We Need to Bring Affection Back In the Church

When was the last time you experienced true affection at church? For many Christians a handshake as you’re leaving Sunday service has become the norm. We don’t expect anything more from each other because we’ve been taught that we shouldn’t express too much affection at church. All of this is an effort to remain virtuous. However, I think we’ve stepped over the line and used this as an excuse, or maybe even to justify our fear, and removed almost all affection in our church communities. This is a problem. In our good attempt to keep ourselves pure, we’ve actually relegated the church to an icebox that misses a big part of the heart of God.

Jesus loved affection and it’s the heart of the father to smother us with His love. The point we’re missing? Not all affection is sexual. Paul says several times to greet one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 2 Corinthians 13:12) and Peter said to greet each other with a kiss of love (1 Peter 5:14). We all have a need for affection—it’s a community thing, not a sexual thing.

Is it possible that if we can get healthy affection in church then we wouldn’t go looking for it somewhere else? Check out today’s Flashback Friday video for a story about how I realized that affection is so important in the church:

 

In a nutshell:

Several years ago I was walking through the sanctuary in the school of ministry. I walked by a group of girls and I was going to tell them they were beautiful. In an instant, I heard a thought that if I told them they were beautiful, someone would think that I was sexualizing them. Then I had a quick vision/memory come to mind about my own daughters…

• I have two daughters, and when they were in high school my daughter Shannon was asked out on dates but my other daughter, Jaime, never was. This was extremely painful for Jaime and there were many times that she would weep and ask me if she was ugly. Of course, she wasn’t ugly! She’s beautiful, and she needed to hear from me, her father, that she was beautiful.

• What would have happened to my daughter if she didn’t have a father in those years to tell her she was beautiful?

• Every girl and boy needs affection. In teen years, specifically, they need to hear that they are valuable, important and beautiful. It grieves me to think about the ones who don’t have a daddy—the ones who step over the line of virtue to get the need for affection met from someone else because healthy people aren’t showing up to cover them.

• Often times the ones who need affection the most are the ones the church is afraid of showing affection to. That day I decided that I am never going to let the world tell me how to treat people when my heart is pure. I will be militant in my commitment to tell people they’re beautiful.

 

WE ALL NEED AFFECTION

I hope you hear my heart in this. When we have pure hearts, our affection is pure. So today I want to encourage you to evaluate your church handshake habit if you have one (or really, think about if you’re using it as a wall instead of a way of connecting). What I’m saying is that we have the freedom to be affectionate, not only with each other but in our worship unto the Lord. God loves kisses! He loves affection! He’s the most emotional person in the Bible! So then, we have the freedom to be just like our Daddy.

 

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

Today I release a breakthrough of healing over every heart that is reading this with pain. If your father, or mother, never told you that you’re beautiful I’m here to tell you that you are stunning. There’s no flaw in you. You are absolutely perfectly lovely, just the way you are today. You don’t have to do anything to become more beautiful in my eyes or in the Lord’s eyes. I pray for grace to cover your soul that you would know just how incredibly valuable you are.

I also want to exhort the Body of Christ today to step into the affection of heaven. Let’s put down religion so that we may have open arms to embrace one another. Is it easy for you to be affectionate? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Originally posted 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 GRANDCHILDREN.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

How To Move On

“He’s just not that into you.” “She said she just sees us as friends.”  “We’re going in different directions in life.” “He wasn’t interested.” “She didn’t see a future with us.” “He wanted kids, and I didn’t.” “She’s interested in someone else.” “There’s no spark there.”

I once read “Dating: either you get married or you break up. No pressure.” While quite the shocking statement, it’s pretty funny and true. Most of your dating relationships are going to end in a breakup. In fact, all but one of them will. That’s okay and it’s normal. But just because it’s normal doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. Some breakups feel worse than others making you think you did something wrong. Dating is one of the things in life that can hurt worse the better you get at it. It means you cared about the relationship and were invested. Good. Good for you. It’s better to give your heart an opportunity to find love rather than keep it locked away due to fear of possible pain. Good for you.

When it comes to rejection and heartbreak, I’m not a rookie. I humbly suggest these tools from the trenches, not from a textbook. I’ve been here more times than I’d like to admit, but I celebrate each of them because I lived, went for it, and got the necessary healing afterward to be able to go again. While there’s a myriad of stories and circumstances that have led to your specific ending of the relationship, here are a few overall principles I’ve found that may help. Remember, “Rejection is never a reflection of your value.” – Andrea Alley

 

ADMIT IT WAS SOMETHING.

Whether you were engaged for a year, you just went on 3 dates, or you never “dated” but were in a pseudo-relationship that you can’t officially recognize as a relationship, admit it was something. If it hurts now, then it mattered to you. It was a fun time, great learning experience, and source of joy. It happened. It existed, it was fun, and now …it sucks because it’s over. It’s okay to admit it to yourself.

 

GIVE IT TO GOD.

Not to sound overly religious, but this is paramount in your process. It’s being very honest with God about what you’re thinking and feeling. Say it out loud or write it down, but don’t keep the thoughts inside. When you finish being honest, then listen to what He has to say. In this, you are giving up your ability (and what many of us often believe is our right) to control or determine the outcome of the breakup. Ask God to lead you through the process and take care of what you need and what the ultimate outcome will be. Everything you do from here on out is with God in communion with His comforting Spirit (John 14:26; Romans 8:26).

 

ASK YOUR HEART WHAT IT NEEDS.

If you’re not used to asking your heart what it needs, this could be a whole new world of discovering what’s going on inside of you. It’s great practice for overall emotional health (not just after a breakup). Ask your heart what it needs. It will let you know when you need to talk it out and be heard, need a good cry, need to laugh, need a hug, or need to unplug from the seriousness of it all for an evening.

 

WATCH WHAT YOU REACH FOR.

Asking your heart what it wants is for its health, recovery, and growth; it’s not to numb the pain and pretend it isn’t happening. Distracting yourself from dealing with the pain is what we call “self-medicating.”  You can go to food for comfort, binge-watch Netflix to zone out, watch porn to feel powerful and wanted, or throw yourself into work to feel successful and worthy. Self-medicating isn’t helpful; it only prolongs the pain and pushes the hurt further down. When you feel yourself wanting to ignore the pain, stop, thank God for self-awareness, then ask God and your heart what you really need and how to get it. Take steps to get that need met in a healthy way.

 

SURRENDER THE WHY.

Man, this is probably the hardest part and where I think we get stuck the most. Why didn’t it work out? There are more reasons for breakups than there are stars in the sky: Maybe it was fear on her end. Maybe there was father wounds on his end. Maybe there just wasn’t a spark. Maybe it’s not the right timing. Maybe it just felt “off” to him/her.

I don’t always know why, but I do know while we’re in pain searching, the devil likes to talk. “It’s probably because you’re not pretty enough, too fat, too tall, not strong enough, not manly enough. There’s probably another woman. It’s because you’re too needy, too self-sufficient, too nice, too ….something.” I know the devil just likes to point the finger and degrade us. I also know the Holy Spirit is our promised Comforter. And I know scripture tells us He is near to the broken-hearted (Psalms 147:3). It doesn’t say He corrects and rebukes the broken-hearted, it says He heals them. Sure, we all have issues that need work, but God is not going to be correcting your mistakes and shaming you in the middle of heartbreak. He’s a kind Father who comforts you and leads you out. He’ll address your issues when it’s time, but not when you’re brokenhearted at His feet needing comfort.

Instead of asking why it didn’t work out or what I’m lacking, I like to ask God “what does my wife have that this person doesn’t have?” It allows me let go of her and the why with no condemnation towards her, then gain hope, and stretch towards His future plans for me.

 

BREAK UP WITH YOUR DREAMS, IDEALS, AND SOUL TIES.

You need to make a clean break – make it a solid no. Either due to uncertainty or insecurity, we can tag on a phrase at the end of our break up to soften the blow. “It’s over…for now.” “It’s not going to work out…but maybe in the future?” In reality, it just leads to false hope and leave us hanging on for longer than we should. No more maybe-one-days. Despite what they may have said, solidify in your heart that it’s not going to happen.

No matter which side of the breakup you were on, you probably had made dreams and plans with this person in your head and heart. Although it’s painful, you’ll need to let go of and mourn those trips, dates, events, and other plans that won’t be happening.

In a similar manner, he or she is not your ideal anymore and you need to break up with them as your ideal. They are no longer your standard you’re comparing other people to. Instead of every girl not being as pretty, or funny, or caring as your ex, you need to give other people permission to be themselves. What I try to do is see people as different flavors. One flavor is not better or worse than another, but they’re just different and I can expect and enjoy different things out of them. This allows each person to be themselves and enjoyed for who they are rather than a hierarchy of how they compare.

A soul tie is a deep emotional bond created through intimacy. While it does happen during sex, it doesn’t have to be created through physical intimacy. After a breakup, you can break any of those ties you made. Simply say “God, I break all soul ties with _________ I made intentionally or unintentionally. I release them from anything they owe me and ask you to release me from them. I give back anything I took from them and take back anything they took from me. Bless them and me as we move on with our lives.” Done. Doesn’t have to be complicated.

 

GIVE IT TIME AND SPACE.

Time is NOT the healer of all things. If you’re waiting for time to heal your heart, you’ll end up two years down the road, still hurt, and now bitter about the whole ordeal. Taking time away from him/her is a great idea though. Take as long as you need to be with friends, feel the pain, work through the broken dreams and get hope again. How long do you need? As long as you need. Don’t feel like you “should be over it by now.” When you’re able to think about or talk to that person without your heart fluttering, then you can be friends.

Oh, and P.S. You don’t have to be friends afterward. Yes, it would be great, but depending on how the relationship went, it may not be a good idea to be friends again. That’s okay. Take as much time as you need. It’s also SUPER helpful to let the other person know “I just need some time. Let’s take a break from talking/texting/hanging out/ messaging, etc. That would really help me.

In the same way, be kind to yourself. Don’t be on their Facebook or Instagram. Stop texting them all the time. Give your heart some space breathe. No, you don’t need to check on their mom or how their trip went. They’ll be okay. Rom-coms are great (not-so-secretly love them), but they’re not your best friend right now. It’s time for you to start a new chapter and the first page doesn’t have to have romance or your ex on it.

Each situation, relationship, and therefore breakup is unique. Don’t force yourself to make it look a certain way. Don’t run from the pain, but don’t unnecessarily sit in it forever. Surround yourself with people who love you and will encourage you. Get what you need, feel all the feels, and move on to a whole, full life. Although it hurts now, celebrate the fact you gave love a chance. You gave yourself permission to dream and try, and it just didn’t work out this time. It’s okay. The pain isn’t forever and in the end, it is all worth it. Good job living and going for it.

 

ABRAM GOFF HAS BEEN PART OF THE MORAL REVOLUTION TEAM SINCE 2014 CREATING GRAPHICS AND DIFFERENT FORMS OF MEDIA. HE HAS SERVED THROUGH GRAPHIC DESIGN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE CHURCH FOR OVER A DECADE. HIS PASSION IS TO SEE PEOPLE ACROSS THE NATIONS EXTRAVAGANTLY FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS AND WALK IN PASSION, PURITY, AND PURPOSE. HE BELIEVES EACH PERSON IS MADE TO BE FULLY ALIVE AND FULLY BEAUTIFUL IN THEIR ORIGINAL DESIGN DISCOVERED THROUGH RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. WITH SOUTHERN BAPTIST ROOTS AND AS A GRADUATE OF BSSM, HE HAS A PASSION TO SEE THE WHOLE CHURCH DISCOVER AND WALK IN ALL OF WHO SHE REALLY IS. 
WEBSITE: ABRAMGOFF.COM
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4 Keys to Healthy Dating

Have you ever been in a new relationship and found yourself making choices that you wouldn’t normally make? Maybe you’re staying out at night way past what’s healthy, or maybe you’re finding yourself completely lost in the emotions of the newness and forgetting to follow through on everyday responsibilities? I’m sure we’ve all been there. Dating is fun and exciting, but one of the biggest dangers to any new relationship is the quick release of euphoric emotions that turn wise men into drunken poets at a moment’s notice. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen innocent, headstrong couples end up in a world of pain because they underestimated the driving force of unbridled emotions.

 

HOW TO WIN AT DATING

Our feelings are a very vital and powerful part of any love relationship. However, they are very poor decision makers. When starting a new relationship, here are four healthy guidelines that will help you keep your cool in the midst of emotional euphoria:

 

1) Start apart and slowly work your way in.

Our crazy feelings have a way of pushing the pace way beyond what each person can realistically handle. It’s really important that each person manages his or her need for speed by starting apart and slowly working closer as trust is built. Trust and commitment level should always dictate the amount of intimacy that each of you gives in the relationship. By respecting this guideline, over time you will slowly become more intimate as trust and commitment build.

All too often we use our intimacy to build connection and relationship instead of allowing the foundation of trust to build our intimacy. If I am going to give you the most sacred and vulnerable piece of me, I better be sure that you know how to handle it before I offer it to you. The beautiful thing about slowly moving together is that the risk of becoming completely heartbroken is dramatically lessened because we are allowing commitment and trust to dictate the pace of our passion.

 

2) Communicate before acting.

Communication is one of the vital organs of any relationship. When you are just starting out, make sure that you don’t take any major steps without first talking through them with your partner. A major step is any decision that is going to involve the other person, from how often you hang out together, to holding hands and kissing or anything else that could possibly violate the needs of the other person. By talking through each step and sharing your needs and desires, you are creating an environment of trust where intimacy can flourish.

Another major aspect that communication brings to the table is the ability to set and meet expectations for the relationship. Anytime there is more than one person involved in something, you can be sure that there are expectations that need to be met. Having the right expectations is crucial for the health of both people because any expectation that goes unmet leads to pain. However, an expectation fulfilled builds trust and connection. Throughout your relationship, the expectation that each of you have for one another is going to change as the relationship matures. So it’s vital that both people talk through the expectations they have of each other, so that the needs of the relationship get met as they go deeper.

 

3) Never make a decision of commitment while “under the influence.”

When you are deciding to hold a girl’s hand or use a word like “love,” make sure that the relationship is ready for that type of intimacy. Because our emotions are so powerful, oftentimes the decisions that we make while we are “under the influence” are much different from the decisions that we would have made while being “sober.” Making decisions of commitment with a sober mind keeps the relationship from being an emotional rollercoaster and it also drastically lessens the amount of remorse and regret we experience from making rash choices.

A really safe way to ensure that your decisions are coming from a sound mind is to sleep on the choices that you are making. When I first started dating, if I was out on a date with a girl, regardless of how much I wanted to hold her hand or kiss her, I would wait until I had gone home and slept on it. When I woke up the next day, if I still felt the same way, then I would move forward as long as she was good with it too. I can’t tell you how many times that principle has saved me from complete catastrophe, not just in my love life, but in every area of life. Making decisions with a sober mind is the only safe way to live life.

 

4) Don’t leave home without your peace.

Many times throughout my life I have found myself in epic battles, fighting for possession of my own peace. The opponents that we fight in our minds manifest themselves in the form of insecurity, anger, loneliness, rejection, self-pity and frustration. Though these feelings are not evil, if left unattended, they will become as destructive as the devil himself. One of the most important things to know about these feelings is that they need immediate attention because they can have so much influence over us. I refer to these feelings as “red flags.” Every red flag, whether it is loneliness or insecurity, leaves you extremely vulnerable.

For example, a teenager in a dating relationship who feels insecure and doesn’t deal with it before he or she leaves the house, runs a huge risk of trying to fill that need for security with some type of sexual encounter. So the goal here is to recognize red flags and deal with them quickly by meeting the need in a healthy way before you leave the house.

 

SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

I want to encourage you to commit yourself to proactively put emotional health at the forefront of any relationship. In dating, specifically, it’s important to think through what success looks like to you before your emotions get the best of you. Enjoy the butterflies and chemistry that come with the excitement of new love, but always keep that in balance with taking care of your heart well. Which of these four keys really stands out to you today? And how do you stay emotionally healthy when dating? I’d love to hear in the comments section!

 

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.
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES