78 divorcedEver sat with a person headed for divorce? Long before the ‘D word’ was uttered, the marriage was over.

Long over.

It happens much the same way every time. “Spouse A” takes offense at something said or done, or unsaid or undone by “Spouse B”.

“A” pulls back, subtly shifting the architecture of the relationship.

Noticing, “B” responds.

And this changes the architecture some more.

As “A” discovers more offenses “A” shifts further away from intimacy with “B”.  “Spouse B” notices.

More distance.

More offenses.

More isolation.

Coolness becomes coldness … which becomes an arctic winter. And, when the permafrost becomes unbearable, one or the other demands a divorce.

All along the way, the two have been re-architecting the relationship. They could choose a wholly different path, with the restoration of intimacy as the finished work. To have this though, they’ll need a whole new marriage.

After the offense, the marriage can’t simply go back to what they once had.78 gravestone

The old marriage has to die.

Or rather, be put down.

And then, a completely new marriage can emerge. A new marriage founded on forgiveness, agape (self-giving love), honesty, compassion, searching for common ground, openness, and celebrating the best in your spouse.

I assert that all successful marriages undergo this death-and-rebirth process. Some marriages do this multiple times.

78 staffOr, let’s say relationship dynamics on your staff have become toxic. People tiptoe around combustible topics. Sometimes they tiptoe around you.

Lots of important conversations never happen.  A shallowness that defies the work we’re in has taken over. Rarely does anyone share from the heart—except privately.

Alliances dominate the landscape. Two here. Three there. Junior staff vs. senior staff. Operations team vs. pastoral team.

You may not be able to describe it exactly, but you can feel it.

And it feels wholly ungodly.

You are a co-architect of all your relationships. As such, you can redesign every one.

Every one.

And, while you can’t choose how anyone else will respond, God’s given you 100% freedom to change your way of being. The way you are in it.78 trust

Yes, you’ll get to trust God in ways you haven’t.

You’ll get to experience Christ as your comfort, your anchor, your shelter, and your strength. He will get to prove to you how incredibly trustworthy he is. You’ll learn how central to the Christian life this kind of trust is.

Always has been.

 

Coaching Distinctions #78.doc