships with all kinds of learned negative patterns of behavior to deal with relationship conflict.

The truth is we will never be able to enjoy healthy mutually satisfying relationships until we deal with the issues of our own heart.  When we can identify the cause of our emotional pain, we can then process the effects they have on our life, and we can stop blaming others, take ownership of our negative feelings and behaviors and stop allowing others to control our emotions. People are not responsible for the way they make us feel.

Understanding and accepting this enables us to let others off the hook and give them permission to take ownership of their feelings and stop blaming us for how they feel.  Jesus heals and restores one heart at a time.

 

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Repressed Grief

weepHave you seen someone smiling, yet within the smile you recognized sadness? Have you heard someone laughing, though you knew the heart was not healed?

“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” Proverbs 14:13

Repressed grief occurs when a person has reason to grieve and needs to grieve, but does not grieve.

The person with repressed grief exhibits negative lifestyle patterns but does not know why. Examples may be distancing from others, playing the clown, using mood altering substances like alcohol or drugs, engaging in mood altering behaviors like gambling or compulsive spending.

Only by facing the truth of your painful losses in life and by going through genuine grief will you have emotional healing.

In the bible, the Psalmists prayed this prayer.

“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me.” Psalm 43:3

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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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Choose Life

choose-life-heartThe family is of monumental importance to God and extremely influential in shaping the hearts and minds of children.

When a home has genuine Godly characteristics, and the foundation is built on Jesus Christ, the byproduct is going to be love, grace, identity, security, and significance. However, when a family is built on anything other, it’s going to be unstable and unsafe and will produce shame, fear, guilt, neglect, and abuse: unmet needs that cripple children emotionally, into adulthood.

What is poured into the soil of our hearts, then, determines the health of our roots; or, our beliefs; which affects how we view ourselves and the world around us.

The nourishment we receive is going to have a huge impact on our tree of life. If we are nourished in God’s light, we will receive the breath of life and believe that we are precious, valued children of the living God; but, if all we receive is darkness, we are going to believe what darkness breaths: lies about ourselves and others.

Despite your background or the family heritage you received, you can be the one who applies faith in the Cross of Jesus Christ, and bring healing to the hurts that have plagued your family. Choose life!

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The Prison of Unforgiveness

root-of-bitternessUnforgiveness is like taking a drug because it has the same effect on us. It numbs the pain so we don’t have to feel and replaces it with anger, rage, and bitterness. It becomes a coping mechanism to deal with the pain and violations. We become entitled to our unforgiveness not realizing that it hardens our hearts and pollutes everything around us.

See if I have been violated and hurt by someone and haven’t dealt with it I can begin to harbor and overall spirit of unforgiveness and can start to see everything in life through that negative filter, and I can become a compensator in relationships and start to keep score. What I do versus what you do. I can get very resentful.  Unfortunately for them, the poor people in my life will always lose out. Heck, they don’t even know that I am keeping score. They have just come to believe that I am a very giving person but inside I’m very resentful because I have to do all these things for these ungrateful people who probably never even asked me to do anything for them.

Somewhere along the way I took on a compensator role and began taking care of everybody. And I will get very bitter and feel victimized. What happens then is that I will spend my life living behind spiritual bars imprisoned because I’m still living in the reality of the hurts of the past. My past own me. And I will enter all my relationships bringing that wound with me expecting and demanding that I be treated a certain way and when I’m not…Watch Out! It can be brutal.

What happens is that old wound is still speaking into my life, and now it’s infected with anger, bitterness, and resentments. It’s spiritual cancer. Sadly the people in my life are paying the penalty for the sins of those who have hurt me in the past.

Pastor and counselor Dr. Chuck Lynch, author of “I should forgive but” says that bitterness and unforgiveness are like a rock thrown into a placid pond. After the initial splash, it sends out circular ripples that affect the whole pond. It starts with ourselves, expands to our spouse, then to our children, friends, and anyone we come in contact with. That’s the saddest part of all.

When we hang on to unforgiveness we give power to the person, and they continue to violate us. Furthermore, if we don’t deal with our unforgiveness issues, we can carry our victim mentality over to all our relationships. Making people responsible for our unhappiness and now people have tremendous power and control over us. Be free from the prison of unforgiveness where those who have violate, hurt, or neglected us wield power over us and continue to torment and defile our hearts.  If we don’t get help and release our hurts and learn to forgive, without realizing it we can transmit the disease of bitterness.

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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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