The dictionary defines “friend” as “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.”
This definition is accurate, as far as it goes. But when one examines the deeper meaning of friendship, many more descriptors come to mind such as trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, encouragement, humor, and cheerfulness, to mention but a few. A trusted friend can help someone discover God’s unfolding purposes for their life. Seek a friend who is wise, honest, and encouraging.
Suppose one genuinely wants to strengthen one’s character. In that case, one must build closer relationships with people who want to do the same. (more…)
Understanding how to heal from childhood pain may be one of the biggest challenges an addict faces in recovery because it is often the pain inflicted by their parents that is the most difficult to move on from.
It’s difficult to heal from the wounds of one or both parents. Even worse, if one was abused during their childhood, they may have been taught that failing to honor their abusive parents is a sin. This raises some disturbing questions: How can one honor someone whose actions are anything but honorable? Does this mean that they must stay under their control and yield to their manipulations to please God? The answer, though, to these questions is in the Bible itself. The Bible says, “Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 5:16, NLT).
The word honor comes from a root word meaning heavy; it implies placing a weighty value on the relationship. (more…)
It is God’s design for each person to be able to feel emotions and express them. Many people, however, never learned how to express their feelings on a deep level.
Why do some people numb their emotions rather than feel them? In their home growing up, children were probably seen rather than heard. Their parents did not help them process their feelings. Anger was met with rage, fear went unacknowledged, and there was plenty of shame to go around. So, they numbed their difficult emotions by turning to something like eating, shopping, watching pornography, or other things.
Does this sound familiar? Instead of numbing feelings, take out a journal and try the Comfort Circle exercise. (more…)
Love is something everyone longs for. It’s normal for one to want — even crave — a close, loving relationship. However, some people with an insecure attachment style are prone to wanting to be in a dating relationship, even if it is unhealthy, abusive, or toxic. Although relationship addiction isn’t recognized as an official diagnosis, mental health experts and researchers generally agree on a few key signs that suggest cause for concern in a dating relationship.
Here are some signs of relationship addiction to be watching out for. (more…)
Is the baggage from the past getting heavy? Put it down! Baggage from past relationships, trauma, and childhood gets carried into the present until it is dealt with. This emotional weight strains a person’s mental, emotional, spiritual, and relational health. Can God make a way to leave the heavy baggage behind? Yes. Here are six steps to take to lighten the load.
- Agree with God that there’s a problem from the past, and confess it.
No one can overcome an issue until they acknowledge it. There’s a reason for every feeling—anger, joy, or bitterness. God’s word for “agree” is the word “confess.” To confess something means to agree that it is true. When it comes to baggage that is bothering an individual, they must recognize that things have gone wrong – either done to them or done by them – and agree with God or “confess,” that they have happened and affected them deeply. (more…)
Can anyone ever completely figure out love? No, because the mysteries of love and how to make it work baffle even the most well-intentioned individual. From parenting to marriage, friendship to business relationships, most find their best efforts often fail, and disappointment finds its way into their most valued sphere of life.
Why is this? It all comes down to a basic orientation in how one views themselves and others. In other words, since Adam, people have been looking out for number one, which is the surest way to destroy a relationship. People tend to think of themselves first instead of the relationship itself. They are trying to get what they want instead of seeing the needs of others. And because of this self-orientation, they destroy all chances of getting what they want and need, which is love. (more…)