Ep. 129 Why Close Relationships Become Hard Relationships

Shows Main Idea – All relationships run the risk of disappointing you. The closer you get to a person, the more you will know about them, which is a set up for disappointment. The Bible has a solution to this problem.

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Show Notes

Two Key Resources

  1. The Doctrine Of Repentance
  2. How To Have Redemptive Communication

Infographic

Potential Disappointing Relationships

All relationships run the risk of disappointing you. And it does not matter what you know or how you interact with people. Our mutual fallenness leads to this universal fact: the closer you get to a person, the more you’ll be disappointed by them. Here are a few of those relational contexts.

  • Husband and wife
  • Parents and children
  • Siblings
  • Church friends
  • Workmates
  • Friends

Safer Relational Constructs

  • Dating
  • Cyber
  • Distance

The better you know them, the more you’ll experience their imperfections, which is why we’re all tempted to present “our representative” to others, that carefully edited person we hope they will find acceptable. The obvious problem in view here is with sin, which always brings division between people while tempting us to hide our authentic selves.

If you do not respond to sin biblically, you may yield to the temptation of creating “pockets of silence” in your relationships; you will start withholding information from those you should be closer to you. In time, you’ll start distancing yourself from those people.

For example, some spouses share more information about themselves with their friends than they do with their spouses. Cyber relationships are similar. The ultimate danger is that you may find someone else to build a relationship with because of the perceived openness and honesty that you have with them.

  • If you push those relationships far enough, you will commit adultery.
  • You may disdain your closer relationships because of the perceived “wonderfulness” of your new relationship.
  • You could fall into the “cyber trap” where you enjoy distant relationships more than those who live with you.

If you succumb to these temptations long enough, you will find out that your “new friends” are fallen too. And if you build a relationship with them in the real world, you’ll be in a familair boat in five to ten years.

How Transparent Should I Be?

Should I reveal everything to my spouse? Should I share my buried secrets and struggles with my spouse? Yes, no, and maybe. It depends on the maturity of your spouse. Jesus withheld information from many people due to relationship, maturity, and purpose.

  • The better question is whether you are willing to be honest and transparent with those closest to you.
  • You should have someone that you’re building with transparently. If it can’t be with your spouse, it must be with a competent mentor of the same gender.

The Bible’s Solution

  • Ironically, most Christians do not have a “sin plan,” a “way” of getting rid of their sin.
  • The Christian life is repentance (salvation) and ongoing repenting (sanctification).
  • Learning and practicing the “doctrine of repentance” is one of the most important things you can do as a follower of Christ.
  • And learning and practicing biblical koinonia is as essential as the doctrine of repentance.
  • If you want to do a deep dive into repentance and communication, check out the two linked resources at the top of these show notes.
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