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Nov 20th

Godly Relationships

Practicing Living Principles from the Living Word in Marriage

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All we have learned thus far regarding problem solving and dealing with communication breakdowns are applicable between husbands and wives. However, the arena in the marriage relationship is different from any other arena of human relationships.

Dr. Ed Wheat, M.D. in his classic book, Love Life, for Every Married Couple © 1980, makes a most declarative statement regarding marriage:

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A Negative Approach to a Positive Response

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The title of this tool is a play-on-words. It is built upon the last tool we learned. We looked at 12 words that can heel relationships: I am wrong. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.

In our last lesson we concluded this is what to do. Now we will learn how to put this together for an effective delivery. Remember, the best way to defeat the enemy is to make a friend of them.

The A, B, Cs for Handling Communication Breakdowns

These are the two primary ways people handle communication breakdowns.:

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The Hardest Thing to Give is IN

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Giving in is not giving up. Biblically speaking, giving in is giving over to God’s way toward resolution and reconciliation. As a jail chaplain I often taught a lesson I entitled: How is the Best Way to Defeat Your Enemies.

As you might imagine, occasionally an inmate would blurt out, “Kill him.”

Because I got that answer from time to time, I would respond with this question, “What are you in for?” More often than not they were in for a violent crime against an individual – even murder.

To move the lesson along in a positive direction, I would ask, “How would you like to learn how to defeat an enemy without incurring negative consequences – make a friend of them.”

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Whose problem is it? Did I cause it? Can I help?

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Breaking down our walls of resentments is an on going, almost daily, process for several reasons.

Last time we introduced the process of listing our unresolved anger and resentments in the categories that affect us most adversely. As we work through this process, the mind will release them over a period of time – sometimes individually, sometimes in lump sum or collective clusters and sometimes in a mixed bag of both earlier and recent issues. And at each juncture we will have to deal with hurtful and sometimes forgotten memories.

Caution: As you are mentally and emotionally working through this process, do not try to make amends immediately upon recognizing a need or urge to do so.. Give yourself time to heal. Remember the lesson: Attack the problem and not the person.

Evaluation is an important part of the healing process from breaking down the walls of resentments. To facilitate this process we will need to apply the answers to these questions:

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Breaking Down the Walls of Resentments

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We could subtitle this tool:  Managing My Memories.

          In an earlier lesson we learned we can forgive even though we cannot forget. It was pointed out that through prompting or provocation we will recall almost all that our five senses, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting, have stored in our memory banks.

          It is a good thing we can do this because by this means we mature. But if we keep recalling unresolved anger and resentments we will remain in an unsettled state of frustration.

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Defining Walls of Resentments

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 As we go through life we build walls of resentments that are designed to protect us from hurt, rejection, fear, loneliness and other circumstance related issues. However, in time, we realize we are imprisoned by our own walls of protection; but are afraid to get out from behind them for fear of experiencing the unpleasant things that caused us to build them in the first place.

            I’ll resort to a silly illustration to teach this complicated dilemma. From the mug-shot accompanying this article you see I am bald. This doesn’t bother me, but it is a major issue for many. For the sake of illustration, let’s say I am bothered by this condition.

            What do I do? I see at least three options.

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Part Two: How To Identify Unresolved Anger and Resentments

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In my seminary course on sermon preparation the author of the book made an interesting statement in his introduction. He said, “Words do not have a meaning – they have a usage.”

Of course they have a meaning and a definition, but he was pointing out a valuable lesson to would-be Bible teachers and preachers. You need not only know the definition of the words you use, but you must know the full range of their usage.

Although my grammar is not always A+, I work overtime to extract the full meaning/usage of key words in my statements – more especially in this lesson.

My closing statement last time was: “Maybe these words – image and glory - have a different connotation in Greek than they do in English.” I was trying to get out from under the full responsibility of being a male. I didn’t ask to be born a male, but having been selected by God to be one I had the responsibility to live as He intended all men to live.

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Part One: How To Identify Unresolved Anger and Resentments

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Unresolved anger and unresolved resentments are two major sources of unresolvable problems. In the previous article we labeled them as junk in our trunk. Unless we empty this trunk the contents spill over into many of our relationships. In a previous article we learned to forgive without forgetting. In this tool we will pull all of this together.

We’ve examined the five levels of anger, namely; mild irritation, indignation, wrath, fury and rage as defined by Dr. James Dobson. It was noted indignation was a major obstacle in that it plays itself out as a slow burn or un-forgiveness.

 Resentments are not that acutely defined. Resentments align themselves with seven levels of relationships. Before defining them we need to understand God’s divine line of authority as spelled out in 1st Corinthians 11:7.

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Life’s Four Tires: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual

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Like many vehicles human life, figuratively speaking, runs on four tires delineated as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

To illustrate this principle consider a common occurrence – a vehicular flat tire. From this illustration we discern the human application.

If, while driving an automobile, a flat tire occurs one of two things follows:

  1. The automobile becomes difficult to control
  2. We slow down and stop – if possible.

In the worse case scenario, that is one cannot get out of the line of traffic, they must continue to keep pace with the flow of traffic. Continuing to run on a flat tire adds the risk of ruining other tires. One flat tire may ultimately become two or more flat tires.

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Words Set In Motion Those Things Which Are Spoken

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 Editor's Note: This is Part 9 of Reverend Lacy's ongoing series of Godly relationships and you can find the entire series under his page here.

Proverbs 23:7a teaches:  

“For as he (Hebrew:  a primary word, 3rd person pronoun,     singular, he (she or it) thinketh in his heart, so is he:….”

This Proverb is Literal

A psychology professor expressed it this way:  “Words set in motion those things which are spoken.” My forty years of teaching/counseling has proven this to be true whether we think this “in our heart” about our selves and others or express it verbally.

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What Is On the Inside of You Makes a Difference in What You Hear

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What is on the inside of you makes a difference in what you hear. What you just read you are processing through what you know regarding this statement.

As you read what I have written you will evaluate my knowledge on this subject. As you continue to read you will ultimately decide whether or not you can believe me, or more especially, whether or not you can trust me.

There is nothing wrong with doing so. In fact, this is what should do.

During thirty plus years of Bible-based counseling many have asked what have been my most difficult cases? My answer is simple: Teaching biblical truth to those who have been indoctrinated with biblical untruth.

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Blame Keeps Wounds Open – Only Forgiveness Heals

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This tool, coupled with the two preceding tools: Anger Wants Someone Else to Pay; and The Bowl that Holds the Acid (Anger) is Eaten by the Acid (Anger) creates a tremendous trio for those intent on solving problems and conquering anger.

We must understand how blame keeps wounds open. Blame, like anger, operates on a continuum. Anger wants someone to pay. Blame is the continuation of extracting payments by playing the blame-game.

It is said the oldest form of problem solving is blame shifting. Follow this account from Genesis 3:11-13:

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Communication: A Two-way Street

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 It has long been stated opposites attract. The Number One reason for divorce is incompatibility. The Number One reason people come to New Hope Counseling Service, simply stated, is: We have a breakdown in communication.

These scattered letters I, L, E, N, T, S are emblematic of two aspects of conversation. Unscrambled they spell Silent and Listen. In the realm of verbal communication what is said often comes across garbled. Hence we hear such responses as: “What did you say?” “What do you mean?” “Why are you saying that that way?”

In an automobile sales training class I learned a valuable lesson applicable and beneficial in all areas of life – personal, social and professional.

 In the context of selling the lesson was: If you listen carefully the prospect will tell you how to sell them an automobile.

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The Interfaith Series Crisis

Video Sanctity of Life, Racism, Abortion

Proverbs 24, verses 11 and 12 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?

VIDEO Sanctity of Life Epidemic

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