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Showing posts with label Codependence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Codependence. Show all posts

Friday, October 15, 2021

Angry? – Doesn’t “It Take Two to Make a Thing Go Right"? - Purity 550


 Angry? – Doesn’t “It Take Two to Make a Thing Go Right?” - Purity 550 

Purity 550 10/15/2021   Purity 550 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of Cave Run Lake in Salt Lick Kentucky comes to us from a friend who retired and left the Empire State behind but who still enjoys going out to see, and who likes to share, the wonders of God’s creation and the peaceful easy felling that one can experience in the stillness that God makes available to those who seek it.   My friend shared two photos from their visit to Cave Run Lake and while both were of the same scene they each had their own appeal, and I was challenged to decide which one to share. So don’t be surprised if we should suddenly visit Cave Run Lake again in the days ahead to show the photo not seen, but I decided to share this one because of the reflection of the sun in the water and I like that little “bansai-esque” tree/bush that is in the left foreground near the lake’s shore.  Little things can mean a lot I guess and sometimes it’s the small details in the big picture that make us feel a sense of peace and wonder that reminds us that we are not alone.

Yesterday, I shared a testimony of a friend’s simple encouragement and how it motivated me to choose to an activity that would lead to delayed peace and contribute to one of my goals rather than taking some free time and using it for purposeless self-indulgence that would give some immediate relaxation but would leave things undone and possibly create a future crisis.   In examining that friendly advice and the implications we could draw from it; I discussed the effect that “enablers” could have on our lives and how they could knowingly or unknowingly contribute to our worst tendencies and keep us locked in reactive patterns that would hinder attaining our goals.  The discourse apparently struck a chord with one FB friend because I got an “angry” face emoji response!

Now I have not interviewed the friend, but I know some of their life history and I know they were in at least one relationship that could have been described as codependent because it was marked by episodes of peace and harmony and episodes of anger and strife as addiction was a central theme to their relationship. 

So while my friend could have felt moved to “angry face” emoji my post because they didn’t like the photo of the day, I am assuming that my descriptions of how “enablers” cause us harm while claiming to love us, stirred up some old memories of those “good old – bad old days” for my friend or caused them to be “angry” for me after hearing about how I too had suffered in relationships with enablers. 

In this culture of fear of causing offense, I could have been filled with worry that I had offended my friend, but when you know the person and their story, you can see that the “anger” they are responding with isn’t directed at you and isn’t necessarily a “bad thing”.  

I’m guessing of course, but my friend wasn’t angry at me. They were angry at the pain and suffering that people can put each other through.  

While we can be angry and wonder why “people” have to be this way. I would point out that the fault doesn’t necessarily lie with just one side of a codependent relationship.  

The problem with the addictive/codependent relationship is that one party or both parties, are addicted to a substance or activity and the other, or both parties, are “addicted” to the other person.    

One party is seeking pleasure in a thing and the other person is seeking pleasure in a person. If you can’t see it, they are both wrong.   A study of the scriptures and an examination of the factors at play here would indicate that they are both “worshipping idols” instead of God.    That’s why even though a new covenant was being established with the incarnation and earthly ministry of Jesus,  Christ reminded His disciples that the first commandment was still to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”.  

So any relationship between two people, no matter how troubled or peaceful, can only be truly peaceful when both parties are seeking to honor Jesus’ great commandment to love God. When God is at the center of a relationships both parties will live according to His guidance and seek to love, honor, and obey one another with the emphasis doing God’s will for their lives which would include loving and serving one another.  In this scenario the love of God can flow in a circle, where the people send their love to the Lord in worship, receive from Him, and express to one another continually.   Instead of being stuck in reactive patterns where there is an imbalance because one party is putting their needs above another, when God is involved the couple’s focus is on serving Him and the other rather than serving themselves individually.

That’s the way it “should be” and my friend’s “angry emoji” reveals that, while they may or may not realize how important our relationship with God is to our personal sense of peace and purpose, they know that the enabler/codependent dysfunctional relationship isn’t “right”. Thoughts about their experiences in a codependent relationship made them angry, or the realization that I had also suffered in a similar situation made them “angry” for me.  

God gave us our emotions to show us that something was not “right”.  Anger shows us that one of our “goals was blocked”.  The “goal that is blocked” by codependency is a peaceful harmonious relationship.  

While Rob Base rapped about how “it takes two to make a thing go right”, his lyrics were rather self-aggrandizing, and he didn’t really tell us much about having a successful personal relationship.  

Unfortunately, because we can’t make someone “do what we want, all the time” or make them “love God to love me”, the goal to have a “happy relationship” is beyond our individual control.  We can only control our side of the fence and be true to the goal of “being the person that God made me to be”. 

So in our pursuits to find a peaceful committed relationship, we should seek a life partner who is committed to seeking the Lord and being the person that God made them to be.

If its’s “too late” and you are in relationship with someone’s whose focus is not on the things or God, your personal goal to be the “person that God wants you to be” becomes even more important.  God wants you to be forgiving and loving. Your partner without God needs that in their life and your commitment to be the person God wants you to be may have a tremendous impact on your partner and cause them to seek the Lord and be changed by Him.

 While I am not advising to stay in an abusive relationship, when we are committed to some one we take the good with the bad and if the love is real we will work together to overcome problems and disagreements to establish a relationship of peace and love that lasts a lifetime.

But when things aren’t right, get “angry” that things are not going according to God’s design, and get help to institute measures of protection and accountability to break the patterns of dysfunction and to establish a relationship of mutual love and respect with God at the center or to find peace by “setting the captives free”. 

God doesn’t want us to suffer in what are supposed to be “love relationships”.  So keep walking and talking with God, He will give you the wisdom and strength to correct all the problems of your life, but you have to take you, or whoever or whatever you are worshipping, off of that pedestal and recognize His way as the way that is right and that He is the only One worthy of worship.  

When you surrender to the Lord, He may ask you to change the way you think and He may ask you to let go of some baggage that you didn’t think you could live without, but even though there may be a period of adjustment, when you walk with the Lord you realize that burdens disappear and the path He sets you on leads to increasing peace, love, and joy.

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT2)
9  Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
10  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
11  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?
12  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Today’s verse reminds us that we need not be alone in this world and that a companion and friends are a good thing to have for our journey of faith.  

Our loved ones and friend can help us succeed and they can help us in times of trouble. The confines of a committed relationship and the fellowship of the saints offer warmth and protection.    

As I stated above, the important factor of our relationships with one another is the presence of God in them. When all parties are in agreement with the Lord and seeking to do His will for their lives, harmony and peace can be the result. 

Peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ should be the prerequisite for all relationships because it is only when we find the new life that God gives us through our Savior that we can be complete. 

Only the Lord can fill the “God shaped hole” in our lives and when He does we can give all of ourselves to the purpose of loving others and sharing the love of God. To give we must receive. To love we must know what love is.

But today’s verses tell us that we are not just to bask in the love of God by ourselves. We are share the love of God with others.  

I have recently become engaged to be married and these verses today come to us from a book that my fiancĂ© gave me and quite frankly when I saw what verses came next in the book and contemplated the fact that I was going to be reunited with her later today, they really ripped my heart out.  

We have both suffered in our lives and God has brought us together to help each other succeed, to help each other in times of trouble, to keep each other warm, and to love one another. God is at the center of our relationship and while we often praise one another, we invariably remind one another that is the only One worthy to be praised.

So take the love that God has given you and take some time this weekend to share it with your friends, family, other saints, or your life partner.  Two are better than one, but we are only made complete through having faith in the Son.

  

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating  

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

B. What Are the Differences Between Worldly Dating and Godly Courtship?

Josh has done both. He has dated and doesn't want to do it again until he's ready for a serious relationship—until he's ready for marriage. After breaking his girlfriend's heart, he decides dating—even so-called Christian dating—isn't for him. Hearts are too fragile and a relationship should be more about how long to make it last and how deep it can go than how far you can get and what you can take from another person.

People think he's crazy, but he's determined to do things God's way. He'd rather work on getting his own life together than mess up someone else's. He finds great joy and fulfillment in living his life to give God glory and serve others. Shifting his focus to pleasing God and blessing others rewards him with true peace and pure joy. Josh discovers the richness of relationships when he prioritizes giving rather than receiving.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 John 4:10-11)

Worldly Dating vs. Godly Courtship

Worldly Dating

Godly Courtship

• Focuses on finding the "right" person

• Focuses on being the "right" person

• Begins with romantic attraction

• Begins with common values and interests

• Pursues pleasure as the ultimate goal

• Pursues marriage as the ultimate goal

• Driven by feelings and impulses

• Driven by rational, long-term objectives

• Values experience more than maturity

• Values maturity more than experience

• Expects sexual involvement

• Respects sex as sacred; purity is paramount

• Relies only on self

• Relies on wise counsel and accountability

• Discontent without a love interest

• Content with the love of Christ

• Evaluates others in artificial environments

• Learns who others are in real-life situations

• Accepts flirting as a means to an end

• Rejects flirting as a hurtful habit

• Prioritizes pleasing self

• Prioritizes pleasing the Lord

• Relies on relationships to find purpose

• Relies on God to give purpose

• Takes from others out of emptiness

• Gives to others out of spiritual fullness

"Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22)


Biblical Counseling Keys - Biblical Counseling Keys – Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Simple Encouragement - True Friends vs. Enablers - Purity 549

Simple Encouragement - True Friends vs. Enablers - Purity 549 

Purity 549 10/14/2021  Purity 549 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s sunset photo of a pathway through Breitbeck Park near the shores of Lake Ontario in Oswego NY comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography.  As awesome as this sunset photo displays the glory of God’s creation, I like to point out the dedication of the photographer to his craft that is unseen and behind the scenes. For those who don’t know, Rocco Saya recently broke his leg near this scene and his injury was sever enough to require a metal rod to be surgically implanted in his leg back in mid-September and he is still on the mend but his love for his craft compels him to capture the beauty that surrounds him.  

It’s Thursday, and I share photos that highlight paths on this day because it is on Thursdays that I originally started my recovery journey back in 2015 and since then have applied the principles of Christian Discipleship (Living by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit or “walking in the Spirit”) to other areas of my life to increasingly experience my freedom in Christ. 

I also share photos of pathways on Thursdays to invite people to join me on the path of Christian Discipleship by attending the Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course that I am facilitating at Rock Solid Church in Hudson NY at 6:30pm this evening.   For those who are not local to Hudson, I podcast a version of the class and encourage you to check it out, in addition to the other discipleship classes we offer on the mt4christ247 podcast.   

I always like to point out that discipleship is born out of our love for God. Just like Rocco Saya loves photography and is dedicated to his craft despite injury, the Christian should pursue the things of God and be dedicated to learning and apply His wisdom to their lives because of their love for the Lord and to not let the things of this world or the lies of the enemy distract them in their pursuits. I was reminded of how enticing the things of this world could be and how they could lead us to distraction just last night.

Next week I will be on the prayer team for the Freedom in Christ Ministries’  “Fall Practicum”,  a training seminar for Community Freedom Ministry Associates (CFMA’s), and my time will be consumed by ministry work from Monday to Wednesday. I teach and launch the podcast for the Freedom in Christ Course on Thursdays.  So looking ahead, I realized yesterday afternoon that I should utilize my rare free time last evening to record the podcast for next week’s lesson to stay ahead and not have to scramble to get it done at the last minute next week.

But after a day at work, I fixed myself some dinner and decided to turn on the television. I enjoyed the break apparently because I decided that the podcast could wait because I needed some “me time” and was contemplating what to watch next and what to eat next.  The old slothful pattern of binge eating and watching T.V. was ready to be deployed!

However, I was contacted by a Christian friend and in our conversation I confessed my situation and to their credit they encouraged me to do the podcast for the discipleship class even though it meant that our chatting would have to end if I were to pursue that path.  

They probably won’t think much of what they did for me, but I just have spell it out for all of us to appreciate the selflessness and care behind such a simple encouragement.   

I don’t know about you, but I have had several relationships in the past where I was in similar situations and things went differently.  

In the past I would have responsibilities or aspirations for self-improvement of other goals and in the course of life I would become stressed.  In the past I had no real relationship with God and didn’t know the benefits of having a daily spiritual practice, so when I got stressed I would look to other things, like alcohol, drugs, sex, food, or entertainment, or all of the above, to comfort me or relieve the stress.  When the stress came, I would go to those other things and my noble intentions regarding my responsibilities would go out the window.  

In the past, I had people in my life who would enable my patterns to continue. They wouldn’t encourage me to do the “better things” that I wanted to or should do.  They would agree with me about the difficulties of life and my choices to blow things off or push them out to the last minute.  When I was stressed about those responsibilities, or plans to better myself,  or just in general, they would encourage me to relax and seek my comfort in those unhealthy habits because “nobody was perfect”. While their advice was understandable and may even seem practical and merciful, if often lead to increase stress at latter times and the continuation of habits and cycles that would keep me enslaved to the status quo.    No improvement or betterment can be expected if we comprise our core values and goals.  

We can’t guess the motivations of “enablers”. I would suspect most enablers are acting out of ignorance and just want to maintain the “peace” out love for the troubled people in their lives. But like the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah said of the false prophets of his day, enablers are trying to proclaim “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. Their advice to “let people be” in their homes is contributing to the tumultuous conditions in which they live because they have compromised what should be core values, such as “sobriety” “responsibility” and “accountability”, to indulge someone’s “weakness” or “sin”.  FYI, drunkenness, slothfulness, gluttony, and failing to do what we are supposed to do are things God warns us to avoid in the Bible.        

Enablers or those who are codependent may play a more active or sinister role in encouraging their loved ones to go astray.  Their need for love and attention may drive them to distract their loved ones away from their responsibilities or goals simply because they want to be cared for or made to be the center of attention.  

Others have discovered that their loved one’s addictive tendencies make them easy to manipulate and control and may actively tempt and offer their loved one’s the things that lead them to distraction or keep them locked into their patterns of behavior or their addictive cycles.   

So when my friend didn’t say “oh that’s okay” to my choice to slack off or encouraged me to put things off to spend time chatting with them, they really showed their love for me.  They showed that they understood what I really cared about and instead of encouraging me to take a path that might lead to problems later they encouraged me to be proactive and responsible to give me a measure of peace next week instead of having it right now.  

Luckily, Ithe Lord has helped me to mature since my dark days of addictions and reactive emotions, and when my friend made the simple suggestion to do what I said I wanted to do, it was all the accountability prompting that I needed.  I decided that after the current episode of the TV sitcom I was watching was over I would record the podcast for next week.  

And you know what, that exactly what I did.  The overeating slothful pattern that wanted to run its program was stopped dead in its track.  I am no longer a slave to those cycles, but I have to be intentional and diligent to pursue the better things, the things of God, and to recognize what I am doing from moment to moment and to discern whether or not I am “on track”  or have veered off course.   And as last night taught me, we should be honest and report what we are doing to our friends that can encourage us to pursue our goals rather than wallow in self pity or indulgence.   

So keep walking and talking with God. He will lead you in the way you should go and to people who will encourage your progress on the path of Christian Discipleship.  Life is hard enough so we should trust the Lord and be wise when we choose our traveling companions on our life’s journey.  We don’t want “yes” men or women who will indulge our worst tendencies and we don’t want those who will seek to manipulate or control us by offering us “peace, peace” when there is no peace.  The Lord won’t lead you astray so be sure to consider his wisdom when you evaluate the possible relationships in your lives and choose the people who are seeking the Lord and who really want what’s best for you and your purpose in God’s kingdom.

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Psalm 139:7-10 (NLT2)
7  I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
8  If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9  If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10  even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

 

Today’s verse simply reminds us that God is omnipresent and He is available to us personally.  

This passage teaches us that no matter where we go God is there. For the Christian that is a great comfort because we have found peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ and need not fear that Lord “sees us when we’re sleeping or know when we’re awake.”  

God is not Santa Claus however and for those who are not at peace with Him this passage tells us He is also the one who will send us to hell (the grave in the NLT) – Satan is not the king of Hell. God sends people there and His wrath is what is poured out on those sent there.

So there is no escaping God, but the good news is that we don’t have to escape Him. He gives mercy, grace, and forgiveness to all who put their faith in Christ.  

Instead of being freaked out that God is everywhere, the Christian can instead find comfort that His heavenly Father is always with them and, as this passage indicates, can receive His guidance and strength when we seek Him. 

So rejoice over your peace with God through your faith in Christ and recognize that the Lord is always with you by speaking to Him and by asking for His guidance and strength.  He is with us. He loves us. And He will give us the guidance and strength to make it through this life and to fulfill our purpose for Him.  

 

  

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

II. Characteristics

Sonnets and love songs are filled with sentiments of a love that last forever. In fact, we all want love that lasts forever. The problem is we all want it now. Some people are so desperate for love, they begin to play games—unhealthy games of flattery and flirtation, risky games of seduction and sex. They are unwilling to wait for God's perfect timing and plan.

Do they not realize God's Word contains guidelines for great relating...and dating? He wants you to rely on Him to meet the needs of your heart and to wait on Him to provide all your relationships. Because the Lord knows you best, you can look to Him to lead you each step of the way. The book of Proverbs cautions those who try to plan their own course....

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." (Proverbs 16:9)

A. What Characteristics Should You Seek in Someone You Date?

When Bryan posts a sonogram picture of his baby on Facebook, many of his friends instantly like the photo and congratulate the father-to-be. For them, the innocent image is a sentimental expression of joy for a brand new life—but for Frieda, it's a slap in the face.

The fact is...Bryan is Frieda's ex-boyfriend, and the baby is not hers. Although it's been a year since they "officially" dated, they continue to talk off and on and never have severed all ties. They've always kept their options open about maybe getting back together—someday. Yet Bryan's recent actions reconfirm Frieda's gnawing concern about Bryan: a lack of integrity. He has a new girlfriend, she's pregnant with his baby...yet he chose to reveal this news to the world—and Frieda—on Facebook!

Character counts. What characteristics are you looking for in someone you would date? Do you know your non-negotiables? Even more so, make sure you know which characteristics you desire in a mate before you begin to date...and then prioritize developing those same characteristics yourself....

"What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

The Character Checklist for Dating

Place a check mark () beside each character trait you need to see in the person you feel drawn to date. Does your prospective date...

  • □ Demonstrate wisdom and discernment?
  • □ Have a heart to do what is in your best interest?
  • □ Possess a sensitive conscience in regard to right and wrong?
  • □ Refuse to use you or others to gain status?
  • □ Have the approval of the significant people in your life?
  • □ Have a reputation of keeping commitments?
  • □ Display follow-through in meeting obligations?
  • □ Show respect toward authority?
  • □ Have a positive outlook on life?
  • □ Exercise discipline and self-control?
  • □ Manage money well?
  • □ Maintain eye contact when talking with people?
  • □ Interact courteously and honestly with others?
  • □ Have an active Bible study and prayer life?
  • □ Share your personal values?
  • □ Show evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in their life?...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)


Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.

 

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship