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6 Things Every Healthy Relationship Needs (Ebook Shorts)

6 Things Every Healthy Relationship Needs (Ebook Shorts)

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6 Things Every Healthy Relationship Needs (Ebook Shorts)

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61 pagine
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Feb 1, 2012


What does a healthy relationship look like?

Knowing the answer to this question is the first step to improving the relationships in your life. In these pages, Stephen Arterburn draws from his own positive and negative experiences, as well as his years of counseling others, to reveal six key attributes of thriving marriages, families, and friendships. His practical advice will help you lay the foundation for the lifelong, supportive relationships you were created for.

This is a selection from Arterburn's Regret-Free Living.
Feb 1, 2012

Informazioni sull'autore

Stephen Arterburn is a New York Times bestselling author with more than eight million books in print. He most recently toured with Women of Faith, which he founded in 1995. Arterburn founded New Life Treatment Centers as a company providing Christian counseling and treatment in secular psychiatric hospitals. He also began “New Life Ministries”, producing the number-one Christian counseling radio talk show, New Life Live, with an audience of more than three million. He and his wife Misty live near Indianapolis.  

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  • Grow love, and trust will follow.

  • It’s so important to be able to recognize a bad relationship when you’re in one. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to take a moment and look at some big road signs that tell you you’re traveling down the bad-relationship highway.

  • Turn and run to God to get more. Only he can keep us in full supply of all the love we need if we’re going to keep giving as much as we can. He can keep those sacks full. And with the good stuff too.

  • Can’t get it any clearer than that. You might be able to keep a secret from someone who matters in your life, but you can’t keep a secret from the one who matters most (now and in the eternal future): the all-knowing God Almighty.

  • If two people are honest with each other, there is no kind of woe they can’t survive. Hard times and difficult passages come to everybody, but it’s those who are honest with themselves and their loved ones who always weather them best.

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6 Things Every Healthy Relationship Needs (Ebook Shorts) - Stephen Arterburn



Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

Because of the work I’m blessed to do through New Life Ministries, I witness all kinds of unhealthy relationships all the time. One of the most common characteristics of an unhealthy relationship is two people who continue doing the same things that have never worked for them in the past and can’t possibly work for them in the future. Sometimes it’s the other person in the relationship who’s blowing it, but mostly the individuals I talk with are much like me—people who over the years have had a very active role in perpetuating their own misery.

What people in the misery of unhappy relationships usually fail to realize is that God doesn’t want them to be miserable. He doesn’t want stagnant relationships that aren’t going anywhere or are going downward. And the happy truth is that 99 percent of the time, if both people in any unhappy relationship would just be willing to try a different way, their misery and stagnation would end. Two people working together in a relationship can overcome just about anything.

Paul says, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16, Always be joyful. How many of us have been in a relationship that consistently makes us anything but joyful? I’m not talking about the bad week all long-term relationships have—or the bad month, or even the bad year. I’m talking about the year-in, year-out drain of a relationship that should have been mended years ago. And if it’s a choice or choices we have made that have us now stuck in the muck of regrets over a relationship, then it’s up to us to find a way out of that mire so we can move on to better choices, better outcomes, a better life.

While there is no formula for fixing every relationship, there are things anyone can do that are sure to bring about the most potential for a healthier future. There is a formula for living above and beyond regret, and following it—walking that higher path—is something you can choose to start right now.

Your past ended one second ago, and you begin, now, creating a new future for yourself. Joy can be a constant presence in that future.

How do we get stuck in a bad rut in the first place? Well, one of the surest ways is to compare ourselves with the other person and to feel like we are doing more for the good of that relationship. Somehow we build a barrier between ourselves and the other person—and after years in the emotional isolation this creates, it at least feels easier for us to simply continue doing the wrong things we’ve long been doing than to undertake starting to put things right.

It’s like what happens when a bathroom sink begins not to drain as it should. At first you hardly notice the problem. Pretty soon, you see that the water left in the sink after you’ve brushed your teeth or washed your hands isn’t quickly disappearing. Before too long nothing’s flowing at all, and you have a problem on your hands.

Now it’s only going to be fixed when you stop what you’re doing, get out your toolbox, get down on your knees, and start doing what’s needed to remove the stinky mess that’s preventing the proper flow of things.

The sink-as-relationship metaphor breaks down in one key way, though. Eventually, you do need to fix a clogged sink. But, sadly, a clogged relationship can continue being gunked up forever. Oftentimes it carries on so long its members get blinded to the truth of just how bad their relationship has become. And that’s when both people need help regaining their lost perspective.

It’s so important to be able to recognize a bad relationship when you’re in one. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to take a moment and look at some big road signs that tell you you’re traveling down the bad-relationship highway.

All of us have blind spots, areas of ourselves and our lives that we can’t, or don’t, see. On New Life Live, we’re helping people see things in and about their relationships that they might have missed. We’re helping them understand what principle from God’s Word is most applicable in their situation.

But bad relationships don’t just surface on the talk show. Each year we produce six New Life Weekends. These are thirty-six-hour, Friday-through-Sunday experiences in six different national locations. People fly in, we bring in clinicians from all over, and we engage and get involved in real lives. We love watching hundreds of people go to work with group counselors and with like-minded fellow strugglers to

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