Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

Posts tagged ‘being supportive’

Am I “Supportive” or “Enabling”?

SOURCE:  Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee/Living Free

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” (Galatians 6:1 NLT)

Enabling can become a habit. Your loved one needs you to support their denial and deceit. They become expert at making you feel guilty if you try to stop your enabling behavior. They may say, “If you love me you’ll . . .”

So what is your responsibility to your troubled loved one? You should be supportive — without enabling.

Consider This . . .

Think about the differences between enabling and supporting.

Enabler: Tries to fix
Supporter: Shows empathy

Enabler: Attempts to protect
Supporter: Encourages

Enabler: Repeatedly rescues
Supporter: Permits the person to be responsible for their own actions

Enabler: Attempts to control
Supporter: Lovingly confronts with truth

Enabler: Manipulates
Supporter: Levels, speaks honestly

Enabler: Expects the other person to live up to “my” expectations
Supporter: Expects the other person to be responsible

Where do you see yourself?

Lord, I realize I often enable more than I support my loved one. Teach me to gently and humbly help them get back on the right path. In Jesus’ name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …


 Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee.


FEAR & PANIC: DO’S AND DON’TS for Family and Friends

SOURCE:  June Hunt

To support a loved one who is struggling with fear, learn what to do and what not to do. You can very well be that person’s answer to prayer.
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

• Don’t become impatient when you don’t understand their fear.
Do understand that what fearful people feel is real.
“A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29)

• Don’t think they are doing this for attention.
Do realize they are embarrassed and want to change.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15)

• Don’t be critical or use demeaning statements.
Do be gentle and supportive, and build up their self-confidence.
“Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

• Don’t assume you know what is best.
Do ask how you can help.
“We urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

• Don’t make them face a threatening situation without planning.
Do give them instruction in positive self-talk and relaxation exercises.
“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” (Proverbs 4:13)

• Don’t make them face the situation alone.
Do be there and assure them of your support.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10)

• Don’t begin with difficult situations.
Do help them to begin facing their fear in small increments.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2–3)

• Don’t constantly ask, “How are you feeling?”
Do help them see the value of having other interests.
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

• Don’t show disappointment and displeasure if they fail.
Do encourage them and compliment their efforts to conquer their fear.
“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” (Proverbs 3:27)

• Don’t say, “Don’t be absurd; there’s nothing for you to fear!”
Do say, “No matter how you feel, tell yourself the truth, ‘I will take one step at a time.’”
“The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:21)

• Don’t say, “Don’t be a coward; you have to do this!”
Do say, “I know this is difficult for you, but it’s not dangerous. You have the courage to do this.”
“A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:23)

• Don’t say, “Quit living in the past; this is not that bad.”
Do say, “Remember to stay in the present and remind yourself, ‘That was then, and this is now.’”
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)

Hunt, J. (2013). Fear (june hunt hope for the heart). Torrance, CA: Aspire Press.

What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say

SOURCE:  Relevant Magazine/Margaret Feinberg

How to offer support for a friend who is hurting.

Someone you know receives dreaded news.

The diagnosis.

The divorce papers.

The freak accident.

The foreclosure.

The pink slip.

The miscarriage.

No matter what form it takes, you may feel unequipped to enter into someone’s crisis. Saying and doing nothing seems better than saying the wrong thing.

In reality, your silence is one of the worst things you can give to someone facing hardship, but your presence is one of the most powerful gifts.

I’ve discovered this firsthand over the last two years of battling cancer. Here are some things those facing crisis can’t tell you but wish they could:

1. Engage with us. We need you to break the silence. One of the most meaningful calls my husband and I received was from a friend who called almost seven months after we announced the diagnosis. He confessed, “I’ve been silent, and I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” That one call fortified our friendship and reminded us how much we were loved.

2. Stay with us. People love to hear the juicy details behind the breakup or sit in the chemo cabana, but six months later they’re nowhere to be found. Set an alarm on your calendar to check back in every 21 days. Keep letting us know that you love us and you’re praying for us. When the dark voices whisper, “You’re all alone,” and “No one cares,” your ongoing presence will remind us otherwise.

3. Extend grace. Overwhelming circumstances shift the lenses through which we see life. Details magnify. Emotions. Sensitivities. Needs. Crisis creates new triggers that will cause us to overreact. Don’t plan on responses always being rational or proportional.

We need to share our stories in our own time. Listen without trying to fix the situation or us.

4. Hear us. Learn how to listen to our story. We may not want to utter a syllable about what’s happened on one day and ramble for hours the next. We need to share our stories in our own time. Listen without trying to fix the situation or us. Listen without dismissing our experience or feelings. Listen without feeling like you have to relate.

5. Avoid dismissive comments. It’s far too easy to make dismissive statements like, “I know someone who has the same the thing you had.” No two losses are ever the same. Instead, look for opportunities to gently encourage us. These can be helpful and meaningful—especially if you skip phrases like, “I don’t know how I would have handled this.”

6. Celebrate the good. In the wake of the loss of a loved one, it’s appropriate to reminiscence on the good and funny times. Remember their good qualities and stories of kindness. Set a recurring calendar alarm on the person’s birthday or the day they passed away to send a special reminder that you still remember.

7. Meet our real needs. It’s tempting to think we know what someone needs without ever asking. The result is often an abundance of one or two resources and a lack of real needs being met. Instead of filling a person’s life with trinkets or yet another blanket, always ask what the person needs.

8. Play with us. Sometimes it can feel like everything focuses on the crisis. We need to get out of the house and do something ridiculous and fun. We need you to ask and keep on asking us to get together. Your invite reminds us that we’re still loved and included by you.


This article is from the May/June issue of RELEVANT magazine.

Parenting: Encourage, Encourage, Encourage

SOURCE:  Living Free

“And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.” 1 Samuel 2:26 NIV

When your children reach school age, they enter an entirely new phase of their lives. They attend school and have new authorities and new rules they are expected to obey. Their horizons are expanding. They will make new friends and face new challenges.

It is your task and privilege to guide them during these times of change. Be their source of security, their source of information, their source of love. You will watch and teach and guide as they grow in stature as well as in favor with God and man.

The key to parenting during the school-age years is encouragement! Consistent discipline and training remain important, but it is through encouragement, not pushing, that your children will grow to like themselves and to be all they can be.

Think of some practical ways you can encourage your children during these elementary school years. Praise them. Compliment them. Take an interest in their activities, in what they are learning. Value their opinions. Spend time with them and learn to listen.

Father, thank you for my children. Teach me to be a godly parent. Help me understand them and find ways to encourage them. Enable me to watch and teach and guide as they grow in stature as well as in favor with God and man. In Jesus’ name …


These thoughts were drawn from …

Godly Parenting: Parenting Skills at Each Stage of Growth by N. Elizabeth Holland, M.D.

Tag Cloud