Overcoming Toxic Relationships with Liëtte (Lee) Smith



There is a wonderful promise of overcoming when we are yoked with Jesus!

A Yoke – a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plough or cart that they are to pull. See image:

When the animals are not of equal size, strength and temperament, the work load does not flow, it may take longer to complete the task and both suffer pain and sores and overall illness.
In Matthew 11: 28-30 Jesus tells us to “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
What a wonderful promise of overcoming when we are yoked with Jesus!
I believe that because of this wonderful promise we are able to find and value other relationships in our lives.
Relationships that carry life’s load, that empower and strengthen us and endure with us.
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us what a healthy relationship looks like:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
But what happens when someone else fill that space? A parent, sibling, friend, love interest? Depending on others instead of Jesus, can lead to toxic relationships.
They usually start out meeting a need with good intentions but soon one person’s load becomes heavier, more is demanded, more is expected and so disappointment creeps in bringing with it hurts which lead to wounds.
We know that if our bodily wounds don’t heal, they fester, get more infected and could lead to death. We don’t seem to give the same urgency to emotional wounds that come from these types of toxic relationships.
Healthscopemag.com defines a toxic relationship as characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not infrequently, physically damaging to their partner. A toxic relationship is characterized by insecurity, self-centeredness,dominance, control.
If experienced when we are young, the consequences are carried into adulthood and can affect the life decisions we make.
I believe the only way we can overcome toxic relationships is by ensuring that Jesus is in the yoke with us. No one else will do.

Liëtte (Lee) Smith


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