5 Keys to Unhealthy Relationships

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Want an unhealthy relationship?

1) Never apologize when you judge them (even in your heart).

2) Criticize everything they do.


3) Talk about them behind their back. This is especially awesome. One negative + another negative = worse!


4) Never ask for forgiveness when you mess up.


5) Ignore the harsh words you spoke and let them fester in their hearts forever.

Maybe you are asking, “Why aren’t these okay? They’ve worked for me in the past.”

Maybe they have worked, but they are friendship, intimacy, and marriage stealers! The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. It’s time to recognize the enemy working through us and say, “Get behind me!”

1) “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV). See, you don’t even want to have judgmental thoughts in your heart because they will eventually come out of your mouth or eat you on the inside.

2) Over time, criticizing every single thing someone does will make their ears grow deaf to your voice. They won’t seek you for encouragement because they know the kick in the face will follow. Want intimacy? Try shutting your face and speaking life into someone.

3) If you open your mouth to slander another person and the person jumps in and agrees with you, it only makes it worse. Just don’t. Take your ugly thoughts to God so you don’t site the pot.

4) Always apologize. Make it right. I have a friend who is asking each of her friends, “Do you have any offense or bitterness towards me?” She’s doing everything she can to fight for peace in the relationships that she values.

5) Harsh words cut. They leave wounds and scars, places where bitter infection can breed depression, offense, or even hatred. Don’t pretend you didn’t speak those ugly things. Decide in your heart if you meant them and why. What’s wrong with you that you feel that way? We need to do a heart check. Were you striking out because you were angry? Is it a defense mechanism? Is it how you really feel? Regardless, you need to know the source. You will eat the fruit of your own words. Think about the person you hurt in your emotional outburst and how much you value them. Consider what you are thankful for, and it will give you perspective. Suddenly, you will realize the thing you were actually frustrated about is very small.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words will never hurt me. This isn’t true: “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21 NIV). Even ugly words spoken out of your own mouth will be words that you will eat. You reap what you sow.

Some people never apologize. They ignore or justify their sin—their judging, their critical spirit, their unkind words—sweeping it under the rug and acting like everything’s cool.

Apologizing, reconciling, and working things out, even though it’s harder, in the end actually makes relationships stronger. Sweeping it under the rug and ignoring it will always leave a little infection for a later, much larger blow out.

Ask for forgiveness, and also forgive people when they offend you. If you have trouble forgiving other people, keep in mind how much God has forgiven you:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
— 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

 

What Relationship Means

Being a homeschool mom, I have a lot of time with my children. I’m with them for hours every single day of their lives, but just because I’m with them doesn’t mean I’m actually engaging with them in their hearts. I can be commanding them to do things, issuing orders, telling them what to do with school, giving them tasks and challenges, but all the while, not truly connecting with them and their hearts.
The question is what is the most important, quantity time or quality time with our children? I would argue that it’s neither. Greg Gunn of Family-iD first introduced me to this concept that it’s not about quantity time or quality time; it’s about quality of relationship. When you have a quality relationship with someone, it doesn’t matter if you spend five minutes together or an hour. When you connect with each other with your hearts, that is what makes the relationship continue to be woven together and glued together thickly.
How can we relate that to God? In my own home, I have a choice with God. I can choose to spend a lot of time with Him and acknowledge Him. I can choose to have a quality relationship with Him. That’s a very different thing. Having a quality relationship with God involves listening.
I think sometimes we feel guilty about going to God and asking Him for something and telling Him what our needs are because we think, “Oh, I haven’t spent enough time with You. I haven’t read the Bible enough. I haven’t prayed enough. I don’t feel worthy to ask You this.” But it’s not really about the time; it’s about the quality of your relationship with God.
I think it’s important for your heart to bow down in thanksgiving to Him continually, like when you see the sky and the beautiful sunset or the puffy, beautiful clouds and you acknowledge the Creator. I mean, that’s quality relationship right there. It’s not a work. It’s recognition. It’s honoring God. I want to encourage you to seek a quality relationship with God and your spouse and your children.

Go Back and Do What You Once Did

Go back and do what you once did. Go back and do what you did in the beginning. This will impact your marriage, your children, your work, your friends, and your relationship with God.

Marriage. Remember the time when you were in love with your spouse. You chose your spouse. You picked that person. You had fun with that person. You overlooked that person’s flaws; you chose him or her in spite of the faults. Somewhere along the way—with life’s trials, kids, frustrations, pet peeves—the things you once loved, now you can’t stand. Look at the reflection of your own story. Remember what you did in the beginning. Now go back to it and do what you once did.

Children. When we first had children, we thought their orneriness was adorable. We couldn’t wait to hug them in the morning when they woke up. We loved the little sounds they made and all the things they were learning. Somewhere along the way, there was a switch that flipped. The rebellion became annoying. You used to laugh about it, and now it’s annoying. You may not greet your children with the same level of joy in the morning because they are grumpy, tired, and moody and they want to sleep in. Honestly, they are just not cute. It used to be cute, but now the cuteness is gone. We don’t celebrate every victory or every win. They learned something new today. That is now our minimum. Our bare minimum expectation. Encouragement begins to wane. But what if we went back and did what we did in the beginning? 

Work. Remember the first several months or years at work? You showed up on time, and you studied hard to learn what you were doing. You worked hard; you gave your all. You tried to have minimal chitchat and break time because you wanted to be effective and strong. You had dreams to be the best in your department. You had dreams of being promoted quickly. Those things haven’t happened, so now you find yourself chatting a little longer at the water cooler, coming in fifteen or thirty minutes late, and leaving early. You now park your car backwards in your space because you start your day thinking about your exit strategy. What if you did what you did back in the beginning so you could be promoted and see your own work rather than trying to find a job somewhere else? Instead of starting a new beginning somewhere else, why don’t you start your own beginning where you are?

Friends. I don’t know how guys are, but with girls, friendships start out fun and pursuing. You text each other. You probably have a special ringtone because you cannot wait to hear from that specific friend. You laugh together. You share your children’s accomplishments: “They rode their bike for the first time!” or “They lost their tooth! I’m so excited!” Then one fight or one hurt comes along, and you take that person off of your favorites. You change your ringtone and make that person like everyone else. You turn off the ringer. You don’t answer the call right away. You have let a wall build up in your relationship. You go find new friends so you can repeat the same pattern. You start to separate from or divorce that friend. Now you are changing the ringtone for your new friend and saying, “Oh my goodness, I want to like all her Facebook posts!” Before you know it, you’ve had friend after friend after friend after friend. It’s on; it’s off. What if we went back and did what we did in the beginning, just forgave quickly and got over it? Who cares? It’s strife that makes you stronger. If you work through something and you get to the other side, the relationship is stronger than it was. Smile more. What do kids do when they make friends? They smile. They say, “Hi! I want to be your friend!” Smile more. Laugh more. Forgive more. Go back and do what you did in the beginning. 

God. When you were first saved, you were on fire. You prayed every day. Maybe all day, every day, you read your Bible. You went to church. You were at the church every time the door was open. You served at every opportunity. You were not only on the host team, you were running the host team. You served kids. You didn’t even like them, but you did it because you loved God so much. You were on fire because He had changed your life radically. You shared Him with everyone at the grocery store. You shouted from the rooftop how great your life was. You posted on social media. Your friends didn’t know what was up with you. You were inviting everyone you knew to church. Before you know it, ten years have gone by, and your love has waned. What happened to your first love? Why has your love grown wax cold? Go back and do what you did in the beginning. 

Medicines versus Miracles

When you have a headache, it’s easy to run to a bottle of Advil. When you have a sore throat, it’s easy to take a throat lozenge. When you are sick, it’s easy to run to a doctor.

But you know what, if you start practicing the use of the name of Jesus when you have a headache, it’s easy to get rid of the headache by speaking to your head and saying, “Headache, I command you to leave in the name of Jesus.” It begins to become easier to speak to your body until your sore throat goes in the name of Jesus. It begins to be easier to tell your body, “Hey, cramps—I know you may have come when you have come, but I am under a new covenant and I command you to leave in the name of Jesus.” I don’t have to live any longer at the beck and call of my body as it cries out and tells me how it feels and what medicine it needs. I command my body and speak to it and tell it what to do because it is my slave. I am no longer a slave to it, but it is my slave.

In medicine, who gets the glory? In miracles, it’s clear who gets the glory. It’s not you. It’s not your power. It’s the power of the name of Jesus Christ, which is above every name and has been delegated for you to use.

It doesn’t cost anything. You don’t keep it on the shelf in stock and then breathe easy because you are covered. You don’t have to risk someone opening it and getting into it and getting poisoned. You don’t have to run and see a doctor to get a prescription for it. You don’t have to risk becoming addicted to it. You get to take it everywhere. The name of Jesus doesn’t take up any space on your trips. The name of Jesus can be called upon anywhere you go, with anyone.

You can use His name, but it is like a muscle. It has to be practiced and used in the little situations so you can use it in the big situations. These big things seem scarier, but the name of Jesus works alike on the small and the big.

For some reason, in the mind, sickness becomes a huge mountain rather than a molehill. The name of Jesus, the blood that was shed 2,000 years ago, paid for sicknesses and diseases that weren’t even discovered yet. His blood cleanses all things from the beginning to the end, from the past into the future.
When you know that you know Him, when you are 100 percent sure of who He is and that He left you His name and delegated it for you to use to bring glory to Himself so people would know Him, then you will use it. You will catch yourself before you reach for a bottle of medicine. You will say, “Wait a second, there is something else I can look for first: a miracle. I can speak to this ache or sickness in the name of Jesus so that God gets the glory—not man and not medicine, with no bottle, no money, no brand name—only Jesus.”

I encourage you to pray and ask God about the difference between medicine and miracles. I pray that He will flood the eyes of your heart so you will know for yourself what you have in Him. I pray that you know you are a co-heir. An heir doesn’t receive based on performance but based on relationship. You have received an inheritance of the name of Jesus, which is above every name (Ephesians 1:17–21). That is the full measure; it lives in you, and you can access it at any time.

His name is stronger than any medicine, any heart shocker, and any chemotherapy. It is above every name. There is nothing on this earth that is above the name and the power of Jesus Christ.


Father, just open our eyes and show us who You are more deeply and intimately. Help us get rid of lies we believe, facts we have heard, naysayers who surround us, and the chains of our own understanding so that we can simply step into Your power and You will receive the glory. In Jesus’ name.

Relationship First



I enjoy reading the Bible, but sometimes it’s hard to know if I am reading it for you, a friend, or myself.
Choke. 
It’s always for me!

I don’t go to the Word to prepare to teach, pray, speak, or share. I go to the Word to be refined.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
When you allow God to refine you, suddenly you become a usable vessel to encourage others to finish their race strong! 

Some people think that they’re called to point out all your faults. They point you to the Word to show you where you fall short or are religious or how you do EVERYTHING under the sun WRONG! They have a spiritual gift used wrongly.

I have been this girl. My passion made me ugly, judgmental, and harsh toward other brothers and sisters. There’s no fruit in this.

Like I said, I love studying the Word—word by word with my husband or just listening to whole books every day. One day, I was listening to this song I found after I had read all of Matthew.

One line in particular PINCHED me—ouch! Wow. Pain. It was literally like God’s Word through Misty Edwards penetrated me and divided my soul; it judged my thoughts and the attitude of my heart.

OUCH.

I don’t say this with joy. It’s not easy to unveil to the world the struggle, but the struggle is REAL, people.

Here is the line:
“They’ve been building a ministry, planning and scheming in all of the things,
But they forgot reality, relationship.”

We can be so busy working, planning, doing, chauffeuring, running errands, cooking, and talking to friends that we QUITE LITERALLY FORGET ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!

What?!

When I am pierced like this, I stop!

“Father, have I been so busy working for You that I have lifted idols above You?”

He is faithful to draw near and to forgive us, even before we ask.

What have you placed above your Father? What idols do you have? Maybe your school, your children, your spouse, your friends, money, things? What is it for you? Ask God today:

“Father, have I been so busy working for You that I have lifted idols above You?”

Love,
Sheri

Matthew 25 (Misty Edwards)
In that day,
The Kingdom of Heaven will be likened unto ten virgins, in that day
In that day.
All of them are waiting for the Bridegroom,
All of them are waiting and waiting and waiting
All of them have lamps and they’re waiting and waiting and waiting, waiting and waiting
In the mundane, mundane, mundane, mundane
Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting…
And when the night falls, they fall asleep
Each and every one of them, they fall asleep.
In the mundane, mundane, mundane
Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Bridegroom
Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, and they fall asleep.
In the midnight hour, a cry will be heard.
In the midnight hour, in the deepest, darkest hour of history,
In the midnight hour.
For behold a deep, deep darkness will cover the earth.
In the midnight hour of history,
It will be the darkest hour of history, of history.
A deep darkness will cover the earth.
Like a dark, dark darkness that could even be heard.
And a deep, deep darkness will cover the earth.
But in the midnight hour a cry will be heard.
A cry, a cry, a cry…
Behold the Bridegroom, go out to meet Him.
Behold the Bridegroom, go out to meet Him.
Behold the Bridegroom, go out to meet Him.
Behold the Bridegroom.
Awake, awake, oh sleepers, awake, awake, the hour is here,
Awake, awake, oh sleepers, and behold,
In the middle of the night a cry will be heard.
Oh, and the ten virgins, they will awake from their slumber.
They’ll be scurrying around into the streets,
They’ll be shining their lamps, going out to meet Him, going out to meet Him.
It’s the day, it’s the day, it’s the day that they’ve been waiting for
The day that they’ve been waiting for, the wedding is just around the corner now
Just around the corner now.
And they’ll be running around, scurrying around, getting ready to go out
Finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, finally.
But in that day, says the Lord, the Kingdom will be just like this
And in that day, in that day, in that day,
Five, five will be wise and five, five will be foolish.
Wisdom and folly defined by the Master
Wisdom and folly defined, defined, defined.
For the foolish, so busy shining their lamps, forgot to get the oil.
And the clock now, now, now is ticking, it’s ticking,
And the clock now, now, now is ticking, it’s ticking
And it’s the middle of the night and the cry has been resounding
And now they’re scurrying around, round, round.
But the foolish are trying so hard to get their lamps lit.
But they have no oil.
So preoccupied, so preoccupied.
They’ve been building a ministry, planning and scheming in all of the things,
But they forgot reality, relationship,
They forgot to get the oil on the inside of the lamp.
For the oil comes from the inside out and they forgot it.
Now like empty, empty tombs they forgot it.
Now the five, the five who were wise, they had oil.
For even though they slept, their hearts were awake.
They didn’t get weighed down by the mundane or distracted by the lamps.
They had the first things, first things, first things, first.
They had oil from the inside out.
And the five who are foolish will say to the five who are wise in that day,
O help us, help us!
Give us some of your reality, give us some of your intimacy
Give us some of the oil in your lamp,
But it doesn’t work that way. It can’t work that way.
And the five who are wise will say to the foolish,
Go buy oil for yourself, you have to take the time to know Him for yourself
They say, go buy oil, I counsel you buy it now
Go buy oil, I cannot give it to you
You have to go buy oil for yourself, I cannot give you mine
For only what is real will burn inside, burn inside.
In that day the five who are wise will go to meet the Bridegroom in the feast of the wedding.
Oh, but the five who are foolish will cry.
So I tell you now, while there’s still time,
Go buy oil before it’s too late.
I counsel you now, you have a name that you’re alive, but you’re dead on the inside.
So I counsel you, buy gold, refined in the fire.
For you have a lamp that you’re alive, but you’re dead in the inside.
But there’s still time, just a little bit, only a little bit of time.
What are you gonna do with that time, with that time, with that time, with the time?
Time, time, time is ticking by, and the Bridegroom is coming, He’s coming, He’s coming,
Are you ready to meet Him, to meet Him, to meet Him?
Will you even recognise Him?
So I tell you now, go buy oil,
I counsel you, buy gold, refined by the fire.
Take the time to live from the inside out.
Take the time to be acquainted with the Holy Spirit and the Word.
Take the time to buy oil before it’s too late.
For wisdom will be justified, wisdom will be justified.
In that day, in that day, in that day.