Psychology is Biblical

Ok. I have been thinking about how many times I have heard people say (in more ways than one) how Psychology is unbiblical, unChristian, and that it should not be studied by believers. And in my head the only thing I can think is that the people who are saying these things are judging me for choosing to study Psychology as a Christian. I understand and have learned the ideas of Freud, but he is only one of hundreds of Psychologists who have made contributions to the field. So I’m going to break it down for the people who think Psychology is unbiblical and unChristian, and why it should be studied by believers.

Psychology: the science or study of the mind and behaviour

At its root, Psychology is the study of why people do the things they do. Isn’t that what God wants from us? To figure out where we’re going wrong, and change it? How are we supposed to repent if we don’t know what we’re doing wrong? Looking at yourself and asking God to show you what needs to be fixed is the difference between a person free from the bonds of sin and a person who is still in chains.

Science: [the] study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation

Psychology is a science. But we know that. What I think people don’t understand is that science is Biblical. I don’t mean that evolution or the Big Bang Theory is Biblical. I mean the study of the natural world is Biblical. And if the study of the natural world is Biblical, I’m guessing that the study of the people in the natural world is also Biblical.

Anyone who thinks about their own thoughts and behaviours is studying their Psychology (which can also be defined as: the way a person or group thinks). So if we are going with the logic that Psychology is unbiblical, then studying your own thoughts and behaviour is unbiblical.

One of my professors likes to read us a Scripture passage that connects with the topic we are studying that day. She links so many passages to Psychology (in the correct context) that I can’t accept the idea that Psychology is unbiblical.

Sure, Psychologists may have come up with some crazy ideas, but we can’t just throw out Psychology because of a few mistakes along the way. Without Psychology, people with disorders and disabilities might not get the treatment they need to function in this crazy world

Proverbs has many verses about fools who do not listen to wise counsel. In Proverbs 11:14 it says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (ESV). Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (ESV). Counselors, therapists, and psychologists are following in Jesus’ example, and that is helping those who need it the most.

If you think about Psychology like you think about other jobs Christians have, it’s a ministry. Helping people is not a sin, and that is my goal after I graduate with my degree in Psychology. We can either choose to bring light into the darkness, or we can sit back and watch someone else do it.

5 Simple Truths I Have Learned from my Mom

Moms are amazing. They have the hardest job in the world, and they don’t even get a manual or training on how to be a mom. They learn as they go. And one thing I have learned from watching my mom is that they don’t stop. Their job doesn’t go from 9-5 and then they get to go home. They don’t even get weekends off. You could say the same about dads, but the moms are usually the ones who are at home cleaning up messy faces and dirty hands (not to mention the piles of laundry that go along with the messy faces and dirty hands).

What’s my reason for saying all of this? I suppose it’s because I have learned so much from my mom, whether it’s from the things she does or what she says. I thought I might share 5 simple truths that I have learned from my mom:

1. You should care about what other people think of you – even if you only care a little bit. People watch you every day. And for me, I have two younger siblings who watched me while we were growing up. I consider myself the guinea pig of the family because I’m the oldest and my siblings watch what I do (sometimes I also call myself the lab rat, but my mom doesn’t like that one too much). Not caring about what other people think of you might be ok for a while, but if you plan on getting a job, you should probably care about what your future boss thinks of you.

2. Fake it till you make it – I know this is cliché, but my mom has said this to me so many times. “But Mom, I don’t feel like being nice.” “Fake it till you make it.” Just because I don’t feel like being nice doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be nice. And this one simple truth helped me get through high school and now college.

3. It’s ok to not be ok – Fake it till you make it is applicable to a lot of situations, but when you’re really not feeling it… it’s ok to not be ok. My mom has shown me that not being ok is actually perfectly fine. In fact, it’s probably better to not be ok all the time because it eventually makes you stronger.

4. Be nice to mean people – This one is tough. My mom likes to use Proverbs 25:21-22 which says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you” (ESV). I think my favourite part of this verse is the very last part “and the Lord will reward you.” It’s true. My mom has had to tell me, my sister, and my brother that being nice to mean people will bless you and you will feel better for doing it.

5. Look presentable – This one might just be my mom’s British side coming out. She puts make up on to go to the grocery store or Wal Mart, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I do it, too. Looking presentable just makes you feel so much better, too.

And there you have it. Some simple, but valuable, truths.

Why Love is Not All You Need

I have been on Pinterest recently, pinning wedding ideas that only a DIY queen could pull off, and home decorating ideas that only Martha Stewart could make happen. But I’m not going to write about wedding planning or home decorating tips. I have scrolled past one too many quote pins; quotes about life, love, and shoes. Quotes from songs, poems, and romance novels. But the one quote that has been getting to me is the one that says, “Love is all you need” or “All you need is love.”

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I understand that the people who pin these quotes are usually more interested in the design and if there’s a free printable linked to the picture. But I would cringe whenever I saw the quote, and I started to wonder why. I came to the conclusion that the quote was false. Love is not all you need. I’m not going to get into the whole theology of Jesus + nothing = everything. I understand that Jesus is love and if you only had Jesus then you would have everything. I am not disregarding that fact. What I am trying to say is that love is not the only thing that makes a relationship (friendship, dating, or marriage) work. I have had my fair share of moments with David that were less than loving. But you know what? We made it through those moments. And the reason is because we have other ways of working things out besides loving the problem into a solution.

If all you needed was love, then you wouldn’t need joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). If all you needed was love, then all your problems in your relationships would be solved with “I love you.” But they’re not. They’re just not. We get into fights, we say things we don’t mean. But if all you needed was love, then forgiveness wouldn’t be necessary either.

Problems in relationships are not solved just by the plain fact that you love each other. You have to be patient, and you have to be kind. Love is not a noun. It’s not something you obtain. Love is a Fruit of the Spirit, just like the others I listed before. God wouldn’t give us nine Fruits of the Spirit if we needed just one.

I guess my point is that these quotes that look great in special type and design, might not be practical advice you can rely on. So before you go looking for a free printable of a quote that means hardly anything, take a look at the quotes from the Scriptures (there are some cute designs, too!). I know I need to take my own advice and stop looking at Pinterest for inspirational quotes. I need to look to God for my inspiration. He’s the One who enables me to use the Fruits of the Spirit in my life, including love.

4 Tips on How to Tame Bridezilla

Bridezilla is a touchy subject for almost every bride. If you are getting married, know someone who is getting married, or you are going to be in a wedding, you need to understand Bridezilla and how to tame her in case she makes an appearance. So, I’m going to give you a few tips on how to avoid unleashing Bridezilla.

1. Do not, under any circumstance, accuse the bride-to-be of being “Bridezilla.”

  • This is probably the most important tip because it would seem like it’s an innocent thing to say. But it’s not. Once you accuse the bride of being Bridezilla, she will probably become one (at least for a few minutes).

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2. Let her learn things on her own.

  • If peonies are not in season and she swears they are because she “saw it in The Knot magazine,” let her learn that peonies are not in season. Trying to convince her that peonies are not in season will only make her angry, but if she learns it on her own then she’s the one who feels silly. Sure, you don’t get the credit for knowing when certain flowers are in season, but your friendship is still intact because it didn’t get trampled on by Bridezilla.

3. Let minor details go.

  • If she likes the huge monogram of their last initial a little to the left, and you think it should be a little to the right, let it go. She will probably say one of two things: “It’s my day!” or “My opinion is the only one that matters.” When it comes to that point, you have almost unleashed Bridezilla, and it might be hard to put her back in her cage.

4. (For Brides – and the wedding party… and the parents…) Chill out.

  • You have been busy with wedding plans, and all you can think about is flowers and cakes. Take a little time for yourself. It’s ok – no, it’s IMPERATIVE – that you take some time to chill out. Get your nails done, go to the spa (or have your own at-home spa day), or read a book. You need to take a break from the wedding plans. I promise they will be there when you get back. Trust me… they will be there. No one can make the decisions for you. And as you probably know, you wouldn’t want someone else to make those decisions anyway.

These tips are definitely not a guaranteed way to keep the lovely Bride from becoming Bridezilla, but they will help with taking some stress out of wedding planning. Remember, the wedding is one day. Put your energy into something that you want to last a lifetime: your marriage. You’ve got some perspective. Breathe. And go choose the colour of your napkins.

Flowers, Chalkboard Signs, and Glitter

“How’s wedding planning going?”

Let me just start by saying that this question is probably the third most frequently asked question of brides. It sits under “When’s the wedding?” and “How long have you been engaged?” Unfortunately, even though it’s a pretty simple question (no rocket science involved here), it probably gets the worst, and most dishonest, answers.

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My choice of response to this question is usually “It’s coming along.” But in reality, and in my head, I’m really thinking “It was going well, until your question sparked the wedding planning area of my brain. Now I’m remembering that I’m three weeks late booking the caterer, I haven’t chosen between pink peonies or roses or both, and I most definitely haven’t decided whether we want vanilla or chocolate cake.”

Don’t get me started on the many details you never think about when it comes to a wedding. Do you want twinkle lights behind the head table? Do you want real flowers or fake flowers? What about the colour of the tablecloths? How about the seating plan?

These questions almost make me want to throw my Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer Binder in the air (except that I don’t because my Aunt bought it for me and it’s actually pretty helpful). But I’ve been thinking about this whole planning process and the more I plan, the more I understand the true meaning of elegance.

Are we going to have a huge bedazzled monogram of our initials? No, probably not. Are we going to have a cake so big that it could probably feed the entire town that we’re having our wedding in? No, probably not. Are we going to have chalkboard signs everywhere that let our guests know where to go? No… Well, actually yes, we’ll probably have some of those.

My point is that a wedding doesn’t have to be a huge, red carpet, glitter everywhere event. It just has to represent who you and your new husband are, what you’re about, and who you’re serving (I’ll give you a hint: you’re serving your spouse and God). A simple wedding doesn’t tell people that you couldn’t be bothered to get fancy monograms or expensive aisle runners. The important thing is that your wedding matches your interests.

The War on Beauty

Beauty: a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight. A combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense.

Let’s get right to the point. Beauty has been defined, redefined, and redefined some more since the beginning of time. One thing has stayed constant: the definition of beauty is an opinion. The reason the definition of beauty has changed over the years is because people can’t seem to make up their minds. In the 1940’s and 50’s, a full figure meant you were healthy. Women in advertisements had curves. Only recently has society decided that being tall and ultra skinny is beautiful. And you want to know what? Not one time in history was society wrong in their definition.

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I have heard so many people complaining about the definition of beauty. The problem is that people have taken it to another level. It is no longer the fact that if you don’t fit the stereotype then you are not beautiful. It has become that if you do fit the stereotype, you are also no longer considered beautiful. I would like to point out something. Dove and Victoria’s Secret both have campaigns that claim you should love your body. However, there is one difference. Dove does not have any slender girls in their campaign photo. Victoria’s Secret is only slender girls. All I’m saying is that at least Victoria’s Secret is consistent in their message.

And I know some of you might be thinking “You’re only saying this because you yourself are thin.” Ok, let’s go to the flip side. Dove doesn’t have any girls who are on the more curvy side in their campaign ad either. They have typical looking girls, which is fine, but it’s still not consistent. So what I would like to know is why are we, as women, having such a war with each other? We have brought this on ourselves. You can blame men as long as you want. You can complain that every guy you know only likes thin girls (I for one, have guy friends who like girls with curves). The issue still remains with us. If we are rooting our confidence in the ever-changing definition of beauty, then our confidence will always be changing.

Why can’t we just root our confidence in what God defines as beautiful? If you don’t know what God defines as beautiful, I suggest picking up a Bible and looking up Psalm 139. Maybe if we did that, we would stop putting each other down. Maybe if we did that, we could learn to define beauty as something more than just weight and a pretty face. Maybe if we did that, we would learn to love not only ourselves, but each other.

Blameless By the Blood

So, I’m back at school for my senior year! It has been quite the process moving in, getting settled, and starting classes again. It is so great to be back. David and I are back at wedding planning together (a summer apart isn’t so wonderful for planning purposes). Apparently we need each other to decide on flowers, the cake, the pastor, and important things like that. Who knew?!

Anyways, I thought I would post something new to kick start the semester. The other day I was discussing a theological topic at a staff meeting. While being the only girl in the meeting talking about theology with 3 men probably doesn’t work to my advantage, I managed to get some words in. I really enjoyed listening to the guys talk, though, because I sometimes I don’t know enough about the topic to give my opinion. This time I did know enough about the topic, and I didn’t let the opportunity pass to share my views.

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The topic we were talking about was sin, and if there were different levels or degrees of sin. The conclusion we came to was that, in God’s eyes, sin is sin. On the other hand, to the world (and the justice system) there are different degrees of sin. Even though this is a juicy topic, I won’t be writing much about it in this post.

What I do want to write about is the fact that God’s position and hatred of sin has not changed. God has hated sin ever since the Fall. However, the one thing that has changed is that Jesus is now in the middle, between God and us. He is literally in between God and His children. We are cleansed from unrighteousness because God looks through Jesus and sees us as holy. And the only reason we are holy is because the blood of Jesus was the one sacrifice that could satisfy the wrath of God. A thousand lambs sacrificed to God could never have completely cleansed us of the filth of sin that covered us before we accepted Jesus.

The point I’m trying to make is that God has always hated sin and He still does, but He was merciful enough to send His only Son as the ultimate atoning sacrifice. I think that is the most loving and selfless act He could ever make for people who could never repay Him. That’s who God is. And that’s who Jesus is. The One Who sent, and the One Who was sent to bring us back into a relationship with Him.