Thursday, February 11, 2010

Relationships: 101

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to do some marriage counseling with a couple from our small church. This couple was in an extreme situation, and I think the pastor who usually did the counseling was at a loss to help them. Knowing that I had been involved in Freedom In Christ Ministries, the pastor felt there were some spiritual attacks directed toward one of the spouses, so they were turned over to me. When I heard their story, I was amazed at some of the bizarre behaviors that were occurring. After prayer with them, I knew God would have to totally lead me in helping them. It was impossible in "the natural". "In the natural" is my phrase for doing things the world's way and the world's way of thinking. There were deep seated issues here that needed to be addressed as individuals. Relating to the other as a spouse was secondary. Getting right with a spouse, a friend, a relative, or anyone else, begins with getting right with God, individually, first.

As in the words of the author, Neil Anderson, "It's hard to make any relationship work unless we are in right relationship with our Heavenly Father. The first thing we must realize is that God is our loving Father and we are His accepted child. This is the foundation truth for our spiritual identity. We have been declared "righteous" by Him because of our faith in Christ. As long as we believe that and walk accordingly, our daily experience of practical Christianity will result in growth. But when we get our eyes off of our "identity", and try to produce in our daily experience the acceptance God has already extended to us, we will struggle. We don't serve God to gain His acceptance; we are accepted, so we serve God. We don't follow Him in order to be loved; we are loved, so we follow Him."

Believing what the Bible says about us is the key to a successful relationship with God and then resulting in good relationship with others. Satan, our enemy, will try to convince us that we are sin-sick, unworthy and unacceptable; someone who will never amount to anything. Believing the lies of Satan will lock us into a defeated, fruitless life. Believing God's truth about ourselves and our Identity in Christ will truly set us free.

Romans 6:1-6
Version: NAS

1. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2. May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3. Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4. Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5. For if we have become united with [Him] in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also [in the likeness] of His resurrection, 6. knowing this, that our old self was crucified with [Him], that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;

These verses have truly made an impact upon me and my thinking. Newness of life, and that my old self was crucified with Jesus, so that sin might be done away with...I no longer had to be a slave to sin.

It's amazing the amount of baggage we all carry around, even as born-again believers. So many things shape our outlook on life and our inward look at ourselves. I've talked alot about my own experience, and how I perceived myself. It all affected my relationship with my husband, family, friends, and my children. I had wrong ideas and understanding about God. Those effected me, my personal choices in life, and then how I treated others. Not until I realized that I was totally loved and accepted by God, and that I had access to Him, that resulted in confidence, did my life start to change. Old hurts and confusion were lifted off of me. I began to see myself as God saw me. I started to let go of the old ways of doing things and reacting to those around me. God began the task of healing my wounded feelings and life. Thank you God, that you are not satisfied to leave us in our state of humanity. Thank you for loving us so much that You desire us to live a life of freedom and Truth!

Blessings today as we learn to walk in
Freedom and Truth,

(concepts taken from Chapter 3
Victory Over the Darkness)


  1. AMEN. Each of us must get our hearts right with GOD before we can have right relationships with anyone else.
    Hugs and blessings, andrea

    PS: Sitka has an award for you at All Gods Creatures.

  2. Debra, I find the hardest thing in my life was seeing myself as God sees me; "covered by the Blood." We know ourselves and think we aren't worthy to be loved like God loves us...and it's true, we aren't worthy. But JESUS is worthy and if we are covered by his blood that is all God see's...the spotless Lamb!
    You are so right when you show how it affects all our relationships until we come to that knowledge. Good post!!!

  3. One of the hardest things for me to do was to forgive myself of my misdoings. It has taken me a long time to believe that once forgiveness is given, it's not taken back. I would beat myself up over the silliest of things, and ask for forgiveness over and over. I couldn't believe that not only had He forgiven me, but by asking again and again, I was saying in essence that I didn't have faith. I'm trying to walk without the baggage and actually, my step is lighter without it.

  4. We were first Loved so we could Love... Thanks always for your informative and helpful posts, great work Debra, really... : )

  5. Thank you for this post, Debra. It's great. I know that I struggle w/ that and deep down, I believe my fiance does as well. It does affect everything but God has encouraged me to be focused in prayer and spiritual protection for him so the Holy Spirit can do in his heart what it is that only the Holy Spirit can do.

    Thank you for the reminder. Sometimes it is hard to be patient for God to work, but it is only God who can do that.

  6. Beautiful write, Debra. It is filled with a focus for us each, even today.

    Happy Valentine's
    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs, TTFN ~Marydon

  7. Great post! Realizing and accepting our position in Christ really has to change our outlook on everything.

    We are:

    Children of God, free, forgiven, loved, join-heirs with Christ, more than conquerors, and so much more.

    Thanks for the reminder to keep the foundation in the correct place. It's easy to believe Satan's lies.

  8. Debra,
    Oh I so like this Bible study. Since today I just seemed to be overwhelmed with emotions, I wished I had checked reader earlier. I needed this post today. Thank you again for inviting me.

  9. Debra, your post is always so timely. This is one I really need to be pondering over. Thank you for letting God work through you. You mean so much to me and not a day goes by that I don't think of you.

    Love, Tracy :)

  10. Debra, This post was so encouraging.
    I'm 25yrs & have believe in God my whole life. However just recently I have been having trouble with my Identity in Christ. My prayer times have been severely lacking. I've just stopped caring about almost everything which is really not like me. I've always been lively & passionate.
    I've just started dating someone & he's truly amazing.
    You are so right when you said, our foundation must first be in christ, To have a for-filling relationship with others.
    I just dont feel good enough for God to love me, i've been through so much.
    So thanks for your blog


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