I am going to share a story of a brave woman named Madeleine Black who suffered through being raped, tortured and humiliated at the age of 13. Following her assault, the shame and self-loathing she felt led her to act out in a promiscuous manner as a teenager. Finally, she found love with a healthy man and peace when she learned to forgive.
I am sharing her story not only because it demonstrates the strength and courage of one woman, but also to illustrate how as men when we seek to engage in a casual sexual encounter with a willing woman who we found in a chat room or through a sex app, we are adding to the insult they had suffered earlier in their lives. We are stripping away from them another sliver of their limited self-worth. We are contributing to the shame they experience when we use them for our own sexual pleasure. We are as guilty of hurting them as the individuals who originally caused them emotional, physical and sexual pain. Continue reading
What identifies you? Is it your job? Is it the college you went to? Is it your status in the community or church? Or perhaps it is something from your past. Maybe it’s an abusive experience that you replay in your mind again and again.
These tragic memories never seem to fade away but instead continue to haunt you until they become part of your internal fabric that you wear every day. Or perhaps it’s a series of lies you have come to believe that are part of your identity. Lies such as: “I’m not that smart.” “I’m not attractive.” “I am unlovable.” “I am worthless.” “People never like me.” Continue reading
As believers we are taught the Holy Spirit is our counselor. The Spirit resides in us as an amazing gift from God to enable us not only to feel His presence in our lives, but to assist us in our journey of spiritual transformation.
Photo Credit: Taylor James
But if God is in us, why do we continue to struggle with a sinful nature? Why do we continue to suffer from shame? Let’s examine several reasons. Continue reading
Every day in my counseling practice I deal with individuals who are suffering from shame and low self-worth. In many cases it is due to the irrational beliefs and lies they were told as children, which became part of their worldview on how they see themselves. “You are stupid.” “You are worthless.” “You are clumsy.” “You are lazy.” “You’re just like your father – a loser.” The list is endless.
Helping individuals suffering from shame and low self-worth not only involves identifying these mistruths but more importantly assisting them in removing their shame and re-building their identity. One way to get people to improve acceptance of themselves is accomplish through the development of what I call “pillars”. Continue reading
Do you question God’s love and commitment for you? Are you worried He has turned away, embarrassed by your sinful actions? Does your shame label make you feel unloved by God? Perhaps some poor choices you’ve made leave you feeling inadequate, insignificant or stupid. Or perhaps it was not even actions of your own but instead hurtful things someone did to you that brings you shame. If so, you are far from alone. Continue reading