The absolute BEST gift you can give your significant other/partner/spouse isn’t a $10k diamond ring. It’s not a Mercedes with a bow in the driveway. It’s not the favorite jacket they always wanted or an unforgettable trip/cruise to the Caribbean or the location you’ve always dreamed of traveling to. It’s not even them loving you in your Love Language every day (although this is very important.) You know what it is??
It’s healing yourself first. It’s revisiting and healing all your childhood traumas and wounds before dragging someone else into your mess. It’s facing and healing the physical/sexual/mental/emotional abuse you were exposed to or endured as a child. It’s healing from that narcissist you dated and finding worth in yourself again as a human. It’s healing any Daddy/Mommy issues. It’s recovering from any addictions that may have a grip on your life: People addictions (Sex, Romance, Relationships), substance and alcohol addictions, gambling addictions. It’s healing any addictions to Porn (which prevents you from becoming intimate and close to another human.)
It’s healing your poor spending habits which puts you at financial risk because you never had a good model of a mindful/frugal spender growing up. It’s repairing your broken relationships with your parents. It’s forgiving those who have crossed you, including parents’/exes/Loved ones. After all, how could you ask God to bless your life and forgive you when you still harbor resentment and unforgiveness in your heart?? It’s healing any unfounded fears that truly hold no base (especially when fear is not of God.) The list goes on, but you get the point.
It’s your partner’s job to love you, but it’s not their job to fix or heal you. That’s something you have to do on your own, and I firmly know in my heart it is the absolute best gift you can give your current (or future) life partner and kids/family! And next, the BEST gift you can ever give your kids is showing them how much you love their other parent (whether you’re together or not!) And that takes being healed. And healing takes time. It’s a process. And you know what makes the process even longer?? When you’re dragging someone else along for the ride who is enabling your unhealthy behavior (talking pre-marriage/dating.) I don’t tell this to condemn anyone…but it is a testimony that I speak in Love because imagine this world if it were filled with loving, healed people that weren’t severely as broken as we are… (I understand nobody will ever be perfect…but that isn’t an excuse to tell people “love me as I am or else there’s the door” while we neglect our own issues.)
After re-submitting and surrendering my life to Christ 4 years ago, I allowed Him to do open heart surgery on me and it wasn’t an overnight process. Those close to me have seen the changes in many of the things I used to do. To those who never really knew me or only see the “Rip” they see on stage or social media…May still get a very different picture. 😅 But, they don’t truly know me. I’ve had to revisit many unhealthy things I was exposed to as a child (I’ll save these details for prob another documentary I’ll end up making to tell my whole story/testimony.) After years of letting The Lord heal and work on me (and He still is) I was able to enjoy my first fruitful, faithful relationship for about 6-7 months. If I’m being honest, if I include porn/lust as cheating (which mentally and emotionally, it is)…I’ve never been a faithful partner before this one. Unfortunately, we both had different directions in life and we both respectfully, mutually and lovingly decided to go our separate ways a few months back. It was actually the most loving, healthy, respectful, and understanding breakup that I’ve ever experienced with no hatred or resentment.
So…what does healing look like?? To some, it’s seeing a therapist. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with therapy. If it works for you…great. But in my personal opinion, it doesn’t work for me. A therapist is just another flawed, hurt human who has a therapist themselves. Your Dr. has a Dr. But let me tell you Who is the best therapist, Dr and Healer of them all! And that is my BIG God I serve & His son Jesus Christ! The One who actually made us and knows HOW we work and gave us The Blueprint on life (His Word.) It’s honestly really simple:
We have to fully surrender our lives and hearts to Him and not keep giving things to Him but then trying to take them back (I’m guilty of this myself at times.) It’s knowing and understanding that we are powerless and harness absolutely NO control (no matter how many times we try to control things.) What’s next after giving it ALL to God.? We have to actually do our part next and trying to control what we can: It’s BEING OBEDIENT. What’s “being obedient”?? It’s following His blueprint and Word and repenting (turning) from our sin. Giving up that vice (Yes, I know FIRST-HAND HOW HARD IT IS!) Not living in habitual unrepented sinful lifestyles. Listening to convictions and acting on them. You know, that little birdie on your shoulder (that “gut feeling”) that you’re doing something wrong?? God can’t do His part if we’re not meeting Him in the middle and doing ours. In that case, then we’d just be a puppet (which some of us probably need at times, let’s be real…haha. But then that takes away our freedom of Free Will which then a world of Love can’t exist, but that’s a whole nother topic of discussion.) Point blank: We can’t heal our lives and hearts without inviting the Creator and Healer of ALL Healers into them. It’s TRULY understanding Grace, The Cross, and what Christ did at it (Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.) Until we understand that…we can’t forgive and love others (obsessive, lustful butterfly feelings in your stomach isn’t “love” btw.) I’ve been a “Christian” since I was a kid, you could say, but the true understanding of Grace didn’t actually hit me in the gut until an Easter message in 2012 when I got tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. And you won’t be open to Grace if you have a hardened heart and are not open to God’s Truth because you’re too busy following your own “truth” and feelings (Like I did a majority of my life.)
Anyways, I pray for Love, Peace, and HEALING in this world. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Life is so much better with it and it’s the absolute BEST gift you can give ANYONE. Periodt. All other “gifts” are just bandaids trying to mask the real underlying unhealed issues.
A much lighter, healed Lover or Christ who is still continually seeking healing each and every day so I can better love you all. AMEN.
P.S. As funny as some may think this is…if you feel the need to post a Marilyn Monroe meme saying; “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” Chances are, you have some healing to do.
I see a LOT of people dealing with depression and anxiety during these perilous times. So maybe my story and conclusion in life could help someone out there:
As a person who grew up with CRIPPLING Anxiety, Depression and Addiction (seriously, ask my family…I was in therapy by 13,) this is my conclusion and what I have found to be TRUE:
Depression and Anxiety come because our physical bodies, minds, hearts, and souls are in a state of discontent. They are not where they want to be. They are longing for a different (usually higher state.) Whether we consciously know this and can articulate it or not. It can be a longing to have control….and can range from anything like not liking the body we’re in, to wanting more money (to feel financially safe,) to wanting the partner who can fill that void and validate us. The list goes on and on. But again, depression and anxieties come because a part of us is in a state of discontent.
This is what I have come to find true: The Bible tells us that when God created us, He placed Eternity in our hearts (you can read it for yourself in Ecclesiastes 3:11.) Well, what does that mean? It means that our hearts long for and desire Eternity (with Him.) So no matter what we chase in this world…money, fame, relationships, drugs, etc…trying to fill that VOID (need for eternity)…we will come up empty. Every single time. This is why you see your famous celebrities, who seemingly “have it all,” still searching in life…ending up depressed and lost.
Whenever I see someone depressed, more times than not, I can point out exactly as to why they are. Here’s another reason why society as-a-whole suffers from massive anxiety and depression: They not only are separating themselves from God, our Creator who knows us best, but they are also trying to PLAY God through science (I’m not debunking science or saying it’s a bad thing. It’s HOW you use it.) But you see them all the time: Making up their own versions of God based on how THEY want Him to be rather than we HE says He is. This elevates them to a god pedestal themselves. You see everything they’re trying to do now in the world: using it to try and clone people, using it to try and get men pregnant, scientists trying to find ways to inhabit new planets, you have artificial intelligence. ALL things that go against God’s design. And this isn’t pleasing to God.
The ironic thing is, people I see depressed most are those who follow the Progressive movement. If you read the book “Wild at Heart” By John Eldredge, he outlines how God designed men to be hunters/gatherers and masculine men, yet still loving at the same time- much like Jesus. When Judas led the soldiers, chiefs, and Pharisees to come get Jesus for His arrest, He went out and asked them what they wanted. They replied “Jesus of Nazareth”. He boldly claiming, “I am He.” knowing what awaited Him (death.) God made men the way He did and He made women the way He did with the psychology and biology that He did: Men to be masculine hunters and gatherers and women to be feminine, loving caretakers. Now keep in mind, this ISN’T me saying women have to stay at home an take care of the kids and all that yada-yada or saying a man has to be an alpha a-hole. That’s where most misinformed people coin the term “Toxic masculinity.” But ‘toxic masculinity’ is an oxymoron. The 2 can’t co-exist…it’s a conundrum. A TRULY masculine male (like Jesus) isn’t toxic. They are strong and centered in their masculinity, but still loving and respectful of others. The confusion comes into play when people like narcissists get confused with the “masculine” trait when in all reality, they’re weak (Beta.) Which reinforces my statement that toxic masculinity can’t exist, it’s an oxymoron. But this all circles back to my point about Depression and anxiety. You see in the world right now, the whole feminist movement and so may men becoming emasculated from what God created them to be (there are actual legit feminist movements out there that are valid but a majority of them are toxic which makes the others look bad.) Men aren’t being the strong men this world needs them to be which is pushing the whole masculine-feminine dynamic out of whack and forcing women into their masculine while men are becoming more feminine. And you wonder why society as-a-whole collectively is depressed. This goes against God’s design and a couple of decades of a progressive movement won’t change hundreds or thousands of years of Biology since the beginning and caveman times. When God gave us The Blueprint to life, His word, he didn’t leave anything out. To say times change, society changes etc and His Word is no longer applicable is to say God was incapable of seeing the future and to say this is to say He truly isn’t God to begin with. And we, as-a-whole are not in the state our minds, bodies, and souls are truly designed and needing to be in. Enter: Depression and anxiety.
This is also where addiction comes into play. We try to fill in that void to cover up the pain. The hit of dopamine seems to take the edge off just for a little bit but then it’s back to the same old routine. And it ended up solving nothing, in fact only make things worse, and then we enter into the downward spiral of destruction…needing more and more. But if we circle back around and remember that nothing outside of eternity will fully satisfy our hearts, we can finally start to understand how we can take this enemy head-on.
This is what I did: I fully surrendered my life to Christ a few years ago. And I don’t just mean calling yourself a Christian or “going to church.” I did that my whole life, too. I mean actually surrendering your heart to Him (this is separate from but could also be included in the giving of your heart to Him in terms of salvation.) See, I gave my heart to Christ as a child myself…but I never really FULL surrendered my life and cares to Him. I gave my heart to Him but then went on going about my life living my life for me. I still tried to control my life and sought all the things the world has to offer. But my heart was craving Eternity with God. Enter: Anxiety & Depression. You ever have one of those relationships where your heart is ripped out from your chest and you are groveling for the other person begging for them back out of desperation?? That’s the kind of pain and desperation it took me to surrender to Him. Jesus tells us ‘whoever doesn’t receive The kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.’ A young child is destitute of ambition, pride, and haughtiness and is, therefore, a good example for us. Children are characteristically humble and teachable. They aren’t prone to pride or hypocrisy…they are usually giddy with excitement. This is how we should approach God with our need for Him. This is how I did it about 4 years ago. I did it because I hit my breaking point and absolute pleaded with Him for comfort to ease my broken heart. Since then, I have been on a journey to seek Him, his Kingdom…an only those things that matter in eternity (what my heart truly craves.) All the worldly earthly things are futile anyway…a chasing after the wind. If you want to get to know God…dive into His word, The Holy Bible. God and His word will never contradict one another. Don’t seek other idols…Seek His face, obey His word, repent your sins, and glorify Him in all that you do. After that, He will slowly and surely change your heart and give you that everlasting comfort and Peace you desired. When you truly get to know Him and what His word promises…you will find peace in everything. When you know this world is all temporary and will end but there’s greater in store, it brings a sense of peace that’s indescribable. You don’t hold so tightly to the things in this world that once gripped you. Into my new journey, I felt God leading me to give up the biggest thing in my life that I sought relief from over Him. And that was an addiction to sex and masturbation. A few weeks ago I just hit 1 year Free of masturbation (Lustful sin) and that alone has alleviated an insurmountable amount of Depression. Something that gripped me for a quarter-century!!!
I’m not here to pass judgment on any of you. I have many friends from all walks of life that I love dearly. Some are like family. Biblically, I’m only allowed to exhort and pass righteous judgment on those others in Christ who are in error/slipping…not on non-believers. But you want to know why these things are going on…and I’m telling you. These are just some of the things I have come to conclude. I could go expound much more on these things as well as many more, but I think you get my point.
Our purpose on this earth is to serve God and other people (how we are designed) NOT ourselves (This goes against how we’re designed.) This is why it’s imperative to divorce our “emotions” and pay attention to God’s word. In fact, that’s exactly why The Bible tells us to guard our hearts because it’s deceitful. Again…the more we chase our desires and serve ourselves…the more our body, mind and soul drifts from what it was designed to do: serve God and others. Enter: Anxiety & Depression. God loves You. He doesn’t want you to suffer from it. But He also won’t force Himself on those who don’t want Him either.
When Jesus said He is The Way, The Truth, and Life…He WASN’T lying!!! He IS The Way (I tried MY way my whole life and failed), He IS The Truth (I have found His claims in His word and teachings to be ABSOLUTE TRUTH even when I rejected it when family members tried shoving it down my throat as a kid) and He IS The Life (He has given me a whole new life! One free of the things that gripped me my whole life: anxiety, depression, and addiction!!! AMEN! ALL GLORY TO GOD!)
I understand this message is going to unnerve some people. But I urge you to ask yourself why? WHY is this post bothering you?? There are others out there who get this already. And there are those who this is going to make think. This is for you. If it impacts one person, my job was done here.
The things that brought me the MOST INTENSE and IMMENSE amount of Pain, Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks, Hurt, Sadness, and Dissatisfaction (like drinking salt water to quench your thirst):
– Chasing after money / financial security to feel safe and secure.
– Chasing Fame and accolades to feel wanted and validated.
– Trying to conquer and chase after a bunch of women trying to fill that VOID and no matter how good one was they were still “never good enough'”
– Seeking escape through Lust (porn/fantasizing/day dreaming/masturbation etc,) getting high off the dopamine hits the brain releases during climax, ruining any sort of possible connection and intimacy in a relationship.
– Fearing Death, not knowing what laid ahead or understanding God/Heaven/eternity. Grasping to this world, not wanting to ever leave it.
– Disregarding what God calls sin for my own pleasures.
– Pride. Holding others in contempt…thinking I’m better than them and that they OWE ME an apology, not the other way around.
– Drinking and doing drugs (smoked a TON of weed in my teens)
– Sugar. 😂
** What brought me the MOST IMMENSE AMOUNT of Peace, Love, Joy, Happiness, Clarity, Healing, Purpose and Satisfaction **:
– Surrendering my life to Christ. Literally in tears on my knees in my room in the worst pain I’ve ever been in my life saying: “I can’t do this anymore.” (Trust me, you don’t ever want to come to this point, I don’t wish it on anybody.)
– Learning to no longer put my trust and security in money. Yes, I still understand money makes the world go round and I need money to survive. But I’m no longer making it my idol. I saw first hand, growing up poor, that God will ALWAYS provide (Matthew 6:25-27)
– Fame and accolades are no longer my identity. They no longer make me feel validated or full of worth. I’ve already found my worth in Jesus. He thought I was to die for. Famous and with awards or not. They could supplement life, if God’s will, at this point…but they’re AREN’T life.
– I no longer seek fulfillment through Lust, Fantasies and Sex. I’m currently 8 Months (245 Days) sober from Masturbation, something that gripped me for a quarter century. That addiction (Lust) ruined intimacy and the ability to connect with/Love others. Nobody was ever able to live up to the expectations I had nor would they ever be good enough. It was never enough and I was never satisfied.
– I no longer fear death. It’s lost it’s sting as I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is greater that awaits me. To some…this world is the only heaven they’ll know. To others, it’ll be the only hell they know. I love life and am grateful for every single day that I’m blessed to be here and take another breath but my heart longs for eternity for that is what God has placed in our hearts and why they always long for something this world will never ever satisfy (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
– Ridding any sort of worldly, new age, mystic, occult things from my life (Books, trinkets, practices, teachings etc including but not limited to: Books like “The Secret”, astrology, psychics, sage, statues/idols etc) that don’t honor the One True God.
– Making amends with any and ALL people in the past that I may have hurt or crossed to the best of my ability (if there’s anyone out there who believes I still owe them an amends, please don’t hesitate to message me with a gentle reminder!)
– I genuinely have a hate, disgust and disdain for sin (Pride, Lust, Greed, Envy and all the other sins listed in The Bible.) It’s the downfall of man. It’s what makes this world a worse place. Not bad presidents or school shootings but SIN in mans heart. It’s what BREEDS hate and everything else that is tearing this world apart (including bad presidents and school shootings.) When you learn to hate sin, the very thing that separates us from God, you learn to love God and want what’s best for your life, this world and all of humanity. Laws aren’t gonna change hearts that don’t Love the Ultimate moral and Law Giver.
– Stop doing drugs and highly limiting my alcohol intake (a few social drinks once in a blue moon and even then, there’s absolutely nothing positive that comes from it.)
– Limiting my sugar intake as best as possible.
I am at the most peaceful joyus state that I’ve ever been in my life. I don’t get panic attacks anymore. Realizing that God loves me and that He’s simply enough for all I’ll ever need. I’m blessed with the BEST family and girlfriend. There is no other way to achieve full contentness, joy and happiness in life. I’ve tried it all. My new heart has given me new eyes to view things from a completely different perspective. And life is #Bonita I’m blessed beyond measure and I’m glad that God snatched me from up out of the pit! #Delivered 🙏 #AllGloryToGod
My name is Josh aka “Rip”. And this is MY truth! Not a copied post!
Hey there, world. Rip here. I don’t tend to clog up my own blog here on my site with personal stuff, I like to keep it music orientated for the most part. But every once in a while something life changing comes along that deserves a post. I knew when I started making music almost 20 years ago, that there would be a possibility that privacy in my life would be slim to non- existent. Especially when a lot of the lyrics I write are drawn from real life experiences. So, with that said…the last few years of my life have seen some serious mental, emotional and spiritual battles & growth. A few years back I became intentional on becoming a better person. The first self-help book I ever remember reading was “The Five Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman in 2012 after a breakup. I got so full of myself, I said I finally knew the secret to love…the next woman I date I will marry with this new found knowledge (after reading 1 book)! 😂 Something in me shifted to becoming intentional about succeeding in love (not just music.) Fast Forward half a decade later, probably 20-30 different books, 100’s of blog articles read and thousands of hours of YouTube videos & podcasts later…I think I know just a LITTLE bit more than the info from that one book. 😉 HAHA (which is a must read, btw.) Then, last week I was turned on to this 4 part series on Love, Sex, Dating, and Marriage that not only opened my eyes, but it also broke me down, in tears, on many different levels. Some of this info is stuff regurgitated from other sources I read…but as a collective, this series hits on most everything you need to know to start becoming intentional about love, sex, dating, and marriage. It’s not ALL you need to know…but it’s a HUGE kickstart!! So, I want to provide you with this 4 part series on Love, Sex, Dating, and Marriage, by Andy Stanley, along with a short breakdown of each video’s content. I’ve come to find Andy Stanley a very personable guy who delivers this message in such a perfect manner (It doesn’t hurt that he DM’d me on Twitter as a response to one of my tweets about part 3 breaking me down in tears– saying “Real men cry. Thanks!”) To those intentional about their love life and future, I hope you enjoy this series and can take as much away from this as I did:
– “Are you the person you’re looking for is looking for?” is the main question to kick off this series. More or less: Are you the person you need to be to attract and be with the person you desire to be with?
– Another key takeaway from this video is: “The PRESENT will be your PAST which will be PRESENT in your FUTURE.” Basically…right now..everything you’re doing is going to be your past but it’s going to show up in your future. Deep. Think about that.
– He also says he never met with a couple that had “marriage problems.” He discovered that individuals with problems (that began when they were single) get married. So they don’t have marriage problems, they had problems that they brought into a marriage.
-He talks bout the right person myth: “If I marry the right person, everything will be all right.”
-Your focus should be becoming the right person NOT finding the right person.
-He tells a story about a young woman that finds a man who was a “total package.” He had it ALL. She was enamored by him. A few days later she was at home going on and on about this guy and her mother turned to her and said: “The problem is, a guy like that is not looking for a girl like you.” She fell to the floor in tears because she knew her Mom was right. But it was a defining moment for her. From that day forward she was going to be a woman that a guy like that was looking for. Game changing moment for her!
-He breaks down 1 Corinthians 13 (“Love is patient, Love is kind…”)
-He breaks down the “Happily Ever After” childhood mentality and said most people that think this way are thinking and dating like a child.
Overview: This one is for the guys.
-He talks about becoming a man and putting the ways of childhood behind (1 Corinthians 13:11)
-He talks about the Biblical view of women and how women were made in the same image of God as men were
-He talks against men looking at and viewing women as a commodity (sex object, in lamens terms.)
-He breaks down scriptures about treating your wife with honor and respect.
-He breaks down how looking at porn and other naked woman programs the man’s mind to not appreciate your wife’s body.
-He talks about men taking a year off from dating to completely working on themselves before getting out there and dating again.
Overview. This one is about sex. This is the episode that broke me down because I had a sex addiction myself that I finally faced. It brought tears to my eyes 3 times throughout it’s duration. The main focus of this video is: “Sex isn’t just physical. It goes deeper than that.”
-He talks about how having pre-marital sex hurts yourself and your future spouse. Then their marriage becomes plagued with consequences from those past behaviors and most times they can’t even connect the dots.
-He asks questions to really make you think hard and understand the gravity of ‘sex is not just physical.’ Like:
“Why is it, that when a child is sexually abused…when they’re an adult, why is it so difficult to shake that off?”
“Why is it that rape is more devastating to a woman than simply being beat up?”
“Why is it that men with the deepest sexual issues/addiction usually have uninvolved or missing fathers? What’s the connection?”
“Why is it that people’s greatest regrets are sexual?”
-Because sex is NOT just something “physical.” It goes way deeper than that. It’s rooted at the deepest level of your being & soul.
very deep part of the series, watch below:
Overview: This one affected me almost as much as the last one. He starts off saying “I’m going to explain the #1 reason why most romantic relationships fail.” It focuses on marriage.
-He starts off by saying that most people aren’t prepared to get married. Promises (“nuptials”) are no substitute for preparation.
-He outlines how you should “commit now to becoming someone who can keep commitments later.”
-He gives a specific list of “single people assignments” to commit to now so when you make a commitment later, you’ll actually be able to keep your promise:
1.) Address your unresolved childhood issues (“If you attempt to build intimacy with a person before you’ve done the hard work of becoming a whole and healthy person, every relationship will be an attempt to fill the hole in your heart.“)
2.) If you have any left-over drama or angst with your parents (Mom or Dad), your spouse will receive the brunt of that. They (your spouse) don’t know why you’re so upset and you can’t understand why they don’t shape up and you cannot end this. REPAIR BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS WITH PARENTS.
3.) Ladies: Don’t dress like a commodity and don’t put up with being treated like one (If you fish with your body, you’re going to catch body snatchers every single time!)
4.) Men: Memorize Part 2 of this series
5.) Get out of debt. You can get out of debt a LOT quicker as a single person than as a married person.
6.) Break Your Bad Habits. Marriage was NOT designed to solve any problems. In marriage, the great things become better and the bad things get worse.
7.) Postpone the physical components of your relationship ALAP (As Long As Possible)
8.) Avoid Living Together. There is no evidence at all that living together prepares anyone for marriage. The opposite is true. Couples who live together have a far higher chance of divorce. This is not a path to happily ever after.
9.) Non-Christians – Don’t date a Christian unless you plan to become one. Basically, he says you should not be unequally yoked and breaks it down.
10.) Get involved ar your local church.
He then reassures singles that no matter what they’ve done wrong in the past..they have the chance of getting things right in the future.
This series really made me realize what else I need to be doing. For the most part, I have been exercising most of these on this list for some time now. But this series did prompt me to get on the phone with my Mom, before writing this blog, and hashing out a incident that happened a few years back. We got it all situated and everything’s all good. I hope this series was able to transform your outlook in your love life and will help you become a better you for the future. Thank you, Liz, for turning me on to this transorming series.
As always, God Bless. 🙂