Friday, February 5, 2016

Relationship Barriers

Life is about relationships. If your relationships are good, life is good. If your relationships are bad, nothing else can substitute. Many come home to a distant marriage, where every word must be weighed. Parents arrive home to hear their teenager run upstairs to avoid conversation. Others are worried because they are at odds with someone at work.

Jesus says the whole law can be summed up around two relationships. Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40.

All law can be summed up in loving God and loving people. Often our relationship with God is far less complicated than our relationships with others. Repairing our relationship with God is one-sided. God does not need to be fixed. Our relationships with others are more complicated because we deal with weakness, blind spots, stress, and lack of communication on both sides. Why are relationships so difficult? I believe there are at least seven barriers.

1.  We want to love and be loved for own sake. We reach out to others because we need a friend, not to be a friend. There are many self-help books on how to be a more loveable person, but not many on how to be a more loving person.

2. We have blind spots. There are areas in our lives we do not see. Our loved ones may see a weakness in our lives, but we are blind to it.

3. We desire mutual love. It’s very painful to love someone more than they love you.

4. We place others before God. Our happiness depends on someone else’s happiness. This is often seen in our relationship with our children. If they are unhappy, we are unhappy. This is because someone other than God is on the throne of our lives.

5.  We want the same type of love that we give. However we express our love, we want others to express love to us in the same way.

6. We want the same kind of logic that we give. This can cause a breakdown in communication. Either we cannot logically express ourselves, or we cannot see another’s way of thinking.

7.  We hide behind masks. We’re afraid people will find out who we really are.

The beginning step to good relationships is humility. It’s only as we humble ourselves before God and receive His grace that we can give grace and understanding to others.

 What do you think?

For further study on relationships, you can view my series of messages at

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