Going Deeper

Going Deeper

I heard something really good and simple at church this week. It goes a little something like this:

Do you know why a fish doesn’t worry about a storm that is coming??? Because when a storm moves across the ocean it only can affect about 25 feet of the ocean’s depth. So when the fish are aware of a storm coming, they simply go deeper! Ha!

So when the storms of life come, go deeper! #DropsMic

“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” NLT Jeremiah 17:7-8.

 

Should a Married Woman Have a Man as Her Best Friend?

Should a Married Woman Have a Man as Her Best Friend?

Many married women (and married men) insist that having a best friend of the opposite sex is perfectly healthy. In fact, they say that opposite sex friends make better friends because they bring very different perspectives to the relationship. But let’s look at a few things here.

First, healthy friendship involves emotional intimacy, as well it should. Deep friendship leads to a level of sharing that is selective and usually confidential. That means, others are excluded from the conversations. When a woman shares intimate feelings with a man who isn’t her husband, a wedge forms between her and her husband. He is excluded from the privacy she shares with her male best friend. And when this starts to happen- beware. Husband is on the outside looking inward.

Second, let’s be adults. Physical intimacy is the sequel of emotional intimacy in most healthy relationships. That’s the way we are wired as humans. Give emotionally intimate heterosexual couples enough time and physical intimacy follows. Or, at least the temptation to be physical emerges. In same sex friendships between heterosexuals, natural boundaries exist preventing sexual intimacy from occurring.

There’s another thing. Kids. How would your fifteen year old feel if he walked into a restaurant and saw you, his mother, having dinner with your best friend Sam while dad was at home. Pretty weird. And kids’ feelings count. I’ve listened to too much heartache from kids over the years whose parents have fallen “out of love” with their spouses and “into love” with other people. This really messes up kids’ lives.

So the simple answer to the above question is an unabashed “No.” Married mothers shouldn’t have men as their best friends and vice versa. If not for their kids’ sake, do it for the health of their marriages. At a time when the divorce rate is through the roof, families are fractured and ex-wives, ex-husbands and kids are filled with pain, let’s begin to put some healthy boundaries around relationships and really care for them. This means, moms, that your best friends should be women.

Above information was copied from Dr. Meg Meeker’s website: http://www.megmeekermd.com/2011/01/should-a-married-woman-have-a-man-as-her-best-friend/

Forgiveness Letter

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Below is a letter from the known Actor, director, screenwriter, playwright Tyler Perry.  I received this letter months ago from Tyler Perry himself when I signed up through his mailing list. It’s a letter he wrote privately to a friend who is struggling with forgiveness for an absentee father.  I have this posted in my office at work because it reminds me that we are human and as humans we make mistakes that affect us in many ways.  Some mistake are realized and some are not but in spite of we have to learn to forgive and move past our wrongdoing and others.  As a counselor I deal with feelings almost everyday, teaching children and adults the skills for dealing with feelings.  Such as knowing your feelings, expressing your feelings and understanding the feelings of others.  Tyler Perry’s letter to his friend open my own eyes on feelings and forgiveness.  I’m sure you have heard the statement “When you forgive it’s not for the other person, it’s for you”.  Such a true statement because when you forgive someone for wronging you or spitefully misusing  you you gain a strength that has more power than you can imagine.  The dictionary defines forgiveness as the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. For Christians forgiveness is throughout the bible such as in Matthew 6:14-15, For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  This say’s that our Heavenly Father loved us enough to forgive us for our sins and if we want to live and be more like him we have to exercise forgiveness just as well.  So exercise forgiveness and see the power of God in your life…

Hey guys,

I wrote this note privately to a friend of mine whose father has never been there for him. Even though he’s not a kid anymore and is a husband and soon to be a father himself, he’s still being affected by it. I told him I would share it with you because I know that there are millions of you in this same situation. I used to be there too. Here’s what I wrote to him.

Hey bud,

Your dad is getting older and facing his mortality. He’s going to become a different man soon. In life, we all become different people. At 20, you’re not the same person you are at 50, and if you are, something is wrong. We are built to evolve. Life is an oven that will incubate us into change. Most times it’s for the better, although there are some people that are so resistant to it that sometimes they won’t change. But if he remains the same that’s ok too.

My challenge to you my friend is to start looking at your father like a person. Not the man you see but the boy he was, how he grew up, what he went through. Realize that just like you have had, he has had his own life, pain, heartbreak, struggles, secrets, disappointments and sadness. In other words, he had a life and a story long before you were born and in that life he wasn’t given the tools to be what you needed him to be.

As a parent your job is to help your child pack a suitcase for this journey called life. Just like when you go on a trip you pack everything you need. This is the same thing. You must help that child pack love, faith, confidence, patience, joy, hope, how to give love, how to accept it, faith and God. All these things and so much more should be in that suitcase and if they aren’t, that child is going to have a tough life. Find out what’s in your father’s suitcase. It will help you understand. What’s in his suitcase is not an excuse for the way he treats you, but it is a part of your understanding of him.

I know he’s a closed door and I know you don’t know much about him, but if he won’t tell you then maybe there is a family member on his side of the family that can tell you his story. His past is important in understanding your present. Do you understand? At any rate, I don’t care who or what he is. I’m just glad he was used to bring such a great and awesome soul to this world, whether he will ever know it or not. I thank him for that. I thank him for you. I love you my friend.

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

The Bible says there are three reasons you have to let go of your past and the people who’ve hurt you, and the reasons have nothing to do with whether that person deserves it or not.

Forgive those who’ve hurt you because God has forgiven you. Colossians 3:13 says, “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” I’m of the opinion that forgiving others is necessary but it can be difficult. In my experience, accepting what happened (the event or situation) is an effective precursor to forgiving the person. It means accepting some event has occurred that was quite possibly beyond my control or knowing I cannot change the event. Although it was painful, it was hurtful, it was dishonorable, and it was shameful… I cannot change what happened, no matter how much I may want to. In other words, “it is what it is…it was what it was.” Once I am able to accept this truth, I can begin the process of forgiving the person. That process is understanding and practicing the forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ. The bible explains that God came in human form, Jesus, to forgive everything on earth that had ever been done wrong. He paid for it so we don’t have to! And he continues to show his grace by forgiving us of our sins regardless of repetitiveness, amount, or degree.

Forgive those who’ve hurt you because resentment controls you. In Ecclesiastes 7:9 it states, “Only fools get angry quickly and hold a grudge” Resentment makes you miserable. It keeps you stuck in the past. And when you’re stuck in the past, you are controlled by the past. Every time you resent something, it controls you. Allowing hurt from 2, 5, or 20 years ago hurt you to this day is only negatively effecting you. Don’t let it happen. You are powerful. They can’t hurt you anymore. Your past has passed. Let it go!

Forgive those who’ve hurt you because you’re going to need more forgiveness in the future. Jesus said in Matthew 6, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Forgiveness is a two way street. Simply put, you cannot receive what you are unwilling to give.

Marinate on this:

In what situation do you need to offer forgiveness so that you can move on from your past?

What is a sin that you believe you could never forgive?

How do you think God feels about that sin?

(Inspired by: A devotional by Rick Warren)