Stresses in Relationships

“Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God.” Psalm 56:12

Some non-Christians are honest enough these days not to have their wedding in a church. They do not believe, as David did, that God exists and that they are accountable to Him for the vows they make. However, this will not remove their accountability before God. Some non-Christian couples choose a church wedding in which vows are made to a God in whom they do not believe.

The sad thing is that all too often Christians do not accept responsibility for the vows they have made. We may make many vows and promises throughout our lives but how we manage them will reveal our character. Beginning with our relationship to God in Jesus Christ, relationships are the most important things in life.

When (not ‘if’) stress comes into a relationship the character of each person in that relationship will be tested and revealed. Like a rolling giant ice-berg that which is beneath the surface will be exposed. This is something we work hard to avoid but that God works to achieve.

The ungodly may renege on their vows in order to seek respite from that stress. When a Christian does the same it is still an ungodly act, perhaps more so, because they have, in Christ, the resources to not only work through the problem but come out with an even stronger relationship.

When strife in a relationship appears it is not God’s intention that we break the relationship. Instead it is so that we can mend the underlying but previously hidden problem. This is true in all relationships be it marital, parental, family, business and in the church. We cannot mend a relationship when we don’t see the problem or we don’t want to see the problem.

It is one of the gracious actions of God that He intervenes to expose our relational difficulties because then He can begin to correct our thinking and ways. He will go to great lengths to achieve this, if necessary, but we will need to work with Him if He is to have any measure of success.

In this way crises reveal our character – what we are made of. Character is developed by making moral choices. In the case of relationships it is never morally right to run away from a relationship because of a problem. The problem will always go with us to other relationships.

The Bible shows us the way to put things right and God is always willing and able to cleanse us and renew us in our minds. Wrong thinking produces wrong behaviour which in turn produces problems in relationships. God is working in us to correct our relational problems but we must work with Him. He will not change us against our will.

The most vital and important relationship is our relationship to Jesus Christ. All other relationships have their origin and foundation in that one.

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