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These 10 Relationship-Changing Principles will work for all your relationships, including with a spouse, partner, ex-spouse, parent, stepparent, sibling, child, stepchild, grandchild, grandparent, friend, in-law, co-worker, or anyone else. If your relationship is difficult, you are in a frustrating, complicated, and painful place. You have probably tried all kinds of things to make your relationship better, only to find that nothing has helped.
If you are a Christian, you are looking for Christian relationship advice that will help you know what God wants you to do in response to the many complicated dilemmas you face. Your tough questions need answers and practical solutions based on biblical principles that work. You will find those answers and solutions in these 10 Relationship-Changing Principles.
Here is an overview of each of the 10 Relationship-Changing Principles:
You most likely have many fears related to your difficult relationship. Fear can cause you to freeze, fight, or flee. While these responses are natural, they aren’t helpful. This principle teaches you to face your fears so you can move forward in doing what is right.
Difficult relationships are characterized by unhealthy interactions. Underneath the dynamics of the poor communication are layers of expectations, resentments, pain, misinterpretations, wrong motives, denial, and dishonesty. Speaking the truth in love requires wisdom and an awareness of the things you need to do to meet the special circumstances of dysfunctional relationships.
Boundaries are necessary to protect yourself and to set a standard for what is and isn’t acceptable in your relationships. Boundaries are not about making other people do what you want; they are about you deciding what you will and won’t do. It takes time to get clarity about your personal limits and then to become strong enough to set boundaries.
Christians know they need to forgive, but they are often confused about what it means and how to do it. It is misunderstood to be tolerance, passivity, and enabling and that it should be offered without boundaries. Forgiveness is not intended to excuse unacceptable behavior; it is simply one of the ways you take care of yourself because it allows you to move forward, free of the past.
Difficult relationships are exhausting and stressful, so it is important to learn how to enter God’s rest in the midst of the problems. The secret lies in learning how to surrender by intentionally doing things that will enable you to experience God’s peace and refreshing.