Back to Basics: Relationships

Real relationships are not always as easy as we might dream them to be

by TJ Freeman – February 3, 2017

Back to Basics is a monthly inspirational feature designed to encourage our hearts, hosted by Pastor TJ Freeman.

Do you enjoy a good love story? Most people do.
Whether it ends “happily ever after” like your favorite fairy tale, or in tragedy like Romeo and Juliet. There’s something about a tale of two people falling in love that draws us in. But, good love stories also set us up for some pretty unrealistic expectations. Most people understand the reality that happily ever after really only exists in fairy tales. Real relationships — like the rest of real life — are not always as easy as we might dream them to be.

Meaningful relationships can bring us great joy, but they also bring great difficulty. Maybe you’ve been through a divorce and you know the pain and hardship and just plain awkwardness that comes in the wake of a broken marriage. Or maybe you wish you were divorced because your marriage has been too difficult for too long. Or maybe you’ve found in other relationships that the closer you get to a person the more difficult the relationship can become. The truth is, no one can hurt us quite as thoroughly or painfully as the people closest to us.

In the same way, we have the potential to do some real damage to those we love. Yet, some relationships seem to have something special…something that sets them apart from the rest. Is there a secret to better relationships?

Stop by your local bookstore and you’ll find no shortage of books written by professionals offering solutions to all of your relational challenges. But, unfortunately there is no quick fix for better relationships. The more people you let in to your life, the more potential you have to be hurt and to hurt others.

But, before you lose hope and put up a relational wall, there is something you can do today that has the potential to change all of your relationships for the better.

If you want to have better relationships, you have to begin with a better perspective. The Bible talks about this in the book of James, where James explains that the reason we have difficulty in our relationships has to do with the passions at war within us. In other words, our relationships suffer when our perspective is self-oriented instead of others oriented. When a bride expects her husband to act like prince charming, and a husband expects his wife to behave like one of the Stepford wives – the only real outcome will be disappointment.

In each of our relationships we tend to hold others to an often unspoken standard and become frustrated when someone fails to live up to our expectations or meet our desires. But, when we approach our relationships with a different perspective everything changes. With the right perspective we will be less likely to focus on what others should be doing for us, but what we can do for them.

This is the example Jesus set: He did not come to Earth to be served, but to serve us! Even though mankind sinned greatly against Him, Christ still lived and died to save our souls. Consider approaching your relationships with a fresh perspective – one that seeks to put others first, even when they least deserve it. In time, you’ll find that others look to you and wonder: “What is his/her secret to such good relationships?”

Credits:
Idea/Concept: TJ Freeman
Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: TJ Freeman

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Sherwood Motel

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