Thoughts on navigating relational rough patches

Thoughts on navigating relational rough patches

Renee EllisonJul 31, '22

Are you going through a rough patch with an important, close relationship?  Here is an array of overcoming thoughts on this topic, to get you up and over the episode.

During life's hard moments, realize that our Heavenly Father keeps us on the stretch (continues to keep the "life-challenge-rope" a little taut)—both physically and psychologically—to perfect His nature in us.  Sanctification, not happiness, is what the earth experience is all about.

A wise person observed that the root of all real joy is learning to cultivate thankfulness, regardless of difficult circumstances or difficult people—working the heart over to find that grateful spot. A mom mentioned that she teaches her children to not look for a feeling of happiness—not to chase that—but to cultivate the other, and then joy comes in the back door.

The longevity of strong relationships

One of the greatest attributes of the Creator’s love is its LOOOOOOOONGEVITY.  Correspondingly, He purposefully sees to it that each of us has at least e a few of those relationships that go on and on, to show us how we do with them, in order that we may marvel at His ability to do it perfectly.  He manages to love us while we warble and careen in bouts of alienation from Him over an entire lifetime.  In light of that, how do we do at loving others over the long haul?

In his book Life Together Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that all relationships have to crash first and then begin to rebuild upon the surer foundation of God's love, i.e. endless selflessness.  "Crashing" means coming to the point that we have no expectations of the other person—none.  At that point we learn to work at being, ourselves, what we were looking for and were hoping for in others.

Realize that another person is who he/she is at their worst moments because of their own bankruptcies.  Prior experiences have molded their life responses and their modus operands.  As we mature, we must grow to have a great compassion for how tough life has been for the other guy, to cause him/her to be like this.  In all conflict, try to see life through the other person's eyes.

If you have increasing desires to be holy but have just muffed it in an argument, do not be downcast.  The Father uses that failure.  Holy remorse is the refiner's most perfect fire.

When you are amidst continuing tough relationships, come to terms with knowing that the Almighty engineers the parameters of each of our lives, moment by moment.  There is no better life for us, today—no reason to long for someone else’s circumstances and life.  He particularly designed this one for your advancement and growth, today, and He can be found in it, working marvelously on your behalf, if you perk up our ears, sniff the air, and hunt for it.  He works for each of us exactly what we need through our current life.  There are no mistakes—no "wrong" circumstances.  Surely, this is amazing ultimate benevolence on His part toward us.

Be alive to the spiritual law of spiritual compensations.  It is everywhere.  The loving Heavenly Father’s wrapping paper and joy are sprinkled everywhere!  I broke my leg one day.  While I was sitting in the car all day, waiting hours to see a doctor, He sent a gentle, wonderful breeze.  It was unusually refreshing.  Because He lives, all of life is like that, even if it were a dungeon.  Someone may have a difficult childhood, but an easy marriage.  Or an easy childhood but a difficult marriage; or, run out of gas on a trip but meet a marvelous person who helps; skimpy groceries this week, but extraordinary unexpected dinner gifted to us; lots of friends but a difficult in-law, or an easy in-law but difficult neighbors; a cantankerous spouse but a delightful child; a taxing child but a delightful spouse; no money but good relationships; hot climate but refreshing friends; perfect climate but loneliness; a small left brain but a large right brain.  We may have a rotten “this" but a heavenly "that."  But after we've been seasoned in God's love enough, we drop demanding any adjectives to our experiences at all—because they are all good—when seen as for our good (Romans 8:28).

For a possibly related topic, read our How to Relate with Love to a Controlling Person.

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