Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we discuss the compensations for being part of incomplete relationships.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Compensation for Incomplete Relationships
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time, but if we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us." First John, Verse 12
Brothers and sisters, relationships are difficult to harmonize. Inevitably conflicts arise from the pressure of both partners to change the other. Pressure to change stems from the fact that there are genuine differences between the two. Sometimes the differences are so extreme that they cannot be reconciled; other times the differences are such that they impair the tranquility of one or both persons. So begin those interminable efforts and various techniques designed to change the other person. The techniques range from a simple demand that the other change to more subtle acts of manipulation and coercion. Though unfair, coercion and manipulation can provide a measure of temporary relief for the one engaged in such conduct; however, it does nothing to bring about a harmonious change in the relationship itself. The net result of this aggressive behavior is increased hostility.
The greatest conflicts occur when two individuals decide to marry. At the time of most unions, conflicts are not as evident due to the enhanced romantic feelings overshadowing them——a certain amount of tolerance is evident because of the narcotizing effect of romance. Marriage has been likened by some to anesthetizing dogs and cats and tying them together by their tails. All goes well as long as they are anesthetized, but when they wake up and discover they are tied together, there is little calm.
It is true that two rough stones that are rubbed together over time will become smooth outwardly, but such changes are superficial. The deep core of the stones remains unchanged. And sometimes the stones are not made smooth but disintegrate when rubbed. In material terms, this may represent the friction that destroys the relationship altogether. We should move away from ineffective methods of bringing harmony into our relationships.
We all recognize that some adjustments need to be made in relationships--be they marriage relationships or any other kind. We all crave harmonious relationships. We may come to understand that when a needed adjustment in a relationship calls for the character growth of one or both parties, no intellectual force, coercion, or persuasion can bring about that growth. This type of change occurs within the moral and spiritual realms. Since character resides at the very center of our being, superficial methods, like manipulation and demand, will not work. Even the desire to compromise can often be derailed by a lack of sufficient moral and spiritual character development. One or both parties may simply lack the capacity to compromise in this instance.
We are created as incomplete human beings, which is the cause of disharmony. The good news is that only incomplete beings can grow and develop. By developing our spiritual natures, we can escape the disharmony of being incomplete. The Father has commanded us to be complete, to be perfect as he is. We must cease using physical or intellectual force, or any kind of coercion or manipulation to bring about even laudable goals.
We must remember the way of love: "Love endures long and is kind; love is not jealous; love is not out for display; It is not conceited or unmannerly; it is neither self-seeking nor irritable; nor does it take account of wrong that is suffered. It takes no pleasure in injustice but sides happily with truth. It bears everything in silence, has unquenchable faith, hopes under all circumstances, endures without limits. Love never fails."
We must apply the appropriate remedy for the solution to these problems of disharmony: we must stop trying to change the other person and begin working on ourselves. We must decide to do the Father’’s will. We must concern ourselves only with perfecting our relationship with him. When we work to be complete ourselves, we may gain insight into the character maladjustments of another person. Then we may be able to understand what divine value our partner might need. If, say, we have come to incorporate patience as part of our character, we might practice being patient with an inpatient partner. Such a display makes an appeal——although unconscious——to the other person, eventually causing him to desire patience. In fact, the partner begins to desire to do the Father’’s will.
By concentrating on perfecting our relationship with the heavenly Father as the Spirit of Truth empowers us, the tendency to focus on the character maladjustment of another lessens. We are filled with the Father’’s love and mercy. We realize that all of us--the Father’’s children--enjoy various degrees of spiritual maturity. Further, conflict within a relationship due to both parties’’ lack of maturity causes us to seek for a harmonious and complete relationship with one who can actually provide it. This we have control over. As our desire to be in perfect relationship with the heavenly Father grows, our incompleteness gives way to completeness as we become perfected in the Father’’s love. And having perfected this relationship on the inside, we delight in displaying this perfected relationship to our brothers and sisters. And what a glorious sight to behold: the perfected revelation of the Father’’s love.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of compensation for incomplete relationships. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry