Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, loyalty, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.
The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyber club. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.
1.Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those who are important to you? Do you lead a double life?
2.Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
3.Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, internet or other media?
4.Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
5.Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
6.Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?
7.Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
8.Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
9.Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
10.Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
11.Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?
12.Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?
Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “SEXTEXTING.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships, sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction. There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.
Talking about sexual issues openly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God… They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord! Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli to be his spiritual mentor. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.
If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently rather than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. If you have a problem deal with it! The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Know that the enemy wants to destroy your testimony and weaken your effectiveness for the LORD!
Absolutely nothing gets by God!
Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Please really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true! Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b:maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence 3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness! In Him we can become complete! God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!
God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…
God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Acknowledge any sin in your life! Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction! God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage regardless of how young or old you are! He can and WILL fill that void!
God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Set some time aside and be honest with yourself! Stop giving away parts of yourself! Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age. Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit! Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really and truly can experience a growing healthy attainable self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.
I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what GOD knows rather than what people think.” This is NOT about arrogance but about being confident in the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Sex outside of marriage has gotten out of control! Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for ALL of us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. GOD TRULY IS ABLE! Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!
When a person has an addiction it can be totally devastating. It not only affects the addict but anyone they come in contact with. It causes fear and insecurity to dominate the lives of their family and often friends as well. It often paralyzes them in a cesspool of co-dependency, inhibiting them from taking a lawful stand.
Intervention when properly initiated can be a catalyst for repentance in the addict. You see we don’t really like to confront problems. We tend to take the ostrich approach, burying our heads in the sand. Guess what? The problem won’t just go away. We often think of love as not making someone feel bad. (Except when it comes to punishing children) But we must be careful not to unconsciously support any wrong behavior. An addict is a devotee to whatever substance they are controlled by. They surrender their will and allow themselves to be habitually, obsessively controlled by the proclivity of their desire. Their addictive need is compulsive and they will do whatever is necessary to fulfill that need.
Buried underneath the layers is really a diamond in the rough! How ironic? God can take their faithfulness to what ever their desire is (alcohol, drugs, food, sex, dirt, etc.) and turn it too good. The process is really miraculous to watch. But it will never happen as long as we keep our head in the sand. God will not force His way. Remember their allegiance is just inappropriately designated. Do you know why it’s easy to abet them in there slow but sure death? They can appear so loving and talk about the life of the party! Who needs a party? They are a party all by themselves. They can be so compliant and giving. But right around the corner lives Mr. or Mrs. Tyrant. . They can embrace the reigns of violent and destructive behavior like sugar to an ant. Talk about a roller coaster! Except this ride is not very amusing. Living on the edge is their theme.
The deepest emptiness and a gulf of shame awaits the departure of each subsequent binge. But don’t be in total despair. There is hope. You see God really does make the difference. Just know you can’t change them. But you can and should abandon providing them a security blanket in any form. Begin to shift your focus to God. He’s the ultimate COMFORTER. He will direct your paths as you truly learn to trust HIM. Begin to develop your role as their faithful prayer intercessor. The chronic abuser allows freedom to his love ones. Freedom to know you can’t depend on them. This freedom can cause you to take on their responsibilities. Oftentimes this can cause one to reach for situations and people they can dominate just as the addict controls their life. To the other extreme, it can also cause them to look to someone who will stroke their insecurities. What a cycle! One can become enmeshed in a sea of burdens. But I’m glad there is a burden bearer. The scripture says: “take my yoke upon you and learn of me for my yoke is easy and my burdens are light”. Easier said than done huh! But it is really possible. Begin to transfer this burden to the Lord. Embrace the scriptures daily to spiritually equip you for warfare. Ephesians is a book that let’s the child of God know that you have been sealed and deliverance is at hand. The mighty weapons of God are not carnal.
You cannot change anything that has happened. Don’t overindulge yourself in a guilt trip. But don’t jump in the quicksand of denial. The noose of addiction can be broken. Jesus did not die in vain. He can resurrect any life. He can peel away the layers of sin by the cleansing power of His BLOOD. It takes only a little light to dispel the darkness. We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. That’s’ why we need a SAVIOR. TO SAVE US FROM THE POWER OF SIN. Reach out to the Lord. He can and will be there for you TWENTY/ FOUR / SEVEN.
Webster defines discipline as a training that corrects, molds or perfects the mental faculties or moral character. A control gained by enforcing obedience or order. Orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior. To discipline means to train or develop by instruction and exercise; especially in the area of self control.The development of discipline is essential to our overall personal growth and spiritual maturity. One of the fruits of the spirit is self control. Due to Adam’s sin mankind has inherited a sin-based nature. The appetite to fulfill the desires of the eyes and the lusts of the flesh is quite often first and foremost. The appetite of each individual varies. Your desire could be overeating or under-eating, alcohol, drugs, immoral sexual behavior, lying, envy, idolatry, covetousness, etc. In order to overcome this proclivity towards sin one must continually learn to surrender their yearnings toward self-gratification. How can we accomplish this? To the believer deliverance from an undisciplined lifestyle is quite attainable. Paul tells us: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:19. The key factor in that verse is the strength has to come from the LORD.
God is quite aware of our shortcomings. Our shortcomings are what alerts us to the fact we need something other than ourselves to overcome our human frailties. God has created us for the purpose of fellowship. We must continuously develop a life in accordance with the instructions He has left in His WORD. The first step to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way the truth and the life: NO man cometh unto the FATHER but by me.” John 14:6. There is no other way to GOD.
Our perspective on life greatly affects how we deal with certain situations. Envision with me if you please a house. Everyday you would pass by this house. After a while you become very familiar with it’s exterior. You then begin to even make assumptions about the house. You eventually come to admire it for it’s surface beauty, but only from an exterior point of view. You’ve seen the front door day after day but you have never stopped and taken the time to knock at the door. You are aware of where the house is; you even think you have a general idea of what it’s like inside. But do you really? Quite often we develop the same type of relationship with God. We know where His instructions for daily life are found. We have access to the Bible. But how often do we really devote time to actually seek His spiritual direction for our day to day living? We must go beyond the exterior and delve into the WORD and embrace His principles and apply them to our lives consistently. When we embrace His principles we embark upon a life of freedom. This freedom will free you from the appetites of the flesh and the clutches of the world. When you develop an intimate relationship with Him He begins to fill that deep endless void THAT ONLY HE CAN FILL.The Christian life is not an unattainable idealistic lifestyle. When we begin to walk in the Spirit we can overcome the weaknesses of the flesh. Christians are to live lives that are dependent on God. It is through this spiritual dependency the strongholds that satan has on your life will begin to dissipate. This spiritual walk includes a life of discipline. Remember it is through discipline we are able to harness and control the lusts of the flesh I mentioned earlier. Christ lived, suffered, died and arose from the dead for a reason. He sacrificed His life to redeem us from the curse and endowment of Adam’s sin. It is by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives we can overcome and partake in the victorious life he has prepared for those that truly love Him. “Greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world.” The scripture is not just for memorization to impress others. It is an edible delicacy that will nourish your spirituality and quench your unquenchable thirst as you truly embrace and live out it’s intended principles.
We must seek and learn to discipline our life to His standards. We must begin to relinquish the desire for man’s approval and conditional acceptance. We can never please man. I must warn you! The closer you draw to GOD the less man will understand you. You will be persecuted and greatly misunderstood. Guess what ? So was Jesus! He was maligned and accused of many things by those who should have known better. It was those who were thought to be spiritual that treated Him exceedingly wrong. Man looks from the outside in; this is the opposite of God’s perspective. He looks from the inside out. He knows all about you. Your innermost thoughts and desires are fully known by Him. The key to a peaceful and contented life filled with true JOY is available. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness (appetites of the flesh) we lie, and do not tell the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is light, we have fellowship one with another, and the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.” How important is discipline? It is very important!
Whenever you or a love one experiences a significant loss, serious illness or death it is normal to experience grief. There are many other types of losses that occur in life that can result in grief as well. Recovery issues, divorce, financial, relocation, career change, natural disasters as well as a miscarriage or abortion can all trigger one to experience a degree of grief. The initial reaction to any of the above is usually shock accompanied by a feeling of numbness. Grief can often result in one feeling a deep sense of hopelessness and or abandonment. It is also possible to ask “why me?” Anger and resentment may result in feelings of ambivalence. Initially the above symptoms are natural. The passing of time is a partial salve that can and will eventually anesthetize your deep pain.
If you are a Christian, finding solace in God’s Word during grief is a great resource to help you maneuver through a plethora of emotions. It is during grief you can actually learn to embrace God’s spiritual comfort. The deep void that one experiences during grief is often unexplainable. So if you don’t feel like talking try spending some time with God. As you truly and earnestly seek God who is the ultimate “Comforter” you can experience His abiding presence. If you are a believer you should know that God’s Word is true. Not some of it but all of it. His promise to “never leave us nor forsake us” must be faithfully embraced in your hour of need.
Grieving is an emotionally painful process. Allowing the one that is grieving to talk freely about how they are feeling is healthy and consoling. Many become depressed and can have a deep sense of guilt. There are two types of guilt; normal and neurotic guilt. Neurotic guilt is based on unrealistic expectations or situations. Helping the one that is grieving to face the reality of loss is helpful. It is healthy to allow them the freedom to talk about their love one. Enabling is never healthy. Allowing them to work through their emotions by being active is a good thing. Taking a walk, run or jogging may even be relaxing and release some inner tension. During an opportune moment try telling them a humorous story or a funny joke can help lift their spirit momentarily. Encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Helping them to freely express their feelings and concerns are healthy. Remember everyone is different. Just because you do not see them crying does not mean they are not grieving. Some people elect to privately grieve. Some time just doing nothing is good. A good friend will be patient, sensitive, caring and compassionate and understanding at this time. Just knowing you are there for them can be a great sense of comfort.
During the holidays when there are many festive celebrations this can also be a reminder to many of their time of loss. After the holidays pass and all the seasonal excitement has dissipated there may be a resurgence of grief. This too is a natural response. Again try to allow yourself to think of some of the happier times you shared together. Depression and sickness can be spawned in the midst of grief. Emotional pain when not dealt with properly can trigger physical illness. Where, what and whom you focus on will make a world of difference. In spite of all the painful things that can happen or has happened in life, there is always something good to think about. God still has you here for a purpose. Some days you might have to take it a moment at a time. Again, please allow yourself to think about some of the cheerful experiences you shared with your love ones. God tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything.Suffering is a part of life. Just think if we did not know sorrow how would we know joy?
Your love one is really in a much better place. They have actually transcended suffering. When you focus on God you can have joy in the midst of your grieving. This is why it is so important to develop an intimate personal relationship with Him. God does not take pleasure in seeing us suffer. Grief and sorrow are a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. When they disobeyed they chose sin and grief as a way of life for mankind. This is why it is important to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Because of His death and resurrection we now have direct access to the Father. God’s joy is not contingent on the approval of others or on our situation. Joy runs deep when you know that God is your source of strength. Joy is a by product of focusing on God which will give you a peaceful sense of well-being. When you spend time daily in prayer, praising and studying God’s Word I guarantee you, you will experience great joy! It will give you a different perspective in your time of need.
The Apostle Paul endured many adversities. Yet he chose to use those adversities to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord. God’s grace was fully sufficient for Paul. Paul grasped something that few people ever really understand or attain. Paul delighted and found joy in the Lord regardless of what was going on about him. From an outward appearance this was not always apparent to his onlookers. Paul and Silas together sang and prayed so fervently that even the doors to prison were opened for them. This is one of the many examples of the difference God makes in our life. God’s presence and comfort is available. Believing, knowing and applying God’s Word will transform your mind to think spiritually when faced with grief or any trial or situation that comes into your life. Now this does not mean being in denial, quite the contrary. Knowing the Truth is so very powerful. Man looks on the outside. God looks at the heart. According to God’s Word spiritual things can not be understood by the natural or carnal man. Seeking the Truth brings Light into our lives. Allow God’s Light to shine in your heart, mind and soul in the midst of grief. Let Him direct and comfort you. God’s Word will be a Light unto your path.
God’s Word says; “Now this I say, brethren that Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has out on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory…” Revelation 15: 50-55. When a believer dies he/she goes to heaven. As a believer death is not to be feared. Romans tell us there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the love of God, not even death. God is awesome!
We will never fully understand many things. There are many world wide tragedies about us. God said that before the end of time many will be deceived and believe a lie. That many would take pleasure in unrighteousness. The Scriptures are being fulfilled. Many are grieving the loss of love ones daily due to death, suicide, violence, crime, war, hurricanes, floods and the latest furious Tsunami. Thousands have died. Just imagine what the original flood was like. God is speaking. Keep in mind we know through God’s Word that the end of time as we know it will not be via water. God sets the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His promise. We also know that God is fully aware of everything that happens. God has promised that He would always be with us. Knowing and focusing on God during your grief or any other difficult situation you may be going through will result favorably. This does not mean you will not be hurt, saddened or feel abandoned. It is how you feel that let’s you know you are alive. God already knows our hearts. Begin to partake in His spiritual fruit. The fruit of God’s Spirit are accessible. Self control will help you not to be controlled by your thinking, despair or feelings. God’s Word tells us we can even be angry yet not sin. We must yearn to yield to God’s way of reacting and responding. Every Word of God is true. One must only learn how to use and properly apply it wisely. Wisdom comes from God. We have the victory even in death. How is that? Jesus has overcome. Begin thinking and looking from a spiritual perspective. God’s children are the “apple of His eye.” God loved us so much that He allowed His only begotten Son to die for us. God is so much more than our little finite minds can imagine. God wants to walk with you through this valley of the shadow of death.
Nothing happens in any of our lives and in the world that gets by God. God our Father and Creator always has everything under His control! Carefully read the story of Job. This is why it is so very important to accept “Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!” Jesus is the only door to heaven. God’s Word tells us that there is no other name by which you can be saved. You must accept Jesus into your heart if you plan to spend eternity with God. Living out His Word daily will give you the strength to go through this valley of the shadow of death. It is the duty of man to “fear God and keep His commandments.” Life here on earth is just a mere passage way to our soul’s eternal resting place. When your heart is heavy try singing, praying, praising and or giving thanks to God. This will also help you to focus on Him instead of your grief or situation at hand. Your security and significance must rely in God. We never know what each day may bring. Living for God is not just a Sunday thing. It is a lifestyle. Salvation is truly God’s wonderful plan for us. It secures our heavenly residence and can give us hope in the midst of grief, persecution and longsuffering. “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, but beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you to salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Thessalonians 2: 13-14. This is why His Word says in everything give thanks!
Depression is America’s number one health problem. A growing number of our population suffers from depression. Depression can be brought on by trauma, prolonged stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, living with a substance abuser, sexual abuse, obesity, unemployment or unresolved family dysfunction. A decrease in neurotransmitters is also a major factor in depression. When anger is not dealt with properly it can actually manifest in the form of depression. Depression is actually unresolved anger turned inward. A person can actually be depressed for years and not know they are depressed.
A depressed person suffers from self- defeating beliefs. Here are a few of those beliefs. I have to be loved to be happy. I must give up my beliefs to please others. If others don’t like me I can’t be happy. I can’t trust others they will only hurt me. I’m inferior to others. I should never hurt anyone else’s feelings. This is why it is so important not to compare yourself with others. Comparing will either make you feel superior or inferior. Everyone has there own unique shortcomings. We all are in a state of “becoming”. Know that God made us all uniquely different yet equal.
There are varying degrees of depression.The foundational causes of depression are usually rooted in some type of personal injury. A deep sense of hopelessness, fear, bitterness, anger, ambivalence and despair are usually a side bar of depression. Depressed people are usually focused inwardly. A deep sense of shame often keeps the depressed person in a state of emotional isolation. Angry with themselves and sometimes even angry with God they experience a great deal of conflict. Depression is often described as feeling as though you are totally alone in a black bottomless hole.
A chronically depressed person may often have suicidal or violent thoughts towards themselves or others. They also suffer from distorted thinking, which can resort in magnifying situations. A great sense of loneliness is realized since they feel unwanted, unimportant and unloved. They may over eat, under eat, sleep excessively or to the extreme be unable to sleep at all.
In extreme depression there is frequent loss of emotional control and frequent crying spells. Overwhelmed by the depression their being inhabits a deep void. Although often remorseful after improper behavior, they have the potential to exhibit extremely violent and self-destructive behavior. A depressed person can use their depression to manipulate others. Attention getting depression frequently ends up in loss of mate and friends.
Bipolar depression alternates between manic and depressive moods. There is much medical evidence to substantiate genetic predisposition in some individuals. In between episodes they can have long periods of normal functioning. This type of depression can take a toll on those afflicted as well as their friends and loved ones. Depression of this magnitude accounts for the majority of mental hospital admissions. In most cases the assistance of a prescribed anti-depressant medication is necessary. This helps to replenish the depleted neurotransmitters. This kind of treatment is only viable by a qualified Psychiatrist or a medical physician.
Depression is of a spiritual nature as well. Although the word depression is not mentioned The Bible on numerous occasions mentions hopelessness and despair. Remember when King Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind and wandered eating grasses, grew long, long, hair and his nails grew as claws.
He finally lifted his eyes to the Lord and praised Him. His understanding was restored.” Read Daniel 4: 32-34. What about Job, Moses, David, Elijah or Jeremiah, these are just a few examples. Or how about King Saul who had a tormenting spirit? Encouraging a depressed person to think realistically from a biblical perspective is crucial to their healing. Depression can be cured with the right therapeutic help when it is not of a biological nature. The power and direction of the Holy Spirit is much needed in dealing with a depressed person. Help them to understand that God loves them because of who He is and not because of who we are. (Without God we really aren’t much of anything.) His love for us is not based on what we do or do not do. That He loved us so much He allowed His son Jesus who was sinless to die for us. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior He stands patiently waiting to help us with our varied sin weaknesses. A truly Christ centered life will give your life new meaning! Fellowshipping with balanced committed Christians is a plus. Spending time doing something for someone else will give them less time to spend in introspection or self- pity.
Let them know God already knows all what has transpired in their life. Encourage them to develop a personal intimate relationship with Him. Not a religious knowledge! But to really begin understanding that the Bible is not a fantasy! The examples therein are for us, then, today and tomorrow! Once you accept Jesus He is forever there for you. Just don’t leave Him out! You are adopted. Your old self should gradually begin to take on the characteristics of your heavenly Father. But for this to take place you must spend time with Him. Begin to meditate on His WORD! Start with Romans 5:1-6 and Philippians 4: 6-9. Be patient know that God has promised to work everything in your life for good eventually. Learn to properly verbalize your anger. Don’t suppress it. It’s okay to be angry!
Christians often experience depression. Feelings of abandonment override their ability to rationalize that God really loves them right where they are. This is why it is so very necessary for committed teachers of the Gospel to expound with wisdom and simplicity. Keeping it on a level for all to understand. To reinforce that we can really do ” all things through Christ that strengthens us”. To know that fear is not from the Lord. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Beyond The Walls” by Alpha 7. Smooth instrumental music that will calm the agitations of the soul.
Also see “Getting Your Joy Back”
What is happening to our Christian families? Codependency has become a major dysfunction. Families are experiencing a famine in the area of healthy nurturing. Let’s begin to break generational cycles of codependency. Why is this necessary? A person who is co-dependent is trapped in a compulsive cycle of control. They are usually over achievers who are virtually motivated by their desire to be loved. They often have been subject to major rejection in their early childhood. In order to feel a sense of security they will over extend themselves in many activities in order to gain the approval of others. It is very difficult for a co-dependent to deal with someone who they can not control. They will often even appear submissive in order to gain control of someone. This behavior is really manipulation in order to dominate. The boundaries of a co-dependent are usually blurred. The hurts of childhood abandonment and rejection fuel their need to control. They have a great need as well to be the center of attention. Unable to let go of the past they really feel empty and unloved. They are high maintenance people. Their constant need of approval is countered by resentment when not satisfied since they suffer from low self-esteem. As I have said before and will say again and again ” your true security and significance can only be found in God”.
For the co-dependent it is necessary to realize that God is really not a respecter of persons. We are equal yet different as His children. Although scripture tells us “it is not by works that we are saved” a codependent can be manipulated into many activities. This is fueled by their need of approval. This often causes them to develop a surface relationship with God. Their busyness leaves little time to “be still” and find the freedom and rest only God can provide. Contrary to popular belief you are not required by God to participate in most man ordained auxiliaries especially at the expense of neglecting your family. Pastors as well as Christian workers who suffer from co-dependency must be careful not to be pre-occupied at the expense of not having some time for their own families. Your works should display your faith not someone else’s. Creating healthy boundaries are necessary. Spend some time developing your personal intimate relationship with God. Begin to implement His principles in your life. Grace and peace is multiplied when you increase your knowledge of GOD!
Consciously allow what God desires and requires of you to override your need to control and/ or gain the approval of others. Don’t be a people pleaser! God is not impressed by manipulation. Always examine your motives in the light of His WORD. Take charge by letting go, which is the opposite of controlling. Remember scripture says it is “the meek that will inherit the earth.” Meekness is not weakness it is power under control. Cycles are hard to break but with God even the impossible is possible.
The family system of a co-dependent usually has a powerful effect on their behavior dynamics. Often there is a scapegoat, a martyr and a hero in the co-dependent family. The scapegoat gives everyone something to focus on rather than deal with the real problem. The martyr sacrifices for everyone and feels sorry for themselves. The hero makes the family look good to outsiders. A multigenerational pattern of faulty unhealthy dynamics can appear as normal. Do you notice any generational patterns? Unconsciously the family will fight to keep these dynamics operating. All families have an element of dysfunction. Destructive family dynamics have been in operation since the beginning of time. The story of Joseph tells how his Dad favored him over his brothers. Joseph’s father gave him a beautiful coat. This caused so much jealously that they designed a plan to destroy Joseph. His brothers called him a dreamer. Little did they know that the Lord had His hand on Joseph. God being in control worked this to good although their plans were evil. In the final analysis Joseph became the chief provider for his family as well as country. Eli was a priest. Although a servant of the Lord he had two sons who were outwardly rebellious. They disrespected not only the offerings but the people of God as well. I wonder how much time Eli spent nurturing his own sons?
Family secrets such as mental illness, incest, abuse and alcohol or drug addictions often go unaddressed in the co-dependent family. Denial becomes a survival dynamic for the family. This fosters an unhealthy physical as well as spiritual environment. Family secrets are often described as though one has a white elephant in the living room. Everyone just walks around it as though it doesn’t exist. Or they just avoid it altogether. Thinking it will just go away. It won’t! Christians need to take a stand and move to a higher level of functioning. We must learn to address the sin issues in our families and not continue to make excuses. God has promised to direct our paths when we put our trust in Him. We must learn to responsibly take responsibility.
God in His omniscience is well aware of the shortcomings of all of us. We must look at the unhealthy dynamics in our family of origin and consciously find ways to abandon the generational cycles. Don’t continue to sweep things under the rug. Learn to confront issues as they arise. It’s never to late! Start by not supporting or reinforcing any unfavorable behavior. The truth must be faced to break free and enjoy the present.
Sometimes it is necessary to pursue professional assistance to resolve family conflict. A conscientious therapist should be well informed about inappropriate behavior. They objectively are able to recognize that the faulty behavior presented is really a mask for an underlying unmet need. The co-dependent needs to find a positive channel to release inner tensions. A family intervention is useful in most situations. Then proceeding to establishing a way in which their unmet needs can be satisfied is recommended.
In a Therapy environment a healthy atmosphere is crucial. The equal safety of the client and the safety of the therapist should always be a priority. A committed Christian therapist knows the importance of establishing healthy boundaries. A congruent environment implies that the therapist is trustworthy, genuine, integrated, and openly honest. There are many cultural differences that can inhibit a fluent understanding of the client. Stereotype thinking must be abandoned. Each client must be viewed as an individual. Labeling often changes peoples perceptions of others. There is a substantial diversity among any given group of people.
Christian therapy although not new is often unwelcomed from anyone other than the pastor in some instances. Many pastors who may be well-versed in scripture may not be equipped in some areas of counseling. Many on the other hand or overwhelmed by their ministerial duties. There are some pastors who should not counsel. The sincere efforts of a Christian therapist although well meaning may be often misconstrued as out of line and unwelcomed.
The use of small cell groups can often be quite therapeutic and beneficial for the co-dependent as well as for managing other interpersonal problems. A conscientious facilitator will maintain order and model control. Confidentiality and free expression should be encouraged. Conflict arises when individuals become resistant to someone’s insight or opinions that have been communicated. Uncontrolled anger is not welcomed in a cell group. Establish boundaries. Keep the group spiritually based. Making use of regular Bible study and prayer are key elements for success.
Emerging from codependency is painful. The compulsion to rescue dependent people is really a form of bondage.God never intended for any of us to be slaves to sin. Self-control is a fruit of His Spirit. His resources are unlimited. The co-dependent person first must acknowledge their compulsion to control. They must work towards redirecting their inclination towards other control to self-control. To seek healthy ways to have their unmet needs fulfilled. To process dispelling dysfunctional cycles this is a must. Don’t allow pride to hinder your progress. It is an obstacle to your well-being. God also hates pride it is an abomination to Him. Confess any known sin and press forward. It takes courage and a lot of hard work. It is in our weakness that we can become strong through God’s awesome power. God has left the Comforter which is His Holy Spirit to lead teach and direct you. Never forget God loves you! Take control by taking control of yourself. The truth really will set you free!