Early Life Experience

Truth Will Set You Free

The enemy lies to kids. He takes Early Life Experience, makes up a Lie about it, and tells a kid that is who he is. And that’s who he’ll always be. The enemy says stuff like:

  • No one wants you.
  • You always mess up.
  • No one will ever help you.
  • You have to figure it out alone.
  • You’re worthless and unlovable.

You can’t get lower than lying to a kid.

Because a kid accepts a Lie as though it were Truth.

Psychiatrist Alfred Adler suggested that we spend our lives striving
to overcome the sense of inferiority created by our own fictional finalism.

Spiritually speaking, the enemy’s lies color how you see the world. If left unchallenged, these lies act as a filter for your current experience.

You automatically filter your thoughts, emotions, and behavior
in a way that confirms your core belief about yourself. That is, you …
“play it again, Sam.”

But The Lord gives you Do-Overs so you can correct your beliefs to match His!

Your current behavior is a First Clue about what you believe about yourself. For instance, when your relationship goes sideways, which of the following describe what you do?early life experience

  • I attack
  • I blame
  • I criticize
  • I leave
  • I defend
  • I clam up
  • I withdraw
  • I get quiet
  • I avoid conflict
  • I become cold or aloof

What you feel is your Second Clue to what you believe about yourself. Let’s talk about feelings next time.

To be continued …

Going Sideways

Yes, we all go sideways at one time or another. However, this can be to your advantage!

Yes. Yes!

It is so true!

You really can learn something new from the process and come back …

  • stronger in your faith and
  • closer in your love!

I’ve seen it happen so many times with couples! No matter what the challenge!

How do we get ourselves Sideways?

I’m glad you asked! Several years ago, I conducted a survey among my clients about what they each did to make things go sideways in their romance.

Men were more likely to check the boxes beside:

  • I become silent, withdrawn, and don’t want to discuss things.
  • I often want to avoid talking about our relationship.
  • My partner often pushes an issue and won’t let it drop.

Whereas women were more likely to check the boxes beside:

  • I often get angry and critical to get my partner to talk.
  • I often want to push my partner to talk about our relationship.
  • My partner withdraws a lot and won’t face an issue when I want to talk.

All defensive moves folks use with the intent to protect themselves … or their Love! However, these knee-jerk strategies have the opposite effect!

Your Defensiveness always hurts the One you love.

You wouldn’t need to be defensive if you understood your partner’s Bottom Line. And I can honestly report that what causes most conflict is simply misunderstanding. Most often, both a man and a woman trying to connect. And misinterpreting the signals.

Yes. It’s that simple.

She’s asking for more of him.
He hears a complaint that he works too much.

He’s asking for more of her.
She hears that all he cares about is sex.

She’s too busy asking, “Do you want me?”
He’s too busy asking, “Is it me that you want?”

Neither hears the other’s question.
Which leaves no place for a real answer!

Through all of my work with couples, I’ve noticed the Bottom Line for both partners is often the same.

They just aren’t hearing one another!

To be continued …

What do you believe?

who is God

We must begin at The Beginning – which for Christians – is also The End. That is, God is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of all things. But Who is God for you? Your Image of Who He is affects everything. You know the “right” answers about Him. But what do you believe in your heart of hearts?

The Truth is … whether you are male or female, you were creatively designed for Romance, and The Lord is deeply interested, not only in your Holiness, but also in the depth of your Happiness. After all, Joy is a fruit of the Spirit!

And it just makes sense to know exactly what His plan for us looks like, ya? Men and women are equal in value, yet different. Both are created in the Image of God to work together in harmony, and each is designed for a unique role in the relationship.

One is creatively designed to lead, and his partner’s trust and respect are essential for him to be able to lead well. The other is creatively designed to follow, and her partner’s love and understanding are essential if she is to follow well.

So what does that look like?
How does God intend for that to play out in your own life?

A.W. Tozer said:

What comes into our minds when we think about God
is the most important thing about us.

That makes sense, ya? If you’re created in His Image, your beliefs about who God is for you will be directly reflected in

  1. how you see yourself
  2. how you approach relationship

Most of us never slow down long enough to consider
Who God really is and what that means in regard to our own lives.

My Own Understanding of God: The Early Years

Church was always a big part of our family life, even when my parents were together. Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday night prayer meetings. I remember asking Jesus into my heart during Vacation Bible School one summer, and true to His Word, He came in to stay.

But other than going to church, Mom didn’t contribute much to our spiritual understanding or growth. I don’t remember ever hearing her pray, though she did read her Bible a lot. In fact, she kept it near her rocking chair and underlined her favorite verses with a pen. Sadly, that was her only testimony.

Like most adolescents, I had a hard time during junior high. Thankfully, our ultra-conservative Midwestern church provided the Rules for Living. And we had the world’s absolute best Youth Group. Roller skating. Camping. Boating. Hayrides.

Trying to make sense of it all as an adult, I composed a brief bio that I shared with folks who asked about my religious upbringing. It went something like this:

My dad was a Pentecostal. And my mom was a Baptist. Very different theologies. Their marriage didn’t last. Go figure.

Mom moved us to a house halfway between the First Baptist Church and the Nazarene Church. Very different theologies. She chose Nazarene. So I was raised as a Nazarene. By a Baptist mom. Go figure.

I married a Lutheran when I was 18 years old. And we raised our kids in the United Methodist tradition. Like our parents, our marriage didn’t last. Yet the Lord has remained faithful. Go figure.

Who is God to you?

How do you see Him? What is He really, really like?

  • Loving and Forgiving?
    or Angry and Punitive?
  • Closely involved in your everyday life?
    or Distant and Disinterested?
  • Together with you through all things?
    or you are on your own to figure it out?

Most of us have believed all of these things at one time or another.

How has your understanding of Who God is evolved over the years?

  • Has your journey with Him been upward, downward, or both?
  • Where are you now in what you believe about Him?

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

(Revelation 1:8)

Your Love Story Matters
and I look forward to hearing about
Your Personal Journey in Life and Love.

Let’s talk!
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