7 Signs of an Unhealthy Soul Tie

SOUL TIES

Sex is a tridimensional experience: spirit, soul, and body. Anytime you have sex with a person you bond with them. Dr. Daniel Amen writes in his book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” “Whenever a person is sexually involved with another person, neurochemical changes occur in both their brains that encourage limbic, emotional bonding. Limbic bonding is the reason casual sex doesn’t really work for most people on a whole mind and body level. Two people may decide to have sex ‘just for the fun of it,’ yet something is occurring on another level that they might not have decided on at all: sex is enhancing an emotional bond between them whether they want it or not. One person, often the woman, is bound to form an attachment and will be hurt when a casual affair ends. One reason it is usually the woman who is hurt most is that the female limbic system is larger than the male’s.”

This is what we call soul ties. Sex is like gluing two pieces of wood together and the next day ripping them apart. Of course, wood from the opposite board remains on each board. A piece of your sex partner (the good, bad, and ugly) stays with you (and vice versa) for the rest of your life. You can only imagine what it looks like when you bond with multiple partners.

Unhealthy soul ties are often the ramifications of having partners that you create a life-long bond with through a sexual encounter(s), but with whom you only have a short-term relationship with. The bond (soul tie) remains long after the relationship is over, leaving both sexual partners longing for wholeness.

 

THREE REASONS UNHEALTHY SOUL TIES TAKE PLACE:

1. People are misinformed and therefore convinced that sex is strictly a single-dimensional, physical act with no emotional or spiritual connections. Yet after sex they find themselves mysteriously longing for the person they may not even like.

2. A person (usually the woman) gives him or herself sexually to someone expecting that the intensely intimate act of intercourse would create a bond that would lead to deeper levels of commitment in their relationship. But soon she discovers that her sexual partner was taking advantage of her need for intimacy and used her vulnerability to get laid. Of course, this leads to a person being emotionally and spiritually bonded to somebody that they deeply resent!

3. Two people commit to marriage and therefore surmise that the covenant vows are only a formality. So they live together and enjoy a sexual relationship outside of a life-long commitment. But later they decide (for whatever reason) that they don’t want to live in a covenant relationship and eventually break up. They usually don’t realize how deeply they have wounded each other as their souls are ripped apart, tearing the very fabric of their being in the separation.

I understand that there are hundreds of other reasons why unhealthy soul ties take place, but I am simply trying to give you a few examples.

 

7 SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE AN UNHEALTHY SOUL TIE:

1. You are in a physically, and/or emotionally, and/or spiritually abusive relationship, but you “feel” so attached to them that you refuse to cut off the connection and set boundaries with them.

2. You have left a relationship (maybe long ago), but you think about the other person obsessively (you can’t get them out of your mind).

3. Whenever you do anything – make a decision, have a conversation with someone etc., you “feel” like this person is with you or watching you.

4. When you have sex with someone else (hopefully your husband or wife), you can hardly keep yourself from visualizing the person you have a soul tie with.

5. You take on the negative traits of the person that your soul is tied to and carry their offenses whether or not you actually agree with them.

6. You defend your right to stay in a relationship with the person that your soul is tied to, even though it is negatively effecting or even destroying the important relationships in your life (husband, wife, kids, leaders, etc.)

7. You have simultaneous experiences and/or “moods” as the person your soul is tied to. This can even include sickness, accidents, addictions etc.

1 Corinthians 6:15 – Do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”

 

THERE IS HOPE

There is hope if you find yourself in an unhealthy soul tie. You can never fall so far that you can’t be restoredNew life is available to you by simply repenting and asking Jesus to forgive you. Forgiveness restores the standard in our lives, and you can live in freedom and hope again.

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.
WEBSITE: KRISVALLOTTON.COM
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

4 Steps to Overcoming Powerlessness (Part 2)

In our previous blog, we looked at Steps 1 and 2 to overcoming powerlessness: Do the Work of Repentance and Start the Messy Cleanup.  In case you missed it, read it here. Today we’ll take a look at Steps 3 and 4.

 

THIRD STEP: THINK DIFFERENTLY

There are a lot of situations in life that seem hard to overcome because of the level of bravery it takes to actually acknowledge there is a problem. We have all met people with the proverbial pet elephant standing in their living room. These people are oblivious to the elephant—their internal world—but usually are quick to point out the elephant standing in other people’s living rooms.

 

Vampire Victims

To change the metaphor a bit, these people are vampire victims! The victim mentality is one of the deadliest mindsets, because a victim is totally incapable of changing his or her environment. Victims spend massive amounts of time sucking the life out of everyone else because they live in a powerless state of mind. Victims believe that their external world has to change in order for them to be okay. Because a victim is so out of control internally, he or she feels an enormous need to control everyone else.

Powerlessness is the process of giving away ownership and empowering someone or something else as your sole decision maker. You cannot fix something for which you are unwilling to take ownership. It’s simply impossible. Taking ownership for your decisions and your problems is the only way to ever become a healthy person. Regardless of what you have come to believe, you are responsible for your own life and actions. When you give up that right to someone else, you have rendered yourself powerless.

 

Meet Jim and Sarah

Recently, I counseled a couple who typified the victim mentality. Their cry for help came in the form of a Facebook chat. I sat down with my friend Jim and began to assess what was going on. It didn’t take him long to explain to me that his wife, Sarah, was impossible to please. She was a black hole that nothing could ever fill; and worse yet, she was a nag. She had no respect for his boundaries, especially when their discussions morphed into arguments. This usually resulted in Jim punching holes in the wall or smashing things.

“She won’t let me leave the room or give me time to think; she just keeps hounding me,” Jim complained. “Sarah totally controls me!”

My first thought was, Wowza! I’m so glad I’m not in this guy’s shoes! After giving him time to talk and vent, I began to ask him some pointed questions about himself. First I asked what he had done to work on his relationship with his wife. There was a long pause accompanied with a sigh. “Um, I guess I’m here,” he said.

“Okay,” I said. “Did you set up this meeting, or did Sarah?”

(I already knew the answer to this question, but I really wanted Jim to know the answer for himself.)

“Uh, she did,” he admitted.

Continuing down that train of thought, I said, “Who have you gone to in order to get some help with your relationship?” Thinking for a second, Jim responded, “Well, I talk to my mom sometimes. Actually, my mom found out because Sarah called her. She normally calls my parents when we are hard at it.”

 

Stuffing Pain

At this point, I was starting to see a pattern in Jim’s life. As the questions continued, I found out that Jim didn’t talk to anyone about his marriage, including his best friend. To make matters worse, when I asked him what he does to get rid of his pain and frustration, his response was, “I normally just try to forget about it.” It wouldn’t take a psychiatrist to figure out that Jim’s plan of ignoring his frustration and stuffing his pain wasn’t working! This man was punching holes in the wall and turning over tables in the house.

“Jim, it doesn’t seem like your plan has been working very well,” I said. “What have you done to meet your wife’s love languages?” (I was referring to Dr. Gary Chapman’s research on the five primary ways people express and interpret love— Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.)

Annoyed, Jim replied, “Even if I try, I don’t ever seem to be able to meet them. I’ve felt really frustrated lately trying to meet Sarah’s needs. It feels pretty hopeless.” You could hear in his tone of voice the irritation he was carrying inside.

“Jim, what are you going to do about your marriage?”

“I don’t know. I wish Sarah wasn’t such a mess and so hard to live with,” he said.

It was time for me to give some feedback. “Jim, it doesn’t feel like she is really the whole problem. You have made her responsible for getting help for you guys. She is the one who is contacting your parents and me. You haven’t done anything proactive to work on your relationship other than the things she hounds you about; and you have no process for dealing with the pain and frustration you feel from not being successful.

And finally, you still believe that she is the sole problem in this relationship. I’m not surprised that she nags you, Jim. It’s the only way that you have ever become motivated in this relationship. You have empowered her to be your mother.”

 

Light Bulb Moment

I could see the light bulb exploding in his brain. For the first time in a long while, Jim was beginning to realize that he had given his power away to his wife. She had become responsible for the health of their relationship. As long as he kept this belief system, he would always be powerless to fix what was going on inside of him.

So many people are like Jim. They create a belief system that tells them they are not responsible for the condition of their own life. It is less painful to believe that their problems are everyone else’s fault.

When I first talked with Jim, he had given up on his relationship. He told his wife that he was considering getting a divorce because she was making him miserable. What Jim didn’t realize was that if he spent less time worrying about what Sarah was going to do and more time trying to figure out what he was going to do, he could actually fix a majority of his problems. However, Jim had never taken personal responsibility for his life and marriage, so he was always frustrated and overwhelmed because his peace and happiness were at the mercy of his wife.

Once Jim realized that he had given all of his power away, he was then able to repent for his victim mentality and figure out what he was going to do to get his power back and love his wife. Today, Jim is no longer a victim, and his marriage is flourishing!

I have always said that any time a problem is 100 percent my fault, it’s a good day! I can fix anything that is my fault, but I can’t fix anything I don’t control. The day that you take ownership for your life is the day that you begin to take control again.

 

FOURTH STEP: SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

One of the major aspects of being in control of your life is the ability to set healthy boundaries with people. Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” The person who lacks the ability to set boundaries will end up being like a broken-down, pillaged city. A defenseless city gets plundered and has nothing of value left to offer anyone. Personal boundaries are like the protective walls of an ancient city. The purpose of having good boundaries is to protect and nourish yourself so that you can cultivate healthy relationships with others. Without the ability to protect yourself, you have no way to provide protection for anyone else in your life. A person establishes healthy boundaries through the process of defining his or her virtues, values and needs, and then communicating them to the people that he or she is in relationship with.

When you articulate your boundaries to people, they have the opportunity to respect your needs and virtues and protect your relationship with them. And when they value and protect the things that are important to you, the relationship flourishes. This is the process that builds trust between you and others.

Another great aspect of boundaries is the ability to let people know what you can do/will do and can’t do/won’t do. You actually have the right and the ability to set limits with others for the health of the relationship. There are no healthy relationships without healthy boundaries.

One of the things we all need to keep in mind when we are setting boundaries is that the primary goal should be to build stronger and deeper relationships with people. Yes, boundaries do keep some people out of relationship with us when they refuse to respect those boundaries. But the main goal of telling people what we need and feel is so they can do the things that cultivate a healthy relationship with us, not so that we have a valid reason to scratch them off of our friend list.

Powerful people know what they need and what they are going to do. They are able to set boundaries because they believe that no one else is responsible for them. No matter what the situation, they are still able to be powerful and choose their responses, because no one else but God is in control of their future.

 

For more on this topic, check out our podcast from Danny Silk on Boundaries or the book The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness.

Originally published on krisvallotton.com

 

JASON VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF THE SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF FORGIVENESS AND THE CO-AUTHOR OF MORAL REVOLUTION. JASON WAS BORN AND RAISED IN THE SMALL TOWN OF WEAVERVILLE, CA WHERE HE SERVED AS A WILD LAND FIRE FIGHTER. IN THESE FORMATIVE YEARS HIS PASSIONS OF DISCIPLESHIP AND LEADING OTHERS INTO WHOLENESS WAS IGNITED. HE CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE CORE TEAM AT BETHEL CHURCH AND IS A SOUGHT AFTER COUNSELOR AND SPEAKER. HE AND HIS WIFE LAUREN HAVE THREE CHILDREN AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  

 


Does Siri know you better than your friends?

Who are you connecting with?


 

Did you know that the average person checks their phone 110 times a day?*

 

I was in a bit of disbelief when I heard this, until I paid attention.

 

It didn’t matter if I was in a conversation, eating dinner, watching a movie, or just hanging out- I noticed that people we’re always on their phones. (I wish I could say I was exempt from that group, but I can’t.) But why? The obvious answer would be the plethora of distraction. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, Temple Run, Candy Crush- the list goes on! But why? Are we really that bored and lethargic that we’ll open Instagram 3 times in less than a minute just to keep ourselves occupied? Or is there something else going on?

 

I think, sometimes, it’s easier for us to be numb than to be sad. Sometimes, instead of dealing with the stress of bills, we watch a show we don’t even follow. Sometimes, distraction is easier than confrontation. Sometimes, instead of calling a friend and asking how they are doing, we check out their Facebook and decide for them. If we’re not careful and we remain unaware of this problem, “sometimes” will lead to “all the time,” and we will find ourselves scared, isolated, and alone.

 

Community matters. Having people in your life that know about the details of your life- the fears, the victories, the struggles, the relationships, the hurt, the promotions- matters! Living on your own, isolated and independent, will only get you so far. You need people who can love you through your messes and celebrate you in your victories! You don’t need 20 people to know everything and having one person is better than no person, but 3-5 is healthy and realistic. Plus, with numbers, you gain the variety of perspective and experience.

 

So, who knows you? Besides Siri.

 

– Anna Weygandt (Intern)

 

* Woollaston, V. (2013, Oct 08). How often do you check your phone? The average person does it 110 times a day (and up to every 6 seconds in the evening). Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2449632/How-check-phone-T…

4 Steps to Overcoming Powerlessness (Part 1)

Today, we will look at the first two steps to becoming powerful people and putting God back in control.

We were never created to be a powerless people, subject to the happiness or depression of the environment around us. Rather, our source of wholeness is derived from the author Himself.

God is the only one who can offer us love and security regardless of our circumstances. Placing God on the throne of our lives is not rocket science, but it does require diligence and taking the right steps.

 

FIRST STEP: DO THE WORK OF REPENTANCE

The very first step to reestablish God on the throne of your life is repentance. Repentance roots out inferior and faulty thought processes and replaces them with truth. It’s not only necessary to repent for removing God out of His rightful spot in our lives, but we also need to repent for the reasons why we displaced Him.

It is so important for us to get to the root issues that have caused the faulty thinking in our hearts. This is where most people miss the bus. They are genuinely sorry for their actions, but because they have no idea what is driving them (what the root issue is), they can’t keep their actions and heart in line with their convictions. Therefore, they return once again to their old cycle of thinking.

When we put something in our “God spot,” we must go back and figure out why we chose to do that so that we can truly repent.

 

SECOND STEP: START THE MESSY CLEANUP

After repentance (changing the way we think), we often have to go back and clean up our mess. For so many of us, there is a huge misconception about what cleaning up our mess really looks like. We have been taught through our childhood experiences that the word “sorry” fixes everything. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The word “sorry” doesn’t fix anything. I know this because I have three kids! On any given day, it’s only a matter of time before one of my children acts out in a “not so fun way” to one of his or her siblings. Usually, it’s some sort of short-lived, spur-of-the-moment flair-up about who is going to get the middle seat in the car, or who is going to consume the coveted last GoGurt in the freezer. Kids can always find something to argue about.

It’s tempting as a parent to stop the argument as quickly as possible and with exerting the least amount of effort; the goal is to restore chaos to a manageable level. In our efforts to restore order, it is really easy to say something like this: “Kids, knock it off! Elijah, tell your sister you’re sorry for being rude to her, or you can go spend the rest of the day in your room!” Now, I’m as guilty as anybody else when it comes to statements like that. However, the problem with just telling my kids what to do and what to say is that it’s not really coming from their own hearts. Therefore, any apology they offer is never genuine enough to change their behavior, so the problem still exists.

If our kids are going to change their behavior, they need to be able to figure out why they choose to be disrespectful and then they must want to choose a different behavior so that their “sorry” is productive. It’s no different for you and me; the goal of repentance is not to simply say the words “I’m sorry,” but rather to find the root of the issue so that we can fix the behavior.

 

Part 2 coming soon.

To read more on this topic, check out our Top Healing & Restoration FAQ 

For more from this author check out his podcast: What a Man Looks Like or the book The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness

Originally published on  krisvallotton.com

 

JASON VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF THE SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF FORGIVENESS AND THE CO-AUTHOR OF MORAL REVOLUTION. JASON WAS BORN AND RAISED IN THE SMALL TOWN OF WEAVERVILLE, CA WHERE HE SERVED AS A WILD LAND FIRE FIGHTER. IN THESE FORMATIVE YEARS HIS PASSIONS OF DISCIPLESHIP AND LEADING OTHERS INTO WHOLENESS WAS IGNITED. HE CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE CORE TEAM AT BETHEL CHURCH AND IS A SOUGHT AFTER COUNSELOR AND SPEAKER. HE AND HIS WIFE LAUREN HAVE THREE CHILDREN AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  

 


Soul Food: 3 Basic Needs for the Soul

I have four boys, and they love physical contact. My days are full of wrestling matches, sword fights, and lego man battles. In the midst of all the playing and running and jumping on each other, sometimes one gets hurt. Oftentimes they’ll brush it off and keep playing, but other times the hurt one will look at me, run over, and fall into my arms, tears streaming down his face. I hold him close, wipe his tears, and tell him it’s going to be okay. After a couple minutes, he’s back up and running around with his brothers again. As his mom, I would’ve liked a little more cuddle time, but he felt good enough jump back into playing. He knew he had a need to be comforted, so he came to me. Once that need was met, he was ready to tackle the world again.

Just like our bodies have physical needs like food, water, sleep, etc., our souls also have needs. Here are three basic, universal needs for the soul:

 

1. Intimacy 

Intimacy is being close, familiar, and usually affectionate with another person or group. One way to remember it is to break it down like this: into-me-you-see. It’s allowing people to see you as you are and love you. If you’re feeling overlooked, overwhelmed, insignificant, or unknown, you might be needing intimacy.

It’s easy to be misled into thinking that intimacy only comes through sexual or romantic relationships. That may be the only way we have experienced it in the past. God actually desires us to be intimate in other ways. Finding ways to relate to people on deeper levels of understanding (not just talking about the weather, but hopes, fears, and dreams), is how we become known. Of course you don’t have to do this with everyone, but to talk about these things with people you trust can be life-changing and meet that need for intimacy.

 

2. Connection

Feeling connected comes from knowing that our story is not an isolated story and that we were born for a reason. We need to know that we are part of something greater, and our story is part of the eternal plan of God. We were not made for isolation and independence; we were made to thrive within a family. If you’re feeling alone, isolated, stuck on yourself, or like no one accepts you, you may be needing connection.

The first place to get this need met is with God. He fully loves and accepts you for who you are. We need connection with others as well, though. We need to interact with people face-to-face, help people in need, celebrate people, and allow them to celebrate us. Ask God to help you find healthy people who can know you, speak into your life, and influence you.

 

3. Comfort

Comfort is the need to be soothed, reassured, and encouraged. You don’t have to be on earth too long to know what it’s like to feel pain, sorrow, rejection, or grief. Comfort for our soul helps us feel safe and secure in unstable circumstances. If you’re feeling pain, sorrow, or stress, it may help to find something or someone to comfort you.

Brace yourself, I’m about to get really spiritual here: maybe finding comfort means taking time for a cup of coffee in the morning, getting a massage once a month, or taking that vacation you’ve been dreaming about. Okay, that wasn’t that spiritual, but denying your soul the comfort it needs is not spiritual either. God knows we need comfort sometimes, that’s why He sent the Holy Spirit to be our “Comforter” (John 14:16). Don’t deny yourself comfort, but find healthy ways to make sure this soul need is met.

You may be wondering what all these needs have to do with sexual purity. We sometimes mistakingly identify these needs as a need for sex.


Sex is an easy way to get all of these needs met, but outside of the safety of marriage, it’s not the best way, and can actually leave us more broken than we felt before.


It’s important to pay attention to these needs so that we can take care of them before they escalate to more than we can bear. It’s at this point that we’re often tempted to settle for easy fixes to get us out of pain like porn, masturbation, or a one night stand. Don’t settle for things that don’t satisfy, but learn to steward your soul needs and seek out the One who does satisfy.

We may not be like my little ones, having a mom and dad in our lives to help meet all of our needs, but we do have a good Father looking out for us. We are not orphans. The One who designed us for intimacy, connection, and comfort will be faithful to help us meet our needs. It may not be easy to take the first step and ask Him for help, but just as I held my little one when he ran into my arms, God will not deny His children the comfort, intimacy, and connection they need.

 

Want to find out more about getting needs met in a healthy way?

Sign up for our digital course launching in less than two weeks!

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10 Ways to Not Hate Being Single

It’s not always easy being single: third wheeling it at the movies, persevering through some awkward dates, and scrambling for a good answer when well-meaning friends and family members ask if you’ve met anyone “special” yet. Although it has its fair share of uncomfortable situations and weekend nights sitting on the couch in pajamas, being single does not have to be the time in your life you barely get through.

Here are a few ways to live life fully and pursue growth in your single season:

1. GO ON ADVENTURES

Travel. Take road trips. There might be a day coming when you can’t just pick up and leave because you’ll have a family, so go places. Take your friends, take pictures, see new things, try things you’re scared of, spend time with people from other cultures, and fill your journal up with stories.

2. DON’T OVERDOSE ON ROMANCE MOVIES AND BOOKS.

There’s nothing like getting totally absorbed in someone else’s life who has a girlfriend or boyfriend, to send you into a whirlwind of sorrow and loneliness. It may not be romantic movies that send you into the whirlwind. It may be certain music, websites, or particular places or environments. Be kind to yourself and stay away from the things that make being single more difficult.

3. DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU COME ALIVE.

Write, draw, paint, exercise, cook, play field hockey, program computers- whatever it is that makes time disappear and makes you glad you were born.


Marriage is a beautiful dream, but it doesn’t have to be the only one.


Pursue other interests. You can even take risks on some of them that would be more difficult to take with a spouse and children, like starting a business.

4. GET DRESSED UP.

Ladies, put on a dress, really cute shoes, and some lipstick. Guys, this isn’t just for the ladies. Take a shower, shave the scruff, pull out your sharpest outfit. When you’re single, there are times apathy can start to sneak in because you haven’t gone on a date in sixty-five weeks and you’d rather sit on the couch watching reruns than try to go anywhere. Getting ready and putting time and effort into your appearance shows you value yourself and you will value whatever relationships you enter in the future.

5. BE NICE TO YOUR FRIENDS IN DIFFERENT SEASONS. 

Celebrate their engagements. Buy presents for their new babies. Don’t shut down your relationships with people because you’re in different seasons. Some day when you’re having your moment, you’re going to be so glad the people you care about are there celebrating you.

6. HANG OUT WITH FAMILIES.

People who are happily married have a wealth of wisdom for you to learn from. Ask questions, play with their kids, and watch how they treat each other. What do they love and what do they find challenging? They’ve been in your shoes and you will probably be in their shoes some day, so let them help set you up for success with healthy expectations for marriage and family.

7. LEARN TO GET REALLY GOOD AT HAVING FUN.

Become a master at enjoying the moment and the season you’re in. There will always be something to worry about or something more you feel like you need. Get good at enjoying your life right now, and you will be able to fully enjoy it later. This is a unique moment in time, and you’ll never be here again. Don’t miss it.

8. REALIZE THAT PROBLEMS DON’T DISAPPEAR WHEN YOU’RE MARRIED.

Married or single, you’re still going to be you. All your problems, addictions, and bad habits go with you. If you’re struggling in the area of purity or sexuality, work through it now.


Get free now.


The reason God gave you a sex drive before you were married is because He knew you’d have to be able to manage it when you are married.

9. HANG OUT WITH JESUS. 

This is the only time in your life Jesus can have this much of your time. One day you might be up all night with a crying baby or running around trying to get your kids to school and you’re not going to have time for a shower, let alone a nice long quiet time with your latte and your bible. Get deeply rooted in His love. Write His Word on your heart so you have it inside you during the busier times in life.

10. LET GOD TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE. 

You’re not beautiful because boys say you are, you’re beautiful because God says so. You’re not a handsome stud of a man because all the ladies love you, you’re a man because God says you are. Get your identity from Him because He knows you, created you, and His love for you is steady, unlike the wavering opinions of people. 

There are more ways than these to make the most of your singlehood. Figure out what works best for you. The important thing to remember is there is no part of your life where you simply have to survive and not thrive. God uses every part our lives to grow us and prepare us for the incredible things He has ahead. Chase after complete freedom and abundant life, not only in this season, but in every one to come.

-Andrea Alley (Intern) 

 

ANDREA IS A GRADUATE OF THE SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AT BETHEL AND CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE WRITING TEAM FOR MORAL REVOLUTION. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SEEING THE CHURCH CARRY JOYFUL HOPE AND EXPECTATION IN EVERY AREA OF THEIR LIVES. SHE LONGS TO SEE THE UPCOMING GENERATION EQUIPPED AS STRONG LEADERS WHO STEWARD THEIR LIVES WELL AND INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A RESULT. 
 WEBSITE: ANDREADALLEY.COM 

4 More Guys You Should Never Date

MR. WRONG (CONTINUED)

 

Just because we had so much fun writing our last list, 5 Guys You Should Never Date, we wanted to hit you with another list. Your welcome! Here are 4 More Guys You Should Never Date.

 

1. Mr. Jokes-On-You

“Babe, I was just kidding. I’m sorry you took it the wrong way.”

The Mr. Jokes-On-You is easy to date because he’s funny… at first. He gets your humor and you get his, however, it doesn’t take long before you become the but of his jokes. He oftentimes tells you to loosen up, or to not take their jokes so seriously. Listen:


In a relationship, jokes at the expense of someone you care about are called attacks.


No one likes to be made fun of. Especially because relationships are about building trust and support. Anything that does the reverse is only working against your connection. This doesn’t mean you can’t joke around, that would be ridiculous. Instead, take time to discover what you both enjoy. Try watching a funny movie together or going to a local comedy club. In time, shared experiences will begin to transform the things you laugh about.

2. Mr. “Right”

“I see what you’re saying, but…”

The problem here isn’t when he’s right. It’s the attitude he carries because he’s decided to become the answer to all of life’s problems. It’s amazing how much animosity is created in a relationship when someone decides your need for understanding is less important than their need to be right. You can’t argue with Mr. “Right”, and if he’s been at it for a long time then…


he definitely knows how to keep his composure…


while making you look like the “emotional/out-of-control” one. It’s okay, we feel you. The best way to avoid Mr. “Right” is to look for social cues early on. See how he interacts with people he’s not in a close-relationship with. Watch his communication style, and ask yourself some of these questions: “Is he simply hearing or trying to understand?”, “Does he ignore someone in middle of a conversation (especially if that person might potentially be wrong)?”, “Does he always have the last word?”, and “Does he consider ‘dumb people’ an actual people group?”

3. Mr. Insecurities

“Tell me honestly, do you think he’s better looking than me?”

From the simple yet profound words of Mrs. Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” If a man doesn’t believe he has something good to offer, then he needs to work that out. That is not your responsibility, otherwise you will become his source of confidence. It may sound nice at first, but give it some time and you’ll find out…


it’s not worth it!


This goes back to the two powerful people spiel I mentioned earlier in 5 Guys You Should Never Date. Just to clarify, it takes two powerful people to establish a healthy relationship, not to simply create one. Anyone can start a relationship and have it look healthy for the first few weeks. What I mean is: two people who know who they are and are comfortable with themselves, know their needs and when not to overindulge, are responsible, and can pretty much lead normal lives by themselves.

The beauty of finding someone who is powerful, is that even though they can reasonably manage their own life, they are extremely confident in the fact that they have chosen to share it with you.

4. Mr. ‘Fraidy Cat

“Why should we get married? It’s just a dumb piece of paper anyways.”

Isn’t the purpose of all this dating to finally find someone to spend the rest of your life with? Marriage isn’t just some dumb piece of paper, or even some whimsical happy ending to your relationship problems. It’s hard work! It literally means, “You can’t leave or I take half of whatever your worth.” A lot of times, the problem isn’t finding a man who will pop the question, it’s finding the balance between freedom and pressure during your dating phase.

To avoid someone who’s naturally afraid of commitment, try establishing marriage as one of your goals early on in the relationship. Sometimes it’s best to wait until you feel your relational intimacy deepening, and other times it’s best when you just can’t keep your hands off each other.


Commitment on a superficial level means no one else gets to have you.


But don’t settle for just that. Challenge yourself to find out what commitment really means to you personally. Pray about it, and when you think you have the answer bring someone else into your process.

 

If you have any of your own dating advice, tips, or dilemmas, then feel free to leave a comment below. Our team would love to give you some feedback.


5 Guys You Should Never Date

MR. WRONG

 

So we’ve all had our fair share of scheming, sketchy exes. You know, those people you run into 5 years later and thank God you got out when you could. But why do we date those people? And how can we avoid making the same mistakes? For the sake of all humanity, or maybe just us single ladies, our team came up with a list of 5 Guys You Should Never Date.

 

1. Mr. Mad Man

“I don’t know why I always seem to lose control. I’m working on it. Just bear with me… I’ll change.”

He may or may not change, but that’s not your problem. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who can’t control their temper.


Managing your emotions is a sign of maturity, and should not be ignored.


Sometimes we get into these relationships unexpectedly because he can handle small disputes. Then we rush to commitment without actually handling any real conflict. The best way to avoid the Mr. Mad Man is to give the relationship time. Try not to snuff rising disagreements, and learn to celebrate your differences instead.

2. Mr. Mama’s Boy 

“I really don’t do my own laundry… or my own taxes.”

Loving your Mom is cute, but there comes a time in every man’s life where he has to leave the nest. It’s true, how a man treats his mom is a clue to how they will treat you, but he shouldn’t come to depend on his mother at the end of the day.


He needs to break up with his mom before he starts dating you.


You need two powerful people in a relationship for it to work well. If only one of you can have the power at a time then you should really reconsider whether or not you’re being his girlfriend or his new mom.

3. Mr. Chronic Complainer

“Do we have to? This is really stupid.”

Complaining is a passive way of letting people know your wants, needs, expectations, and desires. It’s one thing to complain about a messed-up order or waiting in line, but to complain all the time…


Really?


If you’re dating a Mr. Chronic Complainer, sometimes making them aware of their behavior solves nothing. In fact, if you bring it up he’ll probably just find a way to complain about you!

To avoid the Mr. Chronic Complainer find ways to establish short and long-term goals in your relationship. Be open about your wants, needs, expectations, and desires. The next time your man tries to complain, allow them to be honest and upfront with phrases like: “What do you really want?”, “Can you just be honest with me?”, and “I’m for you, just help me understand what you need.”

4. Mr. Why Bother

“I don’t feel like it. Why don’t you do it?”

Being motivated is more than just going after what you want. It means being able to make tough choices because you have a vision for your life and your relationships. Mr. Why Bother is incapable of just that. Most of time, he just puts down others who seem to be going places; all in an effort to down-play their own complacent behavior.


It’s a trap!


Do not get caught up! The best way to avoid Mr. Why Bother is to get moving! Find reasons to get up and go after your own dreams. Nothing scares complacent people more than someone who’s motivated.

5. Mr. Playa’

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

Wrong! Anyone who refers to a relationship as a game should be shunned.

Why you say? It’s because it’s easy to love Mr. Playa’. He’s smooth, easy to talk to, funny, charming, and smells great. He’s someone you can take back to your friends and family, and they either think he’s a catch… OR they swear he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Yet, we ignore the latter.


Yes, you have permission to date beautiful people…


but you should never sacrifice the wisdom of your friends and family on the altar of self gratification. Period!  The best way to avoid the Mr. Playa’ is to stop ignoring the people God has so graciously placed into your life.

If you have any of your own dating advice, tips, or dilemmas, then feel free to leave a comment below. Our team would love to give you some feedback. By the way, we know we missed a few so stay tuned!


Between the Sheets: Sleep and Your Sex Drive

We all need a bedtime.

I’m married with four kids and I have a bedtime. It’s ten o’clock every night.

Why?

I know myself, and I know what I need. When I make sure to take care of myself and get what I need, my whole life feels easier.

After I had my second son, I was really struggling emotionally and feeling completely overwhelmed. I told my pediatrician what was going on, and she looked me straight in the eye and said, “Well, it sounds like you have postpartum depression.” As the words left her mouth, my eyes filled with tears. I knew she was right.

I knew I needed help, so I set up an appointment with a Christian counselor recommended by a friend of mine. After asking some questions, she agreed that I did, in fact, have postpartum depression. I actually had thirteen out of the fourteen symptoms she listed. As shocked as I was, I felt relief that someone finally knew what was going on and could help me. I eagerly sat at the edge of my seat, ready to take whatever action she suggested. I was shocked at the first thing she said:

 

“Go home and get three good nights of sleep in a row and then we’ll talk.”

 

This was not the answer I expected, but she continued, “Do whatever you have to do. Get your husband involved, get your parents involved- just do whatever it takes. Sleep eight hours a night for three nights in a row, and then we’ll talk.

I took her advice and made sure to get three nights of good sleep and you know what? It made a huge difference. That’s when I learned how important sleep is to the body.

Without sleep, you hinder your ability to make sound judgments. This is why some of us are out of control sexually. When it’s late, we’re tired, and we’re looking for a way to release stress and find comfort, we turn to porn or masturbation. It provides the pleasure and comfort our body is looking for, and gives us a sense of security and peace. The problem is, it doesn’t meet our true needs for rest, safety, and comfort. It’s a short-sighted solution with terrible side-effects like shame, guilt, disconnection, or even addiction.

If you’re struggling with your sex drive, the answer may not be to pray more, fast more, or simply “try harder.” Don’t get me wrong, if you’re not praying or connecting with the Lord at all, that’s not good either, but sometimes the answer may just be to get more sleep. If you find yourself struggling at the end of the day or late at night, it may be the wisest decision for you to just call it a night. The bible says His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), so maybe you’re not doing as badly as you think; maybe you just ran out of mercies for the day. Get a good night’s sleep and wake up with a new hope and new perspective.

If sleep’s not the answer, it may be a healthier diet, more exercise, or even just a funny movie to get those endorphins released. You may just need some time to refuel. If you’re struggling with your sex drive, do a physical check-up. Ask yourself: Am I eating well? Am I drinking enough water? Getting sunlight? Sleeping enough (and sleeping deeply)? Am I getting enough healthy touch? Healthy touch and close contact with other humans are actually needs as well. These may not be at the root of your problem, but they’re good places to start. It may take a little time to learn what all of your needs are. Everyone’s different. But when you find out what you need to thrive, it’s okay to fight for it. Jesus paid a high price for you. You’re well-worth taking care of: body, soul, and spirit.

 

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How to Discover Missing Pieces of Your Calling

Several people meet with me because they don’t understand what their God-given calling is. God has always intended for us to be in relationship with Him while coming alive in what we do.

Most of us know Psalms 37:4 which says “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart” (NASB).

So why do we try to bury the pieces of our heart that are connected to our calling?

For some it might be due to divorcing the life they had before coming to Christ. Others may have grown up in church but feel like they can never find God’s will for their life. Regardless of the reason why, it’s sad when people are floundering in life while dismissing their God-given call.

I’m the last one to point a finger.

At eighteen years old I had to make a decision. It came at a time when I wanted little to do with God or the church. The last thing I was trying to figure out was the call on my life. That said, as I began the process of applying for the Marine Corps I was almost haunted by this thought: “Marine or Missionary?” I didn’t dare tell anyone what was going on because none of my friends at the time would understand.

I chose the Marines. I rationalized that decision because I figured the following:

• I don’t want to be poor.

• I don’t want anything to do with God

• There’s nothing exciting about being a missionary except traveling

• I’ll get to travel in the Marines. And fight (which I felt like I wanted at the time).

I had a longing to travel. I still do. It’s a desire that God placed in my heart before I was ever born. Even at eighteen I knew that traveling the world had to fit into what I did.

Unfortunately I had gone into “emotional survival mode” due to a variety of circumstances that surrounded my life at the time. When I was making this major life decision I was disconnected from my heart. I couldn’t clearly see/feel what I was called to. So I picked the most “logical” decision. The problem was that I made a logical decision out of a place of pain.

 


Pain will often sabotage our ability to connect with certain areas of our calling.


 

The beautiful thing is that God isn’t phased by our poor decisions. Remember, He’s the master of working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). His unconditional love is willing to wait for us to choose to move toward His plans. 

I completed four years of active duty in the Marines. It’s something I am proud of and don’t regret at all. Looking back at my “logical” reasons for joining you can find some humor. Even though I was active duty from 2000 to 2004, I never once deployed. That’s right. I joined to travel but never actually did it! In hindsight I realized it was God’s protection and what I like to call His sense of humor.

It was only after I got out of the Marines and whole-heartedly gave my life to Christ that I ended up experiencing what I had longed for. Six months after my contract ended I found myself doing mission work in Mozambique with Iris Ministries.

Traveling is only one piece of my personal puzzle which is forming a beautiful picture as I find (and focus on) one piece at a time.

Going back to the Psalms 37:4…it starts with “Delight yourself in the Lord.” We can only adequately connect with our core desires once we have positioned our heart in affection towards God.

You may not be hard-hearted like I was, but pain can cause us to rationalize decisions that are counter to God’s plan. You will never be able to fully suppress your calling regardless of what your life may look like right now. God can and will work everything for good. It’s what He does. 

Finding the lost pieces: There is hope. You can pray and ask God to highlight areas of your life that may have fallen dormant. He’s excited to show you. Not to shame you, but rather to point you in the direction that will make you come alive.

You can (and should) be proactive when God begins to bring these areas to the surface.

1. Repent: The turning point for me was when I dropped to my knees and asked for forgiveness. It changed the direction I was headed and pointed me toward His calling.

2. Reflect: Take time to think about the subtle moments that you felt your heart leap or can’t get rid of a life-giving thought. Try to identify certain themes in your life where you feel God’s pleasure. Write them down and begin to pray for God to highlight areas that you can begin to re-engage with.

Move On: There comes a time where you have to close that chapter of your life. God values our history, but doesn’t want us to live in it. Once you have started consciously moving towards your calling, don’t look back!

 

 

JOSH CEARBAUGH IS A LIFE CONSULTANT WITH A UNIQUE ABILITY TO LEAD PEOPLE THROUGH TRANSFORMATION. THROUGH A COMBINATION OF CONSULTING TECHNIQUES, HE HELPS INDIVIDUALS TO IDENTIFY, AND THEN DISMANTLE, THE CRIPPLING CYCLES WHERE THE MAJORITY OF US FIND OURSELVES STUCK. HE HAS A PASSION FOR CONNECTING PEOPLE TO THEIR HEART AND HELPING THEM CREATE PRACTICAL STRATEGIES TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES. MOST RECENTLY, JOSH’S CONSULTING PRACTICE HAS BEEN LOCATED IN REDDING, CA
HE MET DANIELLE, HIS WIFE OF EIGHT YEARS, IN MOZAMBIQUE WHILE ATTENDING IRIS HARVEST SCHOOL. THEY CURRENTLY HAVE TWO BOYS AND ONE BEAUTIFUL BABY GIRL. 
WEBSITE: JOSHCEARBAUGH.COM 
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/JOSHCEARBAUGH