Building Redemptive Relationships
By Jennifer Slattery
“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. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” Romans 8:28-29
I’m learning my desire to “fix” problems, especially those pertaining to those I love, can do more harm than good. I inevitably get in God’s way and I miss out on amazing teaching opportunities.
God is more concerned with what goes on within an individual than any decision they might make or solution they might work out.
God often uses our struggles to bring about His greatest and deepest work.
He reminded me of this truth the week before Easter. My daughter and her fiancé were dealing with some tough stuff. Initially, I focused on the situation, trying to process the best course of action.
But I sensed God saying, “This is a good thing. A learning opportunity for them.”
So, setting aside my “fix-it” tool belt, I planned a picnic for my daughter, her future fiancé, and my husband. Together, we simply talked. We addressed tough issues, shared thoughts and feelings, and honestly solved nothing.
But built bridges of trust and demonstrated healthy dialogue. Knowing how to persevere through relational tension and hold hard conversations with love and truth will impact her future marriage more than nearly any decision she and her boyfriend make.
It’s easy to believe the current problem is the problem. But God’s vision goes so much deeper. Scripture says He uses all things for our good (Rom. 8:38)—to mold us into the likeness of His Son (Rom. 8:39).
God’s goal is never behavior modification. He initiates transformation.
This is what it means to create redemptive relationships.
My role isn’t to convince or connive or save, but to point others to Jesus, to demonstrate what it looks like to lean on Him, and to trust Him to indeed work all things in my loved one’s lives for their good.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is a multipublished author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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Originally published Wednesday, 23 October 2019.