In their book ‘Relationship, a Mess Worth Making’ Timothy S Lane & Paul David Tripp discussed the importance of relationships and talked about some of the possible reasons why we relate the way we do in our interpersonal relationships. They ask questions such as:
- in your home were people motivated positively or with threats and guilt
- was your home a place to relax or did you feel like you were walking on egg shells
- was service modeled and encouraged
- what kind of relationship did your family have to the community
- were you able to express your anger? was it handled in a positive way
Your answers to these questions will demonstrate how your family shaped your views on relating to others. The values in our families will naturally become our values unless we make concerted efforts to try and unlearn some of the unhealthy ways of relating and cultivate new ones.
Maybe you have worked with relationships and is in the place where you are wondering why bother? You have done self-reflection and arrived at the place where you know the failure of your relationships is not because of you. I would like to propose another perspective, give you another lens through which to view the relationship problem. I would like you to consider the impact of sin on us and its effect on our relationships.
I believe we are created for relationships, in safe, healthy relationships we thrive and become our best selves. However, toxic and unhealthy ones can create the oppositive effect. Because we are created for relationships does not mean that we should keep ourselves in toxic spaces that will cause injury and harm. Sometimes it might be safer and better for everyone to give the other person space as they work through what they want from a relationship with us.
Notwithstanding it might be tempting to pursue only happy relationships and avoid difficult ones, but from experience, the difficult with work can emerge equally fullfilling and eventually provides support and encouragement.