Book Reviews From 2015

8 More Powerful Relationship Quotes

Keep Your Love OnI have shared a couple of sets of quotes from Danny Silk’s book Keep Your Love On! (which you can read here and here). I have also posted a review on this book here.

This book is a must-read for pastors or counselors who do marriage or family counseling. This is also an excellent book to read if you have a relationship in your life that you would like to see healed or strengthened. Check out a few more quotes below.

“If you cannot communicate your needs to another person clearly, it is obviously going to be very difficult for that person to meet them. That’s why one of the primary tasks of reaching maturity is learning how to express thoughts, feelings, and needs. Those who never learn this skill, however, expect relationships to function without it. They say things like, ‘Well, if you love me, then you will just know what I need. Didn’t you notice that that bothered me? Haven’t you been paying attention? I can’t believe you don’t know that about me.’ Where does this desire or expectation that loved ones have a telepathic ability to know our feelings and needs come from? It comes from powerlessness and fear. It comes from dreaming that everything will turn out magically without actually having to communicate. Powerless people want to win the lottery, get their dream girl/guy with minimal effort, lose weight without exercise, and get their needs met without ever having to say a word.”

“The reason we can’t get our needs met without expressing them is that we were designed to have our needs met through a relational exchange. God made us this way. … Think about it. God, the one Person in the universe Who knows all things, and knows us incomparably better than we know ourselves, never says, ‘Well, obviously I know your needs, so you don’t need to tell Me about them.’ Instead, He repeatedly tells us to ask Him for what we need, and gives us some of the most profound, beautiful, and honest language for doing so—like the Lord’s Prayer, and most of the Psalms. He won’t meet our needs outside of a connection where we have to show up and crack our hearts open to Him, because that very connection is what we need to have our needs met in the first place.”

“If you want to protect your connection and build trust by always communicating respectfully, then your guiding rule must be, ‘It’s my job to tell you about me, and your job to tell me about you.’ The best tool for telling another person about you is an ‘I message.’ The basic structure of the ‘I message’ is: ‘I feel [emotion] when [described experience] and I need to feel [emotion].’” 

“As you construct an ‘I message,’ make sure that you are really expressing a feeling, not an opinion. … If you start to say, ‘I feel like…’ you should stop and check yourself—because what is most likely going to follow is not a feeling, but a judgment. And a judgment statement is actually an expression of mistrust, not trust.”

“Intimacy—‘into-me-see’—is created between two people who can say, ‘We can be ourselves together because you can see into me and I can see into you.’ The experience of intimacy—of being completely known and accepted, and completely knowing and accepting in return—is the most satisfying experience we can have as humans. Intimacy in a safe place brings euphoria. Remember the Garden of Eden? Paradise was the place where a man and a woman were unafraid to be vulnerable and intimate with each other in every way. The problem is that most of us are scared to death to be vulnerable in relationships. The reason is simple: In being vulnerable, we reach for our greatest need while risking our greatest pain.”

“Fear of rejection and shame sets us up to fall for the enemy’s counterfeits. Ever since sin entered the world and humanity became disconnected from God, we have been looking for ways to get our needs met outside of relationship or any scenario where we are required to be vulnerable and risk our hearts. We have always desperately sought the benefits of intimacy without wanting to pay the price. And the enemy continues to offer us the euphoric experiences we think we can control—things like alcohol, drugs, sex, Internet pornography, shopping, carbohydrates, adrenaline, or cash. We use these things to give ourselves a euphoric release and take care of our needs. But the counterfeits always have ugly repercussions, like drunk drivers killing innocent people, young kids destroying their brains, men ignoring the beautiful real women beside them in favor of the images, serious debt, morbid obesity and the host of diseases that accompany it, thrill seekers slowly becoming numb to reality, and selfish jerks not caring who they step on to get what they want. Counterfeits never come through.”

“Every respectful conversation needs one speaker and one listener at all times. … The listening role is the true servant role in a respectful conversation. The listener affirms, ‘Right now, this conversation is about you and your needs. I am here to help you figure them out and find a way to help you get them met.’ But in the end, the listener is really the winner. If I listen well, I will have two vital pieces of information—what you need and what I need to do. With these two pieces of information, I start to identify and take ownership of the problem and create an effective solution.”

“A skilled listener with a servant’s heart is the deadliest weapon against the fear-bombs that threaten connection.”

9 More Quotes From “Keep Your Love On!”

Keep Your Love OnKeep Your Love On! is an outstanding resource for anyone who wants to repair or strengthen a relationship. As I said in my book review, I think pastors and marriage counselors should definitely get a copy of this book. Here are a few more quotes.

“If you want to preserve relationships, then you must learn to respond instead of react to fear and pain. Responding does not come naturally. You can react without thinking, but you cannot respond without training your mind to think, your will to choose, and your body to obey. … Powerful people are not slaves to their instincts. Powerful people can respond with love in the face of pain and fear. This ‘response-ability’ is essential to building healthy relationships.”

“If you were raised with a powerless, fear-driven mindset based on the belief that you can control people and they can control you, then you will naturally perceive God as a controlling Punisher. You will take the laws of the Old Testament—all the verses and stories about wrath, judgment, and the fear of the Lord—and conclude, ‘See, God wants to control us, and we need to be controlled.’ … The problem is that the Bible doesn’t show us a God Who is pursuing the goal of distance between Himself and a bunch of scary sinners. Instead, the Bible reveals a God Who is relentlessly closing that distance and paying the ultimate price to repair the disconnection we created in our relationship.”

“Fear and love are enemies. They come from two opposing kingdoms. Fear comes from the devil, who would like nothing more than to keep you permanently disconnected and isolated. Love comes from God, Who is always working to heal and restore your connection with Him and other people and bring you into healthy, life-giving relationships. … When Paul told Timothy that the spirit of love is also the spirit of power and a sound mind, he implied that its opposite, the spirit of fear, is the spirit of powerlessness and a weak, divided mind. When you grow up partnering with the spirit of fear, as most of us do, you learn to simply hand over your brain and your power, letting fear take control. But as soon as you decide to partner with the spirit of love, you have to think and make powerful choices.”

“Do you want to win the battle between fear and love in your relationships? You can start by making these two fundamental commitments: (1) It’s my job to control myself. I do not get to control other people. (2) My number-one goal and priority in relationships is building and protecting connection.”

“Each display of love, no matter how seemingly small, is a powerful act of spiritual warfare that removes anxiety from the environment, replaces it with freedom and safety, and invites each person to bring his or her best self forward in the relationship.”

“True honor is the practice of two powerful people putting one another before themselves, empowering one another, working together to meet one another’s needs, and adjusting as necessary in order to move together toward the shared goal of the relationship.”

“In order for us to practice self-control, we must have a goal. We must have something we are saying ‘Yes’ to, which necessarily comes with things that we must say ‘No’ to. … When we find ourselves with more freedom than self-control, then that freedom erodes the quality of our life and friendships. Self-control is what allows us to manage increasing levels of freedom in our life and relationships.”

“When you put a person in the position of God, you set him or her up for failure. … Mysterious as it is, making ourselves accountable to God and putting ourselves under His authority is the only way we can become powerful and learn to govern ourselves. … When two people are consistently pursuing a connection with the Perfect One, that connection will set the pace for their connection with each other. They will be learning to love from Love Himself, which can only bring the best into their relationship.”

“The faster you can get to the question, ‘What do you need?’ the faster you can start doing something about it. Unfortunately, because many people are not used to being listened to, they don’t know what they need, or how to communicate it. They think they have to present a solid case for someone to help them, agree with them, or change for them.”

You can read the the first batch of quotes I shared here.

My book review is posted here.

9 Quotes From “Keep Your Love On!”

Keep Your Love OnPastors and counselors should definitely add Keep Your Love On! to their bookshelf. This book by Danny Silk is a goldmine of helps for repairing, restoring and strengthening relationships. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are a few quotes from this book.

“Most people haven’t learned to build their relationships on the premise, ‘I choose you.’ Their premise for relationships is, ‘You choose me.’ … However, if all our relationships are based solely on our natural impulse to return liking for liking, then we are going to have problems. Liking is a conditional state—it changes. Making ‘You choose me’ the foundation of a relationship dooms it to change, and probably collapse, the minute one person’s liking happens to turn south.” 

“A healthy, lasting relationship can only be built between two people who choose one another and take full responsibility for that choice. This choice must be based on who they are, what they want, and what they are committed to doing as individuals. … In order to be able to make and keep commitments like this—commitments to enduring, intimate relationships—you need to be a certain kind of person. You need to be a powerful person. Powerful people take responsibility for their lives and choices. Powerful people choose who they want to be with, what they are going to pursue in life, and how they are going to go after it.”

“Often the first thing that reveals a powerless mindset is powerless language. Frequent use of the phrase is ‘I can’t’ and ‘I have to’ is a hallmark of a powerless person. … Powerless people also throw in ‘I’ll try’ to absolve them if they do not come through on a commitment or promise.”

“Powerless people approach relationships as consumers. They are always looking for other people who have resources of love, happiness, joy, and comfort to offer in a relationship to share with them, because they don’t have any.”

“Powerless people often blame the messes they make on other people. The reason their life, marriage, child, finances, job, or whatever is the way it is has nothing to do with their choices. Someone else—their parents, their spouse, their teachers, society—created the life they’re living. They don’t have the power to create their own lives.” 

“The classic relational dynamic created by powerless people is called triangulation. When you believe that other people are scary, unsafe, and more powerful than you, and when you believe that you need to get them to meet your needs, then you have three possible roles you get to play in relationships: the victim, the bad guy, or the rescuer. If you’re the victim, you’re looking for a rescuer to make you feel safe and happy. If you’re the bad guy, you are using control and intimidation to protect yourself or get someone to meet your needs. If you’re a rescuer, you’re taking responsibility for someone else’s life in an attempt to feel powerful. Powerless people will switch in and out of these roles in relational interactions.”

“In order to stay in relationship, powerless people make an agreement to exercise mutual control over each other. The unspoken pact between them is, ‘It’s my job to make you happy, and your job to make me happy. And the best way to get you to work on my life is to act miserable. The more miserable I am, the more you will have to try to make me feel better.’ Powerless people use various tactics, such as getting upset, withdrawing, nagging, ridiculing, pouting, crying, or getting angry, to pressure, manipulate, and punish one another into keeping this pact. … A relational bond built on mutual control simply cannot produce anything remotely like safety, love, or trust. It can only produce more fear, pain, distrust, punishment, and misery.” 

“Powerful does not mean dominating. In fact, a controlling, dominating person is the very opposite of a powerful person. Powerful people do not try to control other people. They know it doesn’t work, and that it’s not their job. Their job is to control themselves. As a result, they are able to consciously and deliberately create the environment in which they want to live. They don’t try to get people to respect them; they create a respectful environment by showing respect. They deliberately set the standard for how they expect to be treated by the way they treat others. As they consistently act in responsible, respectful, and loving ways, it becomes clear that the only people who can get close to them are those who know how to show respect, be responsible, and love well. Life does not happen to powerful people. Powerful people are happening—they are happening all the time.”

“What is the goal in your close relationships? Are you trying to create a safe connection or a safe distance? Are you building a skill set to move away from or control the distance between you and your husband, wife, friend, child, etc.? Or are you building a skill set to move toward them and keep your love on no matter what?”

Stay tuned: more quotes from Keep Your Love On! coming soon…

Keep Your Love On! (book review)

Keep Your Love OnJust when I thought I’d heard almost every relationship-building concept, Danny Silk comes along with a totally innovative approach in Keep Your Love On!

Danny points out that most people try to develop a safe distance between other people, to keep themselves from getting hurt. As a result they have become powerless in their relationships—powerless to make any changes that would move them closer to one another.

But God designed us for connection: Connection with Him and with each other. These types of connections can only come from powerful people. Danny says that powerful people are not those who impose their will on others, but people who first of all take personal responsibility for who they are. Then powerful people can establish healthy boundaries that will help others move from powerlessness to power. Healthy, long-lasting, fulfilling relationships come when both people are powerful people.

All throughout the book, Danny Silk give sound, biblical direction, combined with his personal experiences counseling other people. He is even vulnerable enough to tell us how he learned these valuable lessons by moving away from powerlessness in his own marriage.

This is an outstanding book for anyone who want to strengthen or repair relationships in their lives, or for anyone who wants to be a catalyst for change in the lives of people close to them. Pastors and counselors should definitely add this book to their library.

“Quality love relationships do not happen by accident. Real love is built the old-fashioned way—through hard work. And if you learn to manage the very best of who you are, the all-elusive intimacy experience we crave will be well within your grasp.” —Danny Silk

I am a Red Arrow Media book reviewer.

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