Rock Your Relationships

Join Chuck and Betsy Stokes as they help make sense of our relational lives: romantic, friendly, and even awkward. Make the most of every moment (including the unhappy ones) to build connections and enjoy one another in God's great plan for Christian fellowship. Visit for more information.
RSS Feed





All Episodes
Now displaying: 2016
Dec 5, 2016


(AKA the three main symptoms of a full emotional cup.
You might have some measure of all three.)


View of self: Denying my neediness. “I have no needs. But if I did, I’d take care of them myself.”

Revelation 3:17: “You say, ' not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

Galatians 3:1–5: “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing?” [Those stuck in self-reliance truly suffer for nothing.]

View of God: God/the Church/the Gospel is . . . unessential to my needs.

Might manifest as: impatience, irritation, numbness, judgmental attitude, criticism of others, overwork, perfectionism

Might be disguised as: confidence, holiness

When others express needs, you might feel: irritated

Treatment: Treat self-reliance with humility and a sober view of yourself. (And empty your emotional cup.)



View of self: Denouncing my neediness. “I'm ashamed to say that I have needs. And they probably shouldn't/won't get met.”

Romans 8:1: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19: "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

View of God: God/the Church/the Gospel is . . . ineffectual for my needs.

Might manifest as: self-destructive behaviors like anorexia, self-injury, and promiscuity; depression; self-hatred; false guilt; negative self-talk

Might be disguised as: humility, others focus
When others express needs, you might feel: overburdened

Treatment: Treat self-condemnation with gratitude and receptivity to blessings. (And empty your emotional cup.)



View of self: Exalting my neediness. “I have needs, and I will take from you to get them met.”

Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.”

James 4:12: "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. . . . You do not have, because you do not ask God."

View of God: God/the Church/the Gospel is . . . insufficient for my needs.
Might manifest as: controlling or manipulative behaviors; abusive language or actions; excessive talking, interrupting, or inappropriate attention seeking; unreasonable demands; jealousy; strife
Might be disguised as: righteous anger or zeal, suffering for Christ
When others express needs, you might feel: threatened (or jealous, if their needs get met)

Treatment: Treat selfish taking with faith in God's promises. Learn to receive as God provides rather than taking. (And empty your emotional cup.)

Chuck and Betsy Stokes, 2016. Based on Intimacy Theory by Dr. David and Teresa Ferguson, and Dr. Bruce Walker

Nov 4, 2016

You want to be ready to rock the ultimate commitment? Getting the flowers and the ceremony right is important for the big day, but getting virtues and character right is important for all the days afterwards! Chuck and Betsy talk about how to make yourself marriage material.

Sep 22, 2016

Shame is an emotion; condemnation is the "reality" that causes it. But how real is your condemnation? Is there any reason that you shouldn't accept God's identity for you instead? What have you got to lose?

If you are already a friend of God, then why are you still feeling shame? If you aren't a friend of God, find out how to enter "in Christ Jesus" where "the law of the Spirit of Life" sets us free from "the law of Sin and Death." To jump across to the "life" side, add faith + church and see how you feel then.

It sound religious, but it's also therapeutic. God's ways are like that.

To empty shame from your "emotional cup," deal with underlying emotions first (see *cores 1–8* and the emotional cup handout). If shame/condemnation still sticks around, then you need to step up the faith factor.

Then, to kick shame to the curb for good, keep your horse closely tied to the lamppost located at the corner of faith and church.

If you have question, comments, any thoughts, we want to hear them! Contact us by visiting

Sep 8, 2016

When we're dealing with guilt and false guilt, the first step is to sort them apart. This often requires prayer, honest reflection, and outside perspective. Then, guilt can be handled by confession. But not just ANY confession...a good one! "I'm sorry IF..." and "Well, I did this, but YOU did THIS" isn't going to lead to connection and won't make anything better.

Try this for your next confession/apology: "It was wrong of me to _______ because ______________. Would you like to tell me how it made you feel? [listen] I hear you. It would mean a lot to me if you could forgive me." It's a lot easier said than done! But you gotta do it to move forward.

What if it turns out you are dealing with false guilt? How do you know? True guilt is specific and will make sense to others. False guilt is confusing, overpersonalized, and might seem to others like you're being too hard on yourself. Deal with false guilt soundly and quickly, or it can ferment into shame, condemnation, and depression.

It might seem like a weird subject for discussion, but if you have ever wondered if you "should" feel bad about something, then listen to this episode!

Note: The content of "Rock Your Relationships" is a mixture of original content from Chuck and Betsy Stokes and content owned by Intimate Life Ministries (the folks who trained us). "Date to Win" episodes are based on the sociological research of Dr. Chuck Stokes. Episodes labeled "Core Teachings" are based on Intimacy Theory, which was created by Dr. Bruce Walker and Dr. David Ferguson.

Jul 20, 2016

The Bible says that "perfect love casts out fear." What on earth does that mean? We can become paralyzed by fear without even realizing it. What risks are you not taking because you are scared to try? What anxieties are you experiencing because you are afraid that some of the lies in your mind might really be true?

There are two main kinds of fear. Fear can be emotional, and this type is based on hurt (just like anger is based on hurt, except fear works to avoid future hurt and anger is a response to past hurt). Fear can also be mental, and this type is based on lies. Emotional fear needs comfort, and mental fear needs truth.

So what is this "perfect love" that the Bible tells us about? It's the ultimate solution to fear. A mysterious and wondrous love that keeps its promises. A love that is complete and dependable. A love that never fails. We can see glimpses of it in each other and provide it to each other. And we receive it most completely through our best friend ever: the triune God.

Visit us at for more ways to listen and to download your free "Emotional Cup" diagram.

Note: The content of our "Core Teaching" episodes is a mix of our original content and content owned by Intimate Life Ministries. Intimacy Theory was created by Dr. David Ferguson and Dr. Bruce Walker. You can visit and for more information.

Jun 17, 2016

When hurt builds up in our emotional cups, anger can emerge. Anger can be understood as a reaction to hurt that causes us to feel tougher and safer. But it can put up walls that are hard to bring back down. Forgiveness is the key to emptying anger from your emotional cup, but that's much easier said than done.

Visit us at for more ways to listen and to download your "Emotional Cup" diagram.

May 11, 2016

Do you know what the real prize is? What are YOU training for? You might be surprised to find that you aren't training for the prize that you thought you were.

Find out the biggest mistake people make in how they approach the goals of dating. This happens both inside and outside the Church!

Visit us at for more ways to listen and to download your "Emotional Cup" diagram.

Note: The content of our "Date to Win" episodes is mostly our original content and experiences and is based on current sociological research.

Apr 3, 2016

God cares for our emotions and wants to enter into them with us. He has emotions, too! Find out five steps for receiving comfort from God so that you can feel better, avoid sinful responses, and more easily forgive.

Visit us at for more ways to listen and to download your free "Emotional Cup" diagram.

Note: The content of our "Core" episodes is a mix of our original content and content owned by Intimate Life Ministries. Intimacy Theory was created by Dr. David Ferguson and Dr. Bruce Walker. You can visit and for more information.