Three Approaches to Marriage
· Casual approach—Marriage is just a piece of paper.
· Contractual approach—Marriage is a contract.
· Covenantal approach—Marriage is a holy covenant established by God.
Marriage is more than a piece of paper or temporary commitment that should be ended based on minor or even major differences or problems. Marriage is hard and takes work on both sides. Two becoming one is not easy, but very rewarding.
Sometimes you will have to rewrite texts and e-mails thirty times before erasing everything and decide to stay in a bubble. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by loneliness and search for comfort on the Internet. At other times, you will reach everyone who listens. Collect text or dozens of tastes on a selfie in seconds, and get excited for a split second before they feel misery again.
Sometimes you feel overwhelming emotion. You will cry until your contacts come off. You will look in the mirror as tears run down your face, and the reflection will make your stomach firmer. At other times, you will feel numb. Your mind becomes a void. You do not care about anything, let alone yourself.
Sometimes you skip your showers and let your nail polish and roots grow, because the idea of taking care of you does not even come to your mind. At other times, the little things you have taken for granted, the things that really pleased you, like sending your best friends and eating a full meal, will become invincible missions.
Sometimes you can press the alarm one, two or three times before turning it off completely so you can sleep until noon. At other times, you will fix the ceiling because the ghosts of your past are glittering around you, mocking your memories and preventing you from resting.
Sometimes you will have dark thoughts. They will sabotage themselves. They will repel the people who matter most to you. At other times, you call friends (or relatives) at two in the morning. You will catch the shoulders. They will drain all your feelings. You do not want to let go of people who take care of you. They do not want to part for a second.
Sometimes you wonder about your goal. You will feel lost, alone and without direction. And these feelings will be so insistent, a distraction from all that was important to you, will make you wonder if you will feel so forever. You will wonder if you will ever come out of the rut that caused a life of disappointment.
But even if your hope is gone, you must continue to chug. You must believe in yourself because the phrase you heard millions of times is true. It’s better. They will see the sunlight again. You will feel relieved. You will have renewed confidence. You will recognize your own value.
Never say mean words out of anger. Your anger will pass. But your mean words can scar a person for life. So use kind words or be silent.
We have all gone through some obstacles at a certain point of our lives in the name of survival. We often tend to deny them as they are difficult to deal with. However, as difficult as they are to bear, it is imperative if we want to live a fulfilling life.
Happiness is based on embracing and accepting the negative aspects of life. Denying them turns a blind eye to reality.
#1 Worrying is useless
Worrying is created in the mind and really doesn’t offer any value to our lives. Will worrying change what’s going to happen? If not, then it’s a waste of time.
“Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so.
If we don’t know how to breathe, smile, and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness or conditions that will bring about more happiness.
#2 If we want to be happy, we must see reality for what it is
We need to see reality for what it is. We need to be open minded and open to the truth, instead of focusing on our own unrealistic opinions. Many people choose to remain positive by avoiding negative situations, but what we need to do is to confront them.
#3 We need to accept change actively
We always have to remember that change is the only constant. The most basic example of this saying is the change from day to night and night to day on a daily basis. There is nothing that remains unchanged in the world, which is why it is only painful when we hold on to things as they are and cannot find the strength to accept change as it happens.
As we grow up, one also has to find the maturity to be secure enough to embrace change because of its unavoidable nature.
#4 The root of suffering is pursuing temporary feeling
Most people crave feelings of happiness, such as joy, euphoria, and excitement. However, these feelings are temporary and the pursuit of them turns into suffering. True happiness comes from inner peace and it is based on a feeling of being satisfied and happy with your true self. Yuval Noah Harari explains that people can stop suffering only when they understand the impermanent nature of their feelings and stop craving them.
#5 A relationship with our creator and savior is the path to reducing suffering
Reading the Bible, praying, and studying the ways of Jesus, which emphasize love and acceptance of others, compassion, honesty, and the ability to forgive. The Bible teaches us everything we need for a for filling life of love and connection to others. My faith has been a life line and source of strength in my suffering through trichotillomania, bipolar depression and mania, and anxiety.
To this disenchanted generation, ‘I Love You’ are worn out words. They’re said too much but not enough. They mean different things in different contexts, but they always carry a special significance.
Sometimes, the words are said by people who don’t fully grasp their meaning, by those who are completely self-absorbed, people who cannot love anyone other than themselves.
We all have encountered such dangerously toxic people in our lives, whose definition of love is control and obsession instead of care and understanding. If you have been unfortunate enough to be loved by a narcissist, you will definitely relate to this letter written from the perspective of someone incapable of thinking beyond themselves.
“Dear Codependent Partner,
I will never say these words to you in reality because if I did it would reveal how I deliberately exploit the world for the only thing I care about – my benefit. Since I only care about myself, I need you to carry all the load of the relationship while I reap the benefits of it.
When I say I love you, I really do mean it though. I love how hard you work for me. I love that I have forced you to compromise about everything to keep me happy. I love that you do everything for me but you have given up expecting me to return that courtesy.
I love that I have the power to reduce you to tears, make you feel small and insignificant, and gloat in how powerful that makes me feel. I know you let me walk over you, and I keep pulling you down so that you don’t realize you deserve a lot better than what I give you.
I love how I can blame you for gas-lighting or just call you crazy when you bring up things I don’t want to discuss. Also, I love that I can keep expecting more and more from you while you keep lowering your expectations of me. It makes my life so easy when you let me walk all over you!
I love how I can take your innocence and kindness for granted, using it for my thrill and pleasure. I love how I can always keep all your focus on alleviating my pain and discomfort. Nothing ever is enough; I don’t feel loved enough, respected, admired and cared for enough. And all of this misery I dump on you to fix.
It is not that I don’t know that you need support, love and care; I just don’t think it is as important as my feelings. I am the priority for the both of us, and that is really all I want. It is never about the closeness, empathy or connection you want. It is never about how I hurt you. It is always about how I can control you and make you feel like you are not doing enough.
I am superior to you, and I love you as one loves a precious possession. You are just like all the other nice things I want to own and I love the envy others feel when they see you on my arm.
Since I am constantly hurting others, my brain suffers from self-loathing 24/7. This is why I love spending time with you. I love feeding off your emotional support, and I love hating you for needing you constantly. I love blaming you for my own narcissistic tendencies.
I love you because I am scared and tired of the self-loathing inside me. All the feelings I am too scared to have, the neediness, the emotions, everything I call you weak and crazy for, makes me love you because I feed off of you. I love you because I can treat you like a punching bag when that deep weak part of me threatens to open up. You keep all of it at bay and I take you for granted because I hate that I need you as much as I do.
Of course the day you realize all of this, you will leave me. So, I will never tell you, and I will always keep you hoping that I will become a better person, but in reality I never will. Only if you walk away from me, will my complacency ever get displaced. The day you stop caring, I will fall and I will learn my lesson. Yet I know that day will never come, because I keep you so tangled up in my concerns that you can never think about yours. And that is just perfect for me.
With my endless self-love,
Your Narcissist Other.”
This letter is of course fictional, and a true narcissist would never be this candid even to himself. But if you have had a toxic partner in your life, you will know how important this kind of honesty is to help you forgive yourself and move on.
In times of struggle, we often seek a counselor — a trusted friend or a confidant to talk with about our troubles or from whom we seek guidance and direction. The disciples saw Jesus as their counselor, and were worried when He said He was leaving them. It was then that Jesus promised the ultimate Counselor — the Holy Spirit.
Like the disciples, we are given a Counselor to teach and remind us what Jesus taught (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is available 24/7 and is absolutely free because Jesus paid His “fee”. He gives us the ability to understand our issues from Christ’s perspective and He exposes the false promises of the world. He offers us “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:10-16).
Do you take advantage of the best counselor in heaven or earth? He is available to you when you trust Christ for your salvation.
What Comes First in Your Life?
Do you value love most? God is love. By putting God first, everything else will fall into place. We will best love and support ourselves, our family and our friends. By choosing love, we put God first. He is a light in the darkness, our helper in the storm. If we seek Him first, He will help us and show us how to love others and how to take care of ourselves.
God loves us more than we can imagine and only wants the best for us. God does not cause bad things to happen. We live in a lost and broken world plagued with darkness. The good news is that light has overcome the darkness. This is not our home. and as the song says, “We are just taking the long way home” (Steven Curtis Chapman-lyrics) There is something better. God sees the whole story beginning to end and He has defeated death. We only need to have faith. We can never earn His love. We are all broken in our own way. No one is perfect and God doesn’t expect us to be.
However, He knows our heart and true motives. If we honestly pursue God first and want His will for our lives, He will use all things for good. That terrible heartache, health problem, broken relationship, addiction, or other struggle is nothing compared to the power of God. In order to use that power to be an overcomer, we must have faith and rely on God’s strength to pull us through. We will never make it on our own.
I am going though a really hard time right now. After a while with stable moods, my bipolar disorder is causing major issues in my life. My previously helpful medication and treatment plan have not worked to push this mania away. It crept up over a year ago. There have been ups and downs, but for the most part I have been hypomanic. Stress and other triggers cause it to flare up. This is the case these last few weeks. I am battling anxiety, struggling to sleep, my mind is scattered, memory disabled, and thoughts are constantly racing. Although I try to contain them, my words keep spilling out. I try to do what I know works. I set A schedule, try and get enough sleep, prioritize tasks, spend time with God, and avoid triggers such as caffine. If I suddenly get the urge to organize everything, I need to step back and think about my thinking. Why do I suddenly have a desire to do the chores I usually put off because I dislike them so much?
I know I need to put God first. They only way for me to get better is to rely on Him. He loves me and wants what is best for me. When my mind is scattered and I struggle to make good choices. God leads me along the right path and carries me when I am too week to walk.
God also helps me through others. My family loves and supports me. I try to listen to their advice and accept their help. Normally, I try to do everything myself. Obviously that has not worked. I need to let go of my pride and take care of myself. I know I will come through this and be better for it. My pain serves A purpose and I will persevere!
How Do We Put God
First, ask God to help you put him, ask him to help you see what to do, and to guide your steps
Have faith that God keep His promises. You are loved more than you know. You are forgiven through grace. Trust that He wants what is best for you and that if you rely on Him, you will overcome your struggles and find true joy.
Eliminating obstacles such as, desires for fortune and fame, work overload, addiction, or other temptations by confessing them to God.
In place of sin, struggle, and heartache, we are to rely fully on Christ. We do this by being accountable to a Godly friend, spending time in God’s Word and prayer every day, attending and becoming involved with church worship regularly, and listening to Godly music and messages are a few ways to put on Christ. A little bit of sin can add up to making provision for the flesh, so putting on Christ will add up to making provision for the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: You are Holy, Lord. Thank you for the Blood of Jesus to wash us and cleanse us from sin. As a born again believer I ask You to help me to put off these things that hinder my life from being completely surrendered to You and show me the ways to put on Christ so that I may please You. Amen.
|“Long Way Home”|
|by Steven Curtis Chapman | from the album re:creation|
I set out on a great adventure
The day my Father started leading me home
Said theres gonna be mountians to climb
And valleys were gonna go through
But I had no way of knowing
Just how hard this journey could be
Cause the mountians are steeper
And the valleys are deeper than I ever would had dreamed
But I know were gonna make it
And I know were gonna get there soon
And I know sometimes it seems like, were going the wrong way
But its just the long way home
Some rocks on my shoes
Fears I wish I could lose
That make the mountians so hard to climb
And my heart gets so heavy with the weight of the world sometimes
There’s a bag of regrets,
Should’ve beens, and not yets
That keep on dragging around
And I can hardly wait till the day I get to lay them all down
I know that day is coming
I know its gonna be here soon
I won’t turn back even if the whole world says I’m going the wrong way
Cause its just the long way home
When we cant take another step
The Father will pick us up and carry us in His arms
And even on the best days, He says to remember were not home yet
So don’t get too comfortable
Cause we are just pilgrams passing through
I know that day is coming
I know were gonna be there soon
I keep on singing and believing
What all of my songs say
Cause our God has made a promise
And I know everything He says is true
He promised He would never ever leave us
He’s gonna lead us
He’ll lead us home
Every single step of the long way home
So keep on, were gonna make it
Were just taking the long way home
So keep on, were gonna make it
I know, were gonna make it
Its just the long way home