"He also told them this parable: 'Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?'” Luke 6:39 (NIV)
Recently, I sat down to write some thoughts about relationships:
Relationships are amazing. Relationships are challenging. Relationships can be impossibly hard. Relationships can be incredibly beautiful. And because relationships are so very organic, they move like breath in and out of our lungs, expanding with deep connection one minute and in the next atrophying into complete misunderstanding.
Relationships are wonderful and full of love and frustration and wrought with angst and all the things we bring into every attempted embrace with another person. When those we love draw close to us, they draw close to our issues. And we come face to face with their issues as well.
So which is it? Are relationships full of bliss or disappointment?
This is where I landed that day as I journaled … It’s a fragile blend of both.
As we open up to each other, the deeper we connect, the more vulnerable we become. The more vulnerable we become, the more exposed the tender places inside of us become. This exposure is risky. When we dare to be so very known, we risk being so very hurt. When we dare to be so very hopeful, we risk being so very disappointed. When we dare to be so very giving, we risk being so very taken advantage of. And when we dare to unnaturally change into what someone else needs, we risk losing ourselves in the process.
To love and be loved is to be enveloped in the safest feeling I’ve ever known. To cause hurt and be hurt is to be crushed with the scariest feeling I’ve ever known. You and I both know this. In different ways with different people and to varying degrees, we know the multifaceted complications of love and heartbreak.
Maybe you’re living out this reality in a very raw way right now. Friend, I wish I was having coffee with you today to talk through all of this. Trust me when I say I know the delicate dance of balancing the beautiful with the frustrating, and every nuance in between, with the relationships we treasure.
And while I can’t solve all the problems you may be facing right now, there is one action item I want to encourage you to put into practice today … Determine to pray more words over a difficult relationship in your life than you speak about it.
I’ve been challenged by this personally. A few years ago, as I processed my own hard situation with a friend, she asked, “Lysa, have you prayed about this?”
I responded with total assurance, “Oh, absolutely I have prayed about it.”
But the reality was, I had thought about it. Talked about it. Worried about it. Tried to control it. Cried over it. Strategized around it. But I hadn’t really been down on my face before the Lord, saying, “God, I don’t know what to do. This is breaking my heart. Please help me know where to go next.”
Through everything I’ve walked through over the last couple of years, I can’t think of a better piece of wisdom I could give to you, as your friend, than to pray over any difficult relational dynamics you may be facing.
In Luke 6:39, Jesus asked an important but simple question: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?” I truly want Jesus leading my relationships. Guiding me, teaching me, redirecting me and showing me how to live in a way that honors Him and people I do life with.
Praying more words over difficult relationship situations and then stopping to listen for God’s conviction and instruction will certainly be key to this.
Now, what I’m not advocating for is praying, asking God for help and at the same time ignoring hurtful things inside that need to be addressed. No, we can’t enable bad behavior and call it love. We can’t tolerate destructive patterns and call it love. And we can’t pride ourselves on being loyal and long-suffering in our relationships when it’s really perpetuating violations of what God says love is. (John 13:34)
What I am encouraging us all to do is to use our words in a powerful, beneficial way, to cry out to God and ask Him for help in prayer. To remember He is God and we aren’t. To remember He is in control and we aren’t. We can do this and still address what needs to be addressed. We can do this and still assess what good boundaries may need to be implemented. Prayer doesn’t always change things immediately, but it does help remind us that we’re not navigating all of this by ourselves.
I’m convinced the more we battle out our struggles on our knees in prayer, the less we’ll have to argue and fight about in person. And the freer we will be to simply focus on loving and living … together.
Dear Lord, I want to honor You completely with my relationships. Help me remain dedicated to praying over relationships in my life … especially ones that feel difficult or strained right now. Help me learn the rhythm of praying more words over these relationships than I speak about them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Is it unloving or selfish to set a boundary? Lysa TerKeurst has asked this same question in the midst of her own relational struggles. After countless hours of counseling intensives and theological research, Lysa has discovered that good boundaries pave the road for the truest version of love to emerge within the relationships that make up so much of who we are and what we want the most. When you preorder your copy of her new book, Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, today, you can start reading the first three chapters right away. Preorder here!
Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Deuteronomy 31:8, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (NIV)
How does this encourage you as you pray over various things you’re facing in your life? Share with us in the comments!
© 2022 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
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