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Tag: emotions

Some times we can tend to over analyze things to the degree that we concoct something in our head that no longer resembles the original situation. Our own imagination adds dimensions to the situation that did not actually happen. This usually occurs when we feel hurt or overwhelmed.

To listen to our own thoughts (or to not control our thought life) means to freely wander down any path that our mind wishes to take. This is a passive activity that results in a constant replaying in the mind of all the unpleasant and painful events and thoughts that have occurred. Often the most common cause of depression or emotional lows is a conflict between objective reality and a person’s beliefs and desires.

When a person fails to discipline his mind, then he finds himself justifying his thoughts according to his own standards rather than biblical standards. We can begin to form habits in our thought life that can be detrimental and result in depression if not regularly brought into subjection to the Bible. The Bible is God’s thoughts rather than the thoughts of man. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Because of the great importance of habit in our daily lives, these patterns set up formidable barriers to growth in Christian living.

It takes real discipline to control one’s thought life but the benefits are enormous. Many that struggle with depression admit that medication helps to a certain degree but resentment, anger and negative emotions linger. What is omitted in the treatment of depression is the necessity of disciplining the mind. To no longer let our minds meander down paths that are detrimental to our lives makes a difference.

When I am feeling down or angry, some times it’s for a good reason but then at other times I’ve had to look at my life. If I have been wronged, it then does no good to hold resentment against this person. My resentment only damages my own self. What jealousies are ruling my heart? Replaying these are just a few ideas as to why we get down or depressed.

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Emotional Needs

In the context of marriage, one of the most important things for each spouse to be aware of is the other’s emotional needs. Everyone has the same basic needs for food, shelter and safety. Each person also has a need to be loved, to belong and to become the person he or she was created by God to be. Probably our greatest needs are to be needed and recognized. Most husbands and wives fulfill the physiological and safety needs, which include things like having enough groceries, keeping the car running and making sure the house is safe. However, many people start to fail at the higher levels – with their spouse’s need for love, belonging, recognition and acceptance. This is why it is such a necessity to remember that it is God’s desire for each of us to become the person that He created us to be.

We each are full of so much potential. A woman’s need for esteem is primarily met by her husband, while a man primarily finds his self?esteem in his work. It’s important that we recognize and remember this, not just for ourselves, but also the for the sake of our spouse. A husband cannot pour his life into his career and then say that he is doing this for the family because his wife will end up feeling unimportant. In reality, a man’s work is not as much about the needs of the family as it is about his sense of fulfillment. He may sincerely believe that he is providing in every way possible for his wife (because his work is self fulfilling), but may not understand that her needs differ from his and that she needs his attention more than his paycheck. There has to be balance. Of course a man needs to work. As 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” But he must also realize that his wife’s sense of value is strongly determined by his love and care for her.

We also need to be aware of our partner’s personal needs. It is very important that we keep each other’s needs and aspirations in mind, and that we are working to help each other achieve these aspirations. It is important that our partners feel our support. Otherwise we drift away from each other. For the sake of our marriages, each of us needs to reevaluate our personal goals so that our marriages and families do not suffer by our ambition. When couples plan their futures together, with each partner’s desires and goals in mind, they move toward a fulfilling marriage.

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True or False Thinking
Each person tends to either look at life from either a positive or negative perspective. We often have to choose to alter the way in which we think. We love to regard ourselves as seeing the truth or stating the facts. However it is the Bible that is the truth which surpasses all else including our thoughts and opinions.

Several years ago, I found myself struggling in a way that I had never before. Previously I counted myself fortunate having overcome both marital and financial issues and felt that Dean and I had built a great life together. We had two wonderful children and the best church ever. Dean battled Crohn’s disease but lived a full and happy life. I therefore assumed that ill health would never be mine.

Bad Situations
Five years ago my life took on new meaning. After a cancer scare, repeated nausea took me through a series of tests that resulted in the diagnosis of kidney disease. Restrictions included change of diet, limitted exercise where there was no possibity of getting hit or falling, no travel, a restricted life span, heavy medication and no known cure.

While my specialist thought that I took the news well, I’d hate to see other’s reactions. I felt numb, frightened, confused, constantly teary and unable to focus. To me I had lost the right to make decisions and choices and I felt that I had no control of my life. When in this state it is also difficult to hear others or to find comfort in those that you love and love you. Dean felt helpless in being able to help me. Apart from kidney disease I now found myself fighting depression.

Depression and the Inner Man
Many deal with depression today due to disappointments which come through disease, death, and the loss of relationships, work or finances. Regarding depression it is nice to think that one can take a pill and that the woes of life will disappear. Unfortunately life’s disappointments are not merely a physical, scientific or chemical issue but commonly include problems in the inner man or heart. Depression does not distinguish between the happy or serious, the creative or greatly driven person. It can affect any one.

However depression does not have to rule one’s life. Many Bible greats faced depression and yet they remain Bible greats. God does not look with shame on the depressed. Nor should we.

Helping the Depressed
The positive with depression is that change can occur. Even if we take medication there are changes that can be made. The depressed can choose to change. Healing means that in our believing for healing we take responsibility for change. There are character changes that can be made.

Several decisions were made by myself at this horribly emotional time.

1. I had to own my emotions. Tough call but I had to cry, stop, cry again and stop, move on and be responsible. I had to choose to break out and physically move despite emotional pain and numbness.

2. I sought a second opinion where I was sad to discover that the first diagnosis was correct but that several of the restrictive life changes could be adjusted. (consequently am writing this mid-flight. So much for no travel.)

3. I got brave enough to face the fact that I needed medication to enable myself to get through this. And then went back again to change this medication when finding that I did not enjoy the zombie like state of existence.

4. When the shock wore off and I was established with a breakfast of drugs for every day I sought God Scripturally to get revelation for this new life of mine. Depression often finds one deeply questioning God since for me I felt tricked by God. So often we hang onto a goal so tightly that we have to rethink. Am I pursuing God or a goal? What’s my number one?

5. God doesn’t lie. His promises are true whether I have a disease or not. I determined that I would live to my utmost despite kidney disease. Yes physical healing is important but I also know the importance of remaining focussed on God rather than becoming obsessed with the healing of a disease.

6. I had to get humble. We can be so driven by visions and goals, we can become driven by our sense of achievement. Even though I want a long and fruitful life, I understand that there is a time to live and die. To face serious illness is an opportunity to examine our mortality and also the power of the Almighty God.

7. I determine that I will not live as a victim and I have many friends that encourage and inspire me. I choose to be in church often and omit other things from my life that are less important. To not be in church is comparable to not taking the sick to the doctor. The depressed and diseased need the church more than ever.

8. I listen and allow my husband to guide my life. (most of the time!) When he says it’s time to rest, it’s time to rest.

9. It is rare that a day passes without exercise.

10. I do not attempt to test my healing by playing around with my medications but default to my doctor for this and keep my checkups regular.

Many fight depression due to life’s disappointments and yet sometimes the reasons for our fight are ugly. Pride, unforgiveness, judgment and bitterness are just a few reasons. All are symptoms of an unsurrendered life. We cry out to a healing God but often fail to recognize changes that would actually help us on the path for healing.

As previously stated, there are character changes that we can make that are a part of our healing. God has given us an incredible capacity for change.

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Keys for Dating

So many believers know that they should marry a believer but fail to understand what this means. That one says that they are a Christian carries a huge array of meanings.

Your Spiritual equality should be the foundation for moving forward in a relationship. In 2 Corinthians 6:14, it says “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” When single it is important that a person not just date for the sake of comfort. It is important to not form inappropriate relationships with unbelievers that fall into an intimate relationship. Can right and wrong be partners? Can light have anything in common with darkness?

It takes time for people’s real colors to show. Key indicators for spiritual health include church attendance at one church, church involvement, prayer life, bible knowledge and Kingdom qualities such as being generous, peaceful, polite, genuine, caring and honest. If you are serious about Spiritual equality you need to take the time and ask lots of questions. It’s not that either one is superior but you have to be on the same page regarding having Christ at the center of your life as it all starts from here. Compromise this Biblical truth and you have compromised your whole life.

Protect your heart at all costs, slow and steady wins the race. In Proverbs 4:23 it is written “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The state of our emotions often determines the course of our life. Therefore develop friendships first before opening your heart. How many have we scared away due to being so intense in the relationship.

Guarding your heart requires discipline, training oneself and reminding yourself of past heart aches. Proceed slowly, open up and allow God to work in both your hearts. Two becoming one starts before the marriage ceremony. Kingdom relationships are of the heart first, the flesh second.

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