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How To Cast Out Unhealthy Patterns From Family

family patterns

Family Patterns

Architects create blueprints for buildings. Seamstresses follow patterns to create clothing. Sons and daughters follow parents into the family business. Patterns surround us.
Becoming guards to our steps, form habits, and influence our family dynamics. But what happens when the patterns don’t bring about the desired results? What happens when we find ourselves trapped in an unhealthy cycle?

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I’m reminded of the story of the wise man and the foolish man. An unwise man buildeth his house on the sand. It’s possible blasting dynamite into the rock was too much work. He might have wanted the quickest possible route to relaxation and fun in the sun. The lure of front porch relaxing while gazing at the sunset cost him in the long run.

The wise man took the longer more laborious route. When my grandparents built their lake home, they needed to bring in supplies by boat as there wasn’t a road to their property. They set dynamite charges in the rock in order to create the proper footings to support their home. I’m so glad they worked hard and took the proper precautions.

My memory holds wonderful moments: chipmunks eating from my hand, jeweled raspberries in light blue bowls, and the way the water glistened in the morning sun.
When we start a family, it’s easy to get swept into the fantasies of golden sunsets on the beach. Looking to realism, it’s more like back-breaking work with sweat dripping into our eyes.

Family life combines our respective life experiences from previous generations. Most families pass down life-giving habits and others life-stealing patterns. We combine these with our own struggles and trials of life.

This creates a recipe for life that needs dependence on God as the most important ingredient.

Even the best-intentioned mother or father can find themselves in unhealthy family patterns. One of the greatest gifts God gives us is his ability to redeem.

He redeems our life from past mistakes, regrets, and the things we don’t want to do yet persist in doing. Unhealthy patterns may abound, but God offers abundant redemption.
Poor communication, compulsive addictions, controlling behavior, perfectionism, lack of empathy, and excessive criticism lead to unhealthy patterns in our families.
There is a great deal of difference between abusive and unhealthy patterns in a family. Abusive situations require the intervention and attention of counseling professionals. Unhealthy patterns need a willingness to see the patterns, what they do, and the willingness to do the work needed to create healthy patterns for the benefit of our families.

Examples of Unhealthy Patterns

Relationships depend on communication, and it’s one of the easiest areas to develop unhealthy patterns. In our distraction prone society, lazy listening takes concentrated effort to overcome.

We use passive-aggressive or aggressive replies to express our disagreement. The silent treatment slams the door on communication. Explosive anger’s unpredictability laces interactions with fear.

Compulsive behavior ranges anywhere from substance abuse to overworking to overeating to needing excessive amounts of self-care.

Controlling behavior rears its ugly head in relationships with children or spouses which leads to resentment in the relationship. Perfectionism places powerful burdens on someone that leads to feelings of failure.

Lack of empathy creates an unsafe environment for an individual’s life experiences and excessive criticism robs others of their voice.

Examples of Healthy Patterns

Vigorous patterns in a family include the following:

Respect: which is the act of consideration towards each other.

Emotional safety: which is the ability to state thoughts without fear of dismissal or belittlement.
Accountability, apology, freedom to grow, courtesy, sibling bonds, clear boundaries, support of one another, sense of humor, and spending time together are more examples of healthy patterns in families.

Other healthy patterns involve parents co-parenting, building a resilient foundation by encouragement for the body, soul, and spirit. Healthy families allow reasonable expression of emotions, gentle teasing, and they go easy on the sarcasm.

Patterns develop because individuals, with unique strengths and weaknesses, make up a family unit.
It’s up to us, as parents, to determine a few core values for our unique family unit, and then put practices in place to guide us.
Identifying unhealthy patterns requires us to contemplate Matthew 7:3-5. Then we are better able to recognize behavior patterns that interfere with the development of our chosen core values.
If you’re feeling like your family has a tremendous amount of growing to do—it’s okay! The good thing is that you recognize it, and are humble enough to admit it to yourself. That is the very first step in changing the culture of your family for the better.

Moving from Unhealthy to Healthy Family Patterns

Once we’ve determined our family’s core values, it’s time to decide which pattern to work on.
Undoing unhealthy patterns requires a sense of self-awareness while the new patterns take root. This can be exhausting, but if we can keep the end goal in mind, it will propel us through the difficulties of rewiring our thoughts and behavior patterns.

For example, to change the pattern from an unhealthy display of disrespect to a healthy pattern of respect, one needs to determine ways to increase consideration toward one another. A family who wishes to show each other respect, can begin to think about each other when making decisions.

Respect prefers one another. It honors one another. It can be as simple as letting someone else go first or offering to help someone without being asked.
I live on a gravel road and every spring we go through mud season. The roads fill with ruts and my vehicle bounces along them. I fool myself into thinking I’m in control of the car, but I’m not, the ruts do the directing.
Unhealthy patterns in our family are ruts. We jostle back and forth, frustrated and stuck. Eventually, mud season ends, the roads dry up, the maintainer smooths them out, and I’m back to steering my car instead of the ruts. In our homes, unhealthy patterns resemble those ruts.
God’s wisdom and strength smooths out our unhealthy patterns as we look to him for help. Success in undoing unhealthy patterns comes when we rely on God. When we ask, he reveals which patterns need addressing, he gives us the wisdom to know what to do, and he gives us the strength to do it.

Progress Is the Goal
Sometimes in our discovery of unhealthy patterns, we grow discouraged because it’s all we can see. Overwhelm and discouragement is a real thing that keeps us from moving forward.
Taking small steps is the most important choice. Long lasting progress takes time. Quick results are exciting, but some patterns are so entrenched that they will take determination and hard work to undo. That’s okay.

Progress, not perfection is the goal.
As much as I love a quick fix, I keep in mind the larger picture. I’m creating a generational legacy so I parent with the long-game in mind. When I forget and slip back into unhealthy patterns, I am quick to recognize it and repent.
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” The Lord is there to help us when we admit our struggles and rely on him.
In fact, that’s when the most long-lasting progress happens because in our weakness, he is strong. We take the next step with him leading us, cheering us, and empowering us. He sets us free from unhealthy patterns in our family.
God’s mercies are new every morning because he is faithful and steadfast towards us. Take a step toward undoing those unhealthy patterns by relying on him to direct your steps toward a healthy family unit.

Select one unhealthy pattern at a time to focus on and begin to see healthy patterns develop as you make conscious decisions to rewrite your family’s story.

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Helping Teenagers At Home Fall In Love With The Bible

teenagers

Five Minute Bible Devotions for Teenagers…
One Minute Prayers for Teenagers…
Resources like these flood the Christian market. They accomplish what they intend—to get a quick dose of Scripture and biblical encouragement in front of a busy teen.

But teenagers need so much more.
In a culture of shifting morality, confusing choices, and peer pressure, teens need solid biblical literacy to help them navigate a broken world with clarity and truth. Biblical ignorance equals a shaky foundation, one which can’t weather the storms of cultural pressure, anti-biblical worldviews, and simple questions such as “Why do you believe in God?” and “What is truth?” The Bible holds the answer to those questions. It’s the firm foundation that can withstand those storms.

Yet many teenagers never dig deep into the Word. In my own life, personal Bible study has kept me strong and helped me navigate the questions and confusion that comes with being a teen in a rapidly shifting culture.

Why Do Teenagers Need Bible Literacy?

1. To know who God is—and how to follow Him.

The Bible is a book about God. But so often, we make the Bible a book about us. We handpick verses that seem applicable to our lives and focus on them. As we do so, we miss out on the purpose of the Bible and dilute our understanding of who God is. If we don’t know who God is, we won’t know how to follow Him.

2. To grow in spiritual maturity.

It’s possible to have Biblical literacy without spiritual maturity. Anyone can have head knowledge without growing in heart knowledge. But it’s not possible to grow in spiritual maturity without growing in Biblical literacy. By knowing who God is, we grow in our understanding of who we, as His followers, are called to be. Biblical literacy and spiritual maturity go hand in hand.

3. To navigate our cultural moment.

The Bible enlightens our cultural moment. The words “abortion” and “transgender” may not be found within its pages, but even so, Scripture is relevant to these issues and so many more. The Word of God does not bend and change with the culture; nor is it crammed into the mold of one particular society.

Instead, it sheds light beyond the culture by sharing unwavering truths about who God is, who we are, and how to worship and follow Jesus Christ. These unchanging truths enable us to live beyond our cultural moment and answer our cultural questions by being rooted in the firm foundations of biblical truth.

4. To learn and understand absolute truth.

The Bible is a book of absolute truth. It’s inerrant and infallible, because it contains the very Words of God. Yet teenagers are growing up in a post-truth world—one that may admit the reality of truth, but elevates feelings and personal preference above absolute truth.

Without truth, we don’t know right from wrong. We don’t know how to live. But with Jesus, who is, “the way, the truth, and the life” we have a model. For Christian teens to stand strong, we must know and love the truth. In order to know and love the truth, we must know and love the Bible.

5. To understand the gospel.

The story of salvation is the thread running through all of Scripture. In the Bible we find the holiness of God and the depth of our sin outlined in humanity’s fall. We find the grace and mercy of God in sending Jesus to die for our sins. We anticipate the hope of a new heaven and new earth in the picture of future restoration.

These things have the ability to transform the way we live. A teen who understands and lives the message of the gospel is one who will walk in the power of a life transformed by Christ.

How Can We Teach Teenagers Scripture (and Equip Them to Study it on Their Own)?

It’s not hard to see that teens need Scripture. What’s harder is getting teens to fall in love with studying the Bible. But it’s entirely possible.

1. Lead by example.

If you’re a parent or youth worker, you have the ability to lead by example. Do you love the Bible? Do your teens see you reading and studying it? Can they observe how it’s changed your life and how you live it out? Do you treat the Word of God with reverence and respect? It’s deeply impactful to see an adult regularly applying these practices in ways that are accessible and approachable. As teens see your love for the Bible, you’re taking the first step for them to love it too.

2. Study corporately.

I remember my mom regularly reading the Bible out loud to my sister and me and talking to us about Scripture as we were growing up. Come alongside your teen in studying the Bible. Meet with them every day or once a week to read it together and/or discuss what you’ve been reading.

Learn: How To Cast Out Unhealthy Patterns From Family

Make the Bible an ongoing conversation in your home. For youth leaders, do Bible studies with your youth group that dig deep into Scripture. Instead of thinking teens can’t handle intense Bible study, come alongside them and learn together.

3. Raise expectations.

When my parents gave me my first study Bible at the age of eleven, there was an expectation in place. They expected that I wouldn’t waste the gift, but instead use it well. I would read it, study it, and take care of it. Their expectations set me up for success. Because they raised the bar, I rose to the challenge.

What do we expect from our teens? Do we expect them to be able to study the Bible? Or do we expect them to think it’s a boring book that isn’t relevant to their life? Do we expect them to be able to glean truths from Scripture? Or do we think the only thing they can handle is a spoon-fed message in a light devotional?

4. Cultivate the right heart (instead of just striving for the right actions).

Actions matter—but heart attitude matters more. Instead of simply telling teens what to do, discuss why. Talk about why the Bible is the inspired Word of God, why it matters, and how it transforms us. Allow teens to wrestle with hard questions, and point them to Scripture as their guide. Cultivate the right heart by making the Bible less about a checkmark on a to-do list and more about an intimate relationship with the God who loves them.

5. Teach them the tools.

Studying the Bible is intense work that requires correct tools. I’ve talked to teens who desire to better understand the Bible, but they don’t know how. Let’s not hinder our teenagers from growing in biblical literacy because they lack the tools they need.

Tools like comprehension, interpretation, and application. Being able to read a text through the eyes of the original readers, understanding how cross-references work, and how to consult trusted commentaries. If you want your teen to study the Bible, you must become a teacher who is equipped in the tools.

This process isn’t easy, especially if you’re a new student of the Word yourself, but there are many resources available to help you and your teen along the journey. You don’t need to have a Masters of Divinity to teach your teen Scripture. All you need is to be present in their lives and committed to learning together.

Becoming Teens of the Word

Lest I make it sound like teaching teens to study the Bible is comparable to teaching them algebra, let’s not forget that it’s the Holy Spirit who enlightens our eyes and enables us to glean truth from Scripture. Pray for God to light a spark of passion in your teen’s heart for His Word.

Like I say in my book, Love Riot: A Teenage Call to Live With Relentless Abandon for Christ, “I don’t want to make this sound like a ritual or a dry, educational process. I don’t want you to think of reading your Bible simply as a discipline and not as a joy. As you dig deeper into Scripture, consistently letting its words wash over your heart, that’s exactly what it becomes: a joy… It’s not always fun or easy.

But I can tell you with 100 percent certainty it’s always worth it. Ask God to give you a fiery passion for His Word. He will. And when the fire dims and flickers, ask again.”

That’s what God can do in the heart of your teen. Ever since the day I received my first “adult Bible”, this truth has been ingrained in my heart: God’s Word has the power to change a life.

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Here is How To Heal From A Broken Relationship

Healing a Broken Relationship

It would be extremely nice if healing a broken relationship could be achieved with the right Hallmark card and some beautiful flowers, but it doesn’t work that way. We are required to bring so much more to the table.

Healing a broken relationship is a long process. Sometimes it can take months or even years. Besides because bringing together two people who have moved far apart takes tremendous time and effort, one must prepare accordingly. You would not take off hiking in the woods for two weeks with nothing but what you could fit into your pants pockets. You’d starve to death. Instead, you’d pack everything needed for going the long haul.

You must get ready for your big trip, and once you’re as prepared as you can be, you start by pacing yourself. You don’t start running. You don’t skip. Whatever you do is walk at any easy, comfortable pace. An individual walks understanding that you have a long way to go. Same with a relationship you’re trying to heal. Take it slowly, and take it steadily.

You can’t plan ahead with the same kind of exactness as when planning a hiking or camping trip, but you can certainly bear in mind that, just like with outdoor expeditions, healing a broken relationship will entail all kinds of steps, periodic assessments of progress, and fruitful planning.

It won’t, in other words, be effortless.

Whenever it comes to creating a loving, healthy bond out of what may now be only a source of stress and regret, there’s one thing you must have with you the whole time. And, like water on a hiking trip, it has to be the one thing you know for sure will never deplete: the fullness of God in your heart.
Maintaining a cracked relationship is all about loving and giving from a heart filled with God’s compassionate presence. A heart filled with the joyous appreciation of all that God can make of us. The heart wants to give…to give and give until the object of its giving is at a loss to do anything but, finally, accept that love.

That is how you heal a broken relationship. As an individual you give out of the fullness of your heart, which refills itself, right up to the top, in exact equal measure to whatever its love is joyfully given to another.

The opener, of course, is to learn how to never run out of the fullness of God’s love.

Here are some steps we must follow in order to find healing from a broken relationship

Turn to the Source

In the evening of that same day, after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. The town in its entirety gathered at the door to watch. Thus Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. Nonetheless because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak. Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to a secluded place to pray (Mark 1:32-35).

There’s nothing I or anyone else can say that more perfectly captures how vital it is that every one of Jesus’ followers takes time out every day to go to their own “isolated place” and pray to God for strength and inspiration.

It amazes me how few Christians set aside time in their everyday lives to put down their concerns of the moment, sit, read Scripture, and pray to God. How much better would your life be if you took the time to do that every single day? Are you too busy running here and going there, taking care of this and handling that, to remember to care for the soul God has entrusted to you?

Present are many great reasons to regularly pray to God as there are to live and breathe and stay alive. A tile of the greatest is the good it can do you as you struggle to heal a broken relationship.

Give Love

Another key is to give your love. Give your peace. Give your generosity of spirit. Give your heart. Give, above all, your forgiveness.

We say or hear that it’s better to give than to receive all the time. Nonetheless how often do we actually give rather than receive? Exactly how often do we really experience just how true that saying is?

Well, if you’re trying to bond with someone you’ve broken with, it’s time you got back in touch with the truth about the real relationship between giving and receiving. Being Openhanded and giving all the love you have to another person isn’t the only way you can ever heal with them. It’s also the only way God can keep giving and giving all of his love to you.

If you keep giving, are you eventually going to get depleted? Well, what must God’s children do if we want to make sure we never run out of the love we keep on giving? Turn and run to God and get more. Only he can keep us in full supply of all the love we need if we’re going to keep giving as much as we can.

Remember the above passage? Jesus felt it necessary, after all his giving and healing, to turn very soon thereafter to his Father in order to replenish his supply of love, compassion, and strength. We should do nothing different. Don’t ever forget, when you’re doing the loving business of healing with another, to return, every single day, to the source of all our healing.

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4 Tips On How to Help Yourself Whenever You Feel Depressed

Depressed

Depression has over the years grown to become one of the major health issues in the world.
According to Google’s dictionary, it can be defined as a group of conditions associated with the elevation or lowering of a person’s mood, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
There are different types of depressed disorders, and each have their different symptoms and occur at almost different points in life.
They are named based on the time they occur, and their symptoms and age range of patients, and you can help yourself get back to your feet no matter the type.

Some of the ways to help yourself whenever you feel depressed do this include:

• Express yourself more
It doesn’t matter the type, expression of yourself has always proven to become one of the ways of tackling depression and major mood swings.
It is not always easy to get someone to speak with, and you can consider a phone therapy. The best thing about this telephone therapy is that most times you do not know whom you’re speaking with, and you will get opportune to speak to your most preferred gender.

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Take for instance, a female might want to speak to only male therapists and vice versa.
You can as well go online, join a forum like Quora and get to their depression section. Answer a few questions concerning the topic, read other people’s own also and watch yourself getting better.

• Exercise yourself
Exercises have a way of making you feel better, and you will get over the mood swings even without knowing them.
You can take a few steps of walk, or jog around your estate or even do some press ups a day. If you are not able to motivate yourself, you can get a friend to do it with, and make it competitive to help your mind get over the pressure.

Depression turns people inactive, and when you can get yourself to work out, you have fought the battle halfway.

• Work on your diet
Each time people feel depressed, they tend to either undereat or overeat. This is because their feeding is one of the only things they feel they can control at that point in life.
Proper nutrition will go a long way in elevating your moods, and taking plenty of fruits and vegetables have always been proven to help the patients.

Also Read: COVID-19: Tips on How To Boost Your Immune System With Your Diet

• Notice the good things around you
Some of us tend to be so negative that we forget the good things happening all around. While thinking of the exams you failed, have you thought about people who couldn’t even get into school?
Quite a number are out there who cannot read or write, some are blind and don’t even know what the internet is, many people in the deep parts of Africa don’t even have access to good light, not to talk about the internet, and here you are.
You eat properly, you dress very well, take good photos to post on Facebook and Instagram and can tweet as much as you like a day.
Have you ever thought those things as blessings? The moment you get over to the brighter side on your inner mind, the external would be brightened up.

Hope this note help. Please feel free to share your thoughts below..

God bless you.

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