I am the worst thing to hit relationships since…(well, you get the idea!)

My plans for making relationships work don’t always work. Worse than that, sometimes I have the painful realization that I am the problem; I am the reason things don’t go as smoothly as I’d like. I somehow just don’t “gel” with other people as well as I’d like.

(Surprise!)

Do you ever have that problem–people and their problems turn out to be not your only problem?

(Yeah, it’s really a shame isn’t it? I mean, what a self-esteem reducer, right?)

It not only stinks to discover this about yourself, it is disconcerting that others see it too– and probably much clearer than you! The first thought that usually comes to mind after this revelation is: Why don’t I just quit relationships altogether? If I’m no good at them, I’m obviously not cut out for them. Right?

Wrong. You are designed for them, but since your design has been made backwards and crooked by sin, you are going to need a lot of adjustment before you work well in relationships. But, this is no cause for being discouraged. You have hope because God is rescuing your design as we speak!

It is impossible for God not to restore people who come, broken, to the cross. The matter is only waiting for your cry for help. No, not a call for back-up as you attack the problem yourself. Nor a solicitation of support that will keep in motion your preconceived notions about life. Instead, this is none other than a desperate willingness to change directions. It is choosing to look from us to Him and to receive all that He gives as grace.

Then, relationships aren’t so hard because you neither have to be perfect to hold them together or pretend you’re perfect to keep from admitting you’re not. The matter is settled: If this is going to work out, if we’re going to be any benefit to others at all, it’s definitely going to grace.

There’s no other explanation for how people can find it possible to be united with one another. You have that as a possibility, so do I, but we have to welcome in the One who makes Possible at home in us.

Faith in Relationships

Faith in relationships…what does that look like? For me, it is being able to trust God that He is working out all the big and small details that I can’t handle on my own — details that concern more than me, and what’s going on in my heart, but someone I love who seems to see things so entirely different than myself.

That’s what it starts with at least, but from there God consistently leads me into the next stage, pointing out the lessons He has set up for me in this misunderstanding or apparent distance between me and another.

There is always so much to learn through the daily dynamics of our interactions with the people we share this life with. The experiences we have together are what pushes us to work on more than just what will improve ourselves, but will make us more focused on the interests of others.

It can be easy to pursue growth that makes us look good, serving as personal accessories, to trump up what already makes for a wonderful person. It is far harder to choose to see ourselves in the light that others see us, accepting their observations as being capable of being legitimate representations of us.

No, what others think of us will not ever tell the whole story, and their sentiments should not discourage us with the idea that we are not worth anything unless we live up to someone’s expectations of us, but we should not dismiss them either. We should take theĀ  assessments we receive from others to our Father, who is faithful to present to us our true identity along with all the flaws that He is not lax to confront and correct.