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Joy in Relationship

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

(By Ruth Potter)


Imagine a meaningful relationship without emotion. Impossible! We are created with the capacity for a range of emotions, including joy and sorrow, so that we can connect emotionally with God and others. God connects with us emotionally when He tells us we are loved, chosen, cherished, and never alone. Joy and sorrow are not opposites and they can be experienced simultaneously. Love involves both joy and sorrow. Because we love deeply, we also grieve. We would like to avoid painful emotions, but we can’t selectively numb emotions. When we numb our painful emotions, we also numb positive emotions such as joy. So we need to develop emotional and spiritual resilience.


My journey through severe depression sparked a desire to understand emotional regulation and how the power of the indwelling Spirit, the Word, prayer, and healthy Christian community help us to face brokenness with hope. Today, I still have times of low mood. I also have times of joy and happiness. This reality reflects a life of experiencing God’s blessings, and also the pain and brokenness of life. This pain has been instrumental in my pursuit of God. I am still learning to trust him with my circumstances, still waiting on Him to meet my need. I’m praying this short article will strengthen you today.


There is huge diversity in how we experience emotion based on the complex interaction of inborn temperament, and life experience. Some people feel emotions more intensely than others. Some are naturally more empathetic than others. High empathy is a strength and also a vulnerability. Christians may experience the fallenness of the world more intensely because we long for the day when there is no more sin or sorrow. Or you may be struggling with sickness, disability, stressful life events, or other people’s attitudes and behavior, over which you have no control. Sometimes we influence, but we are not in control of our circumstances. God has promised