Wrestling in Relationships

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

– Philippians 2:3,4

I remember years ago, I had a really wonderful neighbor. He was good-looking, married, very happy, and just an all-around nice guy. However, one day he came over to my house because he knew I was a pastor, and he was weeping and very upset. He went on to share that his wife left him, that she wasn’t coming back, and that he just didn’t understand. They never fought, he said, and everything was going fine until she took off for no apparent reason. 

While my heart ached in empathy, as I listened to him speak, it became very clear to me that he was only seeing one side of the story. While everything was “rosy” in his world, there were plainly some underlying issues on his wife’s part that didn’t get shared. Seeing his pain and grief was very sad, and it served as a sobering reminder of how important it is to struggle in relationships in order to maintain health for the long haul. While it’s not pleasant at the time, going deep in the realm of emotion is vital to enjoying the lasting, intimate connection with people that the Lord intended.

My friend, you were designed to struggle in relationships. Being made in the image of God means that you were created to learn more about Him through others, and that requires that you do the hard work of humbling yourself and being vulnerable, even if it causes discomfort. Especially with the ones closest to you, take the time to check in, have tough conversations, and “go deep” in the interest of protecting your shared bond. 


Jesus, teach me to embrace conflict in relationships for the sake of health and wholeness.


Do you struggle in relationships with others? Are you willing to go deep in the interest of having abundant life?

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