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  • Six Steps Towards Whole Relationships Part 2

    6 Steps Towards Whole Relationships, Part 2

    Brett Vaden

    Dear Students,

    Our culture often gives us very poor models for whole relationships. Be it with co-workers, teammates, spouses, and especially with idealogical/political opponents, we our shown a dismal demonstration of how to pursue healthy relationships, or even to communicate civilly.

    6 Steps Toward Relational Wholeness, Part 2

    By Krassotkin (derivative), Gage Skidmore (Donald Trump), Gage Skidmore (Hillary Clinton) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

    As Christians, we are empowered to bridge relational divides unlike any other group or society (Eph. 2:13-16). In Christ, there is not Greek and Jew, black and white, or Republican and Democrat. Nothing separates Christians from each other, unless we force the separation and resist the unity Jesus has given us.

    In your life, has something happened between you and another person, causing you to resist the relationship? Maybe you feel blocked and you don’t know why. Maybe you’re unclear. How can you find clarity to move past the block?

    Last time, we gave you four steps to take towards clarity:

    1. Clarify the facts about what happened. (e.g., When I was stating my opinion, he repeated 5 or 6 times, “Wrong.”)
    2. Clarify you’re judgments about what happened. (e.g., I thought he was trying to make me look bad.)
    3. Clarify what you feel about what happened. (e.g., I felt angry.)
    4. Clarify what you need to own about what happened. (e.g., I own that I was trying to make him look bad.)

    And now we’ll share the final two steps.

    5. Clarify what you want.

    What do you want from this person? Do you want them to own what they did? Do you want them to change in some way? Or, maybe you want them to give you something: forgiveness, acceptance, love.

    Example: “I want him to welcome others’ voices into the conversation. I want him to accept me by valuing my voice. I also want him to forgive me for trying to make him look bad.”

    6. Communicate with the other person.

    “One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood” – attributed to Seneca

    It may be that, after you’ve gained clarity by following the steps above, you need to share some of it with the other person.

    I say “some,” because “all” might not be helpful. You’ll have to use the discernment and wisdom afforded to you.

    But, it can be a very beautiful thing to open your heart to a friend you’ve felt distanced from. What do you need to openly communicate with the other person, if anything?

    If you take this step, be sure to invite the same openness from him or her.

    Shoulder to Shoulder,
    The 3:14 Team

    The six-step model we’re sharing here is from Bob Hudson, creator of Men at the Cross and Women at the Cross, a weekend experience designed to help men and women become more present to who they are, to connect with others, and to connect more intimately with God.