We know we are called to love others, but how do we do this? It can be even more difficult with those who are hard to love. God’s Word gives us the answer. As we learn to walk in love, it will affect our attitudes, our actions, and our relationship!
We were doing some purging and cleaning this weekend at our home. As I was sorting through stacks of papers in my desk drawer, I ran across some handouts from a marriage study my husband and I led last year (Stay Married for Life by Dan Seaborn). In one of the lessons the author described four levels of friendship and encouraged us to evaluate where we were in our relationship with our spouse. The goal of course being Confidants. Here’s the list:
- Chums — friends whose interests overlap yours in certain areas; you have conversations because they are convenient. You get to know surface details like name, age, education, job, etc. (i.e. like same music, gym membership, kids same age, work in same building).
- Companions — friends who spend time together on semi-regular basis. Not just bumping into each other but you make time for each other, committed to friendship so you plan activities together, conversation aren’t merely facts and friendship is strong enough to share opinions on important issues, not afraid to disagree, don’t disclose everything and moved beyond surface but friendship is still shallow.
- Comrades — friends who want to talk even on an off day, relationship enjoyable but it’s not limited to fun only, typically you’ve walked through meaningful circumstances together, seen the good and bad in each other and still like each other, enjoy being around and can be yourself with them, trust enough to share fears and concerns, beliefs and pursuits, problems and pain, ask for advice and often take it.
- Confidants — friends who know you to the core. More than only details and specifics, they KNOW you! Know your dreams, history, successes, disappointments, sources of joy and grief, strengths and weaknesses. Feel comfortable telling them everything, nothing off limits, seek them out when you need someone to celebrate with or cry with. Their opinions matter, spent enough time with you to recognize your emotions and pinpoint behavior patterns. They understand why you react and behave the way you do. They get you and the closeness of your relationship is the proof.
This got me thinking about other relationships in my life, and who fit where in this list of 4 C’s. Continue reading “4 C’s of Relationships”
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to be going your way or according to plan? Those moments when a particular person or situation has brought you to the end of your rope? You are frustrated, exasperated and fed up! Perhaps your frustration has led to an outburst of emotion or words that you now wish you could rewind and take back.
Several years ago while reading a biography on the life of Amy Carmichael, I discovered a quote that got my attention! Amy was a missionary to the orphans of India in the 19th century. She faced numerous difficulties, not only on the mission field, but but also a single woman during this time period. Whenever faced with a difficult or unexpected circumstance, Amy would view it as an opportunity to die to self and allow the Lord Jesus to reign in that moment —”see in it a chance to die” she would say. As I contemplated this quote, God brought to mind some verses of Scripture. I copied the quote and those verses and tacked them above my desk in the kitchen. Over the weeks, I added verses as the Lord brought them to mind. Here was the list I tacked above my desk: Continue reading “At the End of My Rope!”