Transforming Relationships (6)

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other”(Romans 12:10).

Paul taught us to love each other genuinely and to show genuine affection and honour towards each other. At the start of this series we saw what God prescribed for a man and a woman. “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one” (Genesis 2:24). Most young people have a dream and desire to marry the love of their lives and to live happily ever after. For many people, forming meaningful relationships that lead to marriage is a struggle. This is explained by Eric Erikson’s stages of development in the intimacy versus isolation stage. Erickson described this stage as occurring between 18 to 40 years.

Erikson’s view is that if someone has unresolved issues from a previous stage like childhood, they can struggle to navigate subsequent stages. Unresolved issues stem from unmet needs in a previous developmental stage. For example, if a young adult did not have their needs met as a child, they may be stuck emotionally and struggle with intimacy in adulthood. Forming healthy and meaningful relationships requires the ability to be open and vulnerable. An adult who experienced abuse and neglect for example will have damaged emotions. These damaged emotions will cause unhealthy or inappropriate emotional responses to others.

Some examples may resemble behaviours that are defensive, cold, angry, bitter and a struggle to maintain emotional intelligence. Some people build emotional and psychological walls around themselves, in an effort to try to protect themselves from being hurt. This is a defence mechanism created from unmet needs from parents or from abuse by significant others. Some people may also struggle to be their authentic selves, because of confusion that was created in childhood. Harsh, critical and demanding parenting styles that are shame based, produce adults who are uncomfortable with themselves. Adam and Eve were naked (vulnerable) with each other and they were not ashamed.

This is because, prior to the fall they had not experienced sin, guilt, shame or any forms of abuse. The fall created a messy situation for mankind and created dysfunctions within marriages and families. “The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). God sent his son to bring redemption and restoration. Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour and living for him, sets us free from sin. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we can unlearn unhealthy relationship patterns. God can heal emotions that are damaged and help us in areas such as forming and maintaining healthy relationships.

Talking to a minister or a counsellor are also important steps in resolving past issues and working on healing and restoration. Don’t be afraid to work on your inner person. We often spend a lot of time and money on maintaining our external selves with clothes, jewellery and other accessories. What’s on our outside is important, but not as important as what is happening on the inside of us. External beauty may attract, but inner beauty is needed to maintain relationships. Don’t neglect your inner person and place as much emphasis on making sure that you are a whole and healthy person inside and out.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).


25 thoughts on “Transforming Relationships (6)

  1. Wow this is a powerful and transformational teaching I am still being delivered from these damaged emotions that have caused me to have unhealthy or responses to others

    I struggled to marry because of what you exposing here.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahaha, a lot of things, I am about to publish a powerful book about that but one thing was the realization that that phase of my life affected me and I cannot attribute that to my wisdom but to the Holy Spirit.
        Denial and ignorance kept me locked up for a long time.
        Then after that I was now able to confront this giant now aware that I was in a mess.
        The actual problem is when I would get into a relationship and the girl is to highlight my shortcoming which had to do with being harsh and rough.
        I would move to another lady without confronting that situation.
        So the turning point was when I became brutal about myself.
        I was tired and I wanted to move on.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hmmm. Thanks God for his saving grace and for the ability to see yourself. So many people spend years in denial and become defensive when their errors are pointed out to them. Self awareness is not common in everyone. God is so good! I bet your book will be awesometastic! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s amazing how many times some might think that another person will improve their lives while they have deep pains and struggles of their own. Bringing someone else into their hurts may become a discomfort or dissatisfaction for the second person, and what if that second person comes into the relationship with their own baggage? Only Jesus can be the healing in a person, and will in turn be the help for the second person to heal. Prayer is essential for our healing.
    God bless

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have lost count of how many inner healings I have received. Now I am seeing the walls I have put around me to protect myself. The Lord wants to protect me and not me to protect me. It is very hard. You always know just what to say. Bless You! 🙏🙏🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen. Bless you Wenda. You are right and I have often had to say to God that I don’t trust everyone, but I trust him. We also allow God to chose our relationships and use discernment to understand what’s in the heart of a person. We can’t go wrong when we put everyone under a spiritual scan and ask the Holy Spirit to vet them. That way we avoid isolation because God makes the choices for us. 💖❤️💗💕🙏🏾


  4. Awesome post❣️ You touch on such important concepts. Spoken like a God-inspired, dedicated, true and tried social worker just like my husband. So many things at play here as you so eloquently point out. God bless you❣️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So interesting to see the psychology behind how we give/percieve love and how powerfully it can be shaped when we are young. I’ve loved your post and learnt so much from it. So thankful for God’s consistent, lasting love for me even though I fail every day at following His commandments (sorry Jesus. I’m trying though, promise). Sending you lots of LOVE xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bless you dear. God sees and knows and he is every ready to help. Not in our own strength and remember the righteous falls down seven times and rises again. Yet still we rise! ❤️💖💕💗😍🥰


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