Cause of illness & dysfunction

I had a bit of a revelation awhile several year ago and it has stuck with me.  A medical doctor appearing on my talk show (Rita Hancock) said much pain and many addictions stem from lies we have believed since childhood.  These lies can serve to cause such depression, stress, or heavy burdens that we end up carrying the weight of the lies in our body (physical pain) or we end up trying to escape the burden of the lies by numbing out through various addictions, such as overeating, alcohol, etc.

So I tried the simple exercise she suggested for those who have chronic pain, illness or addiction problems.  She said to sum up your current emotions in just one word. For me, the word that popped into my mind was “worry”.  Then she said to reflect back on when you recall feeling that same emotion for the very first time in childhood.  Bam!  I was taken right back to about 5 years of age when I recall feeling worried about the fighting and verbal abuse in my family.  And, I suddenly realized that, at the tender age of 5, I felt like I needed to solve the problem.  For some reason, I believed the lie that I was personally responsible for making peace between people and making everyone happy.  What a lie!  I guess we shouldn’t be shocked that Satan would enter a painful moment of our childhood and give us a wrong interpretation. After all, Jesus describes Satan in John 8:44 this way…”When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Fast forward to current day, and I can see how I’m still subconsciously carrying this same wrong burden.  And it’s too heavy!  And it isn’t my responsibility!  I am not responsible for the relationships between my children or between my relatives.  I am not personally responsible for my kids’ “happiness”.  The question for you is:  Have you believed a lie that has caused you to carry some kind of burden that God never intended you to carry?

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

How to refresh your weary soul

Are you feeling weary, discouraged or burdened?  Perhaps you’re feeling frustrated with others or even yourself.  This remedy might seem strange, but God says that when we meditate on His principles and begin applying them in our lives, our souls will be refreshed!  Psalm 19:7-8 says “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.  The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”

Maybe your soul is weary or discouraged because you’ve been trying to handle difficult people and circumstances with your own wisdom.  Maybe it’s time to search out God’s wisdom instead.  For instance, if you are depressed about your husband’s continuing verbal abuse toward you and your children, maybe your soul will be refreshed as you read God’s instructions for dealing with someone who is sinning against you.  You might want to read Matthew 18:15-17.  

Perhaps you’re dealing with a rebellious child who isn’t responding to your explanations about why he or she should listen to you.  Maybe your soul will be refreshed as you read God’s instructions for molding your children into people of character.  You might want to read Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” 

Help for wives with past sex abuse

Unfortunately, there’s a high likelihood that many wives reading this devotional have experienced past sexual abuse, either in childhood or due to a forced sexual situation as an adult woman.  I can relate to this myself.  I was sexually abused by several men over many years of my childhood.  As you probably know, this can cause real problems for you in terms of desiring to be sexually active with your husband.  Yet, it’s so vitally important to build a vibrant sex life with your husband.  What’s a wife to do?

Here are 5 things that have helped me along my journey:

1) Determine in your heart and mind that you will not let evil steal from you yet again.  Evil stole your innocence once before, but decide that you will not cooperate with Satan’s plan to steal the sex life from your marriage.

2) Coach your soul.  The psalmist David often talked to his soul and reminded his soul of truth.  We can do the same thing.  Remind your soul that your husband cares for you….that he will not hurt you…that you are not being forced…that you will actually enjoy loving touch from your husband….that you can relax in your husband’s arms.

3) Ask your husband if he will allow you to be the one who initiates sex.  That way, you will not feel like someone is suddenly forcing himself on you.  (However, you do need to initiate then!)

4) Ask your husband to progress slowly, giving you plenty of time to truly warm to his touch.  In other words, you might need extra time before transitioning from kissing to touching of breasts, etc.  Also, ask him to stop for a moment if you say stop.  You need to know that, unlike your childhood experience where you had no control, this time you have control over your body.

5) Decide not to dwell on the past, but choose to focus on what is good and right and pure in your husband and in your marriage.  This is what Philippians 4:8 tells us:  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

This helps during heartbreak

As I’m writing this devotional on November 16, 2021, it has officially been one week since my beloved husband Raul passed away unexpectedly from covid.  My world is turned upside down.  Everything changed in an instant.  The grief was and is intense.  It comes in waves.  There is a gaping hole where we used to partner together in daily life and in ministry.  The love of my life is gone, and although I rejoice that he is with Jesus, I can’t help but feel like this is all so unfair.

Perhaps you are going through something equally as devastating; different, but still devastating. You may have a prodigal teen who is getting into trouble with drugs. You may have just received a cancer diagnosis that has rocked your world.   You and I will definitely need to grieve the losses in our lives.  Sometimes we mourn the actual loss of a loved one, and other times, we need to grieve the loss of what we thought our life or our health or our family would be like. 

This morning, when I was trying to worship God through my pain, he gently gave me a different perspective that helped me quite a bit, so I would like to share it with you in the hope that it will somehow help you even a tiny bit as well.   As I was grieving and asking him the “why did you allow this to happen” question, he whispered to me “But I gave you a gift that you didn’t deserve.  I gave you 16 wonderful years with Raul.”  Mind-blown.  Perspective shifted.  I suddenly realized that I’m a sinner who has made mistakes in my life, and yet God, in his extravagant kindness, chose to bless me with a gift I didn’t deserve…for 16 years.  It made me thankful.  Instead of sinking into depression and bitterness, I realized that God blessed me beyond measure with 16 great years. 

God’s kindness to me reminded me to stop fixating on my pain and to start thinking about what I should be truly thankful for.  Then this verse came to mind.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”   Even though you are going through something painful, can you take a moment to remember ways that God has blessed you?  He IS a loving God.  He blesses us more than we deserve.

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Pray before making love?

Many of us come into marriage with broken sexuality. You may have been sexually abused as a child.  You may have slept with some prior boyfriends.  Your husband may have been sexually molested as a child or slept around before making a commitment to you.  All of that stuff from the past can cause us to be somewhat broken or scarred when it comes to our sexuality.

However, God is in the business of redeeming and restoring!    If you or your husband are haunted by the memories of former lovers or pornographic images, confess that to each other, and, prior to making love, pray together for Jesus to heal you.  Jesus can and will heal your broken sexuality.  James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

If you or your husband are sexually scarred due to past sexual abuse, pray together before making love and ask Jesus to heal you sexually.  Ask him to restore your innocence.  Ask him to allow you to totally delight in physical intimacy with your spouse.  Jesus is the great healer.  Claim Isaiah 53:5 “by his wounds, we are healed

And one additional benefit of praying together before making love is that it is one of the most intimate things you can do!  Beautiful spiritual and emotional intimacy occurs when you open your heart before your spouse and pray for God to enter into broken places.

Does your guy have open wounds?

Whether we realize it or not, most husbands are actually very insecure.  Many of our men have suffered deep emotional wounds in childhood.  Some were teased incessantly at school.  Many were physically abused by their dad or grandpa.  Others were sexually abused by the neighbor man.  Some were basically abandoned by one or both of their parents.  The emotional wounds, though often never revealed openly, still exist.

Unintentionally, we sometimes take a knife to that open wound and rip it open a little further.  When a man’s wife constantly points out his faults, the wound becomes larger.  When a wife complains that he doesn’t make enough money, isn’t romantic enough, doesn’t play with the kids enough, doesn’t talk to her enough….his insecurity grows deeper.  He feels like a failure once again.  He feels unwanted, unappreciated.  He feels like he’s just one big disappointment.

Ladies, let’s truly become our husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18) by being the one person in his life that always sees the best in him…who truly believes in him.  Let’s consciously work to affirm anything and everything he does right.  Think of yourself as your husband’s biggest cheerleader.  He needs to know you’re on his team.  This doesn’t mean you should never confront him if he’s way out of line, but even then, you can confront him lovingly and respectfully.  Let’s become the soothing salve for the emotional wounds of our men!