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New Year, New Connection

As we march ahead into 2021, many of us are struggling with the ripple effects that 2020 left in its wake. The dynamics of how we relate to others have changed and some of us are feeling a little lost.

Perhaps social distancing has left you feeling isolated, lonely, or depressed as you struggle to maintain contact with friends, co-workers, etc. Maybe you're spending so much time with family that you feel irritable, frustrated, and stressed. It could be that you are struggling with how to interact with those who have a different opinion and perspective on current events.

In the wake of 2020, let’s revisit this concept of connection. What is it, and why is it important?

To connect means “to place or establish in relationship” … “to join or fasten together.” In relationships, connection yields a sense of belonging, allowing one to be known, seen, and understood.

The Lord created us for connection… to be in relationship with Him and others.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:5-7 (NIV)

The quality of our connections and relationships can have significant impacts on our physical and mental wellness. Research on Connectedness & Health shows “people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression… they also have higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, are more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them.”

Maybe you’ve experienced this firsthand: You talk with a friend about an issue you’re having, and you walk away with a new perspective and renewed hope. We were meant to be in community with one another. Relationships allow us to share our burdens, rather than bear the weight on our own.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

Knowing all of this, it makes sense that being disconnected will disrupt the harmony of our home, work environment, etc. Strained relationships can contribute to anxiety, depression, and destructive coping mechanisms. For instance, a husband is disconnected from his wife and decides to seek intimacy outside of the marriage. Likewise, a mother who is overwhelmed and isolated from her community relies on alcohol to get through the stresses of daily parenting.

How do we restore connection and harmony in our household? It begins with the husband and wife.

Disconnect in marriage can naturally occur due to busy schedules, stress, and a lack of time together, all of which require intentionality and effort to resolve. When arguments, distrust, and unresolved hurts fester, the distance between us grows. This distance, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional is not what God intended.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” Genesis 2:18 (NIV)

As we proceed into 2021, we invite you to evaluate your marriage. If you are sensing the need to rekindle your connection, sign up for our couples’ group, where you will:

1. Learn to identify the issues contributing to distance and discord in your relationship.

2. Develop the tools to resolve conflict, improve communication, and grow your friendship.

3. Return to the foundation, Christ, and discover how your relationship with Him inspires marriage. Receive His healing and restoration.

To register for our couples' group, call 337-466-3530.

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