" Nursing a wounded heart today, I am wondering why relationships can be so difficult and painful. Through an unending river of tears, I am crying for a relationship that is at this moment very wounded. I am contemplating that fine line between distancing myself to protect from further pain with that of taking care not to put up walls around my heart thus keeping others from getting too close. I know that His wisdom and guidance must direct me, not my raw emotions.
In the past, I have had to distance myself from relationships in order to protect that relationship from deteriorating even more. The sad result, however, is always a feeling of loss because when it’s not whole, it doesn’t feel valued or even real. Through my current pain, I am trying to examine my heart, and the heart of man in general, to understand a bit more about how to deal with relationships with respect to our Christian walks. Why are relationships so difficult? Why do I seem to be so completely devastated when a relationship takes a turn for the worst?
I believe relationships are difficult for several reasons. First, God created us for communion with Him and with one another, but that communion was broken in the Garden. The communion between both God with man and man with man (or woman) was forever changed by that first sinful act. Though Jesus paid the price for us on the cross, until He returns, creating a new heaven and a new earth, we will continue to live in a fallen world. Perhaps this is why broken relationships are so painful; because God didn’t create us for broken relationships.
The Bible makes it clear that no one is good (Luke 18:19, Psalm 14:2-3, Romans 3:10), and that our hearts are evil (Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 15:19). Though we become new creations when we belong to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), the flesh and the spirit still war within us (Romans 7:15). Though Christ has redeemed us by His blood, until His return and restoration, we are fallen man struggling in a fallen world.
How then do we move forward so that we walk in a manner worthy of the Lord?
First, we need to realize that strained relationships may be trials that God can use for our growth (James 1:2).
Secondly, we need to be aware that sometimes our battles are not with flesh and blood, but may be a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12).
Thirdly, as we have all experienced at one time or another, other fallen humans will always let us down eventually. When we put our hope and trust in fallen relationships with fallen people, eventually those relationships will fall.
Perhaps the most important truth to realize in moving forward is that God is the only One who will never fail us, leave us, or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). There are times when we do need to protect ourselves from truly dangerous or dysfunctional relationships, but I know that God does not desire that we put walls around our hearts and keep others out in order to protect ourselves from the possibility of future pain (Galatians 6:2).
I think the key is relying on Him to fulfill that relationship that He created us for. When He alone fills our needs, we are then free to trust and let others in. Trusting Him allows us to lower our expectations of others. When our hopes, dreams, desires, needs, and wants are met in Him and Him alone, others are freed from being that hope to us.
Let us look to Christ to be everything to us. Perhaps then the relationships that we hold so dear will hurt a little less when they take an unexpected turn."