Influenced by the Family System: Warm and Affectionate

Seeing Yourself in God's Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia

Living Free Every Day®

Today's Scripture
"So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20 NIV (Prodigal son returning)

"Then his father Isaac said to him, 'Come here, my son, and kiss me.' So he went to him and kissed him." Genesis 27:26-27 NIV (Isaac and Jacob)

"So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him." Exodus 18:7 NIV

"Jacob was half blind because of his age and could hardly see. So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Jacob kissed and embraced them." Genesis 48:10 NLT (a grandfather's kiss)

Thoughts for Today
This week we have been looking at five types of dysfunctional families (described in The Thin Disguise by Pam Vredevelt) that can lead to the development of eating disorders. Perhaps you or someone you know has a loved one struggling with an eating disorder. Or perhaps you will identify some potentially harmful characteristic that needs to be addressed in your family.

Healthy families are warm and affectionate. Rules, as well as people, are flexible. In dysfunctional "Rigid Families" flexibility is a nonexistent concept, and affection is seldom expressed. The father especially tends to be obsessive about the standards in the family. There is no warmth, no emotion. Each family member should be able to take care of himself or herself. This emotional neglect leads the child to believe that emotions and longings are wrong.

(Note: We are grateful to Pam Vredevelt for her keen insights.)

Consider this …
We serve a loving God who demonstrates his love for us in so many tangible ways. And so he wants us to show love through our words and actions. This is especially important in our family relationships. Our children need physical demonstrations and verbal expressions of our love. Nurturing—hugging, kissing or saying "I love you"—is so important.

Today's scriptures are examples of family members showing their love for one another with embraces and kisses. Appropriate, healthy demonstrations of our love for each other can mean so much in our relationships and in the emotional and spiritual development of our children.

Prayer
Father, I thank you so much for my children. Thank you for demonstrating your fatherly love to me in so many ways. Help me to be warm and affectionate with my children. Help them to develop emotionally and spiritually in a way that is pleasing to you. In Jesus' name …


These thoughts were drawn from …

Seeing Yourself in God's Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia by Martha Homme, MA, LPC. Written by a counselor with experience helping those with eating disorders, this study is born from her own struggles in adolescence. The group challenges members to find their identity in Christ as they overcome this difficult struggle. This guide offers understanding of distorted body image, denial, and the family systems influence. It also explains how to break free of social pressures and how to restore the temple and tie the recovery process together. A companion booklet Seeing Your Loved One in God's Image, can be used as a quick reference guide dealing with issues associated with eating disorders. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


Would you like to have these devotions appear daily on your church or ministry website? Learn More


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to \n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Today's Living Free News

  • 2013 Living Free Outcomes Results

    We are excited to announce the 2013 Living Free Outcomes Research Findings. Over the last three years, we have collected questionnaires from participants in several different ministries in many different states. This year we gathered the questionnaires from 5 different ministries who are reaching out to their communities through non-residential support group settings in 5 states. There were 181 people in 22 different groups represented.

    The data confirms the effectiveness of Living Free because of what God is doing through His Word, His Spirit and His people. The data reflects that no matter the location or facilitator, lives are being transformed and families restored by God through many local Living Free and Living Free Community ministries. We give God all the glory!

    Click here to see the 2013 results

    For the 2012 results, click here

    For the 2011 results, click here

     
  • Lead Pastor of Megachurch Endorses Living Free

    Click here to listen in on Lead Pastor John Lindell of James River Assembly in Ozark, Missouri sharing the reason why the Living Free discipleship program works.

    To hear the full message, go to www.jamesriver.org and click on the "Messages and Resources" menu and find the message titled "Faith and Freedom."

     
  • Testimony from Rwanda

    God does heal the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). Read the following testimony we received today regarding today's Living Free Every Day devotion provided by Living Free ministries.

    "Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Thank you so much for the message of forgiveness. Jesus Christ recommend us to forgive if we want to be forgiven. For us Rwandans, we are experiencing forgiveness and now we are free from the bondage of unforgiveness. When you forgive, even physically, you are released. I am telling you this because I have forgiven those who killed my parents and relatives. But, ask to be led by the Holy Spirit who will enable you to forgive those who sin against you."

    Blessings,

    Jean de Dieu

    Rwanda- Central Africa

    Click here if you would like to subscribe to the Living Free Every Day devotions and start receiving them every weekday in your email inbox.

     
  • May 2013 Message from Living Free President

    Please read an important message from Dan Strickland, President of Living Free by clicking here.  
  • Upcoming Training Opportunities

    Interested in learning more about Living Free Ministries and how God can use you to impact your community? Check out upcoming training opportunities by clicking here.