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Steps to Stronger Relationships-Part 2

Last week I posted on relationships and how relationships go 2 ways. It takes at least 2 people wanting a relationship and doing what it takes to form the relationship for there to actually be relationship. You can read that post here.

I want to unpack something that I’ve learned (and continue to learn) about living with satisfying relationships-from hubby to my kiddos to friends to acquaintances.

J.S.Family.2014-14

In order for me to allow others to be who they are, I have to be OK with who I am.

No one alive is going to be just like me.  Or like you.  If we try to change people to be who we want them to be, our relationship won’t get off the ground.  But it’s almost impossible to be gracious with others’ less than desirable quirks if we refuse to acknowledge our own dysfunction!  When I began to be real about my own issues and struggles and taking steps to be a better person myself, I became much more understanding of everyone else being on their own journey, having their own path to walk towards being an overcomer.

We are the only person that we can change.

I can’t change my hubby, my kiddos, my coworkers, my friends-I can’t change anyone but myself.  So why waste energy and life trying to?

Have you ever heard the saying that you can’t take someone where you haven’t been? I think it’s equally true that you can’t love others well until you love yourself well. After all, Jesus commanded us to love those around us in the same way that we love ourselves!

If we can’t accept the way that God created us, can’t accept both the strengths and weaknesses we’re born with, can’t receive forgiveness and grace that is extended to us, and can’t fully live in every moment, how are we ever going to be able to love others when they need us to extend grace, love and forgiveness toward them?

Until we learn to live in grace and freedom ourselves in the midst of not always getting it right, we won’t extend grace and freedom to others very well either.


What have you learned in your relationships that has made them better?  I’d love to hear!

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