Lutheran Church Extension Fund

"You Might Be in Trouble If..." Relational Edition!

Reading time: two minutes. The Lutheran Wellness Wheel serves as a nice tool for doing the “scan” of personal or congregational wellness.  A quick look at the eight aspects of wellbeing can help us answer the question, “How am I doing?” before trouble or dis-ease come along. The Church of Jesus is nothing more than relationships around the cross of Jesus.  When the Lord returns, He’s coming only to get the people.  Nothing else matters. While there are dozens of indicators that a relationship is in need of attention, I’ll suggest three obvious symptoms in this week’s blog: impatience, distance and pettiness.  Let’s take a brief look as a way of sensing if our most important relationships need our attention! Impatience with the imperfect person to whom I am married is essentially a lack of grace.  If Christian relationships are centered in the love and grace of Jesus, they are to be marked by forgiving grace.  That’s patience.  Intimacy breeds familiarity which is good.  Impatience is a failure to forgive as I have been forgiven. Distance is a break down of the intimacy that should exist between a husband and wife It may be a response to a feeling of being hurt or slighted.  It’s a couple of “Me’s” existing where there should be a “We.” Pettiness is making a big thing out of a small thing.  When taking out the trash or picking up the dirty socks becomes a burden greater to bear than the value we place on unity in marriage, something is out of balance. What I sense that these three all have in common is a de-valuing of the other person.  People whom I cherish, respect and admire can get away with just about anything.  I can have a tremendous capacity to be patient with someone that means the world to me.  My grandchildren are a good example. In the same way, I’m always finding ways to be closest to the people that I value the most.  I just won’t let an emotional distance form between us.  And little, petty things can’t come between the really big, important people in my life. So how can we keep the important people in our lives, beginning with our spouses, in the primary, most valuable person position that they deserve? The gospel of Jesus is central to all Spirit-led relationships.  We love and forgive the way that Christ loved us.  All of our relationships in one manner or another reflect the relationship that we have with God through the love of Christ.  Remembering (together!) how good God has been to us will teach us to cherish one another, just as Christ loved the Church. So we pray for one another, take time for one another, and thank God for one another, in spite of our failures and faults, because He first loved us with an even greater undeserved kindness. A pedestal is not a bad place to put your spouse.  Lift her/him up a little bit today.  It’s a good thing when both of you think you got the better part of the deal! Thanks for reading. Do you serve in a multiple staff setting in a church, Lutheran school, university or social service ministry?  Discover how a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop can help enhance your team ministry by building the unity, spiritual life and communication essential to partnership in ministry.  Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman for more information.