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Last weekend, I had a chance to share a meal with Dr. Tan Siang Yang, a retired professor of Psychology at the Fuller Seminary.

We spoke about his life, from leaving Singapore when he was 18 to getting married to a Hong Kong-Canadian woman to settling in Pasadena, California. Expectedly, we also spoke a lot about mental wellness and his learnings (and teachings) about the subject.
Among the many things he shared, one thing he said that got me thinking further was that one can be spiritually mature without being emotionally mature.
This means that when someone has a mental condition, they are slower sometimes, in developing emotionally. Hence, instead of focusing on their emotional development, we can also look to develop the person spiritually.

Often, we get caught up in trying to solve a behavioural problem which might take time to improve, and we neglect to help the person grow spiritually. Measures should be taken to resolve behavioural issues, depression and other complex issues. However, we must not forget that our spirit and body also need attention.

We are a spirit, have a soul, and live in a body. We need to develop each part consistently and well. I think further and realise that we sometimes develop ourselves so physically and spiritually that we ignore our emotional development. To have flourishing relationships, I suggest it helps very much for one to be emotionally mature.

Reflecting on my previous post, loving someone isn’t just about feeling good. It requires emotional dexterity, tenacity and maturity to love well. For example, when choosing a life partner, we need the dexterity to discern God’s choice for us. When we choose to love someone, there will be opportunities to showcase tenacity when it gets tough. Finally, as we continue to love someone, we need to be mature about what we should be upset about (or not). These are just examples of many that we face regarding relationships.
There is more I can write that is suitable for this blog, but I hope I have communicated some things for us to ponder and grow—spirit, soul and body.
Whilst I am on the subject, feel free to browse our films on SMIX. So many stories matter and can be used to empower and humanise. My personal favourite on a little about mental wellness, love and relationships is a film we produced called Storm Boy.
Till the next piece.