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.
Many years ago, a Christian marriage and family therapist I knew celebrated his birthday by surprising his wife with the news that he wanted a divorce. He called it his “gift to himself.”
Tragically, this man did not realize that he wasn’t doing himself any favors by divorcing his wife. What was truly best for him would have been to learn to love his wife, to invest in their marriage and to keep their family together. He did what seemed easiest and sacrificed his long-term best interests. He celebrated self-centeredness and called it self-care.
I can remember being one of lead climbers on a high ropes course in the Costa Rican cloud forest. One of the students was trying to make it across something called “the x-rope.” Even though she had two lines attached to her harness, she thought she was going to fall. She desperately clung to the ropes, immobilized by fear. She thought she was going to die. Fear had overthrown her ability to listen. We calmly tried to instruct her, but to no avail. The only way to help her was to go out and get her.
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.
This is a guest post from Dr. Sandra Glahn. Dr. Glahn is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and the author or coauthor of more than twenty books. Dr. Glahn adapted this post from her book Chai with Malachi (AMG)
. You can read her blog here
. I think you will find her post very thought-provoking!
Often when we talk about a biblical view of divorce, we quote Malachi: “God hates divorce” (2:16). And it’s true. He does. But does that mean God hates the actions of anyone who initiates a legal divorce?
One of the main reasons we don’t practice healthy self-care is because it just feels wrong. It seems selfish.
Somehow we’ve internalized the belief that the ideal person is one who has no discernible needs. We are averse to asking for help. We view taking time to care for our souls as somehow wrong or self-centered.
How do you take care of yourself when life throws you a curve ball? What does it mean to practice healthy self-care when you’re injured or unemployed, or when you’ve just received very bad news? How can we tend to the needs of our soul when we’ve just been jolted out of our comfort zone?
Can you think of a time when something grabbed your heart with such passion that it felt like you would explode with enthusiasm, only to have it later become familiar and routine? Maybe it’s your job, a relationship, a hobby, or even God. When things are new, there often is a sense of excitement. But when things become familiar, often our passions wane.
I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care recently. Last Friday I had the privilege of speaking to a group of mothers of young children on the topic “Self-Care for Busy Moms.” We discussed why it’s so hard to practice good self-care, the difference between self-care and selfishness, and practical ways to implement healthy self-care. It was a valuable time. It made me realize that this is an issue not just for mothers with young children, but for all of us. All of us need to learn how to practice healthy self-care. This is such an important issue that I will be writing a series of blog posts on this topic.
As this year draws to a close and the new year approaches, our thoughts naturally turn to goals and resolutions. What do we hope to accomplish in this upcoming year? How do we want our lives to change? What are we resolved to do differently?