Single Life Workshop, Part 4

 

Every session of the Single Life Workshop gets better and better. Session four was all about shame. Shame is not a fun, feel-good topic. But it is one of those topics that, if left unaddressed, can devastate a relationship.

Shame makes intimacy scary. Can I get an “amen”?

Shame builds walls and creates false narratives in our minds. Shame often convinces us that God and others couldn’t possibly love us if they knew the “real” us — if they knew all our past sins. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but it’s the lie we believe so much of the time. And the enemy loves it when we do; he can then keep us isolated, hopeless, and full of despair.

I love the story of the Samaritan woman. After Jesus lovingly calls out her sin, He leads her to forgiveness and grace. She then runs into town and says to everyone, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” She looked into the face of Christ and felt love like she had never known before. She didn’t feel condemnation or judgment, shame or fear. She felt understood and forgiven.

God is the same with us today. He views us with nothing short of love and acceptance. We cannot earn God’s love; He loves us for who we are.

Shame tries to keep us from being ourselves. When we are caught up in shame, we act out of who we think we are in our sin. We act unworthy, unlovable and hopeless. We don’t tap into any of our gifts or potential.

Trust what God has put inside of you. We were made in the very image of the triune God. We were created to be living testimonies of His kindness, rescue, salvation, love and redemption.

To read the rest, join me over at Boundless!

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No Gray Zone for Domestic Violence

 

There’s a topic that doesn’t get addressed often within the church. It’s one of those elephants in the room. It can still be a bit of a taboo subject.

I’m talking about domestic violence.

It happens more than we care to admit. It happens to people we love. It is happening all around us.

More and more I see the world discussing and acting upon the scourge of domestic violence, but it seems to me that the church has not yet risen to this challenge. When it hits close to home, you can’t help but think about it and want to act.

I have a friend who has been married for almost 10 years to a man I believe doesn’t really love her. He is abusive in every way imaginable…verbally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. It breaks my heart. Their situation has escalated to the point of police being called in and protective orders served. And yet she returns to him. She is praying for restoration of their marriage. Now, I’m all about her husband being radically saved and delivered, but not at the cost of her life or the lives of her children. Watching their marriage implode has literally been like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

I know abuse happens to men, but I can only speak to a woman’s perspective. I actually have quite a few friends who have come out of both abusive dating relationships and marriages. At some point, every one of them wanted out badly enough to escape by whatever means possible. They wanted a better life for their children or for themselves. The beautiful thing is that Jesus wanted better for them as well. He wanted better even more than they could ever want.

This verse rocks my world in so many ways. In this context, our bodies are not our own. They were created by God. They were created for Him. How often do we allow someone to misuse us?

I’ve been seeking wisdom from the Lord and learning from experts on the subject of domestic violence. It’s a cycle. The victims of it don’t see themselves as victims; they live with a veil over their eyes. They live in disbelief of their situation. They are held captive to their abuser. They believe it is all their fault, and this is right where the enemy of our souls wants them to stay. He sees the potential that the Lord has placed in them, and he’ll do anything to destroy that potential. I won’t let him, and I pray that each victim won’t let him. I pray that you won’t let him, either. But how?

 

To read the rest, join me over at Boundless!

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