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So, what if you’re starting out in a new relationship, you’re getting the right vibes and wondering if this could be longer term, then the other person opens up to you that they’re recovering or that they have a history of mental illness, what do you do, what do you say? When we’re presented with something new, fight, flight or freeze might be the immediate response but first things first, breath… communication is key!

1. Ask them what they need – This may sound obvious but it’s really important not to assume you know what’s best without asking them. Even if the person doesn’t know exactly what will help, this will get the conversation going. If they’re telling you about a history of mental illness, ask them if there are any signs of them getting ill that you can look out for. When I started my relationship, with my soon-to-be husband, what I needed was not to be treated differently – I didn’t want my mental illness to be part of our relationship. However, there were still things I struggled with so we talked through those and we worked out how he could help, without me becoming reliant on him. For example, we couldn’t go out for a meal spontaneously.

2. Don’t make glib remarks – Please do not say “cheer up”, “snap out of it” or “but you look OK”. These (or similar) may be well-meaning but mental illness, just like physical illness, needs professional treatment and comments like this can lead to the sufferer feel like they’re not being taken seriously. Remember symptoms of mental illness can fluctuate and therefore they may manage tasks one day and not the next. Also, someone may “look fine”, they may even say they’re fine because that’s what they think is expected but most symptoms of mental illness are hidden, try not to judge them or treat them based on what you see.

3. Be there to listen – Even if this is a new situation for you, we’re all capable of listening. You may need to explicitly tell them “I’m here if you want to talk about anything”. When you ask how they are, don’t accept “fine”, make sure they know you’re genuinely interested in how they are and make sure you have time to listen. Talking has lots of benefits, when I found my voice, being able to get my thoughts and feelings out of my head made me feel calmer and more able to cope. It took me a while to find my voice, when most distressed, I found it easier to write things down than to talk out loud, as I recovered, periods of acute distress became less severe and happened less often.

4. It is not your job to make them better – Starting a new relationship should be an exciting journey together, there shouldn’t any imbalance. If you’re concerned you can’t tell the difference between their personality traits and traits of their illness and they won’t talk about it, if it just doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to continue with the relationship. Although there’s a lot of disheartening news around at the moment and waiting time for mental health support, it’s important they seek professional help if they haven’t already.

5. Look after yourself – The saying goes, “you can’t give from an empty cup”. If you’ve decided to give this relationship a go and you’re sticking together longer term, being there for someone with a mental illness can be really hard; if you don’t look after yourself, you’re not going to be able to be there for them. I would say any healthy relationship is made up of quality time together and time apart, this relationship should not be an exception; make sure you do things just for you, whether it’s time with your friends or doing a hobby, make sure you make this a priority.

6. Keep the conversation going – Whatever the stage of recovery your new partner is at, they may still have good and bad days. Recovery can be a rocky road and there will always be setbacks, being consistent with your support on the good days and bad will really help. I cannot stress how important talking is for any relationship. Make sure you express how you think things are going as well as giving them an opportunity to talk.

Experiencing mental illness, whether as the person with the diagnosis or trying to support someone, can be incredibly scary. However, speaking from experience, going through tough times together and pulling through will make the relationship stronger. Mental illness can be one of the hardest things a person can go through, having a supportive partner can make all the difference.

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We can’t always control circumstances and we certainly can’t control the actions of others. But there’s much we can do from our own point of view, to create a more serene path. Here are some tips for getting and giving the most on your dating journey, without it feeling like an emotional rollercoaster.

Get some perspective

At the time, disappointments and let downs often feel like the end of the world. We’ve all been there and it can be incredibly painful and hurtful. At these junctures in life, it can really help to plug into the bigger picture. Remind yourself how big God is, how big the world is, and that this too shall pass. Taking time out to do other things is a part of this. Try not to let dating take over, become an obsession and eat up all your spare time. Keep it in balance with the other components and people in your life.

Journal regularly

This is an excellent way to maintain that sense of perspective, especially by reading entries back a few days, weeks, months or even years later. Pour out your heart by putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). It’s hugely cathartic and provides a great outlet for those feelings. Plus it’s a time-proven method of processing your thoughts and emotions in a safe and therapeutic way. This, in turn, helps you to have more measured responses and appropriately work out the pent up rage, hysteria or infatuation (or a combination of all three), in private.

Don’t court it

Drama can be contagious. An animated story is a lot of fun, and we do all need to let off steam now and again. However, if you’re chatting to someone who’s very reactive and seems to have a history of relationship catastrophes, meltdowns, and a litany of issues, tread carefully. It can be easy to become entangled in other people’s drama. We all have weaknesses of course. But with some, further insight and growth are needed before being able to embark on a full and healthy relationship.

Be kind to yourself

We often unconsciously set ourselves absolutes like: ‘I must find someone’, ‘This has to work out’, ‘This date mustn’t go badly’ and so on. In doing so we set our own bar impossibly high. As a result, if things do go ‘wrong’ it feels horrendous. Allow space for imperfection, bumps in the road and know that none of it has any impact on your value as a human being or value as a potential spouse.

As William Shakespeare wrote: “The course of true love never did run smooth”. Yes, there may/will be ups and downs. It can be a white knuckle ride if you hold on tightly at every twist and turn. Or an unpredictable adventure, if you relax and trust that it will all work out in the end – just perhaps not quite the way you had planned.

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Hmm… well, if someone is sending that many messages, I think I can guess what’s happening. When I first joined a Christian dating website, I was surprised by how many messages I received from men who clearly hadn’t read my profile. They seemed to take a scattergun approach, firing out a standard message (‘Hi, how are you?’ or ‘Tell me about yourself’ or even just ‘Hey’) to anyone they liked the look of. Perhaps if I’d taken the bait, these guys would then have taken the trouble to read my profile. It wasn’t exactly flattering.

There were also guys who contacted me from hundreds of miles away, despite me specifying in my profile that I was only interested in meeting people close to home. And those who messaged to make angry theological objections to some minor point on my profile. Some declared I was definitely ‘the one’ for them (no, I’m not) – and let’s not forget the over-flattering and slightly sleazy ones. Thanks, but I’ll pass.

However, there were messages that caught my interest and made me want to chat more. Those were the ones from men who’d obviously read my profile, and then made a comment or asked a question about something I’d written. Men who seemed thoughtful and genuinely interested.

They say that in real life, people make a judgement about someone within a few seconds of meeting – first impressions really do count. The same applies online – you can’t overestimate how important that first message is. Along with your profile, it’s the key element that will either make your recipient sit up and take notice – or slide off their chair with boredom, rolling their eyes. With the average response rate to first messages being around 30%, you want to make sure your message is one that will invite a response.

So what does a great first message look like? Well, first of all, make it clear you’ve read their profile, and are contacting them because something has caught your interest. Yes, online dating is something of a numbers game and it’s good practice to message lots of people – but within reason! Impersonal, cookie-cutter messages copied and pasted to dozens of people? We can spot them a mile off – and they’re not a compliment!

So respond to something they’ve written. Perhaps: “I love that book! Have you read any more by the author?” or “I’ve never been rock climbing but it sounds fun – where’s your favourite place to go climbing?” One chap who messaged me opened with a question about writing fiction as a Christian (he’s an aspiring novelist). What might have been just another anonymous message instead turned into an in-depth conversation… then a meeting… and finally a friendship. Now that I know him well, I realise he didn’t need my advice about writing at all – he was just smart enough to know what would kickstart an engaging conversation!

Research shows several other factors that will increase your chance of a positive response. Keep it short, but not too short – a rambling essay can be as off-putting as a one-worder. David Pullinger, author of Online Dating: Top Tips For Success, analysed over 74,000 messages sent through Christian Connection and found that to get a response, the optimum message length is 80-90 words. Messages of only 10-20 words get 30% fewer replies. So aim for a paragraph or two.

Use a spell-checker! 72% of daters say bad spelling and grammar significantly reduce the chances of them continuing a conversation, and one study found that just two spelling mistakes lower a man’s probability of a reply by 14% (interestingly, spelling mistakes by women don’t have such a bad impact).

Keep it light and friendly – nothing too serious, and definitely nothing critical. And don’t forget to include a question to get the conversation going. Before you know it, you’ll be chatting away like old friends – and hopefully setting up that first date!

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Many Christians believe that being outside of God’s timing is tantamount to being outside of His will. And when you’re operating outside God’s will for your life, things may not go smoothly for you. A classic Biblical example is Abraham and Sarah. They had waited a pretty long time to have a child, and even after God had promised them a son, Sarah got impatient. She gave her maidservant Hagar to Abraham and Hagar bore him a son. If you’re familiar with the Bible, you’ll know the story. Otherwise, look it up in Genesis 16 and 21.

Abraham and Sarah tried to do things their own way to bring about what God had promised, but it backfired. The scary thing is that God allowed it, even though He knew what the outcome would be. Sometimes God will allow us to go ahead and make mistakes when we decide that we want to be in the driving seat. And just like the decision Abraham and Sarah made led to significant consequences for generations to come, our decisions to take our lives into our own hands can have ramifications we never dreamed of.

So, before you embark on a relationship or rush into marriage, ask yourself if the timing is right. Are both of you ready? Are you ready mentally, spiritually, emotionally and financially? Have you taken the time to get to know each other? Or are you just bowing to pressure?

I heard about a young Christian couple that got married and less than a year into the marriage, they were having an argument and the young man blurted out something along the lines of ‘you forced me into this, I wasn’t ready to get married!’ This came as a surprise to the young lady because she thought marriage was what they both wanted. I can only imagine that this young man went along with it because he thought that was what was expected of him. This is especially true for Christian couples that have been dating for a little while.

Sometimes well-meaning friends and family, and even church members unknowingly put pressure on a couple by dropping hints and even outright asking a particular couple when they’re getting married. This is not very helpful and we need to let people work out for themselves when to take their relationship to the next level if that’s what they want to do.

It is always good to know that your relationship is heading somewhere but trying to rush things is never a good idea. We have to get the timing right. Entering into a relationship or marriage with the right person at the wrong time can be just as bad as entering one with the wrong person. Don’t give in to pressure. Take the time to talk, pray and let God’s Holy Spirit guide you into His perfect will for your life.

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This is a question I’ve heard many people ask and I think there are some key principles when it comes to vulnerability in relationships, whether it be with friends or with someone you’re romantically interested in.

Take the First Step

You can’t expect someone else to bare their soul if you don’t bare your own. If you want someone to be open with you then you must first be open with them. Taking the initial step and setting the tone makes all the difference. If you show that you are comfortable being open with them about your own thoughts and feelings it’s far more likely that they will be comfortable doing the same.

Take Good Care

If someone opens up to you, recognise that it’s a gift that you’ve been given. If something sensitive has been revealed then that’s an especially precious gift. Tell the person you’re grateful for sharing what they have.

Be careful with kindness. If you respond with judgement, harshness or lack of interest when someone has opened up an insecurity or wound it will lead them to close off and cause them further pain.

Be careful with confidentiality. If they feel like things they tell you will be told to people they don’t want knowing then that’s the quickest way to kill trust.

Be careful with comedy. Sometimes joking about something embarrassing someone has done is a powerful way to show the person you’re okay with it. Sometimes it can hurt the person as it’s too soon to joke about (a mistake I’ve made many a time!) – so be cautious when making light of something serious.

Take your Time

Many people have been burnt. They’ve gotten close to someone only to have the relationship end and for the other person to walk away with intimate knowledge about them. There are those who have had secrets shared, rumours spread and trust betrayed. It’s understandable therefore that some of us won’t be too comfortable opening up right away.

Don’t force it. Don’t push someone beyond what they feel comfortable to share. Just as rushing physical intimacy can cause a pile of problems, so can rushing emotional intimacy. ‘Love is patient’. Take your time.

Take it Seriously

While it’s important to take your time with vulnerability it’s vital that it’s eventually reached if you’re going to have a healthy, lasting relationship.

Don’t get engaged to someone you don’t know.

I realise that sounds obvious but I know too many people who have.

Discovering who someone is on a deeper, authentic level takes time and intentionality. The infatuation stage needs to pass, the masks need to come off and the walls need to come down – and none of that happens quickly nor accidentally. It’s why rushing into marriage can be such a risk.

The reality is that we can be so desperate to be married that we don’t take the time to ask the tough questions and discuss the awkward topics. It’s easier to just ignore the sticky subjects and bury our head in the romantic sand. But while avoidance is easy it’s a weak foundation for a marriage. If you want to build a strong long-term relationship it’s essential that you replace avoidance with authenticity.

As I mentioned in my previous post, if you don’t have authenticity you don’t have relationship. You’re not in a real relationship with someone if you’re not honest, open and vulnerable; because they’re not in relationship with you – they’re just in relationship with a shallow projection of you.

I was reminded about this when I was chatting to a guy about his girlfriend and he said that they were planning on getting engaged soon. I asked how it had gone when he had told her about his porn addiction. He went quiet. He hadn’t brought it up yet. I then asked how it went when he had shared about his sexual past. Again, more silence.

It turned out that he knew it was a good idea to bring those things up but it felt too difficult. It was easier to think about the proposal, the wedding, the honeymoon.

If a relationship is going to have true intimacy, if a relationship is going to stand the test of time, then there needs to be depth, honesty and openness.

It’s Worth It

As the saying goes, ‘Love is giving someone the power to destroy you but trusting them not to.’

Yes, love is a risk. Vulnerability can backfire. There are no guarantees of a happily ever after. There’s a chance you’ll get hurt. There’s a chance you’ll get burnt. But that’s what comes with the territory. That’s what happens when you pursue love.

So don’t rush into vulnerability. And don’t wait too long.

Love is worth the risk. Vulnerability is worth fighting for.

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Let go of old relationships

Are you carrying any baggage that’s weighing you down? Do you need to break ties with an ex-partner or let go of your hopes and dreams for a relationship that didn’t work out? Perhaps you are still in touch with an ex and you know the ongoing contact isn’t good for you.

Perhaps you’re no longer in touch with your ex, but you still hold a candle for that person. If so, it’s likely that relationship is taking up valuable space in your head and your heart, stopping you from moving forwards. How can you let go fully so that you can date with a clean slate?

Nobody said this was easy. Breaking ties with someone we once liked or loved or letting go of hopes and dreams is going to stir feelings of loss and grief. But as I often say, we have to feel it to heal it.

So give yourself some space and time to feel all of your feelings, to let them pass through you. Otherwise, the feelings will stay stuck and they’ll sabotage your life and your chances of happiness in a new relationship.

There are a number of rituals that can help us to let go of someone. In the past, I used a ‘God box’ – a small, cardboard box with a lid. I would write the name of the person I needed to break ties with or let go of on a piece of paper, fold it up and put it in the box. In this way, I was symbolically handing the situation over to God, surrendering it, leaving it in God’s hands. We can also use a God box for any anxieties or worries we have.

As I live by the beach, I also like to write words on the sand and allow the waves to wash over them to symbolise that they’ve gone. If you’re by a beach this Easter, why not try this.

Let go of our expectations of how our life should have worked out

As a coach, I come across many women whose lives have not gone to plan. I imagine they’re drawn to work with me because my life hasn’t gone to plan either. Yes, I’m engaged to be married and getting married this June, but I never expected to be 48 when I walked down the aisle. And I didn’t expect to have to do so many years of personal development and self-discovery in order to find my way to love.

I also imagined I’d have children. I just thought it would work out, which is an expression I hear often also. But it didn’t. I remained ambivalent about having children – partly due to my own childhood experiences – until it was too late. Or perhaps I did make a subconscious choice not to become a mum, but again, I think that was down to my past.

When I hang on to my fixed ideas of how my life should have gone, I end up feeling bitter and resentful. I get stuck. I can’t look beyond my own picture. I can’t see past my own failed plan.

Embrace ‘what is’

Something wonderful happens when I let go of my own plan and believe in a bigger plan, in God’s plan. When I embrace ‘what is’ and let go of ‘what if’ or ‘what could have been’, I feel freer and lighter. I feel more trusting. I feel excited about the possibilities of this amazing life of mine.

So this Easter, I wonder if you can commit to embracing ‘what is’ from here on in. I wonder if you can commit to letting go of the old – of past relationships and of expectations of how your life should have been – in order to make space for new possibilities.

I wonder if you can date with an open heart and a clean slate.

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1. Loving yourself is a model for loving others

If you want to love your neighbour as yourself (a category which extends to everyone, including your future spouse and potential dates), you’ve got to be able to love yourself in the first place. This doesn’t mean being narcissistic but rather having a sense of your own value as a child of God. Deepening this will enable you to love others better and be a better husband or wife in the long run.

2. You’ll ooze appeal

People with a happy, positive outlook are fun to be around. If you feel good about yourself and carry a sense of individual worth, chances are it’ll radiate out of you. This can increase your attractiveness to others and mean that you’re an easy-going, confident, yet down to earth date.

3. Disappointment is so much easier to take

Unfortunately, some disappointment can be an inevitability when dating. But if you believe you have fundamental worth and are deserving of love, then you’ll bounce back quicker and stronger. You’ll have fewer instances of jealousy as you watch friends – or those for whom you’ve held a flame – date and get married. And you’ll at least be able to fight off the green eyed monster when he does show up. It’s necessary to work on your self-esteem during the dating process – or when starting anything new that involves putting yourself ‘out there’.

4. You won’t stand for any nonsense

If you have strong self-esteem and self-worth, then you’ll likely recognise when a date doesn’t treat you right. Knowing your value is immensely helpful when weeding out others who don’t. Your internal alarm system will be much more likely to start ringing bells as a warning signal.

5. Contentment becomes within reach

All this isn’t just useful for dating. Those with good self-esteem are proven to be happier and healthier than those who are excessively critical and negative about themselves. If you’re at peace with yourself, your sense of hope is heightened. And hope does not disappoint us.

So if you struggle with low self-esteem and self-worth, now is the perfect time to work on it. This can take the form of small changes to your mindset, thinking a little differently and noticing how you see yourself. Or take it deeper with prayer ministry, an online course, or a book that specialises in the subject.

Perhaps consider speaking to someone at a Christian counselling service if this is an issue that’s long been holding you back. Because the good news is, your self-esteem and self-worth, is absolutely something that you can change for the better.

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When I was online dating, I was contacted by a chap whose intelligent, engaging and hilarious emails quickly won me over. When we finally decided to meet, he wanted to ‘warn’ me he had a disability. He alluded to it in his profile (‘I have some physical difficulties’) and invited questions, but since I didn’t consider it relevant to our friendship – after all, it didn’t prevent him from writing brilliant emails that made me laugh and think – I never asked. In any case, I felt it was his prerogative to talk about it if and when he wanted to. I wasn’t fazed by the revelation of his disability and, although romance didn’t blossom, our friendship continues to this day.

One of the problems with online dating is that we often reveal too much, too soon. After all, if you meet someone at church or at a party, you don’t instantly tell them all about your personal health issues – it’s something that naturally comes out as you grow in friendship and trust. Many people, including Christians, may be intimidated by the prospect of a relationship with someone who has major health struggles and could take the easy option by skipping to the next profile. But in real life, once someone knows you, it becomes less of an issue.

So I don’t think it’s dishonest not to write about a health condition or disability in your dating profile – but, like my friend, you may want to mention it when you decide to meet someone, or after a couple of dates.

On the other hand, people can surprise us. I remember a lovely story in the press about a young woman going through chemotherapy for breast cancer, who wrote a super-honest dating profile. ‘Bald, possibly infertile woman, 30, would like to meet a handsome, caring male with good sense of humour,’ she put, alongside pictures of herself with and without hair. She said that she ‘didn’t want to have the conversation several dates down the line’, so she preferred to be up-front. The biggest surprise, she said, was ‘getting responses from a nicer, better-looking and more genuine-seeming crop of men than I had a few years earlier [when she was well].’ The men liked her honesty and humour, and she ended up in a relationship with a nice chap.

I suppose it really boils down to what we feel most comfortable with. If you have a health condition or disability and you’re wondering how much to share up front, go with your gut. Or maybe experiment with editing your profile to sometimes include the information, and sometimes not, and see what happens.

One warning: it’s wise to be aware of attracting people who might see you as vulnerable and easy to manipulate – or, indeed, someone who wants to ‘save’ you. But you may also hear from a lovely, empathetic person who doesn’t see your condition as an obstacle to a relationship, and sees you for who you are: a person worth knowing and loving!

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Think about it; if you’re a woman praying for a loving, hard-working and caring husband and there’s a man out there who is indeed loving, hard-working and caring and is also praying for the same qualities in a wife, what would draw him to you? The same applies to men. If you’re a man desiring wonderful qualities in a wife, you better make sure you’ve got wonderful qualities yourself or are at least working towards that, otherwise the kind of woman you want to marry may look elsewhere!

So, how do you prepare yourself for marriage, I hear you ask? Well, if you’re not sure where to start, surrendering your life to Christ is a good place. Any born-again child of God will be looking for someone that has the same beliefs that he or she does. Then, search the Bible. The fruit of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5 v 22-23:

‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’

These are qualities we should all aspire to have. Who wouldn’t want to be with someone that is loving, full of joy, faithful and gentle? But the truth is that these qualities don’t come naturally to most of us. We need to ask God’s Spirit to produce them in us. Ephesians 4 v 17 through to chapter 5 gives us instructions for Christian living. We need to walk in love, be kind and compassionate, and submit to one another, putting others above ourselves. You don’t have to wait until you’re married to start working on these traits; you can start now.

On a personal note, when I still lived with my parents, there were times I would get really frustrated when I had to do certain things, like cooking dinner for the family when I was feeling tired or doing the laundry, or even forgoing an episode of one of my favourite television shows so that someone else could watch something they wanted to watch. One of the ways I learnt to deal with this was to see it as practice for when I got married and compromise would sometimes be necessary, on both sides. I like to think that my previous experiences all those years ago have come in handy in situations in my married life.

Seeking to develop ourselves is not something we should do just for marriage, however. As Christians, we should always be asking God to develop the fruit of His Spirit in us, so that we can be more effective for Him, and be all that He created us to be.

Can you think of other practical ways you can prepare yourself for marriage?

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There’s so much power in being open and real about your struggles – including during the dating process.

In his challenging book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning identifies three reasons why:

‘There are some real problems with projecting the perfect image. First of all, it’s simply not true—we are not always happy, optimistic, in command. Second, projecting the flawless image keeps us from reaching people who feel we just wouldn’t understand them. And third, even if we could live a life with no conflict, suffering, or mistakes, it would be a shallow existence. The Christian with depth is the person who has failed and who has learned to live with it.’

Let’s unpack those three reasons for why authenticity is so important:

1. It stops you from living a lie

If you’re dating someone and giving off the impression that your life is sorted, you’ve got it all together, and your glossy Instagram photos are what your life is really like then you’re living a lie. Projecting a fake image is exhausting, as you constantly have to fabricate and maintain an image that isn’t based on reality or truth. But when you finally embrace the fact that your life isn’t perfect, and that at times you’re bored, or lonely, or insecure or struggling with family, or health or work, it’s such a releasing and freeing experience.

2. It shows others you understand pain

If you project an always-happy, always-right image then it makes complete sense that your partner won’t feel comfortable coming to you to share their pain and brokenness.

Want to be someone who can help the hurting? Want to be someone your partner feels comfortable opening up to? Show them you know what it means to struggle and you’ll be amazed at what it will do. I’ve seen the impact of this in countless ways in different areas of my life. Once during a sermon, I mentioned that I had experienced times of anxiety. As soon as the church meeting finished someone came to me and shared they were battling depression and self-harm and wanted help. All I had done was identify with knowing pain and said a few words about my own issues and that was all that it needed for them to feel I was a safe place to share something they’d never shared with anyone before.

Another time I explained to a younger guy how I’ve often wrestled with doubt. He then proceeded to open up about his own doubts that he’d carried secretly for years. These experiences were stark reminders of how against the backdrop of our airbrushed and superficial world all can take is a little honesty and authenticity to show someone you understand and that you care.

3. It leads to growth

A wise man once told me a bit of advice that will always stick with me: ‘In life, like in nature, more growth happens in the valleys than on the mountain tops.’ Those valley moments, the lows, the failures, the disappointments can be the richest of moments and the greatest of growing times. It’s in those times we realise just how broken we are and just how much we need to cling onto God.

As Christians, we show that we understand we’re fallible, broken and sinners in need of a saviour when we make it clear to ourselves and those around us that we’re far from perfect and completely in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. It’s not our goodness that qualifies us for God’s love and salvation, it’s completely the opposite – it’s our sin. In the scandal of it all Jesus, the perfect one, took our sin on himself, paying on the cross the punishment we deserved. In the most one-sided deal eternity has ever known, our sin was swapped for his perfection.

Do you get the implications of what that means? When you do there’s nothing more freeing, nothing more releasing. It results in you being able – even eager – to talk openly about our struggles, pains and weakness because it reminds us that it’s not about my strength but Jesus’s, not my scars but his.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

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