Live and thrive – God’s design

By Dave Henning / April 17, 2024

Let me be clear, you will never be emotionally healthy outside the will of God.  Just like your emotions were designed by God, the patterns and ways we are to live and thrive were also designed by God.  You were built for obedience to a loving Father.  The Fall disrupted that, but life is found inside His ways and will.”- Jennifer Allen

Jennifer Allen concludes Chapter 3 of Untangle Your Emotions as she describes two huge problems that arise when ‘good Christians’ ignore and control their emotions:

  1. Denying our feelings isn’t working.  The church isn’t immune from divorce, abuse, and mental health issues.  And we fail to experience a healthier, more abundant life when we ignore our feelings.  Treat them like the enemy.
  2. God feels.  As we see from Genesis to Revelation, God feels big feelings.  Therefore, He created the ability to feel inside us.  Hence, feelings must be good gifts if God feels them and built them for us.

However, Jennifer notes, a generation of baby boomers often prized reason and rational thinking.  Therefore, baby boomers rarely shared their emotions.  Ironically, though, they raised a younger generation that swung to the other side.  Thus, the children of boomers viewed emotion as everything.

As a result, Jennifer’s favorite seminary professor contends that, in recent generations, the church has tended to view emotions as feminine.  Hence, the Christian stereotypes of the ’emotional woman’ and the ‘stoic, unemotional’ male served as the standard and the goal.

In conclusion, Jennifer explains her approach in this book:

“What if emotions in and of themselves are not the problem here.  What do we do with them if our feelings are divinely built into us, on purpose and for a purpose? . . .

Emotions cannot and must not rule our days, our lives.  But equally, this is not a book about controlling our emotions.

I believe there’s a third way — an emotionally secure, connected, life-giving way that God has for us that could set us free to love and connect more deeply than we knew was possible.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you to live and thrive as God designed?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Starving for compassion”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button