04 December, 2016

Signs of Spiritual Famine

Signs of Famine

2 Kings 6:24- 7:5

The king of Syria had "besieged" Samaria. Cut them off. There was nothing going into Samaria, nor coming out.
This lead to a famine that overtook the land.

When Satan sets a besiege against us and our church, it is not a frontal assault, but he has set up camp around us, to cut us off. This speaks of separating you from your source, where things start drying up. It stops both the inflow and the outflow.There is nothing flowing in or out. The Holy Spirit is not getting in, there is no ministry going out. This leads to a spiritual famine. 

There are signs, indications of famine in the natural that parallel in the spiritual realm.

In this story, the famine was so great that they began to sell and eat unthinkable items. 

One was a donkey’s head, which sold for 80 pieces of silver. 
The donkey is a stubborn animal, and they were eating a donkey’s head. One of the things that people develop in times of spiritual deprivation and famine is a stubborn mentality.
In fact, as was the case here, that’s what they were feasting on. 
But, it always costs you when you have a stubborn mentality.
One of the worst things that could possibly happen is for you to develop a spirit of stubbornness. 

The second sign is seen in their selling, buying and eating doves dung. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Dove's dung is not where the dove is, but where the dove WAS.
A sign of spiritual famine is people seeking dove's dung... where the Holy Spirit WAS, not where he is. Always looking backward... looking at the past, instead of seeking to be where the Holy Spirit is moving today. Living off of yesterday's blessing or move of God.

The third sign of famine is seen when the king is walking on the wall and a woman cries out for help. She and her neighbor made a pact in which they would eat one another's children. They had eaten this woman's child already and now her neighbor had hidden her son.
The kings response was: " If the Lord do not help you, how can I help you?" 
What I see here is that when there is a spiritual famine, there is a sense of desperation that leaves those in leadership feeling helpless.
How many church leaders and pastors do we see discouraged and quitting because the inflow of life has been cut off, leaving them stressed and depressed with a feeling of helplessness? 

Another aspect seen here is that in times of famine, "spiritual cannibalism." People begin to chew on one another, to devour them.

Yet another aspect is seen in the covenant between these two women. They promised to work together to survive, to provide for one another. Yet, one was willing to eat her neighbors son, but not to give up her own.
When there is spiritual famine, people want YOU to be responsible, but THEY ARE NOT WILLING. They want others to get the out of the mess, but they are not willing to do their part. 
This is a huge sign of famine in the church today.
They want you to give, to work, to sacrifice... but they are unwilling to do their part to bring the famine to an end.

They will vote "yes" to certain activities, but they will back out.
They want you (or others) to do, what they themselves are not willing to do. 

The last sign is seen in chapter 7, verse 2.
When the man of God says that the famine would end tomorrow... the kings right hand man said, "even if the windows of heaven were to open, this thing you speak could not happen."

This speaks of the unbelief that God's people have.
One of the most troubling things I see in this passage is that in the famine, it is not recorded that one person sought God. Not one prayer is offered. No one calls for a prayer meeting or a fast. The people were content to live in the condition of famine.

How often we see this in the church today! When an individual or a church are in a state of spiritual famine, they become inward focused... concerned with self, our church, not others... there is no outflow of what has been given to us. No ministry!
And when we become inward focused, we become upset with God because we don't see him moving... but God is still moving... we just cannot see it because we are focusing on "our house" and not looking outwardly. Notice in this story, the move of God, the provision was taking place outside the city gates... in the camp of the enemy!

This speaks clearly to me that to get out of the spirit of famine, we must get outside of ourselves and reach beyond our walls! God is already working out the answer, the deliverance... but it will become ours when we believe enough to leave our camp and go into the camp of the enemy! 

02 December, 2016

Is Jesus Beneath Them Too?

Some hold to the belief that unless a person attended the right school, came from the right family, held the right job, then they are of lesser value, not important or beneath others. These folks ridicule and look down their nose at people who don't "measure up" to themselves. Such people can be so snobbish that they offend others and don't care that they do so. And this got me to wondering... what would people like this do with Jesus?

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the son of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter's shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he became a wandering preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never visited a big city. He never travelled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of those things one usually associates with greatness.

He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through a mockery of a trial. He was executed by the state. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind's progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life.

Born Again

Tonight after my wife had gone on to bed, I found myself in a very reflective mood, thinking back over my past and in my mind, I've journeyed through my lifetime. I have to say, this was all preceded by a conversation I had with someone here in town. It seems I've really aggravated my back and have been in a lot of pain as I have a disc protruding from my back and I just can't find relief. This stems from an old injury, and I know that in a few days it will subside and go back in place. The thing is, this person offered to give me several pills of oxycodone to deal with the pain. I told this person that I do not use medications like that because I have a history of drug addiction and I just don't use pain meds unless it is absolutely necessary. The conversation went south then as they accused me of being so religious that I could not take pain meds. I won't even go into the rest of our conversation, other than to say, this is what took me down memory lane tonight. For several hours now, I've been thinking back to what my life was like, drinking from a very early age and stealing medications from family and friends homes since I was only around 13 years old. I often wonder why and how it was possible to do what I did for so many years and no one pick up on it, but the fact is, times were different back then and I guess no one really suspected children could do such things. 

It is really ironic that this all happened today, because as I took this journey down memory lane, I came to the realization that it was 37 years ago tonight that I had an experience that I carry with me till this day as a damaged a valve in my heart that no longer closes all the way. I had been out on a bender, drinking, popping amphetamines and snorting cocaine for 3 days non-stop. That night, December 1, 1979 I had taken my older brother out to one disco after another with me from about 8:00 PM until around 4:30 in the morning. He was going through a terrible divorce at the time and was staying at my house and he wanted to go home and crash because he had to work in a few hours. He went to sleep and I drew out several lines of coke and did them all. My heart was racing to the point that I thought it was going to jump right out of my chest, and I woke him around 7:00 AM and told him I was afraid. He drove me to the ER and after hours there and I don't know how many medications, they got my heart rate down. They told me I was having a panic attack. I think about this today and wonder how in the world they did not do any bloodwork on me to see if I was lying to them about not doing any drugs. That's just crazy. 

Over the next few weeks, I was in the ER several more times and each time was assessed with a panic disorder. Finally, near the end of that month, my life was falling apart so badly that I took a massive overdose, literally swallowing handfuls of amphetamines and was admitted to a psychiatric unit. The story was that I had a "break down" and they began treating me for having a manic depressive disorder. Still, no one ever questioned my drinking and drug use. They just gave me more pills to take. This went on for 2 more years before my life completely unraveled. I was in and out of the hospital and psychiatric units more times than I can remember in that 2 years, not to mention countless nights spent in drunk tanks and jail cells. Irony of all ironies, it was going to prison that actually saved my life. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that when I finally hit rock bottom, there I found what was missing in my life... the person of Jesus Christ. I'd known about Jesus and played the religious game all of my life, but when I finally had a real, personal encounter with Christ in June of 1981, it radically transformed my life and I was saved not only from Hell, but Hell on earth as well. As I said, I'm amazed when people who knew me then say that they never knew just how messed up on drugs and alcohol I was. Many of them simply say that they just thought I was "crazy". One of my friends, who I used to date, after not seeing or talk with me for nearly 30 years told me that I literally scared her because I was so crazy, but even she said that she had no clue to the dark secret of addiction that I battled back then. So yeah, I have a reason for not accepting oxycodone and other drugs into my body today. I will use meds when I cannot stand the pain any longer, but only meds prescribed by my own doctor, and then only for a few days at the most. I know who my God is, but I simply refuse to tempt fate by relying on any medication to help me cope with pain. 

As I thought back tonight, I find myself so thankful for the deliverance I've received from the bondage of addiction. It almost seems like a story I've read somewhere rather than being my own life. I think thats why they call that personal encounter with Christ being "born again.'  I'm so glad that I've been born again!

30 November, 2016

Sharing this for someone who needs it.

I have been doing some counseling with a couple of people who need this to help them with their spouses. Hopefully, it will help someone else as well. 

"How I Got My Wife Into Treatment"

This guest blog is by Ed M, who successfully stayed married after he told his borderline wife he would leave her unless she got treatment. She spent a year in DBT. Ed is part of the BPDCentral AnswerLine program and consults with other spouses struggling to stay with their borderline partner.  


I know what it means to love someone with borderline personality disorder because I have been married for 37 years to a woman with the diagnosis. My wife has had symptoms, she says, ever since she was in her early teens.

The first hurdle that must be overcome is that you both must radically accept that there is a problem. My wife thought that she was "smarter than everyone else" and that everyone else was responsible for her not being as happy as other people. (Their happiness was largely exaggerated anyway.) This led to me being subjected to a very depressing amount of negativism.

Family members are often targets of the BPD's rage, insecurities, and need for control. We are put in a situation in which we want to do anything but stay in the same building with them, let alone stay in the relationship.

If I was away for half a day at a friend's house, or even sometimes at work, I knew that I would be in trouble for something when I got home. I just didn't know what it would be for. The hardest part was that her unreasonable complaints had a small grain of truth to them, so that with my low self-esteem, I bought into the idea that I owned a share of the situation causing the anger.

When you're married to someone with BPD, the term "fight or flight" takes on a whole new meaning. We are often driven to "flight" to save ourselves—get out of house or go off with friends. Also, you must "fight" the disorder -- but not the person -- to help them.

Often they do not want help, in part because help means that they are responsible for their actions. As a result, I would be put into "no-win" situations. Often in a normal martial discussion, I would listen and take her advice. Once the decision was made, we would argue. She would say, "Why did you do that? You always get your own way!" She would question or make comments like a broken record.

Acknowledging They Need Help

Hitting bottom may overcome your borderline loved one's denial. "The bottom" is very different for each person, from losing a job to suicide attempt(s). Remember it is their bottom, not the caregiver's bottom.

For my wife, fear of abandonment tipped her over the edge. She asked if I was going to leave her, and I said "Not if you get treatment." The timing was correct; she listened not with her ears but with her heart. I said it in a positive, not negative manner, to help her and keep us together rather than wanting to punish or give her negative feedback.

Then the task became finding help. It is not as easy as looking in Yellow Pages, as the therapist must not only be knowledgeable about BPD but be someone the client can talk to. Ideally, at the same time, the caregiver needs to get help for themselves. Having friends and a support system is crucial.

We got lucky, because about the time my wife slowly got on stream with her Dialectical Behavior Therapy treatments, I found the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD). With the help of NEA-BPD and their Family Connections Program, I found that I was not alone.

But more importantly, I started learning about the disorder. Knowledge is the best tool in any battle. Along with understanding came tools to help, so that my wife was not fighting my preconceived ideas about the disorder.

Like everyone else not informed about BPD, I thought the person could change their actions at will. I learned it is a real, long-term disorder. After learning the skill of validation, I stopped using sarcasm as a defense tool.

My wife's help came mainly from a year-long dialectical behavior therapy program (DBT). Her treatment was twice a week, once a week in group and once a week one-on-one with a very good therapist. It took her half way through before the "penny dropped" and she realized that she belonged in "with a bunch of crazies." She finally owned her behavior.

Then the guilt took over big time. "I treated my sisters and other people that badly?"

We had a discussion a while back, each giving the other person the credit for her improvement and our better life. She said that she improved her behavior because I was so supportive and understanding. I said that it was easy for me to be supportive because she modified her aggressive and negative behavior.

As an aside, several people claim that there are no medications available to help BPD patients. My wife is on one, (I will not say which one as it will vary for each individual). We both decided that now that she has had several years of treatment, we felt that she no longer needed the medications. She stopped taking them, and in two days she was back to her "old self." It took a week to get the medication back in her system.

It has been five years since my wife completed DBT, and I must say life has been steadily improving for both of us. It has been like a big old freight train; it takes a lot to get it started, but then it slowly and steadily builds up momentum. It was a tough battle for both of us. We now both agree that it was well worth it, and it was too bad we could not have been in a position to have started years earlier.

Ed lives near Ottawa Ontario in Canada. His wife and he are in their 60's with no children. They have several animals, including six sheep. Ed's wife is a hand spinner /knitter, and Ed helps a local friend with his dog sled team. Ed teaches a course with the NEA-BPD and learns all he can about the disorder.

20 November, 2016

Harsh Reality

So, the question is: If you have been asked to leave or literally kicked out of church after church after church... when do you wake up and realize that the problem is not the pastors or the churches?
The sad but true reality is probably... never.

And that's really sad.

16 November, 2016

1969 Speaks to Today's Generation


Your Destiny, Your Choice

In Christian circles, people often speak of "your destiny" or God's plan for your life. Many people fail to realize that God's plan for each and everyone one of us is different. There is a God-given calling or plan for every single person. That calling was placed on you and I even before we were born. That's right… God has placed a specific calling on your life. But there is an incredibly stark reality that we need to grasp concerning this calling. The fact is that if you do not answer and fulfill that call, God will raise someone else up to fulfill it.  Look at the words of Mordecai to Esther as he pleads with her to go before the king on behalf of their people. "For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews FROM ANOTHER PLACE" (Esther 4:14 ). Without question, God WILL carry out His plans and purposes on the earth… which leaves us with only one question: will you be a part of that plan and purpose, who will you toss aside your God-given destiny and thereby allow another person to fulfill your purpose, plan and destiny? Yes, what I am saying is that you and I can absolutely lose or miss our destiny by refusing to submit ourselves to God's master plan. God will not force you to follow Him, but He is going to move forward, with or without you. 

What Is Worship (part 2)

In my last entry, I focused on how our giving of tithe and offering reveals how and what we worship. This time I want to take a look at another aspect of worship. First, let me again state that worship is not simply something we do during that set time at church where we sing and clap our hands. In my view, that is the absolute smallest part of worship there is. Worship is how we live our lives.  So, with that said, then we must honestly ask, "how do I live my life?" We need to ask not only if our life points others to Christ, but does the way I live my life say to Jesus, "I love you"? Do my actions, my deeds, and my words reflect that our hearts belong to God? If our discussion is focused on worldly things that do not line up with Godly living, then we are not worshipping God. If our temper, emotional outbursts and the manner in which we treat people is not a reflection of Christ, then we do not understand what worship is. Sometimes, as a Christian, we must be willing to sacrifice our selfish desire to "be right" or to defend ourselves so that Christ might be displayed through us. That does not mean you open yourself up to abuse. You can take a stand, but we must do so in a manner that we are in control of our emotions, our words, and behavior. When we explode with insults and words that are laced with profanity, we display the true nature of our heart. In Matthew 12:34, Jesus said, "Oh generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."  I like that same verse in the Contemporary English Version. It reads: "You are a bunch of evil snakes, so how can you say anything good? Your words show what is in your hearts."

So, my question today is, what's in your heart? Your words are revealing the real nature of your heart. For some, that means they need to go back and do their first works again and fall in love with Jesus all over again.

15 November, 2016

What Is Worship? (part 1)

I've been so busy that I've not had time to write much over the last year, but tonight I am compelled to write, to get some thoughts out of my head and off of my heart and out there for the world to see and hear. I'm greatly troubled as a Christian, but even more so as a pastor to see what has become common in the church. It seems very few people really grasp the real idea of what it means to serve God. To serve Him is not merely to call yourself a Christian, nor is it to go through religious motions that we call "worship".  To serve God actually means to worship Him. To worship literally means that your life (not words) speaks, "God, you are worth my devotion and praise."  We've settled into this thing where we thing because we pray, or sing or lift our hands... but that BARELY scratches the surface of worship. Worship is when your life is totally devoted to God, and it shows by where you go, what you do, what you say and where your money goes. Your attention is dedicated to that which you worship. If you spend more on dinner than what you give to God financially in a week, your actions point to where your "worship" belongs... and it is NOT God. People who say they worship God but do not contribute to the church and ministry... well, let's just say it by using and old cliche... "actions speak louder than words." You can SAY you love God and His church... but when you don't tithe and give offerings to the church... your actions tell the real story. You worship self. You worship what you can control. You can say what you want... but your actions tell the true story. Personally... I look forward to giving to God's church because that is my pipeline into the work and ministry of Christ in my community and beyond.  I had someone tell me just this week, "Oh, I give, but I like to give directly", meaning that they want to decide where that money goes and they want the credit or recognition for what they are doing, rather than allowing that recognition to be given to the Bride of Jesus Christ... His church. Call it what you want, it is anything but worship when you are seeking the glory that belongs to Christ and His church. You are using God and His church to boost your fragile ego. The one you worship is the one you see in the mirror. 

05 November, 2016

Knowing God: Head vs Heart

There are those that think they have such a higher, intellectual knowledge and that somehow makes them better because of their "superior knowledge" and intellect.
I and others have been criticized for not unraveling the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic of the scripture and not breaking apart the Word of God verse by verse to show an intellectual understanding of the written Word. I could do that, but the fact is, that I've found it to be far more beneficial and effective to use my time in preaching the Word to do so in a topical manner which the average person can apply to their lives in a way they relate to and it makes a lasting impact on their life, rather than them feel so grand about their intellectual pursuits. What good does it do if I display my studies in a way that exalt my knowledge? I could use words that are only understandable to those who have a masters degree and they could boast on my knowledge and oratory skill... and the result would be an inflated ego on my part and a sense of pride on the part of those hearers that they were so much more knowledgeable than most others. But to the everyday person who is struggling to hold their marriage together, fighting the temptation to drink or cheat on their spouse or whatever issue they may be struggling with, they have come to church looking for hope and left even emptier than when they came! If that happens, I, as a minister of the Gospel have failed miserably. Paul said to the church in Corinth (where there was a battle raging even then with those who sought a head knowledge of God but did not know him in their hearts):
And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom (using clever rhetoric) but they were delivered in demonstration of the Holy Spirit operating through me and of His power stirring the minds of the listeners and persuading them, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom and rhetoric of men, but on the power of God. " 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 AMP

Paul spoke to this very same issue several times in the New Testament. Once, in writing to Timothy, he said:
20 Timothy, guard what God has placed in your care! Don’t pay any attention to that godless and stupid talk that sounds smart but really isn’t. 21 Some people have even lost their faith by believing this talk. I pray that the Lord will be kind to all of you! 1 Timothy 6:20-21 (CEV)

And in Romans Chapter 1 Paul writes:
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
In the time that Jesus walked the earth, the disciples argued over who was the most important, who would hold the higher position in the kingdom of God, to which Jesus openly rebuked them and said that unless we come to him in the simplistic faith and obedience as a child, we would not even see the Kingdom of God.
Don't get me wrong, education and knowledge can be a very good thing and I highly recommend it... however, when your head knowledge supersedes your heart knowledge of God, you are in danger of losing your eternal soul.

01 November, 2016

What to Do When You Are Getting the Silent Treatment

This is just too ironic. At this current time, I am in contact with 3 separate people who are facing this issue of a spouse/significant other who has a habit of giving them the silent treatment and causing great harm to their relationships. Then last night I stumbled upon the blog of LeslieVernick and she had this absolutely excellent blog entry on the subject. I decided to share it here, even though I'm probably going to make someone mad by doing so. It's worth the risk, because the "silent treatment" is absolutely destructive to relationships.
Question: What is the proper response to the silent treatment when it has been 10 days and no matter what, you will be blamed? Do you distance yourself or move toward reconciliation?
Answer:  First, it’s important to distinguish between the silent treatment and a time out. A timeout is a good thing and is taken when a couple is arguing in a non-productive or destructive manner and one or both parties call a timeout in order to calm down, rest, regroup, pray, or do what it takes to come back and talk constructively about the topic or problem. Ideally, a time-out should last no longer than 24 hours and the one who called the time-out initiates the reconnect with the other spouse to say when he or she would be prepared to resume the discussion.
The silent treatment is not helpful and is a passive aggressive form of punishment. One person is angry or unhappy with something you have done or not done and instead of talking it through, there is a withdrawal of communication, attention, and care as a means of punishment. I remember one woman I worked with whose spouse did not speak with her for over a year despite her pleas to discuss things.
I’m answering this question from a woman who has a husband who gives her the silent treatment, but I’m aware that women can also be guilty of giving their husband’s the silent treatment.
The person who chooses the silent treatment as a pattern of behavior operates out of a victim mindset. A victim mindset believes he  is powerless to bring about change and blames circumstances (or other people) for how he feels. He  is hurt or angry about something but refuses, to be honest, and talk about what’s bothering him. He will not do the work of expressing his feelings, stating his needs, negotiating a compromise, understanding another person’s perspective and moving towards a solution and reconciliation of the relationship or even of ending the relationship. Instead, he manipulates, punishes and attempts to control the other person through protracted silence.
Deep down, the silent partner wants two things. He wants to make you pay for upsetting him and he wants you to take full responsibility (blame) for his emotional state and rescue him out of his funk by attempting relationship repairs. Sadly, even when you attempt to do so, the silent spouse often resists your attempts and further rejects you through continued silence (more punishment). Somehow you are supposed to figure out what you did wrong, make amends, and beg this person back into relationship with you, without him having to take any responsibility for communicating or working towards a mutual solution.
But your question was, what should you do when you are on the receiving end of the silent treatment? First, you need to work on not reacting to his passive form of aggression towards you. He tempts you to step into two unhealthy roles if you are not vigilant. You will either start the rescuing process as I’ve already described, or you will get angry and lean into the persecutor role, which will shame and attack him. And be careful, you may go back and forth between the two. Either way, he gets to stay the innocent, blameless, victim and continue to see you as the bad guy–the one to blame for everything wrong in his life.
Instead of dancing that old dance again, just go about your life while he’s brooding in silence. Get out with your friends and try not to take his rejection personally. Instead, see it as a very immature response to being unhappy with something and being unable to deal with his feelings. What you can do is continue to invite him (not beg) to take responsibility for himself, to discuss what’s wrong.
So you might say something like, “I am happy to discuss what’s wrong when you are ready to talk about this, just let me know.” And then go about your life. Hopefully, this will signal to your husband that his tactic isn’t working to control or punish you. You will no longer rescue, beg or badger. In this moment, you will function as a healthy adult who invites another adult into a discussion about “what’s wrong.”
You can’t force someone to talk about it nor can you fix something if you don’t know what is broken 
Understand this new approach doesn’t come without risk. He may sink more into a victim mentality, feel rejected and that you don’t care about him because you aren’t knocking yourself out to “fix and rescue” the relationship. Or, his aggression might switch from passive to more active and he may start to talk but it usually isn’t constructive conversation but blaming, accusing, and attacking words, blaming you for everything that’s wrong with his life and your marriage.
In that moment it’s important for you to stay in CORE strength and really see what’s happening so that you can find some compassion for him. How? Remember, he is unable to express himself in a good way, so his typical way is to shut down and be silent. When that doesn’t work, he explodes and vomits out his ugly feelings. Yes, that is hurtful, but it’s clear that he doesn’t know how to handle his emotions any better than he is doing.
If he explodes, then you can compassionately say, “I see you are very upset and hurt or angry and I’m glad you are ready to tell me what’s bothering you but the way you’re talking right now is destructive and I can’t listen to you when you are attacking me. I’m going to give you some time to calm down and figure out how to tell me what’s wrong in a more constructive way.” Then walk away. Again, you are inviting him to mature, to grow, to learn how to express himself, but in healthier ways in order to actually resolve the issue and not just allow him to attack you.
In the end, sadly, nothing may change with him, but if you don’t get drawn into the destructive pattern, a lot can change with you.
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