Monday, May 30, 2011

Dealing With Emotional Baggage (in Marriage)

During any counsel scenario - (1.) typical marital issues or (2.) personal/emotional issues

Marriage Issues - probably caused by or inherent to a marriage relationship. ie: problems that didn't exist until the union.
Examples: $ management by 2, child discipline, sexual compatibility, dealing with in-laws.

gender differences, personal preference, issues of teamwork and cooperation.

Marriage issues are common - there are some in all marriages.
Marriage issues are predictable - "let me finish your story"
Marriage issues are relatively easy to diagnose and address.

Emotional Issues and Emotional Baggage are not problems caused by the union.
They are unresolved issues brought into the union.

So..... Emotional issues and emotional baggage on the one hand cause problems in marriage. BUT, they are not caused by the marriage!!

Descriptive Terms

1. Baggage
- because brought it with you. (unpacked in the relationship)

2. Personal - because it's yours! It belongs to you!

3. Emotional - because it's deep seated, solidly rooted feelings!!

4. Mental - because it affects how you think, see, perceive. And how you think and feel leads to how you act, react, respond

5. Unresolved because the problem is past experiences. The problem is past experiences that have not been resolved, dealt with, cleared up, etc.

6. Issues, problems because the are problems!!! Your feelings, conclusions contrary to God's will for you. So, (a) hinder growth, maturity (b) hinder your ability to give and receive love.

May be inherited, learned, environmental, introduced (by trauma) *these are real causes, BUT, they may even be perceived, and imagined cause!!

*POINT - these (any) unresolved emotional issues are:
1. contrary to God's will and intent for you.
2. hinder your growth, maturity
3. hinder your ability to give and received in a relationship

In summary: 1. It's sin, wrong, detrimental!
2. You have to be the one to deal with them.

IV. Observations

We all have emotional baggage, because we are sinners, raised by sinners, in a sinful world.
2. Emotional baggage comes in all levels of intensity.
Some are minor. example: prejudice against little dogs.
Some are major. example: prejudice against little boys or girls!

Most issues are not big BUT can be compared to a thorn in your shoe!!

3. The emotional health of a marriage cannot exceed the emotional health of the individuals within the marriage.

4. The emotional health of one cannot (fully) compensate or offset the emotional baggage of the other. Can make a difference, can help, but cannot make the relationship what it should be.

5. Emotional issues in one tend to create emotional issues in the other. (introduced baggage)
Example: abusive alcoholic can effect wife??

6. Emotional issues in parents tend to create emotional issues in the children.
Example: who is more likely to be physically abusive?, sexually abusive?, domineering? later in life. Statistics show that it is usually those who have come out of those types of situations.

Again: NOTE: most of the illustrations are radical for the sake of illustration.
But, remember, emotional issues come in small doses more often than in large doses.

Application - take responsibility for your Emotional Baggage
On one hand, you may not be responsible for owning the baggage. However, (as an adult) you are responsible for dealing with it!!

First. how not to deal with emotional baggage .... denial, indifference, stone-walling, blame transfer, helpless victim, etc.

1. Admit generally - you are a sinner, were raised by sinners, have emotional issues.

2. Assess yourself.
It's HARD!
Because not convinced of the issues, not convinced of need

The Need here is objective measure. - subjective is measured inwardly (my thoughts, feelings, opinions, stand
Objective is measured from without - independent of inner beliefs

The objective measure for emotional issues??? - God's Word - 2 Tim. 3:14-16

3. Admit specifically

4. Deal with issues scripturally
Examples: confession, apology, forgiveness, repentance, fresh input....
John 8:31 & 32

5. Replace the baggage with truth -
"put off, put on"
(Get help if necessary!!!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Marriage 102

Gen. 1:27 - "Male and Female"

On one hand there are many similarities.
However, (1) there are distinct differences (gender differences)
(2) These differences are more than physical, biological, anatomical

So, today - we're discussing One difference, which is a big, important, fundamental difference.

Eph. 5:33 - "Love and Respect". The definition ---- the overlap ---- downward spiral

I. Her need for love - SECURITY - A. Emotional/Relational security - not $$$
B. when she feels emotionally secure she feels loved!!

A. The issue - women don't feel secure in their husband's love.

B. The need -
1. God-given, not a result of the fall!!
2. not necessary to survive bu the thrive!!

C. The Feeling - because they need more than to be secure, need to feel secure!!

NOTE: feeling is logic resistant - not fixed by intelligence, knowledge, reason and facts

D. The Solution/Remedy = YOU!!
On one hand, men, there are many places your wife can receive love,
marital love, marital security and the feeling thereof comes ONLY from a spouse/mate!!

So, what to do!!! It's not complex. It's not difficult.
Examples: time together, relational time together, time on purpose (says she's valuable), communication, intimate communication, a focus on feelings, sympathy for feelings....

II. His need for Respect.
A. The Issue. If had to choose between being loved or being respected, the vast majority of men choose to be respected over loved.

B. The need
1. God given.
2. not necessary to survive, but thrive.

C. the feeling - because feelings are not for women only! If a man feels disrespected, he feels unloved.

Note: this is also logic resistant!
D. The Solution? Remedy? = YOU!

Marital needs are only supplied by marital partners!
Therefore, if the needs not met, He'll look elsewhere! (affairs = love!)

So, affirm him/build him. They are "buffaloes - pretty simple!!

Duty/Responsibility - Eph. 5:33
A. Love and respect = a command! "Must"
B. They are to be given "unconditionally"
C. To refuse to do so = disobedience to God! I Tim. 5:8
D. To refuse to do so = foolish. Eph. 5:28-29

As one or the other doesn't receive what's needed, that person reacts by not meeting the needs of the other. And so on and so on, and it continues to go down from there.

Reversing the Spiral
Prov. 24:3-4

What women want their hubbies to know: "although I don't always show it well, I do deeply love/respect/desire you..." - 93% of women agree with this statement.

What men want their wives to know: "how much I love/cherish/need you!"

So??? Why are we starving one another??? Ignorance? Indifference? Pride? Stubbornness? Selfishness? Fear of rejection? Vengeance? Anger??

Prov. 14:1

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Marriage 101

Marriage basics/fundamentals - the institution, origin, establishment of marriage.

Note: this is more than a marriage - it is the model of marriage.

Gen. 1:26-28/2:15-25

I. Eve was created to be a "helpmete" because Adam NEEDED....
1. A companion - "alone"
2. a partner "rule/subdue/have dominion over" to help him (a.) accomplish and (b.) become
3. a lover (in the broadest sense) - to feel loved, valued, significant, special, etc. by another person.
4. A mate ... to meet (a) sexual needs (b) family needs - have kids, raise kids (c) intimacy needs - Ex. 20:14/15/17

II. The Reverse is also true - ie: Adam is to be all of the above to Eve
This is called reciprocal - it works both ways/equally true of Both!!

III. Though equally true, it is not always equally expressed. Example: Pit Saws - years ago when sawing lengths of lumber they used pit saws. A deep pit - one person down in the pit - one person at the top. Log goes down into the pit and was sawed like using a crosscut saw. The one in the pit had it easier as the weight was less - the one on top had to pull the weight of the saw UP. IF you're a couple, who's on top?? (the husband) Why??? (greater upper body strength)

Now, marriage is complicated by another issue..... SIN!!!
Gen. 3:6-13 - much lost, damage in the fall. One thing: Intimacy - with one another, with God. And, sense of responsibility -- blame transfer! - "not my fault".

Question: Is there hope? A remedy? Can we regain? recover? (Paradise List?)

Answer is: yes and no.
On one hand, No - we cannot fully recover this perfection in this life. (due to sin)
However: YES!! We can begin to move back toward what was and should be and what as intended to be!!

BUT... we must (1) know what it should be (God's design/intent/goal)
and, we must (2) determine to pursue God's plan God's way.

We call this: Repentance.
And in this case it is more than an action or event.
It is a process!! - and it's difficult and ongoing.

BUT - it's worth the effort!! Therefore, we will continue with the family series.

Closing quote: from Wendell Berry ... "Remembering".
"they were not making marriage, but being made by it.... making them fit together, fit to be together."