Updated: Feb 15
By: Glyndora Condon MS MFT NCC LPC
We work often with relational issues that are in crisis. By the time people reach out to us, they are already thinking of leaving or have left. As we listen, we find many negative elements that have threatened and that have hurt. People believe their marriage is hopeless. We are empirically based but also Christ centered and therefore we utilize all of the tools that the modalities provide but, also provide the foundational truths of scripture, for those open to this adjunct.
In today’s culture we tend to be self-focused. Social media drives home this construct as it encourages us to seek pleasure in what ever venue that works, with no shame since the outcome justifies any means. This viewpoint is damaging for relationships since this perspective has many who will fall prey to collateral and direct damage. Relationships cannot grow as each seeks their own.
We provide boundaries, distortion of thought processing, empowerment of assertive training, social and communication skills, conflict resolution skills as we use tools from valid and reliable sources. Each of these however were first addressed in scripture. We are taught to respect, to love, to provide boundaries, to take charge of our thoughts, and to have self-control. Scripture also gives us accounts of when others have not heeded counsel and their consequences which did include foolish demise, breakage of relationships, murder, losses, guilt, depression, anger, and even the loss of one’s soul.
We are taught to love one another as God loved us. Let us take a glimpse of God’s love. It is one that showers encouragement, gifts, attentiveness, wisdom, service, time, grace, goodness, and blessings in this life but mainly in the life to come. It is long suffering, kind, enduring, persevering, sacrificial, and protective as God delights in our joy due to His gifts. We, who are in Christ find that we cannot out give Christ. He gave us all. Yet, this comes at a price. We have to believe and depend upon Him, prioritize Him, obey Him, and put Him first in all of our life’s journey. We are to mimic His example as we attempt to love others in the same manner.
Christ holds us accountable, responsible, and is our Judge. He will prune us, test us, and guide us as we walk through the dark valleys of life, to keep us focused upon Him. As we study God’s Word, we then find that we must seek to serve others through a lens of abundance as we give glory to God. And, we must balance our generous giving with a heaping dose of humility and wisdom. As we are blessed, then we are to share our blessings with others and be good stewards of what God gives to us (time, money, energy, health, strengths, focus, family, friends, and work). This balance is absolutely necessary in healthy relationships as we seek to serve others and care for our needs with what God provides us.
Our lens of life is faulty. We focus often on the negatives of others and ourselves when we need to focus on what God sees. He has taken the least of man in our eyes and has been able to achieve greatness, while performing miracle after miracle. Let’s raise the bar for what others and we can accomplish through Him. When we love as Christ, then relationships will be redeemed. He was faithful till the end. We then are to model faithfulness of Him and to our loved ones until the end.
Resources: Holy Bible: 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Chapters 8 and 9, Psalms 104:14-15, 1 Timothy 6:17, Philippians 1:20, 15 Most Common Though Distortions, 15 Most Common Defense Mechanisms.