I really struggled with this week’s topic. I decided to just start typing and see what happened! My heart has been heavy about relationships, of all kinds. They are messy, aren’t they?
The joys and pains of relationships: I’m not speaking about marriage in particular, but all relationships. Mother, son, aunts, uncles, in-laws, friends, acquaintances etc. They can all be messy. Really really messy. You have feelings and emotions and feelings get hurt and relationships are broken.
What leads to a broken relationship? Is it always lack of trust, a snide remark that leaves the recipient feeling hurt? Perhaps it is always an unintentional look or comment? Is it an intentional, or unintentional snubbing at a party or gathering? In reality, it’s probably all of these things combined in some fashion or another. Making friends is hard and being married is hard. Marriage is one of the most difficult blessings any woman can ever get. I have never known a relationship that was so intimate, in all aspects, outside of marriage. It truly is a blessing, but with that blessing comes the ability for complete and total honesty. However, why are we, as female friends, so harsh sometimes? Why do we let “keeping up with the Jones’s” effect us so much? In our cliques at church, why are we so concerned with being in the “cool crowd”?
These last few weeks I’ve been filled with anger and bitterness over a situation that happened several weeks ago. My feelings and thoughts were NOT Christ-honoring, I’ll be honest with you. I cried over this situation many times to my husband after realizing that I can’t fix the situation to ensure that this kind of thing won’t happen again. I can’t sit down and have a chat about this situation to ensure feelings are understood. As a female, not feeling understood, is one of the most difficult things I’ve found we have to deal with. How do we, as females with female emotions, resolve a situation in which the other party won’t ever know what we’re feeling and why? It just doesn’t compute in my brain. Everyone wants to be understood right?
I know the Bible says to go to a person who has wronged you and try to resolve it. I’ve read through those verses many times over during my lifetime. It doesn’t necessarily prepare you for those situations in which you can’t truly resolve and ensure understanding on both sides. You know those special situations where the line between “severe irritation” and a “wrong-doing” are blurred and it won’t do any good to say anything.
I suppose my husband’s favorite term “Suck it up, Buttercup” comes into play here; because you can’t fix every situation or relationship. Some just aren’t fixable, some just aren’t worth the effort and some need to be fixed on your end. Ever have some of those types of relationships? Instead of repeating yourself a thousand times it’s just easier to change how you interact with those people. Sometimes you need to change how you interact with them to save what’s left of the relationship! Resistance is futile at times.
Those relationships are tough and I can’t honestly tell you that it’s Biblically right or wrong. Frankly, I just don’t know. Do we keep the literal message of Matthew 18 or is there a caveat for situations in which you’ve tried talking to the person but to no avail? What happens when you can’t break contact with that person indefinitely? What if they’re close friends? Or family? What if you’ve tried to talk to them about a situation(s) but there wasn’t any resolution and it doesn’t look like there ever will be, yet you still have to interact with them on a regular basis?
How do we treat them with Christ’s love when we are hurt and frustrated with that situation? We pray for compassion, understanding, and for a meek and QUIET spirit. If need be we set silent boundaries for the relationship and pray that the Lord will give understanding to both sides. It’s easy to pray that the Lord will change the other person, but what we really need to pray is that the Lord will do His will in their life and in yours. We pray that the Lord will change OUR heart and change OUR perspective on the situation.