In the Middle of the Mess, Your best relationship— no matter who it’s with— is messy! Stop and think about your most satisfying relationship. (If you are having difficulty, we have proven our point.) Ask yourself these simple questions about this relationship:
- Have you ever felt misunderstood?
- Have you ever been hurt by what the other person said?
- Have you ever felt like you haven’t been heard?
- Have you ever been betrayed?Have you ever had to work through a misunderstanding?
- Have you ever disagreed on a decision?
- Have you or the other person ever held a grudge?
- Have you ever experienced loneliness even when things were going well?
- Have you ever been let down?
- Have you ever doubted the other person’s love?
- Has the other person ever doubted your commitment?
- Have you ever struggled to resolve a conflict?
- Have you ever wished you didn’t have to give or serve?
- Have you ever felt used?
- Have you ever thought, If I had only known!
Do these questions reveal underlying struggles and temptations in your best relationship? In our case, our best relationships are with our wives (which is ideal, but not always the case). Both of us have been married for many years, and we consider our marriages to be strong and loving. We are married to women we greatly respect, and our marriages have benefited from God’s wisdom and grace. Even so, both of us could answer “yes” to every question listed above, and we are certain our wives would say the same.
It is not hard to understand James’s question in James 4: 1: “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” Your experience in relationships helps you understand why the Bible includes so many commands and exhortations to be patient, kind, forgiving, compassionate, gentle, and humble. The Bible assumes that relationships this side of eternity will be messy and require a lot of work. If this applies to our best relationships, how much more does it apply to relationships that are more difficult!
Lane, Timothy S.; Paul David Tripp (2006-11-01). Relationships: A Mess Worth Making (pp. 31-32). New Growth Press. Kindle Edition.