The Root of Relationship Conflict

There 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 for dealing 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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The Hardened Heart of Self Protection

A 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 11:19 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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Do You Want To Be Made Well?

Jesus asked one question to the lame man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5:2 “Do you want to be made well?” This is the pivotal question for every person seeking healing for emotional wounds. The simple truth is that not everyone wants to be made well. They may start off eager with the best intentions, feeling emotionally that they cannot go on another day, but at the end of the day, do not want to be made well, and those who do not want to get well are not going to get well.

Why would I not want to walk in the freedom from the bondage that Christ set me free from? F-E-A-R! Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of what may be uprooted and exposed, fear of pain, fear that we may have to give up (someone or something); Or we may not be desperate enough yet.

Perhaps we have grown comfortable in our dysfunction and are comfortable in a victim role. We may not have reached a breaking point yet where we face losing someone we love, such as a spouse, or a relationship, maybe even a job, our freedom, and in our minds – we tell ourselves as bad as our current situation is – “it’s not as bad as so and so’s”, or at least we know how to respond, or how to continue to do life and even serve in ministry. However, we are putting on the painted smile while living in a prison in our own mind. But make no mistake…It is never God’s fault. If we do not want to embark on the journey and “be made well” – we won’t get well. Healing is a choice.

If you are in a place where you are desperate enough to get help and want to be made well then I pray that nothing will hinder you from getting the healing that you need and will encounter the Healer in a deep and intimate way.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

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Surrendering Anxiety

It’s amazing how one, simple verse, rings so true in many of our lives. Anxiety isn’t something that we’re meant to carry. If we’re burdened by it, it’s a red flag that there is a deeper issue going on in our hearts… an issue deeper than our situation.

We all have anxiety to some extent, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but the difference between each of us is how we have been taught to handle that anxiety.

Some of us act, and react, out of what our experiences have taught us to do, and the rest of us, out of what God tells us to do.

God is freedom. Jesus is freedom! He is THE designer of our hearts and he knows how to deliver each of them from anxiety. God’s way takes us higher, our way takes us lower.

If you’re feeling the burden of anxiety, or are even in depression from living with anxiety, there is hope. God is a “good word” and He can make you glad again… it’s just going to take your surrender.

Announce to God that this world hasn’t given you any relief, and that, you are ready to try it His way. Then, hold out your hands and allow him to take your fear and anxiousness upon Himself, exchanging your burdens, for His love.

God is “a good word.” Grab a Bible, and start to receive.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” — Matthew 11:28 (NIV

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Guarding Your Heart from Critical People

When others criticize us, as difficult as it may be to accept, God may be using them as ‘heavenly sandpaper” to teach, correct, and refine us.

But constant harsh criticism, the kind that leaves us feeling demeaned, discouraged and devalued can cause emotional wounds, strain relationships, and stunt emotional growth especially when it comes at the hands of those we love and trust the most. We are called to build each other up not tear each other down.

Sadly, those who have a pattern of tearing down may be acting out modeled behavior of harsh criticism from early childhood. Don’t personalize a person’s critical spirit. They are acting out of woundedness causing them to sin against you. Guard your heart against believing lies about yourself, set healthy boundaries to protect yourself, don’t retaliate, hold fast to God’s truth, pray for your offender and release them to Jesus.

You are His precious child. He will lift you up dispelling the lies with the truth of His word. Let the Balm of Gilead bring healing to your heart.

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Getting Even Won’t Heal Your Heart

When you are hurt and you are wronged by another person you may want to even the score. When you are damaged and broken by another person you may want to undo the damage and fix the brokenness by getting even. However, the idea of getting even is a false idea put into your mind by Satan and his forces of deception.

The truth is there is no true way of getting even with another person. There is no true way of evening up the score by hurting another person for what was done to you. There is no true way of getting even because hurting someone else does not make your own hurt go away. Hurting someone else does not fix your brokenness.

Hurting someone else does not undo a wrong committed against you. However, there is a way to erase the wrong, heal the hurt, repair the damage, and fix the brokenness. You can erase the wrong, heal the hurt, repair the damage, and fix the brokenness by pushing back against wanting to get even. You can push back and heal, repair, and fix the hurt by asking Christ to push with you. You can push back by asking Christ to help you be forgiving.

Certainly, the way of the world is not to forgive. The way of the world is to try to get you to even the score by doing to others the same bad things others have done to you. However, look around you. Look at the results of the way of the world. Now look within your heart where God is within. When you look within your heart…the place within you where God is found, then you will see His way is not the way of the world.

God’s way is the way of giving you healing. God’s way is the way of giving you wholeness. God’s way is the way of giving you rightness. God’s way is the way of giving you peace.

To go God’s way means you must use your might, use your will, and use your heart through the power of the Holy Spirit to push in His direction and ask Him to help you forgive. When you and God both push in the same direction, you win and you do not just even the score into a tie, you do not just win by a slim margin…you win by smashing the adversary back into the ground from where the adversary slithered forward to bite you and poison you.

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Overcoming Negative Emotions

Our emotions are tied to our thought life. Have you ever stepped back and listened to your thoughts? Have you been surprised by them and wondered where they were coming from? In his book ‚Wild at Heart,‛ John Eldredge wrote, ‚We are being lied to all the time. Yet, we never stop to say, ‘Wait a minute who else is speaking here? Where are these ideas coming from? Where are these feelings coming from?‛ Satan is at war with God’s children. He is a crafty one and a deceiver; and, he knows if he were to show up as a dark, scary figure, with a pitchfork, we would immediately flee, sensing danger. So, instead, he uses our fears, hurts, and insecurities to influence us through our thought life.

The enemy knows that if he can control our minds, he can control our behavior; and, what is his most used weapon to do so? Lies! When we believe Satan’s lies, rather than God’s truth, it leads to faulty ways of thinking and wrong behaviors that enslave our souls. The only defense we have to protect our minds from being lost in the darkness of lies is the truth: the inerrant Word of God.

God’s word gives a detailed combat strategy for defeating the enemy. We are to pull down strongholds (rooted lies) and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Simply put, we must replace Satan’s lies with God’s truth. If your thoughts are telling you that you are not good enough; that you are unworthy; that you are ugly; that you will always live in fear; that you will never heal; or that you will always live in bondage, stop for one moment and ask yourself, ‛Whose voice am I hearing? Who is it that is telling me that?‛ God’s word tells us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and His sheep hear His voice and His voice protects them from the thief who wants to destroy them.

Our beloved Savior would never harm His sheep by speaking such lies. If you hear that you will never amount to anything, that’s a lie from the enemy; choose, instead, to listen to your Shepherd who says, ‘For I know the thoughts I have towards you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to bring you a future and a hope‛ (Jeremiah 29:11). The enemy is a liar and cannot stand against God’s truth.

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Conflict In Relationships?

There 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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Healing Emotions That Bind

Suppressed negative emotions take root early in life and accumulate and are buried over time but don’t go away. They manifest in all sorts unhealthy thinking and behaviors. This is an opportune time for Satan to set up strongholds in our minds. A stronghold is a way of thinking that holds us bondage in our minds, and it strangles the abundant life of a believer. Over time, each negative emotionally hurtful event in our lives can add another layer of woodenness and unless it is brought to the light can rob us of our joy and peace in our walk with the Lord and affect our emotional health and well-being.

The first step to achieving emotional healing is being honest and recognizing that rather than blaming others and staying a victim, we need to take accountability for how we have been dealing with past hurts.

“Jesus says if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and truth will set you free”….”So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:32,33)

How can we experience this freedom if we are still carrying around a backpack full of emotional hurts and pain? In order to know this freedom, we need to acknowledge that we have not dealt with these buried emotions and need them brought to the surface so our Lord Jesus can sever them at the root.

Then and only then can God take us from a broken, hurting, anxious individual and restore us so that we can finally experience the peace and joy that the Lord desires us to have in our walk with Him.

“He reveals the deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with Him.”
(Daniel 2:22 Amplified Bible)

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Understanding that people are not responsible for our feelings is crucial in the healing process. Emotions are influenced by our own thoughts and beliefs that we choose to believe about ourselves, others and the world around us. We need to stop holding people responsible and allow God to heal our hearts. God’s truth and claiming His promises is the key to combating negative emotions.

Many enter the healing journey feeling powerless and overwhelmed by circumstances and painful emotions that they try to control but can’t. The truth of the matter is that we are powerless to change anything, but God has the power to change all things. When we truly come to grips with that and stop trying to control everything; we enter into a sweet place of brokenness and humility before the Lord, where we can start surrendering our faulty thinking and painful emotions to Him.

Sifting through the unhealthy symptoms of emotional pain can seem overwhelming, but there is hope and healing on the other side. Running away from emotional pain will only deepen the hurt and keeps us in bondage to faulty thinking and negative behaviors affecting all our relationships, breaking intimacy with self, God and others. We need to be set free from the things that have been hindering us from living the abundant life of a believer.
Prayer to Reveal Inner Wounds

Oh, Father,
I come to You as Your child for help.
Please calm my heart.
Enable me to see what I need to see.
Make me aware of my need for healing and show Your truth.
Bring to mind any buried pain……
Surface any hidden hurt and the exact circumstances that caused it.
I ask You to help my wounded heart to heal.
I know You have the power to make me whole.
I am willing to face whatever you want me to face
So I can be set free
In the Holy Name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

“Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” Psalm 51:6

“He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Isaiah 61:1

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