Three Relationship Rules

Ed Welch

What relational wisdom have you learned that is important in your marriage or other close relationships? There are things we all know to do, though implement irregularly: praying together, asking forgiveness, seeing the work of the Spirit in the other, and not giving advice when the other person simply wants to be known. These bless all Christian relationships. But I am thinking about micro-applications of how faith expresses itself in love (Gal. 5:6). These might not be obvious at first. They accumulate over time.

Here are three that have become important to me.

1. If something bothers you, give it to the relationship. If either my wife or myself have any struggle in our own hearts that lasts longer than thirty seconds, and the other person is involved in any way, we give it to the relationship. That is, we talk about it. The person who is struggling might have a problem, or it might belong to the other person (who is blissfully ignorant of that struggle) or the blame might be laid on neither.

“I am struggling with something and I think it would be best for us if we tried to talk about it.” With that entrance into the discussion, it rarely turns sour. The struggler wants to talk together and not simply make pronouncements. The outcome might be that someone asks forgiveness, or it may simply be that we have a more accurate understanding of each other.

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