donderdag 24 oktober 2013

Gods vision for healthy relationships

Discover God's Vision for healthy Relationships.

Gods vision for relationships is guided by the philosophy of Christ, namely love God first and from your relationship of love with God you love your neighbour as yourself. If we love another person as God loves him or her, our greatest desire is to see that man (or women) conformed to the image of Christ. In order to contribute to this desire being fulfilled we seek to work with the Lord to bring forth qualities in us that reflect His character and gifts that enable us to help others draw closer to God and become more like Him. On our part this requires us to be emotionally disciplined and seek emotional fulfilment in God rather than in the other. We must be willing to trade emotional dependency on people for emotional dependency on God. It also requires us to stop allowing people to make themselves emotionally dependent on us and to encourage them to find the fulfilment of their emotional needs in God. Not everyone will take kindly to this. Some people will respond with clinging behaviour, manipulation, anger and retaliation. However, it is not just in our best interest to do so, it is also in their best interest that we stay strong and do not give in. Also the need to be needed is on our part an emotional need that should be fulfilled by God and not by people who are emotionally dependent on us. To do so is tantamount to idolatry as we seek our ultimate emotional fulfilment in people and not in God and His love. To choose for obedience to God and to discipline ourselves emotionally might make or break a friendship. When we exchange another's best interests for our own neediness, we run the risk of losing the relationship. However, if we continue to maintain or pursue an exclusive emotional involvement with this person, then our desires are in conflict with what the Lord wants. We need to ask ourselves, "Am I working with God or Against Him in the person's life?”.  A healthy godly relationship is characterised by a desire to see the other conformed into the likeness of Christ rather than to see the other conformed to our wishes and desires.

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donderdag 10 oktober 2013

Emotional void

So many people grow up in families where there is abuse or emotional negligence. The typical pattern consists of high demands being made, requiring us to be almost perfect and yet a minimum of emotional reward and affirmation is given. In some families children grow up hearing only criticism and rarely ever do they get praised, affirmed, cuddled and shown genuine unconditional affection.
When such children grow older they seek to fill this void. Sometimes it is by means of substance abuse, sexual addiction in the form of pornography or promiscuity or any other obsession. They may seek to emotionally attach themselves to people in such a way that become engulfed, overwhelmed and loose their freedom and even part of their idenity. It really is a desperate effort to heal their fragmented selves through self-validation and approval seeking. It may appear to be love but really it is a search for inner healing and wholeness. Such people can feel like emotional leeches sucking the life and energy out of us. We must not blame or condemn them, it really isn’t their fault. It is an 'environmental' disease resulting from living in an imperfect world where we grow up with imperfect parents and get hurt by imperfect people. It is up to us to set boundaries and protect ourselves from being swallowed up by their emotional need. The need to be helped to see that the road to wholeness is not to self-medicate with substance abuse or to adapt the behavior of their 'abuser' and begin (ab)using other people. We must help them find wholeness by allowing God to heal their fragmented identity by attaching ourselves to His unconditional love. This is not easy because all of us are contineously exposed to abuse even in society. This may trigger memories of past abuse and cause emotional turmoil. Even our governments often behave like an abusive 'authoritarian parents' who make many demands but when it comes to really taking care of you and your needs you find you are being ignored. They may sometimes give you a few things you act overly grateful for in the hope to get more, but if due to neglect you end up suffering it kicks you and blames you, and until you say "Yes, it was my fault." You can't fight back because the system is too powerful, so you either conform or you will suffer. The danger is that we make others weaker than us scapegoats for our frustration because we cannot fight the real perpetrator. Unfortunately, even our aid organizations and churches at times are abusive environments where we continue to hurt, use and abuse rather them being safe havens, sanctuaries of healing and peace.