Summary: The actions we must take to change our attitude and perhaps change the sandpaper people in our lives.


Part 1 of 6 in the Series, "When Relationships Disappoint You – How to Find God’s Peace in the Pain"

We’re beginning a new series today that, just like all of our other series here at Pathway, is meant to be a resource for tapping into the valuable and practical information in God’s Word, the Bible, that will benefit our every day lives in a positive way.

In this new series we’re tackling the downside of relationships with uplifting biblical principles. When relationships disappoint you – and they inevitably will at one time or another or in one way or another because relationships are made of imperfect human beings – when this happens - how can you find God’s peace in your pain? When you’re hurting or you’re sad or angry or lonely inside, how are supposed to bounce back?

There are two big emotions you face when a relationship has problems. Number one, you feel trapped and secondly, you feel tempted. The trapped feeling goes something like, “Oh no, this person is going to make me miserable and there’s nothing I can do about it!” The tempted part leads to doing stupid things to stop the pain. Your start having more arguments with people or you give in to the temptation to treat them like dirt. Feeling trapped and being tempted can give way to panic. And panic is a bad idea.

One 4th of July Deb and the children and I were on vacation visiting Deb’s parents. My father-in-law got up early to fix breakfast for everyone. Nice thought. But he put the bacon in the pan and forgot about it and went in the living room to watch TV. Pretty soon he smelled smoke because there was a grease fire in the kitchen and he panicked. He came to our bedrooms and woke us all up and ushered us out of the house.

When I saw that everyone was safely out of the house I went in to investigate. I remembered there was a garden hose outside the kitchen window, so I brought it through the window and sprayed water on the ceiling above the fire and put it out while my father-in-law and the rest of the family were outside waiting for the fire department. If we had waited until the fire department got there a half an hour later the house would have burnt to the ground.

I appreciated my father-in-law’s concern for our safety. I appreciated the fact that his family meant more to him than material things. But I was reminded that day that you don’t have to panic when something unexpected happens. (Not that I haven’t panicked myself plenty of times.)

You don’t have to let the house burn down over a little grease fire! Don’t let your relationships end or even smolder over a solvable problem. I’ve seen a lot of relationships "go up in smoke" because people panicked when they could have sought a solution from God.

It may be a job relationship or it may be a marriage, or parenting, or dating, or perhaps a friendship or a relationship with an extended family member, a neighbor, or even someone you go to church with may be difficult to live with at times. There’s something negative about a relationship and its eating away at you. What do you do about it?

Often, you’re tempted to respond in ways that really aren’t going to make your life any better. Temptation is meant to do that by the way. When your faith is tested - your faith in God or your faith in someone you love – opportunities present themselves for you to do things that aren’t going to be in your best long-term interest.

How can you react in such a way that things will get better? And the good news is – God’s Word does give us valuable advice for improving our relationships. Follow the Word and things get better. Sometimes the difficult person will get better – if not – at least your attitude will get better.

Today we’re going to address the problem of what to do when someone you love is unlovable.

Maybe you fell in love with your husband before you found out he isn’t as excited about your “things to do around the house” list as you are. Or you didn’t know he was going to be so grouchy when he got home from work – or fill in the blank.

But the fact that you love him means he does have some redeeming qualities. Your job is just going to be a little harder than you thought it was. You’re going to have to put some thought into it. When you were dating getting along with other seemed effortless. But now you realize that it takes some work to have a successful relationship. Don’t be afraid to work at it. Relationships are worth working on! It takes effort.

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