Relationships 101: Asking Questions

For several months I have been pondering the idea of asking questions, and seeing how this idea fits into relationships. My conclusion is that asking questions can and should be part of the foundation of healthy relationships. Questions allow us to deepen relationships by knowing more about the other person in the relationship than we previously did and also can sometimes diffuse an arguement when the right questions are asked in the right way. Far too often many people would say that the cause of an arguement is miscommunication. This can easily be remedied by one person asking the other a question of clarification if the instructions or expectations given to them are unclear.

I strongly believe my generation has lost, or atleast started to lose, the ability to ask important questions in relationships. Both parties in a dating relationship should know eachother well enough that there are few surprises later in life if these two individuals get serious about the relationship and decide to make their bond a life-long committment. Questions aid in this process by allowing both parties to engage in open communication and are a good gauge as to how the other person’s brain functions.

Anyone with young children can testify that small children understand the concept of asking questions. Even at a young age human beings are interested in how or why something happens and I feel it is a shame that our society, as each person gets older, has seemingly lost this interest when it comes to relationships. Society tells us to be tolerant of everyone, and while that is a good idea that should be followed, we should not let our tolerance turn into fear of offending someone and cause us to refrain from asking questions to better the situation we might be in. The right question conveyed in the right way should not offend the person being asked.

Also, questions can show someone you care for them. Most businesses you go to these days greet you with something along the lines of “Hello, how can I help you today?”. Sadly our society has become so self-centered that in my opinion you are more likely to hear that phrase from a business who is looking to get money from you rather than from a friend, family member, or coworker who has said to have your best interest in mind. There are several people in my life who demonstrate their love and concern for me, and for that I am grateful. This world needs many more people like them who show genuine care and concern for others and who arent just living in their own isolated bubble world. Questions are a great way to reach out to someone to show the love of Christ from you to them. Relationships can and are built from them, trust can be gained from them, and God’s Kingdom can be better because of them.

My question to you is: Are you asking questions enough? What questions are you asking? Are the questions you are asking making your relationships (both earthly and spiritual) better or worse?

Think about these things as you go about your daily activities.

In Him

~Bryan

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Relationships 101:Boundaries

Lately the subject of boundaries has been put on my heart. God has taught me more about boundaries in the past six months than He has in the previous years of my entire life, and it has been a great journey.

I have found with many people boundaries are either solid stone like the one in the above picture or more like a chain-link fence. Both are boundaries, but one is less protective than the other. This I feel has to do with the severity of a persons past. I myself have experienced some traumatic losses in my life, and for awhile I set up some pretty unhealthy boundaries. One of which was me striving to always please everyone I came across. Sadly many people feel so overwhelmed by life that they put up any and every boundary they can in order to take control of an out-of-control situation. What many people do not realize is that we, meaning all humans, were never meant to be in complete control. Psalms 24:1, 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, and many other passages show us that God alone posesses and controls everything that has been made. God did not design us to fight every battle for ourselves, far too many times we try to do that. Now, put all of this back in the context of boundaries. In my honest opinion if any given person would lay down their pride and any other emotion which gives them a selfish “I don’t need anyone to pull me from this mess” attitude and would realize that God is capable of anything andq then would earnestly seek to please God and only God then healthy boundaries will fall into place. When God is the center of a persons life it causes them to look outwardly and seek the best interests of others rather than skidishly approaching relationships with a predetermined amount of fear already in their mind. It also allows them to offer everything they physically, emotionally, and spiritually can offer to The Kingdom of God.

After reading this post I want you to ask yourself this: What boundaries do you have in life and are they helping or hurting your impact on God’s Kingdom?

In Him
~Bryan

Scars

Lately I have been thinking of the scars I have obtained because of my past, and it’s not as depressing as you might think. Some might say I have been through a great deal of hardship and I would agree. But it is through these hardhships I have found myself extremely blessed. My parents divorce has been without a doubt the thing that has impacted me the most on a spiritual level. You might be thinking that the pain of my parents divorce was overwhelming for me, and four years ago I would have agreed with you. But today I now know what healthy, Godly relationships are supposed to look like because of the things I have experienced in reaction to the divorce. Romans 8:28 states that God works in all things and this has truly been affirmed in my life. Looking back I can not see a time where God was not doing something in my life. Sure there have been times where I was selfish and wanted to live my life on my plan and not God’s plan, but even then God was working in my life as He stepped aside and let me fall flat on my face. 1 Corinthians 10:13 has also been affirmed in my life. Through each trial I faced I can see that God was right there waiting to help me out of the situation, or to at the very least comfort me until the trial passed. Growing up I always saw my disability as a punishment from God, but now that could not be further from the truth. God has blessed me with the gift of great interpersonal skills in spite of my disability and He has allowed me to create a ministry to others that could not happen without me having my disability. I thank God for giving me Spina Bifida and for giving me the talents I have. Without God I could do nothing or be nothing. I am thankful that even though society may see me as incapable that my God sees more capablities than incapabilities within me. Life has been a tough journey, but I’m on this journey with a Sword in the word of God and a Shield in God Himself. With God anything is possible, I’m living proof of that.