Key 8: Keep The Big Picture In Mind When You Experience Trials In Your Relationship | Nine Keys to Healthy Relationships

All relationships go through trials. 

You must constantly ask yourself about motives and the bigger picture when you experience trials and testings in your relationships. 

All relationships hit speed bumps, occasionally some of them hit mountains. Some relationships just have train wrecks.

For instance, if you’re going to stay planted in the church God called you to, there will be a testing at some point. There will be a time when the enemy challenges you, and somebody in the church is going to drive you crazy. Just because one member gets on your nerves or says something cruel doesn’t mean the other members are to blame. Nothing should drive you away from where God places you.

Your marriage is going to go through trials. 

You’ll face countless trials on your job. Are you going to forfeit the place where God has planted you just because you are going through a difficult time? God is using the struggles to work out the junk in your life. God is using difficulties with other people to sharpen you. God is using them to bring longsuffering into your life.

So here are four Cs to help you work through the trials of relationships. 

You have to confront, to correct, to compromise, and, if none of those work, you have to cut it off.

Confront

In relationships, you have to confront. Confrontation is healthy; it’s not a negative thing. 

Some of you are starting to tremble right now because you’re thinking, Confrontation, negative—yelling! No, that’s not what confrontation means. It simply means to see others clearly and face directly what really is true about your relationship. Confrontation helps uncover the reality of the relationship.

And when you confront, you need to do so in God’s timing.

There’s timing to everything. You must prayerfully consider it. In other words, you don’t confront when you’re acting like beast woman because you’re PMSing. That is not confrontation. That is you having a crazy day.
Here’s what you do. You look at the big picture; you look at everything. You take in the facts. You digest. You are to never make a permanent decision in a temporary situation. You gather all the information because you can’t make a quality decision with limited information. After you gather all the information, you look at the reality of the relationship, prayerfully asking God when, how, who, and where.

There are some wise techniques to use in confrontation. 

One of them is called the sandwich technique, where when you talk to people you do positive, negative, positive. Whatever you are confronting that person with, you sandwich it in between a positive beginning and a positive ending. The reason is that it helps keep the person from immediately getting on the defense. When God confronts us, He brings out good things to us, correction to us, and then He ends it with an uplifting edification and encouragement.

And confrontation does not mean just bringing up something that concerns you about the person. 

To confront means being honest and transparent about yourself to the other person. It can involve a confession of sin toward that person or things about your life and past that person needs to know before you make a covenant commitment with them. It can be painful to be honest about the issues God wants to deal with in your life, but it yields a good result in the long term. If you hide what should be exposed, it will eventually come to the surface, and you will pay a price.
If you just sweep everything under the rug, it can be unhealthy. Ask God for the wisdom as to how, where, and when to confront.

Correction

There also has to be correction in relationships.

 I love it when people don’t tell me what they think I want to hear, and they tell me what I need to hear. The most beneficial people in my life are the ones who say what needs to be said, whether it pinches my toes or not. A wise man said an “open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5). An honest and gentle rebuke, motivated by love, increases trust, commitment, and integrity in both the giver and the receiver.

The same is true in our relationship with God.

“If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Hebrews 12:7–8). God says, “If you can’t stay under my instruction and disciplinary correction, you’re not even a son of mine.” Correction is essential in our relationship with Him.

So you need people in your life who bring correction to you.

You need people who are motivated by love to speak the truth you need to hear and not tell you just what you want to hear. You need people who have the freedom to say, “You’re are out of alignment and acting like a jerk. You’ve got a bad attitude, and God wants to do a work in your life. So deal with it.”

But some of us are so insecure and defensive that nobody can bring correction to us. So we just stay racing along on life’s gerbil wheel, repeating the same sick cycle, because nobody can speak into our life.

You need people who don’t control you, but who can speak correction in your life with love and pure motives. For that to happen, you have to be submitted in relationship. You can never truly have discipleship without relationship, because discipleship without relationship produces rebellion. But when you have relationship, you recognize that person speaking into your life loves you and has your best interests in mind. When they speak into your life, it will prevent you from a multitude of sin. It will prevent you from missing the mark on so many different things.

You need to start asking God to bring the right people into your life. 

Because how does God chastise us? God doesn’t sit in heaven and yell, “Hey, you!” That’s not how He does it. He speaks through people. He brings people into our life to whom we open our heart in a submitted covenant relationship.

Correction has to be birthed out of love. 

You can’t speak into somebody’s life when you don’t have a relationship with them that has love as its motive. The Bible says, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers” (Proverbs 10:12). “To cover” does not mean to hide. It means “love prevents all sins.” When I know you love me, you can speak anything to me because you are not out there to hurt me. You’re there for my benefit.

Compromise

Sometimes confrontation and correction lead to healthy compromise. Everything in relationships is about negotiation. Negotiation is learning to negotiate, and negotiation is win, win. When you learn the art of negotiation, you don’t always have to be right. It means you compromise in some areas so you prevent conflict in other areas. This often means seeing things through the eyes of the others involved in the situation or the problem. Healthy compromise is the hallmark of healthy relationships.

Cut it Off

If you cannot bring correction, and you cannot compromise, and you don’t have those covenant relationships, there are some relationships that you cut off. It’s lethal when you are surrounded by people who have an attitude of indifference toward you, and they don’t have your best personal interests in mind—they don’t really care, nurture, or love you. You must cut those relationships off in your life.

Adapted from Paula White-Cain's best selling book "I Don't Get Wholeness...That's the Problem!"
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