As a believer in Christ, I am always pleased when empirical scientific research validates the Christian worldview. “Empirical” is one of those research words meaning something has been verified or observed. For this blog we are going to look at the act of forgiveness, particularly, what forgiveness entails, research that was conducted on the subject, and how forgiveness can restore relationships.
What comes to mind when I mention the words “premarital counseling”? To some, these words may trigger feelings of excitement to grow. For some, feelings of fear and not wanting to confront, and to others, possibly an assumption that something must be wrong with the relationship. These may happen and can be realities, but premarital counseling is not only necessary if you are unsure of marriage but also if you are looking to strengthen your future marriage.
Sometimes a few sessions into therapy, clients will ask questions like, “Will I always feel this way?” “How long until therapy feels like it is really working?” or “Why isn’t my husband or wife getting it yet?” Basically they are soliciting the question, “Is there anyway to make this go faster?” My response is usually something along the lines of, "well yeah, if I had the magic solution, I’d be living on a yacht right now making billions." However, in the instant gratification culture we live in today, it’s not surprising that our clients desire some quick, easy fix.
Have you ever been in a situation that left you feeling like you did something wrong or that nothing you do is good enough? Maybe a situation that left you feeling excluded and wondering how you can fix it? What if I told you that often times situations, other’s behavior towards you, particular outcomes or whatever circumstances may actually have nothing to do with you.
There’s no other way to say it, but loss is painful. When we think about loss, we most often think of an actual passing, a loss that is identified with the individual or loved one no longer being here on Earth. I’d like to point out, however, that loss comes in many forms and, often times, those losses can feel almost as significant. In fact, you are experiencing a death of some kind; one that must also be grieved.
The way our minds process grief and loss truly is interesting. I recently heard that research studies have shown through brain scans that the loss of a relationship looks the same as an addict who is experiencing withdrawal. When our brains are missing what once was, the brain will release the same chemicals that indicate a “need” for whatever that “thing” is. We miss the familiarity, the comfort, the habits and the routine that the partner, job, drug, etc provided.