Self Respect in
Relationship ©2008

Many of us have problems with idolization and addiction to people, insecurity or not trusting God for security (false idols) ...also believing lies, hiding from the truth and ending up with irrational emotional outbursts because of pent up frustration.We are not dealing realistically with issues that bother us but instead let people disrespect us and treat us badly.

Our feelings and emotions are valid. They tell us if something is unbalanced between us and someone we care about or actually anyone.

Our desire for respect, love, faithfulness and honesty is fine and always has been. Our feeling bad from being dishonored or disrespected is not something we have to work on and be more accepting about but it is something the other person has a problem with and needs to deal with.Taking blame for someone else's mistake by trying to be accepting of the problem does no one any good. The problem needs to be confronted truthfully with honesty about feelings and needs involved without judging the person as bad or unworthy.

I don't have to act loving when someone doesn't deserve it but I still have to love them. I don't run away from the problems but have strength to face the truth in myself and them without taking it as a personal affront and attacking them. I don't have to be loving when I feel upset or unbalanced but I do need to act maturely. I need to work out whatever's wrong in relation with the person I have the problem with, not act like everything is okay and ignore the problem.

I can expect the person close to me to be loving, caring and thoughtful of me and I the same for them but not if we're being selfish or disrespectful. I have to remember the bad feelings are always a "mutual" trouble spot and I can't accuse without it coming back to me. We can disagree or do something wrong and work out the problems, not pretend like they're not there until they come out in everything we do and we fight. ( Fighting is always blaming and defending so we can have what we want. Neither accomplishes anything but more trouble. It is always selfish).

Responsibility in a relationship goes both ways. One can't be responsible and the other careless. Bad feeling will be there. They have to get worked out. Self respect grows when carelesness won't be accepted. If you disrespect me, it is because I let you get away with that. If I respect myself, I won't let you treat me that way.

I don't have to keep trying to change myself. God has already accepted me at my worst and he's the one changing me. All I need to do is be sure my security and trust are in Him first and then I can feel safe to trust others and myself. I also need to understand what I feel in a realistic way, and deal with problems with others as they arise. I need to realize my own part in problems and respect others even if I disagree, and listen to what they have to say and honor their feelings enough to try to understand where they're coming from.

A commitment means agreeing to be together responsibly; being responsible to each other for the vows and agreements jointly made. Each person has a right to expect the other to keep the vows and agreements decided upon. Both should make a strong decision to follow through with the commitment even if it gets hard at times. Commitment also means staying and loving even though the other may sometimes fail to measure up to what we want.

A breach in the harmony of the relationship should take top priority until it is resolved. Neither should disrespect the other in any way. Disagreeing can be done without fighting. Each should be able to be at peace in the relationship and with their lives so they can focus freely on children, work, ministry or whatever other responsibilities they have.

I think some of us don't take responsibility in relationships because we've been raised without accountability. We weren't expected to do anything, be unselfish or carry through with things when we were children. We don't want to be criticized or told we're wrong. We don't want someone telling us what to do. We don't like authority. We never learned to listen to admonition. We don't want to do things that are hard or endure unpleasant feelings from hard circumstances. So we fight against all of that from anyone. We defend ourselves instead of taking it to heart and seeing where we've been wrong. We don't freely share love because we're always blaming others or defending ourselves. We want to be treated well even if we fail but we don't want to treat others well in spite of their faults.

How to have a good relationship:

...Trust God. Let him be in control of the relationship guiding it and both of you to higher places. Make your relationship be about God's work in you of growth and change.

...Be responsible to what you promised and jointly agreed on.

...Face the truth even when it hurts.(The fault of the other as well as your own.) Hurting won't kill you!

...Understand and identify what is causing any bad feeling and deal with it as soon as possible. It is resolved when both are at peace again.

...Respect each other

...Freely share love

...Listen carefully to each other

...Make each other top priority

...Remember, don't take bad situations(sin) as a reflection of your own or the other's worthiness as a person. Both of you are worthy in God.

...Make a solemn vow to God and each other never to fight and keep that vow no matter what happens. You can disagree and have awful feelings and negative emotions without fighting and being disrespectful.

...Discipline is a task we have to set for ourselves. We will never grow up and be at peace with our life if we don't discipline our emotional reactions.

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