“I Can’t Ask for Things. I Shouldn’t Have Needs, Desires, or Emotions” – by Radiant

 

From a very dear friend and sister in Christ whom God has radically healed physically and spiritually in the past year and a half. For decades, Radiant could not receive love from God, herself or from anyone and was imprisoned physically, spiritually, and emotionally. How I praise God for what He is doing in her life! This sister’s issues were often the opposite of my issues – and help to provide a much needed different perspective from my own.

———-

About the post, “Being Vulnerable and Direct Feels Wrong!” – I totally thought like the wife who had objections to speaking in direct, vulnerable ways my whole life.

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS:

This way of thinking makes us a victim and voiceless, then we freak out  on someone when they put that teeny straw on top of our huge anger that we aren’t allowed to admit, or have, or own, or do anything about. And it makes us jealous of wives who “have because they ask,” annoyed that they are so unapologetically “demanding” as we see it. My old way of thinking was about “righteously” refusing to have needs, emotions, demands.

It makes you really sick! Emotionally, physically and spiritually. To receive nothing good and only receive bad truly makes us toxic.

Why can’t we receive good? I think it’s this false humility stronghold that simultaneously says we don’t deserve anything good, while somehow at the same time being proud at how humble and un-needy we are. Then it’s about being a victim because no one understands how hard our life is. I felt I should have enough faith to be above struggles and emotions myself, even though I would never say anyone else should be. I was always the first one to comfort hurting people because I knew the pain of trying to go through things alone, and felt no one should ever have to do that (except me!). Part of it is the idea that “everyone else is more important than you, it’s in the Bible.” So being humble is not needing or asking or demanding. That’s for others.

If someone said good things about us, they are obviously lying or have a distorted perception or are just being nice, since the only thing that can be true is self-attack. That has been the only voice I have ever really believed – and I saw so much evidence to verify it – that it had to be true. And I was so used to that voice. I always thought that maybe if I criticized myself enough, then hopefully no one else would need to. While I was at it, I could feel extra guilty and not enjoy anything, and help God out with the punishments I knew I deserved. If someone did criticize me, I was a complete failure and had nowhere to stand, and collapsed inconsolably. There was no grace. No hope. Only trying again as hard as I could, knowing I would fail again.

People’s approval seems to be the only gauge of hope, but then we don’t receive it either. Nothing is ever enough.

So all time is spent trying not to need, trying to meet all others needs, trying not to mess up, attacking self with every mistake, guilt fear and failure. Trying to find life in dead works, which puts you under a curse. All this rule following and no joy or good results. Baseline – it is unbelief. Hebrew 4. No one can enter His rest if we hear the truth, but it is not mixed with faith.

My old way of thinking:

  • It’s saying Jesus saved me so I should be able to obey all of His commandments in my own strength.
  • It’s trying to please God without faith. Hebrew 11:6 says you can’t do that.
  • It’s trying to please God by obeying without believing anything He says, receiving anything but the most anemic salvation, (and believing Jesus did it reluctantly – that he had to), not receiving His love, grace, forgiveness, power, mercy. Having no idea all of the good qualities mentioned about Him could somehow be directed to include you, too. Imagining being on the very fringe of heaven, not included.
  • It’s also being totally blocked by anyone who disagrees or says, “no,” to you, but not ever being allowed to say, “no,” or your dislikes to them.
  • It’s remembering what caused someone to be upset at all, and making an inner vow to never mess up or cause a problem again. (These inner vows curse us, trying to save ourselves in our own strength).
  • It’s not believing anyone could ever enjoy your company or love you because you don’t feel it, so it can’t be true.
  • The biggest fears are being a burden, a failure, and demanding.
  • The only “truth” you hear are these accusing lies and and it somehow intertwines itself into the gospel to make it a non-gospel. You buy into it completely.

Idols, or strongholds, in this mindset are false humility and martyrdom.

Faith is scarce in this way of thinking. We believe Jesus did die to save us, and that we can be saved, but we don’t see His grace or promises or healing or forgiveness or that He truly desires us. And even then, we can grow in faith, be set free from quite a few things, and fall right back into this prison. Behind the false humility is immense pride – pride, saving ourselves, and being wise in our own eyes. Pride that we are following rules, astonishment when we can’t follow rules; that we weren’t successful since we should be. We are Christians! How can we fail God like this? So we attack and punish ourselves trying to help God with His disappointment in us. We try harder. Until we can’t try literally. Then we sink into depression and can’t be pulled out.
Faith is the ability to receive from God. So we cry out and try to serve and love Him and repent and feel guilty, but we don’t actually exchange that guilt for forgiveness.

  • We cry to him that we feel alone and unloved and abandoned but we don’t receive that He really is here with us and will never leave us.
  • We complain to him that we can’t do what he asks us to, and basically say He is mean and cruel for not helping us, but we won’t receive His help.
  • We don’t believe he will help so we don’t ask.
  • And when we do ask we are full of doubt and therefore don’t receive, and validate to ourselves that He doesn’t care.
  • We are proud that we don’t burden God or others.
  • We aren’t rude and don’t ask for stuff.
  • We are busy getting things done for God and praying for people and trying hard to follow our rules.

Until we fall apart. Then we are angry at God, ourselves and everyone around us except we can’t be angry, so this awful feeling stays general, unknowable and unfixable  and is more evidence of how God has abandoned us.

The mindset of false humility and not receiving and Jesus’ response:

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”
John 13:6-10 ESV

RELATED:

Being Vulnerable and Direct Feels Wrong!

I Must Avoid Conflict at All Costs. That Is the Godly Thing to Do.

What Does God Say about Me?

My Identity and Security Are in Christ Alone!

Trying to Find Security in All the Wrong Places

Being a Trophy Wife is Not the Goal, My Dear Sisters! – by Radiant

“I Don’t Feel Loved.”

SONY DSC

God gave us our feelings and emotions to bless us.

It is important to know what our emotions are at any given time.  Our feelings can be flags that tell us that all is right in our world or that there is a big problem -happy, sad, afraid, nervous, angry, worried, joyful, grateful, etc…  are all gifts.  If we use them well.

Negative emotions tell me that something needs to be changed or fixed.  They tell me I have a problem.

  • If I am angry, I might need to ask someone to stop doing something that violates my boundaries or to stop sinning against me.
  • If I am lonely, I may need to seek out companionship, friendship and encouragement from others.
  • If I am sad, I may need to process why and decide if I need to speak up to someone I care about or share my feelings with someone.

I must remember that I am responsible for my own emotions and my own happiness.  My husband and other people are not.  If I have a problem, it is up to me to do what it takes to fix it.  I may need to tell my husband that something he did hurt me.  But ultimately, if I am unhappy, I am responsible to take care of myself.  The best way to do that is to find all of my love, acceptance, purpose and identity in Christ alone.

Sometimes – we learn to rely TOO MUCH on our feelings and emotions.  

It can be easy to make our feelings more important than anything else.  

That is not a healthy balance.  So we must be careful to learn to listen to our emotions but not allow them to become the biggest priority in our lives.

  • Feelings are not a source of absolute truth.
  • God’s Word is the only source of absolute truth.

It is easy as a woman to think:

– I feel unloved, so I am unloved.

– I feel sad, so my life is awful.

– I feel angry, so someone must have wronged me.  Maybe God has wronged me, or a man or family member or friend.

– I feel afraid, so I am in danger.  I can’t trust God.

Sometimes these feelings are true – but not always!

I can tell you from personal experience that there were MANY, MANY times that I was SURE that Greg didn’t love me, or that he even hated me based on his actions.  I was 100% sure I was right to feel unloved.  I assumed that his motives would be the same as my motives would have been if I was doing what he was doing.  But now that I know his heart and how he thinks and how different he is from me – I know that he always did love me.  My assumptions about his motives were WRONG because I didn’t understand that he is not me and he doesn’t think/feel/act just like I do.

Unless our husbands actually tell us they don’t love us or there is very clear proof that they don’t love us – they don’t want to live with us anymore, they say they don’t love us and want a divorce, etc… – let’s not automatically assume the worst about them.

Many times, if our husbands are halfway decent men, we may not understand why they are doing what they are doing  – but most husbands are not purposely trying to hurt their wives.  Most husbands do not truly have evil motives toward their wives.  Most husbands would really love for their wives to be happy.  Many of them just don’t believe it is possible for their wives to be happy and have stopped trying because they hate to fail.  Sometimes what seems unloving to us – is actually our husband’s response to something we did or said that felt disrespectful/unloving to them.  Or sometimes it is just that our men have different needs and priorities or that they are showing love in ways we don’t recognize.

Sometimes we expect our husbands to meet needs in our hearts that only God can meet – and we become insatiable black holes of need.  No human husband can meet that kind of need.  Only Jesus can!  Sometimes our discontentment in our marriage is a flag to remind us to look to Christ and to be sure we are not making an idol of our husbands.

  • Sometimes our emotions tell us the truth.
  • SOMETIMES OUR EMOTIONS LIE TO US.

SOMETIMES WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO TRUST OUR EMOTIONS:

– When we are exhausted

– When we are hormonal

– When we are super hungry and have low blood sugar

– When we are really sick or in a lot of pain

– When we are consumed with doubt, fear and worry

– If we have a lot of scars and wounds from our past from abuse, from our own sin and/or from other’s sin against us

WHAT IS TRUE

  • Emotions can change.
  • Emotions can lie to us sometimes.
  • Our emotions are not always trustworthy.

If we make our feelings the most important thing – we can actually make idols of our emotions.

We can turn “feeling loved” and “feeling accepted” and “feeling cherished” or “feeling in control” into idols that we cherish more than our intimacy with Christ.

If I think “I MUST FEEL LOVED BY MY HUSBAND or I WILL NOT BE HAPPY,” that is dangerous ground.

God desires us to find our contentment only in Christ.  God,  mercifully, will not allow us to find contentment in anything but Himself.  

Our disappointments and negative feelings are sometimes signals to us that we are looking to other things/people to meet the deep needs in our souls that only Jesus can truly satisfy.

  • God’s Word is trustworthy. It is always true.
  • God does not change like shifting shadows.  We can depend on Him, on His promises, on the Bible and on His love.

WHEN MY EMOTIONS RAGE AGAINST MY FAITH

When my feelings (and/or the enemy) tell me lies:

– God doesn’t really love you.

– You can’t be loved by anyone, look how unloved you feel right now.  Your husband sure doesn’t love you, or he would have done X not Y.

– if God loved you, He would do X for you.

– You’re all alone.  God has abandoned you.

Recognize that these statements do NOT line up with God’s Word.  Actually, they are from the enemy.

PLEASE, trust God’s Word over your emotions or the voice of the enemy every time!

GOD’S WORD IS ALWAYS TRUE.

I can read His promises and depend on them when I can’t depend on my emotions or anything else in this life.

Jesus is our ROCK.  He is our Defender.  He is our Shelter.  He is the Life, the Truth and the Way.  He IS Love.  His love never fails.  His promises can never be destroyed.  We can find Shelter in the shadow of His wings.

OUR HUSBAND’S LOVE IS USUALLY CONSTANT

Unless you have SERIOUS issues in your marriage, most husbands view their love as being pretty much the same all the time.  When my feelings take over and I feel unloved, I go to my husband and ask him to remind me what is true – and then I trust HIM more than my emotions – particularly when I am hormonal!

FROM A CHRISTIAN SINGLE MAN, RG:

From a Christian Single Man – RG…

One thing I learned a while ago:

It’s OKAY to feel sad, lonely, and even unloved by others, because those are JUST FEELINGS. They are not truth, and don’t reflect the full love of God.

Everything in life comes down to Faith, Hope, and Love, and the greatest of those is Love.

GOD IS LOVE.

So, the bottom line is this:

“Do I believe that God is who (and what) He says he is? That’s it!

I’ve come to believe this important thing:

“It doesn’t matter what I do, say, think, feel, or believe, because GOD IS GOOD.”

Should I obey his commands? Yes (though I have failed many times.)
Yet my actions/inactions/lack of faith will never change who God is.

My circumstances and feelings don’t change who God is, because he never changes, and HE IS ALWAYS GOOD.”

We each must decide if we want to believe what God says. Either we do or don’t, but if we don’t our lack of faith doesn’t mean he is somehow unfaithful.

When we FEEL like we “aren’t loved enough,” we can remain calm, and CHOOSE to praise and thank God quietly because HE SAID HE LOVES US AND HE IS NOT A LIAR. Even when we FEEL unloved, we KNOW that HE IS WHO HE SAID HE IS, AND HE IS NOT A LIAR.

HE IS GOOD.

The more we choose to submit and conform our feelings and emotions to HIM and his word, the more we strengthen our faith in HIM and his word, because we are choosing to trust HIM and build a better relationship (and real intimacy) with HIM instead of just trusting our feelings and circumstances.

  • This world will lie to us.
  • Our feelings and emotions will lie to us.
  • We will not always feel loved as much as we want to in this life.

And that is okay, because GOD IS GOOD

Reducing Jesus Christ to an irresistible, relentless lover who exists solely to woo you has got to be one of Satan’s greatest cons.

  • Jesus did not come to woo us.
  • Jesus came to save us FOR HIMSELF.

We insult God when we make his love and sacrifice a reflection of our own perceived “worth.”

  • The truth is that we deserve death and Hell, but He PURCHASED US FOR HIMSELF WITH HIS OWN BLOOD.
  • We have no worth on our own. All of our value was GIVEN TO US BY GOD and FOR GOD.
  • He OWNS US and WE OWE HIM EVERYTHING.

Women have no more value than men, and men have no more value than women, so the idea that either of us deserve to receive endless affection and adoration is insulting to God, because He’s the one who truly deserves it.

The next time we think we deserve (or SHOULD have) more love or respect, we SHOULD stop and thank God for what He has already done.

If we don’t FEEL “loved enough,” then imagine how Jesus feels, having already died for our sins, come back to life, gone to the Father, and is still being rejected by us.

RELATED:

Control and Boundaries – This post talks about what healthy boundaries look like in healthy relationships vs. unhealthy boundaries in dysfunctional relationships

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

Healing for Hopelessness

The PMS Issue Part 1

The PMS Issue Part 2

Peri-menopause and Menopause Part 1

Peri-menopause and Menopause Part 2

What Does God Say about Me?

Trying to Find Security in All the Wrong Places

Our Identity Is in Christ

Roots of Insecurity