Think of the messages women hear during an average evening. You stop at the grocery store on your way home, and in the checkout line you notice the magazine covers on the nearby stand. You turn on the TV after dinner to relax with a couple of your favorite shows. The 10 minutes each hour of commercials blare even louder than the program.
As you open the mail there are three bills that are larger than you expect: you’re not certain how you’ll be able to pay them. You open Facebook, and notice some pictures from your friend’s family trip last weekend. You can’t remember when you last had a true weekend away.
As you look at your schedule for tomorrow, you remember you will be going into work late. You have a doctor’s appointment. You made the appointment because you seem to be tired all the time, and hope there’s a medical explanation – and treatment.
During the evening your cellphone rings several times. One call is from your daughter away at school, letting you know she wants to bring a friend with her when she comes home this weekend. Another call is from your mom: she’s worried about your father’s health, and frustrated that he won’t go see a doctor. You promise to talk to him about it next time you visit.
When your husband arrives home you sit down to eat together: at least you’re trying. Neither of you has much energy to talk about anything important. It’s one more evening of just existing together: you’ll have to work on really connecting some other time.
How do you feel living through that evening? Can you hear the messages that keep coming? Some of them come in pictures, some in words, some in feelings.
Do You Hear Any of These Messages?
- You’re not young enough anymore.
- You’re not pretty enough anymore.
- You’re too fat.
- You’ll never catch up: there’s too much to do.
- Other people have happier lives than you do.
- Your husband doesn’t give you as much as other husbands do.
- Spending money on things will make you happy.
- There’s a quick fix – a pill or program – to fix how you feel.
- You need the latest “stuff” so other people will think you’re OK.
- Other people have an easier time in life than you do.
- You’ll never have quite enough money.
- Something bad could happen at any time.
- Your family is too needy: you aren’t enough for them.
- If you keep trying harder you might make it.
- Your own life isn’t interesting enough.
- Going somewhere new or doing something new will make you happy
- Other marriages don’t have as many problems as yours does.
- Other people’s children are smarter, more successful, and don’t cause problems.
- Problems should be fixed in an hour (or two at the most).
- Maybe in a few years you can be happy: just don’t hope too much.
- You’ll never experience all those good things: that’s only for other people.
- It’s no use trying: you might as well give up.
- Who you are isn’t good enough: you have to do something more.
- Your job is to take care of other people.
- All your trying will never make things better, or good enough.
Do any of those messages sound like what you hear in your own heart?
The good news: once you identify the messages it becomes easier to counteract the negatives with the truth. That’s where God’s truth becomes so important.
Once you identify the negative messages and counteract them with the truth you will be amazed at the peace and even joy you experience!
Your turn: What negative messages do you keep hearing? What truth can you replace those negative messages with? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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