How Do You Know if You are Mentally/Emotionally Healthy?

How Do You Know if You are Mentally/Emotionally Healthy?

Do you ever wonder if you’re OK mentally? With all the stress and struggle our modern world affords, who wouldn’t get upset, anxious, or depressed? How are you supposed to know if you’re responding normally or not?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness asserts that one in four of us experiences a mental illness in any given year. So it’s no wonder that over 20% are taking some kind of antidepressant medication. Right now we are entering Domestic Violence Awareness Month – certainly a significant source of mental/emotional distress and illness. We hear a lot about PTSD these days; God knows we have plenty of trauma in our world, and the after-affects are not surprising.

Think of the billions of dollars spent and entire industries built around people trying to get mentally healthy. It’s only in the last several decades that much of this has come to be. Come to think of it, what did people do before self-help groups, Prozac, and hotlines?

I’m being a little facetious. There is much of value in the products, services, and industries to help people experience a better life. But what are we really after? If some magic potion could make you instantly “mentally healthy,” would you recognize yourself? Would you know it when you got there?

“If you aim at nothing, you are sure to reach it every time.” While God never shows us every detail of the future He has for us, He shows us enough to make us hungry for it. He calls us to a life that is more challenging, meaningful, and abundant than anything we could ask for or achieve on our own.

This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

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In The War On Women, Are You A Victim, A Survivor, Or A Warrior?

There’s been a lot of talk about a war on women recently. I agree! There HAS been a war against women, but it’s not the war that’s being talked about in much of the progressive media. It’s a war that’s much older, much more sinister, and much more dangerous, than anything related to healthcare or so-called reproductive rights.

Look at how history has treated women, and what we have had to endure. At different times women have been treated as property, as less than human beings. They have been subjected to rape, sex trafficking, discrimination, and domestic violence. While men have certainly endured pain and suffering, women have born more than their share – simply because they are women.

Personally, I can see many reasons why some women hate men, government, society, and religion. I can understand that many times it has come down to a matter of survival.

But that’s just it! If you are watching this, you have survived! Whatever has happened in the world and in your life before now, you’re here!

I invite you to step out of your own micro-story for a moment, and look at the BIG story.   …”

(Watch this short video to see the answer to the War on Women.)

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2 Questions to Help You Decide If Your Marriage Is Too Destructive To Save

2 Questions to Help You Decide If Your Marriage Is Too Destructive To Save

I’m going to try something dangerous. I’m going to write about something I have only observed at close hand, though I have not personally experienced it from the inside.

I want to share my heart about facing a difficult or destructive marriage. (And those two questions to ask come at the end of this post.)

My fear is that someone in a dangerously destructive marriage will hear something in my writing that encourages them to stay, or that someone who is unhappy will hear something in my writing that encourages them to go when the marriage might be saved.

But perhaps that struggle is exactly where these thoughts can be helpful. I offer them with humility and with hope that you find them encouraging. Some such marriages I have observed:

  • A family member’s marriage marred by repeated infidelity and violence.
  • A good friend whose husband abandoned her while she was pregnant. Twice.
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The Second Thing to Learn In Marriage

The Second Thing to Learn In Marriage

When James and Connie got married, they expected to live happily ever after. But not many months later they were spending as much time fighting as they were enjoying each other. James felt he was honestly trying to make things work, and that Connie was refusing to deal with significant issues they faced. Connie felt their problems were primarily James’ fault, and that he was always complaining about her and their life together.

The first thing James and Connie will need to understand is that their expectations of marriage are different, and will almost surely need to be adjusted as they grow their marriage together. The second thing they will need to learn is how to handle conflict.

EVERY couple will face conflict. The question is not IF you will face conflict, but rather HOW you manage conflicts when they arise. Handling conflict in marriage is a learned skill: no one knows how to do it automatically, but anyone can get better at it.

Couples can fight about money, religion, parenting, sex, in-laws, and a host of other things. Don’t be surprised when you and your spouse see things differently: after all, if you were both the same, one of you would be unnecessary! What’s important is what you do then.

Here are five important steps in facing conflict:

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When You Dread the Holidays

I have a friend who dreads this time of year. Come each November 15, he wishes he could fast-forward to January 2. The stress, the rush, the shopping, the expectations – he hates it all. And most of all, he hates being lonely.

There are a number of reasons why you might not look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s. Holidays make our normal vulnerabilities even more apparent.

If that’s you, there’s one important thing you must do this holiday season. Watch this to find out:

Happy Thanksgiving!

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