Getting to the next level always requires ending something, leaving it behind, and moving on. Growth demands that we move on. Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them.
Grief is accepting the reality of what is. That is grief's job and purpose-to allow us to come to terms with the way things really are, so that we can move on. Grief is a gift of God. Without it, we would all be condemned to a life of continually denying reality, arguing or protesting against reality, and never growing from the realities we experience.
When a child shuts down his painful emotional side, he also loses the ability to express his joyous side. Emotions are a whole. With anger comes the ability to express delight; with sadness comes the ability to express lightheartedness. This is the breadth of emotion that allows an adult to experience intimacy with a spouse, with God, and with his children
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Dating is not only a wonderful time of life, but also a context for enormous spiritual and personal growth. You learn so much about yourself, others, God, love, spirituality, and life through dating. Done well, it can be fulfilling in and of itself. Done well, it can be one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of your life. Done well, it can lead to a good marriage.
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This principle is taught in Scripture: "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19). In other words, we learn to be loving because we are loved. Grace must come from the outside for us to be able to develop it inside. The opposite side of this truth is that we can't love when we aren't loved. And, taking the thinking further, we can't value or treasure our souls when they haven't been valued or treasured.
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Don't go overboard in praising required behavior: 'We have only done our duty' (Luke 17:10). But do go overboard when your child confesses the truth, repents honestly, takes chances, and loves openly. Praise the developing character in your child as it emerges in active, loving, responsible behavior.
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Training moments occur when both parents and children do their jobs. The parent's job is to make the rule. The child's job is to break the rule. The parent then corrects and disciplines. The child breaks the rule again, and the parent manages the consequences and empathy that then turn the rule into reality and internal structure for the child.
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Boundary construction is most evident in three-year-olds. Boundary construction is most evident in three-year-olds. By this time, they should have mastered the following tasks: 1. The ability to be emotionally attached to others, yet without giving up a sense of self and one's freedom to be apart, 2. The ability to say appropriate no's to others without fear of loss of love, 3. The ability to take appropriate no's from others without withdrawing emotionally. Noting these tasks, a friend said half-joking, "They need to learn this by age three? How about by fourty-three?" Yes, these are tall orders but boundary development is essential in the early years of life.
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When we ask we are owning our needs. Asking for love, comfort or understanding is a transaction between two people. You are saying: I have a need. It's not your problem. It's not your responsibility. You don't have to respond, but I'd like something from you. This frees the other person to connect with you freely and without obligation. When we own that our needs are our responsibility we allow others to love us because we have something to offer. Asking is a far cry from demanding. When we demand love, we destroy it.
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The idea of submission is never meant to allow someone to overstep another's boundaries. Submission only has meaning in the context of boundaries, for boundaries promote self-control and freedom. If a wife is not free and in control of herself, she is not submitting anyway. She is a slave subject to a slave driver, and she is out of the will of God.
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Page 142: "When a spouse says to the alcoholic, "you need to go to AA, " that is obviously not true. The addict feels no need to do that at all, and isn't. But when she says, "I am moving out and will be open to getting back together when you are getting treatment for your addiction, " then all of a sudden the addict feels "I need to get some help or I am going to lose my marriage." The need has been transferred. It is the same with any kind of problematic behavior of a person who is not taking feedback and ownership. The need and drive to do something about it must be transferred to that person, and that is done through having consequences that finally make him feel the pain instead of others. When he feels the pain, he will feel the need to change... A plan that has hope is one that limits your exposure to the foolish person's issues and forces him to feel the consequences of his performance so that he might have hope of waking up and changing.
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Page 99: "... unless something changes, the future that you can expect is more of the past. Sorry or becoming committed does not make Jim Carrey a great golfer, or made Jack nicklaus funny. Recommitment does not make a person who is unsuited for a particular position suited for it all of a sudden. Promises by someone who has a history of letting you down in a relationship mean nothing certain in terms of the future.
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The twin sister to autonomy and freedom is responsibility and accountability. You cannot have one with out the other. If someone is given an area of responsibility, not only must they be set free to do it, they must also be held accountable for what they do. Accountability clarifies freedom. In the teams and companies where you see boundary confusion, power struggles, control, over-reaching of one's line of responsibility, you will also see lapses in accountability as well.
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One of the first signs that you're beginning to develop boundaries is a sense of resentment, frustration, or anger at the subtle and not-so-subtle violations in your life. Just as radar signals the approach of a foreign missile, your anger can alert you to boundary violations in your life.
When we can't hold back, or set boundaries, on what comes from our lips, our words are in charge-not us. But we are still responsible for those words. Our words do not come from somewhere outside of us, as if we were a ventriloquist's dummy. They are the product of our hearts. Our saying, "I didn't mean that," is probably better translated, "I didn't want you to know I thought that about you." We need to take responsibility for our words. "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken" (Matt. 12:36).
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When we begin to set boundaries with people we love, a really hard thing happens: they hurt. They may feel a hole where you used to plug up their aloneness, their disorganization, or their financial irresponsibility. Whatever it is, they will feel a loss. If you love them, this will be difficult for you to watch. But, when you are dealing with someone who is hurting, remember that your boundaries are both necessary for you and helpful for them. If you have been enabling them to be irresponsible, your limit setting may nudge them toward responsibility.
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That is why success and fruitfulness depend as much upon focusing on the "who" you are as much as the "what" of the work you do. Invest in your character, and it will give you the returns that you are looking for by only investing in the work itself. You can't do the latter without the former.
Oftentimes, churches are started by an entrepreneurial church plant visionary whom everybody follows, but he's not following anybody. Even though he's "accountable to a board," he's really not. Authority's a good thing, and if it's not forced upon you as a leader, then I suggest, strongly, that you go buy some.
God's solution for "I can't live that way anymore" is basically, "Good! Don't live that way anymore. Set firm limits against evil behavior that are designed to promote change and redemption. Get the love and support you need from other places to take the kind of stance that I do to help redeem relationship. Suffer long, but suffer in the right way." And when done God's way, chances are much better for redemption.
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I do believe there are things that we desire that are not in the cards. But more often than not, when people have a desire for a relationship and it's not happening, there are probably issues to be resolved and issues people could work on that would ultimately end in that desire being fulfilled.