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 11:16 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.
Are you struggling today? The same power that raised Jesus from the grave is inside us. He is our helper, our teacher, our counselor, our friend. We need to know His power. His resurrection power! His redeeming power! Life breathing power! His healing power! He has the power to change lives and restore hearts.
Knowing the power and authority we have in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit can break any stronghold, sever anything that holds us captive and in bondage. It can snap the chains of the enemy; lift any barrier hindering our ability to run the race with endurance.
He is the power source that enables us to persevere and overcome any negative experience that has ever happened to us and be healed and set free. Never underestimate the power we have in the Holy Spirit. God’s word declares in 1 John 4:4 that greater is He who is in your than He who is in the world. We are never alone.
The Holy Spirit is always there and will empower us to face, push through and remove anything that harms us, tries to separate us from God and stunt our Christian walk and spiritual growth.
God cares about our relationships and wants us to be right with one another. Too often close relationships are torn apart due to hurts, misunderstandings, offenses, pride, unresolved issues, and emotions can run deep, cut at the heart filling us with bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness.
And usually, it’s the relationships we treasure the most that breakdown and cause the deepest pain. Rather than confront the issues, it may seem easier to avoid, blame others and feel justified holding on to our hurts and anger.
Yet God calls us higher. His word says that as much as depends on us to live at peace with all people (Romans 12:18). We need to forgive those who have wounded us and ask for forgiveness when we have wounded others. We will never be free unless we learn how to forgive and release our offenders at the foot of the cross.
We need only take ownership of our wrong doings and leave the rest at God’s feet endeavoring always to extend grace and leave the door open for reconciliation whenever possible. Are you struggling with forgiveness? Sometimes all it takes is to go to Jesus with a sincere heart and ask Him to give you a willingness to forgive, make amends and pursue peace. There is nothing that He can’t do with a willing and surrendered heart.
God’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.
Emotional wounds manifest through various negative behaviors – violent rage, severe depression, phobias, low self-worth, perfectionism, controlling, insecurities, emotional dependencies, addictions, etc. But God can heal all!
He restores what is broken, change your destructive thought patterns, and give you an amazing life filled with hope, joy, and the abundant life Jesus came to give God’s people.
All you have to do is ask. He came to heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
Do you want to be made well?
We were all created with three God given needs – for love, security, and acceptance. When people fail us it can cut at our self-worth because we look to them to meet the needs only God can fully meet.
Losing a relationship is always painful but can be devastating for some. God does bring people in our lives to reinforce our inherent needs but they are not meant to take His place as the only source of love that truly satisfies.
It we are dependent on people to meet our love needs what happens when they leave?
If you are feeling lost and rejected over a relationship loss turn to Jesus. He offers you love and acceptance. He will never reject you. Ephesians 1:6 says you are accepted in the beloved. The Lord wants to reaffirm your value and worth in Him. But it won’t be found in anyone or anything other than Him.
True identity does not come from relationships but from a relationship with our precious Savior Jesus Christ.
Some who have been victimized by a painful past feel fearful, lost, disconnected, broken, without hope, and need comforting.
There are many self-help groups in modern day society offering support for victims. While helpful they often throw a “victim” label on the wounded, and it becomes their identity. Some even take on a victim mentality always positioning themselves as the victim whether real or imagined.
We did not have a choice in becoming a victim but we have a choice in staying one. The bible says “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
No matter what has happened God can heal, restore and set us free from the painful effects of the past. You can rise above having a victim mentality and become a conqueror in Christ. We are not without hope.
Decisions, Decisions, we all have to make them. Hopefully as believers we want to seek the will of God in matters of the heart. But how do we do that?
Decisions are choices we make based on our thoughts. If the thought process is wrong the decisions we make will be off. Faulty thinking results in negative choices. We will always live in the consequences of our choices.
Decisions are also based on what we value. If we don’t place worth on ourselves chances are the relationships we engage in will almost always cause us emotional pain and turmoil.
To discern God’s will in any given situation it’s crucial to remember that the will of God never goes against His word. Should I marry this person even if he’s not a believer? Well what does God’s word say about being unequally yoked?
Put on the mind of Christ. Change your thought process. Align your thoughts with His thoughts through His word, in prayer and by the Holy Spirit. This is the foundation for God’s will in your life. It will guard against making painful destructive choices that hurt yourself and others.
“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)
Being intimate involves the mixing of our life with another, a mingling of souls, a sharing of hearts. This is something that we all long for because that is how God made us. We were designed to connect. It requires openness, honesty, and transparency – the ability to share our true selves and have security knowing that we are loved and accepted just the way we are despite our imperfections. This is true intimacy.
Sex can be the most intimate and beautiful expression of love within the boundaries of marriage, but we are lying to ourselves when we think that sex is proof of love. How many men do you know that demand sex as proof of love and how many women give in to sex in hopes of getting love?
Real intimacy does not come by merely coming together in sex. Many couples go to bed at night sharing their bodies but feel lonely because they don’t share their hearts. You see sex is not the source of love, it’s merely an expression of it. And no matter how hard you try, if real emotional and spiritual intimacy does not take place before sex, it probably won’t after. Not to mention God will not bless a relationship that goes against His word.
True intimacy begins with your relationship with God first. This relationship is the foundation for all healthy relationships. When you let the living God be the source of intimacy and love in your life, you won’t fall into the pitfalls of relationships devoid of emotional and spiritual intimacy that leave your heart longing and unsatisfied.
“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Psalm 107:9
A time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
Children who suffer abuse or trauma whether physical or emotional will often suppress their emotions in order to survive. However, the pain, sorrow, anger, and despair are still there and manifest in different ways in adulthood – either through negative behaviors or seemingly good behaviors. Both mask the reality of the painful wounds they carry inside.
Some who shut down their emotions often can’t feel at all even pleasant things such as joy, tenderness, mercy and even love. Sometimes we make vows never to be hurt again putting walls around our hearts.
There may have been a season for self-protection but now is the season for healing your heart. Give yourself permission to feel. It’s time to let go of the hurts of the past. Run to Jesus – The Balm of Gilead who heals the wounds of God’s children. He is waiting with arms wide open to mend your heart and wipe your tears. Do you want to be made well?