Distance. Resentment. Avoidance. Relationships can be difficult. We want to love our family, our neighbors, and our coworkers well, but sometimes things goes wrong and we find ourselves tearing down the very relationships we were trying to build. Are we doomed to repeat this cycle forever?
For most of us, certain unhealthy reactions feel natural and even inevitable. Unconsciously, we cling to what 1 Peter 1:18 calls the “empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.” But you are not doomed to repeat this cycle, according to William P. Smith in his latest book, Loving Well. (New Growth Press February 2012)
“ Jesus came to redeem his people from such things. The destructive relationship patterns you learned before you met Christ no longer need to control how you live and interact with others.” states Smith. “Instead, you can exchange the empty ways for new ones that promote deep unity and peacefulness—patterns that create satisfying and God-honoring relationships. A rich, practical relationship with Jesus enables you to develop rich, practical relationships with others in spite of your brokenness and theirs. Through Christ, you no longer have to do what you have always done. In short, you can learn to love well.”
William P. Smith, M.Div., Ph.D., is the director of counseling at Chelten Baptist Church, Dresher, Pa., the author of the book Caught Off Guard: Encounters with the Unexpected God; and the minibooks How Do I Stop Losing It with My Children?; How to Love Difficult People?; Should We Get Married?; Starting Over; When Bad Things Happen; and Who Should I Date?.