Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's A Category In The Card Store

Motionless, the greeting card label stirred my heart.  

Relief and sadness mingled together in my soul when I unexpectedly glanced upon the greeting card category "Difficult Relationship" in the card store as I was looking for an encouragement card for a friend.  I took a physical step backwards and breathed an audible sigh.  A "Difficult Relationship".  Most of us have one, I thought.  

Comforting me in one sense, this unassuming card sorter confirmed I am not the only one ~ there is even a greeting card category for it!  And yet the card distinction brought a twinge of heartache to me as well wishing that it wasn't so common among people such that it sustained a niche in the greeting card industry.  

Who wants a difficult relationship?  I imagine nobody does.  I know I don't. 

Thank you, Lord, for any one difficult relationship, there are many other vibrant, healthy and God-honoring friendships!

And there is {HOPE} and  {JOY} as we allow the Lord to use a difficult relationship as a precious threshing floor for our hearts.

This I know:

A difficult relationship does not define me.  His love defines me.  {HOPE}

A difficult relationship will refine me.  His truth refines me.  {JOY}

I won't pretend for a moment to write from a place of victory here, if victory in a difficult relationship is defined as settled, restored, united in truth and love. That may not happen this side of heaven, though my heart desires peace and has pursued it diligently.

The victory for me is in the surrendering of my own heart to Him to further mold and shape my-sometimes-bristly-self into His image, even when He uses a difficult relationship as the tool.  (That makes me want to hug that difficult-relationship person!!!)

My fingers can't type on this computer screen some quick-fix solutions for difficult relationships. I do not possess them.

But my hands can daily open His Word that commands all honorable responses, gives me eternal perspective and faithfully judges the attitudes and motives of my own heart (Hebrews 4:12) as I yield to His truths.  We are His possession.  Letting Him have His way with my own heart through the washing of the water of His Word is my comfort, my victory, MY ALLELUIA! 

"This is my comfort...Your word has given me life." 
Psalm 119:50

And look...I love that "Difficult Relationship" is pillowed between "Hope" and "Encouragement". 

What scriptures do you go for guidance in a difficult relationship?

Share a scripture here and you may win two of my favorite things ~ cute note cards and an excellent book! 

"A sweet friendship refreshes the soul..."
Proverbs 27:9
I am thankful for refreshing friendships!!!

When my children were babies, God used this book (given to me by a sweet friend) written by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes to change my heart and my life and get me back into His Word every day.  This will always be a favorite book of mine!

Just leave a comment with a relationship scripture that you love (be sure to leave your contact information).  Winner will be announced Monday 1/30/12.  Comments welcome until then!  Let's spur one another on!

Here are a few of my favorite scriptures:

"Do everything in love."
1 Corinthians 16:14

"...grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
John 1:17

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:1-3

"For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?  And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." ~ Matthew 5:46-48

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus..."
Phil. 2:3-5

"But this is what the LORD says...
'I will contend with those who contend with you,
and your children I will save.'"
Isaiah 49:25

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..."
Matthew 5:44


Kayla Turner said...

Colossians 3:12-13a, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another…” (ESV)

Leslie Ann MartinezCoursen said...

Psalms 133 "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."

Lisa said...

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV

Jodie said...

Hi Sharon,
Jeremiah 32:27 "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?".
In going thru a difficult situation with a friend, I asked the Lord to help me love her & forgive her thru His eyes. The portion I needed from Him is His love & mercy because on my own I couldn't do it. Nothing is too hard for Him, nothing. Our relationship is restored, PTL!
I really enjoy your site and reading your posts. What enticed me is the name of your blog. I attended a Beth Moore conference a few years back where she talked on "coming to His table" and it witnessed to my spirit and has just been there, like a tiny seed. Thru scriptures I've read this year, the Lord is bidding me to come to His table to feed on His faithfulness and rest in His word. I look forward to being filled & satisfied in Him.
Blessings on your day. ~Jodie

Anonymous said...

Romans 12:10 "Love each other more deeply. Honor others more than yourselves."

Genesis said...

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

~*tarie*~ said...

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish , neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:27-28

I am in one of these difficult relationships and its SUCH a comfort to know that even if everyone in my life leaves me, the Lord will NOT!!! No one can pluck me out of HIS hand.

Stephanie W said...

1 Peter 3:1-2 NLT

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.

Christina said...

1 Peter 2:19-24 (in thinking of a relationship where we suffer emtionally, wrongfuly, whether in one instance or over a length of time) vs 19, For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully...vs 20b, but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is aceptable with God. vs 21, For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: vs 23, Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not...

And I am comforted by this verse...1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your cares upon Him, for careth for you."

arms outstretched said...

If you and the 'difficult' person in the relationship were in a blizzard with only a blanket to shield you from the cold could you hand it to them that the light of Christ might shine on warmly in them? If not how could you expect a single thread in return.

Matthew 25:35-40
"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ "The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’"

Janet said...

Phil. 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Kristy said...

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of you mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that is may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29

I have failed at this so many times in a difficult relationship. Then really reading this verse I have been greatly convicted. I didn't use foul language or was spitefully try to hurt this paticular friend, but I was more concerned with getting my point across that I never stop to think if it would benefit the person who is listening. I believe that if someone cannot accept what you are saying then that is the time to step away and let the Holy Spirit do His job instead of trying to get the other person to see what I see... Even if you are right. Sometimes it will benefit them, but if they are not ready to accept whatever it may be you could be doing more harm then good. God has been teaching me to keep my mouth shut until He prompts me to speak in these situations. Sometimes He will have us speak and it might not be taken well, but it is when we keep going on wanting the other person to see our side and get all tangled up in a battle of words. Who does that benefit? I think the enemy is ultimatly who that benefits...

Tina said...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your paths straight. Prov 3 vs 5-6

Ginny weaver said...

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is be certain of what we hope for and believing in what we do not see.

Sharon Sloan said...

I love these verses everyone! Keep them coming!!

Dear Arms Outstretched ~ I would absolutely give the blanket in a blizzard! With God's love and grace, there's be no other way. For His glory only!


Modern Day Disciple said...

I love that you have Psalm 119:50 over all! Wonderful! I am doing a Psalms 119 Challenge at my Blog...I was going to say Ephesians 4:29., but see it is already here.
So one that helps me when I am focused on the injustice, unfairness etc. of a difficult relationship is Colossians 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus...and Zephaniah :
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Appreciate this post! In His Grace, Dawn

Anonymous said...

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
I know the father holds me and molds me and sometimes the molding HURTS! But I will continue to hold to him...thru it all.

Jen said...

I just want to say thanks for this blog. I found it right after your last post and it was an encouragement I needed to hear. With that, I have just loved what God has shown me this past week about silence. My favorite chapter of the Bible, Lamentations 3, verses 28-29.
"Let them sit alone in silence
beneath the LORD’s demands.
Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last."

WOAH! I have read that a ton of times and never taken to heart the part about being silent.

This is the scripture I currently have posted up in my room about relationships, "All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him." 2 Samuel 14:14

Tami said...

"I know the plans I have for you"declares the Lord,"plans to prosper you&not to harm you,plans to give you hope&afuture!"
The best relationship quote for me:Jeremiah29:eleven.
God bless

Strong & Courageous said...

Psalm 31:1-2
O Lord, I have come to You for protection; don't let me be disgraced. Save me for You do what is right. Turn Your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of procection, a fortress where I will be safe.
I want to note here, though, I do not expect God to swoop down and take me from a troubled relationship - "...rescue me quickly..." because of this verse, though I find comfort because he is " rock of protection..."

Nena said...

I know it's already been posted, but Romans 8:28 has sustained me through many a trial, difficult relationships included. It is my life verse!!
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." :O)

Daphne Steed said...

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Thank you!!!
Daphne Steed