Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Mental Health #4 - Family Matters

Emily is gifted five year-old with kinky coily hair. Today, she has arranged a new piece of scripture song during her music lessons and would like to share it with dad when he gets home. Mom has prepared dad’s favourite meal, lasagne, baked potatoes & tossed spinach salad with chickpeas. The day has been long, and she too has a lot to tell dad about the day’s activities and about Emily’s latest achievement. Dad arrives home at 7pm, tired as usual; he greets Mom and Emily then heads straight to the study room. He works for a big corporation and has had tight timelines and projects since the day he signed their contract. Emily runs to the study room, elated to share with dad what she had learnt. “Not today my angel, dad is very busy, how about you tell me tomorrow? I promise I will listen.” Emily turns away disappointed, her hopes shattered. Will dad ever be available to listen?

Emily grows up unstable, and moves from relationship to relationship, with the hope of one day meeting someone who’ll give her the attention that her dad never gave. On the other hand Sarah (mom), grows estranged from Larry (dad), he’s hardly ever home, and when he is home, he’s always working. Sarah frequently suffers bouts of depression and anxiety; she develops peptic ulcers and is now scheduled for an operation. Had Larry foreseen that while his plans to secure a “better life” for his family were good, those plans would come at the expense of love and neglect of his wife and daughter, would he have risked?

Many children, spouses and parents have long lasting wounds from neglect, lack of love, broken promises, lack of time and appreciation from their loved ones. Mental conditions like depression, anxiety and stress among others are among the many causes for broken homes, conditions like ulcers and instability in various areas of life. Have you spent time with your family lately?  Spending time together enhances ones emotional well-being and behaviour. Do shared activities with your family like outdoor exercise, attending religious services and family worship together, having at least one meal a day together without TV, mobile handsets and the technological gimmicks. Try it and let us know how it goes (leave a comment below)….your family matters.

“As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear him.” Psalm 103:13

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Mental Health #3 - Never Doubt

What are some of the causes of being mentally out of sync?  A story is told of a family of swallows whose nest was right above a big river. The mom and dad swallow had four chicks which were now off-age and ready to leave the nest. So as nature calls, the mother swallow takes the first little bird and throws it over the edge of the nest...each time going down to swoop below the chick and transporting it safely back into the nest. This training was done until such a time as they were ready to go off and fend for themselves.

As has been before, the mommy swallow threw out the first little one from her nest and watched…with its tiny wings it flapped & flew and so did the rest of them, except for one fellow, who thought that he would stay in the nest forever. The mother swallow tried to throw him out, however; he held to the branch with his beak, so mom started to peck at his beak till it was more painful for him to hold on than to let go. Eventually he let go and as he was frantically flapping his tiny wings, somewhere in mid-air he realised that his wings were actually designed for flight and so he flew off like the rest of the birds.

Take a moment to reflect…did the mother bird seek the best for the little swallows? Did she always make sure that they got a squirmy worm each day? Why could this little bird not trust the mother’s care? Why do we distrust our Heavenly Father’s care? Why do we doubt His goodness? Does He not seek our good? Does He not provide for all our needs each day? Doubt not only robs us of the happiness which the Lord wants us to have, but it also spreads shadows of darkness in our minds and to others, thus covering the Sun of Righteousness, [our only hope] from our view. The effects of doubt on the brain are immeasurable, for what we say with our mouths tends to be what our mind believes as reality. The words of doubt we utter today may just be the very thing keeping us from grasping tightly to the hand of faith, it is a hindrance from seeing the reality of exercising our faith…“so then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17