This week one of my friends buried her dad. Our friendship group, lovingly called the beach house girls, decided to take that dear one out for tea so she could tell us all about the service, her memories of her dad, and how she felt about the whole life transition. Since most of us could not make the out-of-town service, that was our way of saying to her, “You matter to us.”
As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2016, Becky and I want to update you on how things are going at Restore and Rebuild. We have one big announcement, a number of things we’re grateful for, and some significant prayer requests.
My husband and I got married in January 1983. I was 19 years old at the time; he was 21. We both had a year and a half of college left. We were responsible for our age, happy about getting married, and so very young.
When my husband and I were in college, a professor in our Educational Psychology class taught us six words that we’ve never forgotten. We attended Biola University, a Christian school, and I still remember the professor telling our class that he would be teaching us six words — three two-word phrases — that sum up what the Bible teaches about people. Since then, Dave and I have remembered these six words and incorporated them into our teaching, our parenting, and our view of life. The six words are: Very Special, Deeply Fallen and Greatly Loved.
In The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, Robin advises a young follower, “Tell us thy troubles and speak freely. A flow of words doth ever ease the heart of sorrows; it is like opening the waste where the mill dam is overfull.”
Robin Hood was trying to set an environment where people were free to share their burdens and find peace and safety. Isn’t that something we all want? Being able to share our sorrows not only releases our burdens, it empowers us to feel like we aren’t alone. We have someone who will enter our pain.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the first part of The Serenity Prayer these days. You know, the part that goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”
It often seems like I live my life by another prayer, one that goes something like, “God, please bless my attempts to control the things I cannot change.”
In every relationship there will be conflict. How we deal with the conflict will determine the level of health and intimacy. Taking responsibility for our mistakes and forgiving others is critical. But it is not as easy as it sounds.
A God-centered relationship too often feels like a nice idea that is always out of reach. We want it, but we aren’t sure what it looks like. We might even try a few ideas on for size, but usually give up in frustration.
Marriage is one of God’s laboratories in which he brings two uniquely different people together to become one. Intimacy and unity is the end goal of this sanctifying process. But too often we let our uniqueness get in the way of our oneness. We focus just on our own needs and not on the needs of our spouse or our relationship.
One of the most common complaints of couples who come to me for counseling goes something like this: “My spouse should know what I want without being told. If he really loved me, he’d know what I need. I shouldn’t have to spell it out for him.”
Somehow we come into marriage wanting our spouse to be so attuned to us that they will be able to pick up on the tiniest of cues, know us better than we know ourselves, and intuitively discern exactly what we want and need from them at any given moment. We expect our spouse to read our mind.
Every spiritual journey takes us to the hardest realities in our lives, the monsters within us, our shadows and strongholds, our willful flesh, our inner demons. It is essential that we understand the enemies within us or we will inevitably project them outward on to other people.” – Peter Scazzero in The Emotionally Healthy Church
We all have blind spots. Our lack of self-awareness can cause us to offend, run over and alienate people we love. They react to what we say and we have no clue why. We get defensive, and the battle is on. Both parties are wounded and emotional walls go up and we are left wondering, “What just happened?”
Self-awareness helps us understand and manage our emotions. It gives us a greater capacity for social awareness and empathy. It is a critical building block for enhancing our relationships. Today we are going to take a brief look at what it is and how we can develop our own self-awareness.