Avoiding Relationship Failure

Relationships come in many shapes and sizes. From intensely deep to causal. No matter the relationship—the concept of preferring one another always applies.

This morning as I was preparing a word for a friend whose marring later today, the Lord dropped the word preference into my heart, along with Romans 12:10,

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Following is a re-post of a blog written about this time last year. This concept is timeless. Pleaseenjoy and apply!

Just the other day, I had a great conversation with a young bride to be. I was reminded of an amazing concept the Lord deposited in my heart years ago regarding relationships.

This approach to relationships is especially ideal when it comes to marriage.

Before I share this amazing secret with you, let me ask you a question. What do you think is the leading cause of any relationship malfunction and divorce?

Granted, I’m no expert but what God has shown me, is that selfishness and pride are the number one culprits of relationship failure.

I call it, “The Me factor.”

The secret  to relationships is “Preference.” Defined as: to value more highly, to hold before or above; and to give priority to.

Our example is found in Jesus. At the cross He preferred you and me. He knew it would be a brutal endeavor to go through, yet He chose God’s will over His. (Luke 22:42)

The concept unfolds as this—if each person in the relationship/marriage prefers and thinks more highly of the other, caring for the needs of the other person over their own needs, then all needs will be met.

Living a life of preference takes the focus off of our self; what I want—what I need and puts the emphasis on the other person in the relationship. We move out of the selfishness of concentrating on our own wants, needs and desires and tune into what will bless the other person.

Is this an easy way to live? No.

Why? Because in order to be like Jesus we must die daily—we must decrease so He can increase.

The fear to this lifestyle is; what if the other person in the relationship doesn’t want to live a preferring life style? What about Me? How will my needs be met?

Valid concern. The answer—Jesus.

Since He really is, the only one who should or could, complete, fulfill or meet our needs—then He is the answer.

This was a difficult concept to grasp, mainly because it opposed my flesh. But once I submitted to the Lord in thisit changed my life, not to mention all my relationships!

In my marriage I stopped choking the life out of my husband trying to get him to meet my every need. Essentially I discovered that Jesus really is enough for me.

This concept brings freedom. It frees you to go deeper in relationship with God, making Him all you need. It frees you to love others, love your spouse, parents, children and siblings without putting the heavy burden of meeting your needs on them. Basically you are free to love without unreasonable expectations on either party.

I have found such joy and depth in my relationship with God since He asked me to live life in this manner of preference.

I invite you to go deeper. To relinquish your wants, needs and desires to God and let Him be “The One” to complete you. You seriously won’t be sorry—just free. Free to love and be loved!

6 thoughts on “Avoiding Relationship Failure

  1. Wow!!! Amazing. So good, so true and so hard 🙂 but the payoff is life changing. Thank you, love you!

    Jennifer Barth Sent from my iPhone4

  2. Oh Regina,

    This is so good!

    I was raised in this manner of preferring others above oneself. It was a common theme in our household while growing up. Unfortunately, my husbands family was not raised like this. I remember when I first got married I would give the best steak to my husband, the best fruit, the best side of the bed, the best … you name it, I gave it. I was caring for his needs over my own. But it didn’t take long before I realized things were really lopsided and he was not reciprocating. In fact, he didn’t even notice my I was putting him first, always taking second best, the left overs for myself. My gifts of love were being wasted, or so I thought. Not only that but now my needs were not being met. I was living for myself (Ironic choice of words here) and not for the Lord. Instead of going to the Lord (because I didn’t really have a relationship with him) I tried talking to my husband about this but he really didn’t get it. I decided I was going to have to look out for myself because he certainly wasn’t going to. He didn’t even have a clue (!!!) and so that’s exactly what I did. That was a decision that changed my life and the life of my family as it was then and the family that was yet to come. Lost was the beautiful unselfish freedom I had grown up with. In came a spirit of poverty that bound my life with pain and sorrow. In came dissatisfaction, and a critical heart that noticed each and every time I was slighted. I was locked in a world of pettiness that seemed to grow faster and faster with each and every year. Even after I came back to the Lord, this was not remedied right away.

    One day, many, many years later, I was enrolled in a course at church. One of the suggested reading materials was this book called ‘The Bait of Satan’ by John Bevere. WOW! I realized this huge selfish monster had become a monsterously nasty ball of offense. I was this big old offense sitting in the flow of traffic just waiting for someone to offend me. And let me tell you, many were happy to oblige. It was through this book that I was released from this prison I had built. After some time it became clear that the beginning of this root of bondage was tied directly to the decision I made as a young married woman that if I didn’t look after myself no one else would.

    Regina, you have put this amazing concept into words. What a beautiful gift to give to us!

    I love you girl and hope to see you this fall Lord willing.

    1. Dee Dee,
      So good to hear from you! Thank you and thank God, for His insight and amazing love! Yes offence is a silent killer rotting from the inside out. It’s so good to understand that offence is a choice!
      Love you!

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