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Building Better Relationships — Week 1 Reflections

July 18, 2006

We started a new ladies Bible study at church this morning. It’s Building Better Relationships: How to Put Love Into Action by Bobbie Yagel.

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Today we covered the first chapter, “Building Right Relationships,” and a lot of time was spent discussing what a “right relationship” is. Many of the women in the group talked about equal partnerships, give and take, sharing of burdens, etc. But the author defined a right relationship as an open-armed approach to everyone, regardless of how that person treats you. She cited Romans 12:18 — “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (emphasis mine).

So she was saying that a right relationship is where you maintain a healthy attitude and act in love toward others, regardless of whether or not they respond positively (or at all). This struck a chord with me; I have recently come to peace with a certain troubled family relationship.

I can say with all honesty that I have done everything within my power to act in love and reach out to this individual (and I will continue to do so) but it no longer bothers me when my efforts do not effect a change in his heart. And to be honest, that change is what brought me peace — when I stopped acting in love because I wanted a response and started acting in love because it reflected how I felt. I think that is the key to a right relationship.

I’m looking forward to the remainder of this Bible study, and I plan to blog about it to help me retain and reflect on what I’ve read and discussed. Next week’s topic is Loving Our Neighbors.

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