Healing Relationships – Part 4

When our soul begins to heal, our personality, behavior and beliefs change. This may put our partner on the defensive and cause them to feel insecure.

Our relationship changes from independent, dependent or codependent to interdependent, and our family and friends are not used to it.

The healthy changes, which we make, will bring healing in our body, soul and spirit. It will help us to establish an interdependence with our mate, as they get used to the changes.

It will limit our negative reactions to one another, improve feelings of self-worth, change the way we meet our own needs and give us more energy to serve others as God’s Spirit leads us according to His will, rather than by codependent urges.

Intimacy increases, expectations decrease, and in conflict we blend differing ideas into a whole new concept on which we both agree. We are mutually interdependent with one another.

Unresolved disagreements cause a couple, which normally live in an atmosphere of cooperation, to form independent lives that disrupt their interdependence.

Interdependence means that it is healthy to have differing ideas, hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes, because these differences bring variety to the relationship.

Interdependence is living in a mutually reciprocal relationships. It is about forming intimate connections with another human being. We share the decision-making process in our relationship and mutually care about one another’s welfare and feelings.

We are conscious in our choices, own responsibility for the consequences of our actions, and readily admit when we are wrong.

We enjoy deeper, more meaningful associations, and greater productivity, service, contribution and growth in our relationship.

We cherish, appreciate, admire, respect, enjoy, love and care about one another, and we never miss an opportunity to affirm and to validate one another.

Prayer:
Father God, help those of us with wounds from the past to heal and to have the wisdom and courage to develop an interdependent relationship with our partner, children, co-workers, associates and church family.

Give us patience with them as they too heal from the wounds of their past. Then allow us to serve You together in our individual gifts and calling, according to Your will for each of our lives.

Thought for the Day:
Interdependent relationships bring harmony and enjoyment to any marriage, partnership or community.

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Opposites Attract

God made men and women with differences. We compliment each other’s weaknesses with our individual strengths. We serve in different functions in our union, which enhances our productivity. Men and women actually have the same basic needs, but we want them provided for in different ways. Sadly, these differences often drive a wedge between two people.

When a woman thinks of romance, she envisions sweet gestures, thoughtful gifts and romantic words. They want focused attention and help around the house. When a man thinks of romance, he pictures a trip together to the sporting goods store, or the fishing hole or the hockey game. Many men believe that “bringing home the bacon” is enough work for one person and they resent family expectations.

Women want their man to look nice; but whether he is in jeans or a fine suit, it does not really matter. Most men like their women to look like a supermodel. They do not want their wife walking around with uncombed hair and no make-up, or in a tattered t-shirt and jeans. Men appreciate it when women make an effort to look and smell their best.

There are exceptions, but women usually find it easier to express their feelings and to communicate what they need and want. Many men find it hard to communicate. It is easier for them to show their love than to say it. Some even bottle up their feelings and an avalanche of accumulated resentment finally buries their love. The couple ends up frustrated and growing apart.

As virtual strangers, the only hope we have is for both genders to honestly communicate with each other and to volunteer how we feel and what we need rather than to keep our partner guessing. We can ask our mate to stop doing something that offends us, to start doing something we are failing to receive or to change the way we both do things and to serve one another as Christ serves the church (Galatians 5:13).

Prayer:
Father God, You are preparing us as the Bride of Christ. We are learning Jesus’ character and how to communicate with Him on an intimate basis. Our love for Him grows with each passing day and we honestly share with Him what we think and how we feel. Help us to do this same thing with one another. This will improve our relationship and prevent many divorces. Remind us to pray, praise and worship together.

Thought for the Day:
One way to create a mutually edifying relationship is to learn how to communicate your feelings and needs effectively.

Don’t Fix the Fix

Born as a person who wants to please, I am devastated when I realize that I often fell short of my goal. I have always striven for perfection in myself in order to find favor with others. After I came to Christ, my housemate shared with me these key verses that taught me not to stress over reaching perfection (Galatians 3:1-3).

It took me another ten years to come to understand the full meaning of this and how to actually let go and let God. The first step was to recognize that I was one of the world’s best Codependents, and that God wanted to set me free from that bondage. It was a revelation to me to realize that I did not have to solve all of the problems of the world and then feel like a martyr because I neglected myself in the process.

We often solve a person’s problems for them, which thwarts the hand of God in their life. We rob them of a blessing and we force God to have to produce another trial for them to overcome in order to strengthen their faith. It has been said, “Do not fix the fix that God has fixed to fixed someone; or God will just have to fix another fix to fix them!” We cause them to needlessly suffer another trial.

The foolish Galatians (3:1-3) were trying to perfect their life after receiving salvation as a free gift. They thought they had to earn their sanctification. God calls us to enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:10) and to leave our perfection to Him! We do not earn salvation or sanctification, because it is GOD that is working in us and giving us both the desire and the power to live a holy life (Philippians 2:12-13).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to accept our privileges as Your children and heirs. Christ in us is an ever-present reality that we often ignore. Teach us to tap into the amazing spiritual power that You provide for us, and to walk in Your ways every step of our day. Thank you for becoming a man and paying our sin debt and giving us the victory over both sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Thought for the Day:
Do not fill your day with ceaseless activity, but walk in the power of God’s Spirit and reap both productivity and fulfillment.