A couple of years ago, my elementary-aged daughter was outside playing with some new neighborhood friends. I gave her some rules for where she was allowed to go, but shortly after, I watched as she went way farther than I had permitted. Initially, I was upset at what felt like blatant disobedience. It had only been a couple of minutes since I told her the rules, and her behavior felt personal. I didn’t know these new friends or their families, and to see my daughter just walk off with them was shocking. When I got her back home, my instinct was to get upset, but I chose to calmly explain why the rule was made in the first place.
This weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder taught us that we should focus on FIGHTING FOR our family instead of FIGHTING WITH them. Although we may win the fight, he said we could lose the relationship. Relationships live or die when trust is built or broken, so Ben outlined some things we do that can break trust. Two of the things he mentioned were things I was very tempted to do during my situation: take things personally and correct in anger.
Luckily that day, I had time to consider my reaction and chose a better path—I corrected in love and recognized why my rules were so quickly forgotten. (She was caught up in the excitement of being with new friends.) In a moment that could have been handled from only emotions, I was fortunate enough to have the clarity to treat it with delicacy and forgiveness. Because of my calm demeanor, my daughter was able to rest in a trusting relationship and learn from her mistake, instead of feeling shame and distancing herself from me. As a parent, I don’t always get it right, but this choice felt good, and it built trust between the two of us.
We serve a relationship-driven God. He cares about our relationship with him, and our relationships with others. When Jesus stayed at the house of two sisters, Mary and Martha, Mary spent her time sitting with and listening to Jesus. Martha, on the other hand, spent her time preparing dinner while growing resentful of Mary for not doing her share of the work. She complained to Jesus, who replied, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).
When we value relationships over being right, our relationships grow closer. No matter where we are or where we have been, today, let’s make a decision to focus on building trust. Over the next four days, we are going to focus on ways to achieve just that.
Which relationship of yours comes to mind when considering the weekend message? How can you build trust? What trust-breaking habits can you be more cognizant of?
Take a moment to read John 8:1-11. Pay attention to how Jesus treated the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Think of the ways he built trust instead of breaking it.
Dear Jesus, you are the perfect example of how to love someone. It is so amazing that you want me to be in relationship with you! As I continue to grow in trusting you, help me to recognize how I can build trust in my relationships. Let me look to you for guidance and model how you built trust with people when they were in difficult situations. Help me to love others more like you do. Fill me with your love so that it may overflow into the lives of those around me. Amen.
This post was written by Ashlee Grosjean. Ashlee is a blogger at GratefulSheep.com and a stay-at-home mom and wife. She loves writing for this team, and she hopes to help convey God’s message through this study.
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