No matter how difficult the relationship is now…No matter how far away a better experience seems to be…. There is help.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of the pastorate is the time I spend in pre-marital counseling. It’s always fun to spend a few hours with wide-eyed, optimistic spouses to be! It’s thrilling to lead the “engaged” couple in conversation about their families of origin, the principles of communication, the differences of personality and temperament, and such. We laugh and pray, plan and anticipate. It’s all good!
The truth is that the burst of energy present at the start of marriage is often replaced by a fair amount of disappointment and frustration later on.
And it’s not only true in marriage.
We get accustomed to emotional distance, secret griping, and the restless dissatisfaction that characterizes too many of the relationships in our lives.
Here’s where I hope that we could remember Christ’s teaching regarding the quality of relationships: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). In other words, the way I relate to others is the pattern you need to study and imitate, says Jesus.
In fact, at the core of any great marriage, family, friendship, team, or mentoring relationship we find people relating to one another in ways Jesus modeled for us.
I’ve seen it before, haven’t you?
- Maybe in a marriage that isn’t simply surviving but truly thriving.
- Perhaps a unique bond between a parent and child.
- Maybe the winning dynamic between members of a team or best friends, or a set of siblings.
- It might even be an unusually life-giving link between a student and a teacher.
Remember—no matter how difficult the relationship is now…no matter how far away a better experience seems to be… God can help you. It’s not going to happen overnight. But it can happen. God—through trained counselors, pastors and friends—can provide the principles, practices, and strength you need to get you where you want to go.