Real Relationships Comes Through Your Differences
By Rick Warren
— February 21, 2011
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 (NIV)
"God made you different so you can complement each other, complete each other, and strengthen each other."
(Tom Holladay is a teaching pastor at Saddleback Church and author of The Relationship Principles of Jesus.)
It’s easy to talk about relationships when everything is going great, but what do you do when things are headed in the wrong direction? How do you turn around a relationship?
God created love in relationships and made us to live in relationship with each other. His advice and direction for relationships can make a real difference. This week I will take you through five specific things from God’s Word that you can do to begin to turn things around in your relationships.
One of our greatest frustrations is when we don’t see things the way someone else sees them. Differences can be a cause of great delight at times, but they can also cause a lot of agony.
You need to realize that God has made you different and then thank him for your differences.
From the very beginning of the Bible, God created us differently, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 NIV). Men and women are different physically, but also in the way we work, think, shop, even watch TV – we do everything differently. And we should rejoice in those differences.
If two people agree on everything, one of them isn’t necessary in that relationship. The fact is that God has put you in a relationship – be it marriage or a good friendship – where you probably look at life differently from each other or have different backgrounds. Because of that, you each bring things to the relationship that could not be there otherwise.
God made you different so you can complement each other, complete each other, and strengthen each other.
As today’s verse says, “Accept one another then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7 NIV). When you accept each other for your differences, it not only helps your relationship, it brings praise to God. Why? Because you’re accepting the fact that God made you different so you can learn from each other and grow in relationship to each other.
That’s the starting point for turning your relationships around – thank God for your differences.