From Reacting to Responding

from reacting to responding


Being able to move from reacting to responding can be a challenging feat. Honestly, both seem pretty comparable because we often use the words interchangeably; but when using in practice, they are quite different.

Reacting is usually an impulsive, emotional action.  For example, your husband cheats on you. You are angry and hurt. You (react) retaliate by having an affair of your own. You are out on a date with the Mrs. Someone approaches her and is flirting. You are angry and feel disrespected. You (react) punch the dude in the face.

Responding involves simmering your emotional action with logical, critical thinking. Your husband cheats on you. You are angry and hurt. You (respond) take some time to yourself to figure out and explore what you need for resolution. Then you communicate this to your husband. You are out on a date with the Mrs.  Someone approaches her and is flirting. You are angry; you feel disrespected. You (respond) by letting him know she is with you.

Moving from reacting to responding is much easier said than done. But we are all accountable for what comes out of our mouth and how we treat others. The more you practice responding in little every day stressors, you are training your brain to be able to respond instead of react to greater stressors.

Some things that have been helpful to me:

1) Be aware of my body and thoughts.

Are your palms sweaty?  Are your teeth clenching?  Do you have balled up fists?  Are your thoughts racing? Or you can’t think at all? These are all precursors that whatever comes next is probably a reaction and not a response. Resist doing anything when you notice these signs. Take deep breaths.

2) Take a “time-out”

Walking away or ending a conversation is not weak or giving up control.  In fact, reacting often leads to being out of control and living with regrets. Taking a time-out allows for you to explore options and decide what is going to be best. Then you can respond accordingly.

3) Ask yourself, “what do I want the end goal to be?”

After reacting, we often reflect , have regrets and say “hindsight is 20/20.”  In the moment, if we take time to transport to the future, we can determine the best response.


What else may be helpful?

Do Not Go to Bed Angry

Do not go to bed angry

Conflicts are a healthy part of marriage if handled correctly. We should not bottle up our anger, but openly discuss the problems in our marriages. In marriage we have to give each other the right to complain. Do not go to bed in anger because this is when the enemy will come in and bring destruction in your marriage.  Please watch the following 5 minute video about daily anger by Pastor Jimmy Evans from Marriage Today.


Spirit of Fear

Spirit of Fear

Do you have anger but cannot explain why you are angry. This is just one way the spirit of fear can control your life. Some of the other symptoms of fear are phobias, lack of trust, doubt, intimidation, nightmares, anxiety and stress, rejection, torment, heart attacks, and the fear of the unknown. Psalm 56:3-4 says, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? 2Timothy states that, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind”. “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all of my fears” (Psalm 34:4). God states in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.

If you are struggling with the spirit of fear I urge you to speak the word of God over your circumstance. There is noting that is impossibly for God! Rebuke the spirit of fear that has been distressing you. Commend the spirit to go in Jesus Name! Luke 10:19 states, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing by any means will harm you.” You do not have to struggle. We are here to help you. We are only a phone call away. If you are unsure about counseling, give us a call and schedule a free consultation and see if we are a good fit. God Bless You!

Vernesa Perry

Ashamed of MY ANGER

Ashamed of MY ANGER

Are you struggling with speaking out in anger when it comes to your children? I want to help you stop this because responding in anger has painful consequences for your child. We all get angry at our children, but it is important to learn how to control the expression of anger. When you feel your anger building up please remove yourself from your child. You can go to your bedroom and take a time out for yourself. One great thing you can do is to make a list of acceptable ways to handle ager. This can help guide you when you need to calm down.

Remind yourself that you will not allow your child’s behavior to have that much power over you. I have a code word I will speak if I ever find myself getting upset with my child’s behavior. I will say “Evangelist” under my breath. That reminds me that this is a child that God has blessed me with. He is an anointed young little man, and God has created him with a plan and a purpose. I will take a break and go into my room if I feel that my anger is rising.

Once in my room I start to pray. The power of prayer is extraordinary. Every time I have taken this path I find that God gives me the strength and wisdom to handle that situation correctly. Always wait before disciplining. Never do it while angry. f you feel that your anger is hard to control please give us a call. We are here to help you and your family.


A painful heart

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

Some may read this and think Jesus is saying that sadness is a blessing. But that’s simply not true. It hurts to mourn. It is painful. Mourning for the sake of mourning is not a blessing. What Jesus really meant is, “When life gets hard, bring your pain to me and I will comfort you.”

The blessing is that we have a savior to lean on in times of pain—and we all have pain. That pain impacts our actions, and our actions reveal its depth.

When I see a young wife in my office in tears because she can’t open up sexually to her new husband, I don’t assume it’s because she doesn’t love him. It’s not her heart, but her pain that causes her to hold back.

She may have experienced sexual or physical abuse as a child. Perhaps she grew up with the message that sex was dirty or wrong. The pain holds her heart hostage.

When I see a man struggling with alcoholism, I never assume it’s because he has a wicked heart. The bottle is simply his way of soothing a deep-seated pain.

To deal with his emotional wounds, he began drowning his sorrows in alcohol—until the addiction took over. He doesn’t drink because he’s evil, but because he hurts.

Pain has to be dealt with, one way or another. Left to our own devices, we always deal with it in the wrong way. We medicate ourselves with food, drugs, alcohol or sex. We motivate ourselves with unhealthy ambition or busyness. Some of us deal with our pain by meditating on it: becoming obsessed with it and wallowing in our misery.

Right or wrong, we all deal with pain in some way, utilizing the above coping mechanisms to get by. But we will never find true healing until we stop struggling to overcome our pain on our own and instead give our wounded hearts to God.
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” We are also here for you. Give us a call, we offer free consultation over the phone or in person.

Retrieved from Marriage Today