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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Living At Peace With Difficult People (Part 2 of 2)

Living At Peace With Difficult People (Part 2 of 2)

Pastor Brian Noble is the CEO of Peacemaker Ministries and has extensive experience in conflict coaching and mediation. His goal is for Christians to understand we live in a fallen world where conflict is common and reconciliation is only possible because of the Gospel – that Jesus died for our sins to bring us into reconciliation with God and others. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: April 6, 2022


Brian Noble: Sometimes we forgive prior to any behavior being changed. And so that’s a risk because what if they do it again? And I look at myself and say, you know, how many things I’ve done over and over and over again and yet Christ took the risk and died for me, you know? And so when we begin to embrace that, uh, with others, it really helps us to have a gospel centered, um, viewpoint of relationships.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s pastor Brian Noble explaining why reconciliation is something that God wants all of us to experience and he’s equipped us to do it well. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, I’m John Fuller, and we’re gonna be covering a lot of biblical truth as we did last time, Jim, that was informative and a little bit convicting.

Jim Daly: That’s true. And if you missed it, get the download, uh, go to the website, whatever you need to do. I thought it was really informative. I think this is one of those areas that we talk a lot about, but we struggle to do it well, uh, because it’s hard to do. And what’s easier to do is just, you know, keep that bitterness, keep that resentment, don’t get that reconciliation. That’s not a good place to live. And especially if you’re living in that place, you need to lean in today. And I so appreciate the wisdom and practical advice that Brian, uh, shared with us last time. He acknowledged that reconciliation is hard. Appreciate that, Brian, and it’s easy for us to lose control of our emotions and rational thoughts in the middle of an argument. Obviously, Brian’s married, (laughs), but you know, Brian also reminded us that people are not our enemy. That’s a deep breath moment. And I think about that, no one is our enemy in the scripture there. And he quoted that yesterday. There was so much rich content. Again, I just want to encourage you to get a copy if you missed it. And, uh, the two parts are how you need to listen to this one.

John: Yeah, I’m really glad we’re continuing. Uh, Brian is the chief executive of Peacemaker Ministries and has more than a thousand hours of experience in conflict, coaching and mediation. Uh, he’s written a book that we’re gonna hear more about today. The concepts that we covered last time and today are in, uh, the book Living Reconciled: 7 Ways to Bring Peace to Your Most Difficult Relationships. And we’ll recommend you check that out when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Brian, welcome back to Focus.

Brian: Thanks Jim.

Jim: All right. Let’s uh, let’s continue the discussion. Uh, what matters to God is a great place to start. It’s probably where we should have started last time, but we don’t like to think about this, but God cares about our conflicts. He’s involved. He wants us to grow. He wants us to be more like him. I think that’s the reason he created marriage. So we could have- have that conflict learn from it, learn our selfishness, become more like him, which is selfless.

Brian: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So with all of that, uh, the point being the Bible has a lot to say about how we manage conflict and reconciliation, it’s part of the spiritual journey for us as humans. When you think about this topic, what are some key verses that come to mind for you to reinforce what I’ve just said?

Brian: Well, I think James has a great one. Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials, you know, you, the idea of- of joy and peace amidst our trials is just a powerful truth. And the end result of that is so that you’ll be perfect, complete lacking in nothing. The difficulty is when you’re married, you’re like, think, well, I’m- I’m not thinking about the end result. I’m thinking about the here and now I want, you know, I wanna be right. I wanna be whatever in that moment, but to really go through that joy of just knowing that God is refining us, changing us, transforming us, um, through our trials.

Jim: Can I ask you this question? And, uh, when you look at the disciples, uh, like the gospels, and like Peter and James and where- where they use declarative language like all-

Brian: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … and never. (laughs), I mean, it’s-

Brian: Yeah.

Jim: … I mean, it’s always so tough, right?

Brian: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Like, you know, love everyone, but Lord, you know, this person.

Brian: Right.

Jim: Are you really telling me to love everyone? (laughs).

Brian: And I think there’s that positional view, right? Where we are looking upwards of who we are in Christ. That’s the only way I can figure out how to do it, ’cause this way, (laughs), it’s not as easy, but we go positionally in Christ. I can love that person. And that becomes our loudest proclamation.

Jim: When I think in that regard, they didn’t leave you an out.

Brian: Right.

Jim: ‘Cause they knew the Lord, they walked with the Lord. They knew there was no out.

Brian: That’s right.

Jim: That the Lord loved everyone and wants you to do the same. I mean, it’s that kind of construct, right? Uh, I just find it interesting that in this culture today we try, we tend to not use that declarative language and they’re right in the scripture, it’s so declarative, so absolute. It’s everyone, it’s never, it’s always. There’s no shadowing of it.

Brian: Mm-hmm.

Jim: You know? So I- I just find that interesting generally in scripture. When Christians are fighting over an issue, (laughs), I know someone’s gonna write and say, Christians should never fight. I get that. But when Christians are fighting over an issue, you like, uh, to ask a question that is, uh, personally convicting for me and the question is, do you wanna be right or reconciled? Wow, that one hits us right between the eyes in the culture conflict, do we wanna be right or do we wanna be reconciled? Can’t we be both?

Brian: I haven’t found it in my marriage to be both (laughs). You know, it’s like, I always say, don’t teach your kids these principles because they’ll remind you when you want, you know, you’re in an argument with your spouse and they’ll remind you of your biblical principles, especially if written books and stuff. And so like Isa- uh, Gideon will oftentimes say, “Hey dad, isn’t the cross big enough?” And I’m like, “If you say that again, I’m gonna nail you in the across.” You know, (laughs).

Jim: We got some advice for you there.

Brian: Yeah, exactly.

Jim: Don’t do that.

Brian: Yeah, exactly. No, but I, oftentimes like in my marriage I wanna be right. I wanna be vindicated. I wanna be respected, all those kinds of things. And I find at the end of the day, when I have that attitude, I oftentimes don’t end up in reconciliation with my spouse or with those around me. Uh, and so to really step back and say, what’s my end game here. What- what am I wanting to achieve or get to, and to allow Christ to be the center. And uh, I- I- I was obviously we don’t need the, uh, listeners to think don’t teach your kids. No, you should teach your kids.

Jim: Absolutely. Of course, tongue in cheek.

Brian: Tongue in cheek.

Jim: Okay. Uh, in the book, you- you refer to different courageous attitudes, which I love, I- I can’t wait to talk to my- my own boys about this and that you say, we need these courageous attitudes for reconciliation. One of these is seeing others as brand new. Um, what are you driving at there as brand new?

Brian: Do you know the number one thing when I’m, when people call in, they will question someone else’s salvation that they’re in conflict with. They’ll say something like, I’m not even sure if they’re a Christian and it- it- it breaks my heart because this person is a child of God, but we- we demonize or we pull down so much that we- we lose sight of the big picture, right? Where we go, you know what, that is my brother or sister in Christ. They are brand new. Even though we’re having this tension, it doesn’t change it.

Jim: Well, and what’s interesting about that, that’s convicting because I think I probably have done that in my life where I go, hmm, I wonder if that person’s really Christian. Because you don’t see the behavior, the fruit there.

Brian: Right.

Jim: And yeah, what a turn to not go there, but to say, okay, Lord, he or she belongs to you. Help me better understand-

Brian: Yeah.

Jim: … what they’re going through. Or however you can manage that, ’cause you’ve gotta manage it emotionally yourself, you know, with a person that’s acting unchristian-

Brian: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … how do we engage that? I mean, if- if you gotta person-

Brian: I think that first thing is that mirror, right? ‘Cause, uh, if we’re really honest, I reflect back and I’m like, man, I have not been acting Christlike in this situation either. Um, and so we look in that mirror now there are times and I always wanna bring this up. There are times of domestic violence or abuse or hard, hard situations like that. And this is not to blame the victim. That’s not what I’m saying there.

Jim: Correct.

Brian: When I-

Jim: This is more general, the everyday life situation.

Brian: This is general every day, life situations to back up and say, what is my contribution to this conflict? How am I reflecting Christ to the other person? ‘Cause they may have the same statement aimed my, in my direction in how I’m responding.

Jim: Well, no that’s good. And that, that’s convicting to always act Christ like-

Brian: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So that somebody can see Christ in your actions.

Brian: Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Jim: Right?

Brian: And you think about, if you’re gonna be Christlike, we like to be like Christ in the miracles of feeding the 5,000 of healing. But are we Christlike in going to the cross?

Jim: You urge Christians to maintain hope in the midst of their conflict. Man, I love that application to marriage because that’s where so many couples they lose hope. And when you’ve lost hope, it’s quite possible that you will lose that relationship unfortunately. And we in the Christian community need to be people of hope, maybe, especially in our marriages. Uh, hope can be powerful, and it can motivate us to keep us going when we really don’t have anything in the tank, right?

Brian: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Um, you point to the story of your own daughter, Isabella, and you mentioned her earlier as an example of that kind of hope. Give us more information about her and how she’s become a- a beacon of hope.

Brian: So Isabella is wheelchair bound. She has been for about 20 years with a trach G-tube, never walked, never talked. And oftentimes when I look at her disability, I can see one of two things, I can see that disability or her inabilities or I can, uh, apply an eternal perspective where I go, heaven’s gonna be an awesome place because all those inabilities are gonna become possible. Her handicap will be gone. She’ll be able to walk in the newness of Christ. And so I liken that to relationships. Some things are personalities that are hard to change or- or are things that just, you know, we’ve, we developed those things. I’m not making excuses for those or saying that we shouldn’t challenge those at times, but I’m saying overall, if we point ourselves to a new creation and eternity, we begin to have- have a different perspective on the other person. Because it brings hope like I will have more days, whole and complete with my spouse than I will ever in this fallen world.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brian: That brings hope.

Jim: No, that’s true. And your daughter.

Brian: Yeah, my daughter is [inaudible]

Jim: Let me apply that hope in difficult relationships. And y- you mentioned this in the book about your dad and the difficult relationship you had and, uh, I’m not sure where he’s at today, but describe, I think your parents divorced.

Brian: Yeah.

Jim: And mine did as well. And you know, you carry a bit of guilt with that and the experience of it, but you had to really work through dad issues-

Brian: Yeah.

Jim: … if I can use that blanket term.

Brian: Yeah.

Jim: What happened?

Brian: So my dad growing up, I would say he probably, uh, over explained the divorce and I didn’t understand a lot of his parenting techniques. And so when you look at how he explained what happened in the divorce, it was a lot of information for a young, a boy and a young man, right?

Jim: How old were you at the time?

Brian: Uh, six.

Jim: Okay. Wow, yeah.

Brian: So it was a lot of information and probably some information I probably shouldn’t have had at-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brian: … at that point. And, uh, I like to say that for the last 20, 30 years, my dad and I, since I was 18, we’ve had a great relationship. So I wanna make sure that, that’s on the table. I love my dad and we have a great relationship but growing up it was very difficult. Um, my dad wanted to be right with the divorce and with what happened. And so he, at- at times he over explained and so it made it, so I had resentment towards him and a love for my mom. It- it kinda act fired on him and-

Jim: He was trying to get the other outcome.

Brian: Exactly.

Jim: Wow.

Brian: Exactly. And, uh, my mom would always just say one thing, she would say, I love you and I love your dad and she wouldn’t explain very much.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brian: So I- I just know that my mom became a very safe person for me to- to interact with. And- and for a season I wanna say that my dad be- wasn’t, you know?

Jim: Yeah.

Brian: And lot of explaining that probably shouldn’t come my way.

Jim: I, that division was so big that you actually, you were named after your father, Paul.

Brian: Yeah.

Jim: And you actually jettison the use of Paul or P but now there’s been that evidence of reconciliation.

Brian: Yeah. So, uh, at some point when I was, we were going through that divorce and through things, I started by my middle name, Brian, my dad’s Paul Wallace Noble. I was Paul Brian Noble. And whenever my parents were upset, they’d say, “Paul Brian.” You know, kind of a Southern kind of thing, right?

John: (laughs).

Brian: And, uh, and so I just started going by Brian and, uh, when I was 18 or 19 and- and the forgiveness and reconciliation came in with my dad, the Lord challenged me to put the initial P back onto my name as a symbol and a constant reminder of reconciliation, that I would never forget that the blood of Christ paid for the broken relationship between my dad and myself.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brian: And so I started adding it on, um, by that point, you kind of get a habit of being called something, right? So I didn’t go back to Paul, but, uh, I- I write it on everything to, as a reminder of reconciliation.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

John: This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly; I’m John Fuller and our guest today is P. Brian Noble. And, uh-

Jim: (laughs).

John: … he’s written this book, Living Reconciled: 7 Ways to Bring Peace to Your Most Difficult Relationships. Get a copy of it. Uh, you, you know, somebody that needs this, if not you, and, uh, we’ve got copies of the book here, uh, stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Brian, I want to, uh, pick up on something you referred to a moment ago, but I don’t want the listeners and the viewers to miss this. You mentioned that, uh, um, it’s only possible for us to reconcile because of the work of Jesus on the cross. So explain that and how we can be free in that, uh, destructive relationship, as long as we can forgive and- and do the right thing. So talk about that. Reconciliation is a, is a spiritual journey.

Brian: It is. This all began because I had, I don’t know how many, uh, people say, you know, I- I just can’t be reconciled with someone. And it was like this almost a victim mentality of can’t forgive, can’t reconcile. And what they really meant was a reinstated relationship. Um, and I started thinking through the scriptures of how- how does reconciliation take place? And we- we just talked about it not being based upon works. And so if it’s based upon the work of the cross, not my works, then it becomes a faith journey of embracing the gospel message at the core of my relationships to say, Jesus paid for that break. Hopefully some I’ll have a reinstated relationship with them. I’ll be able to walk in that newness of life, maybe on this side of heaven, but for a lot of us, it’s gonna be on the other side of heaven, you know? And, uh, I like to say for all the perfect people out there, heaven is gonna be boring, but for the rest of us, it’s gonna be an exciting place, right?

Jim: It’ll be new, (laughs).

Brian: It’ll be new, (laughs).

Jim: Fresh.

Brian: And fresh, um-

Jim: Is there, I mean, you know, some people are listening though I’m not quite sure what’s a practical application of that. I mean, just a break that’s never, you’re never gonna be able to reconcile it seemingly, you’re not gonna reconcile.

Brian: I think the practical part is how we view the person. Our self-talk is a big part of our lives and- and many people don’t like to admit they have self-talk that constant conversation going on their head. And I always challenge people. You can tell yourself any story that you want, you can tell yourself a fallen story or a God story. And I would challenge you to tell a God story, think about Sarah and Abraham. And in Galatians chapter 5, it talks about, uh, Sarah was supposed to rejoice, oh, barren woman rejoice. She started telling herself a God story about the promise of God prior to ever being pregnant.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brian: And so that’s what I’m telling people, before the reinstated relationship, prior to that, you wanna go out and have potluck with people again, you may have to tell yourself a God story, like Jesus paid for this. It doesn’t deny the injustice that you experience. Uh, it doesn’t pretend like it wasn’t there. It actually acknowledges it, labels it as an injustice and says yes, and Jesus paid for that.

Jim: Mm, that’s so good. You have a metaphor in the book about the- the wide and narrow gates related to heaven and hell. Explain your application of the gates in the area of reconciliation.

Brian: Well, I think in the wide gates, we, you begin to think about those relationships that are easy and that you can, um, just simply have, uh, you know, the, I- I call ’em kinda like, I don’t mean cheap relationships, but you know what I mean? They’re just like the howdy, how you doing kinda thing.

Jim: News, weather and sports.

Brian: Yeah, news, weather and sport kind of relationships. And the narrow gate is really that idea of coming through the lens of Christ that, for ministry of reconciliation. And let me give you an example. There was this grandma who has grown kids and, um, the grandpa has a lot of personality things that he- he rubs his grown kids the wrong way, right? He’s constantly doing things that if we were to write ’em down and look at ’em, we think, wow, that doesn’t- doesn’t seem right, but we’ve talked about ’em. We’ve worked through them, we’ve gotten good traction, but the ma- the grandma is kind of stuck in this position. Like, how do I love my husband and how do I love my grown kids? I want relationships with both, even though they’re not reconciled with the grandpa. And so you start thinking about how- how do I do it? Do I take the wide road? That’s just kind of, uh, surface level, or do I take that narrow road, which is authentic with my husband and transparent and calling him out on his stuff, you might say in a compassionate way, and also take the narrow road with my, with my kids, my grown kids and doing the same. And that’s where it becomes hard. I think we’re, we tolerate spiritual immaturity way too much, instead of really challenging each other to forgive and to release all bitterness, anger and that kind of thing.

Jim: Some of that, Brian, it seems like risk is a factor here, and we haven’t talked about it. I don’t know if you address it. I didn’t see it. But I think part of the problem we have is just, we’re gonna risk something, whatever that might be. Risk of relationship, especially in the, in the family, uh, breaks that we may have with our adult- adult children et cetera. So we take the narrow gate. There’s a risk to that.

Brian: There is.

Jim: But I would assume you would say, oftentimes Jesus is gonna want you to take that risk because we’re risk adverse. We don’t want to do that. And the Lord’s, you know, we don’t wanna confess our sin. There’s a risk in that.

Brian: Right.

Jim: And it’s that kind of category where he’s pushing us to risk because there’s something that will blossom that is good.

Brian: Mm-hmm.

Jim: We just can’t see it.

Brian: That’s exactly right. When you think about those risks of forgiveness, it’s a risk because it takes faith, right?

Jim: Right.

Brian: Sometimes we forgive prior to any behavior being changed. And so that’s a risk because what if they do it again? And I look at myself and say, you know, how many things I’ve done over and over and over again and yet Christ took the risk and died for me, you know? And so when we begin to embrace that, uh, with others, it really helps us to have a gospel centered, um, viewpoint of relationships.

Jim: Mm.

John: Jim, uh, earlier in the program, we talked a little bit laughingly about conviction here on this stuff. And- and I appreciate so much, Brian, you are talking about hope and this last point you made, I’m just thinking about a relationship that was pretty estranged in our family. And, uh, to the point that my kids were observing in this family member, some tendencies to get, uh, really out of control.

Brian: Mm-hmm.

John: And I just thought I gotta protect them. And it would’ve been very, very difficult to step back and just let things be where they were. Um, I didn’t exactly kind of proclaim the hope you talked about, but I did work on the relationship and tried to be softer if you will, and a little less combative to try to prove I was right. And I’m glad to say that, at least in this case, it worked out pretty okay. We’re-

Brian: Mm-hmm.

John: … we’re still kinda news, weather, sports with this individual-

Brian: Mm-hmm.

John: … but we can at least be around each other and not have eruptions, which, you know, progress is progress.

Brian: Right.

John: So speak to that journey, especially for the person that thinks I can never get there.

Brian: Yeah, and I think when we talk about these situations, people apply them into different contexts and it’s really, we have to be kind of a little bit careful because it’s easy just to say, well, it’s all, it’s all one thing. And that’s why this is an, a book on our internal work, because like I’ve counseled a- a woman whose husband drug her down the stairs with a gun to her- her head.

Jim: Hmm.

Brian: Well, she’s probably not gonna go back to that relationship or put herself back into that unsafe environment. However, her husband can’t steal the joy that Christ placed in her heart. Um, her husband can’t steal the reconciliation that Christ paid for. So she can begin to do work in internally, even though someone else isn’t gonna play by the rules, you might say, or a God glorifying lifestyle. And so to take those extreme cases, or even the minor cases in- in situations and begin to say, you know, I can’t have control over them, but I can control, uh, for myself. And I love how you just said that with your family, we had to figure out a way to- to keep the kids safe ’cause that’s important as well as build little steps of trust. It sounded like what you were saying.

John: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.

Brian: And- and give a person the opportunity to feel the gospel and receive hope that there could be a reinstated relationship. Sometimes that’s just not possible on this side of heaven. I will say that I’ve been in cases of, uh, like that

Jim: Brian again, the practical nature of this I think in marriage because so much conflict can exist there. It doesn’t have to, and if you’re not experiencing conflict, that’s great. Um, oftentimes in marriage we keep score, you know, (laughs), that’s one of the, one of the things that will destroy you if you know, well, you know, I made the coffee 15 times in a row or I made the bed, you didn’t, you know, whatever you’re score keeping on. Um, how do we get away from that kind of tally?

Brian: When you look at that verse, it says, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses, (laughs).

Jim: Right there, right in their face, (laughs).

Brian: Right there, stop counting. So I- I think that laundry list we have to, I, it’s hard because it, we have a natural tendency to do that. Or I’ll say I have a natural tendency to do that is to think, well, I did this, and I did that, and I did this and how many of our debates and our- our spicy conversations are like that, right?

Jim: Oh yeah.

Brian: And to- to back up and say, yeah, I know that’s true. I understand that that’s what took place, but I need to start tearing down that scoreboard and looking through the lens of what is God doing in their heart and their life. And again, this is all about attitude I’m talking about in this book, coming back to a Christ-centered attitude, instead of, and- and I see this with adults and their teenage kids-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brian: … where, uh, a teenager is constantly defined by one mistake they made.

Jim: Mm.

Brian: Or maybe- maybe it was repeated mistake. Well, we don’t really share the gospel with them when we constantly bring that up. And sometimes we do it in a teasing form, right?

John: Oh yeah.

Brian: And the kid thinks, they told me they forgave me, but man, something I’m not really forgiven if we’re still teasing about it.

Jim: Yeah, and you and Tanya had that score counting, right? To make it personal, Jean and I had done [inaudible].

Brian: Oh, I absolutely, yeah.

Jim: I think we’re moving away from that finally, but (laughs).

Brian: To a c- I mean to a certain degree, yeah, we it’s always there, but I mean, it used to be early on in marriage. I like to say the first four years of marriage were hell on earth for me. You know, because we had this constant pressure and tension and we just came from two different worlds and, uh, it was score keeping and it was really, I did this, you did that. And we were in ministry. And so it was difficult at times.

Jim: Yeah. In fact, we have Tanya on the line right now, go for it, (laughs). I, let me speak to tolerance because that’s become kind of a- a bad word in Christian circles, but it seems to be the religion of the day for the world, this idea of tolerance, you- you believe tolerance is a necessity for reconciliation, but it’s the healthy tolerance.

Brian: It is. It’s really looking at each other with the idea that none of us are perfect y- yet. And we’re all in process of being sanctified. And so looking through that lens of saying, we’re on a journey, we’re moving that way. And we’re not tolerating sin as if like we’re endorsing it and embracing it. But recognizing we’re all on a journey walking that- that road, uh, of the gospel message.

Jim: Yeah. Brian, last time, this time we’ve talked a lot about it, but for the person that’s listening, going, wow, okay. They’re kind of putting their finger right on my area, in my heart where I lacking, what- what is this person, what can they do? What are some things that they could begin to change in their marriage, in their relationship with their teens, with their adult children, um, with their extended family, John’s example, alluded to. Um, you know, again, sometimes it’s very hard to walk this out because we’d rather go cocoon. I just don’t wanna deal with it. I’m fine. I’m assuming that person that’s not-

Brian: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … um, reconciled to me will be fine someday. And, you know, I’ll pray for them, but you get the attitude I’m trying to gen up here.

Brian: Right.

Jim: So what, you know, what are some practical, biblical things that need to happen right away in our heart and in our actions?

Brian: I think it’s important that we begin to not just look at the problem, but to really begin to look at Christ as a solution. So for instance, like over my teenage kids, you know, instead of saying, well, they did this, this and this, I begin to change my attitude by saying, and God did that, that and that for them.

John: Mm-hmm.

Brian: And so it’s that- that newness of life that we begin to look at and begin to proclaim in their hearts and their minds. I sat down with a lady just last week and she’s like, “I just don’t get it.” And I said, “Okay, well, let’s go through this together.” So she’d been married 42 years. She says, “I don’t know how this is gonna change anything.” I said, “Tell me the story that’s been going on in your head.” And so she told me a story, how her husband doesn’t complete tasks and how, you know, she went through the whole laundry list of story of 42 years and I listened patiently. And I said, “What if you began to tell yourself a different story? What if you weren’t a victim to that story, but you began to look at it in a practical sense, where you woke up in the morning and said, Lord, I’m here to serve. I’m here to be humble. I’m here to challenge my husband to pro- on his procrastination. How can I do that best today?” And so you start working with Christ and you start working with the holy spirit to- to come in and allow him to challenge and change us.

Jim: Yeah.

Brian: And she’s like, “I get it. You’re simply talking about my attitude.” I said, “That’s right. A courageous attitude.”

Jim: Now that’s really good. I think Jean’s done that very well in my life. I, she probably has done a better job at that than I’ve done for her in that way. So this is a good reminder for me to look into ways that, uh, you know, you, I can do that better. And I hope that’s the same for everyone. That’s why this topic is so- so good, living reconciled. And, uh, Brian, it’s just been wonderful to have you back these last couple of days. Thank you for being with us.

Brian: Thank you.

Jim: And I hope you’ll get a copy of this resource. I joked last time, John, this should be flying out of Focus on the Family because I can’t think of an area in our life, in our discipline in Christ that we probably need the most work in. And that is how to be reconciled to the people in our lives, right? And may just be that one person who knows, but get in touch with us if you can, uh, give a gift of any amount, maybe a monthly gift or a onetime gift, uh, we’ll send you a copy of the book, uh, as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry.

John: Join the support team here at Focus on the Family. Uh, donate as you can. And you can do that when you stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call one 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. And when you get in touch, if you need any sort of spiritual help, we have our caring Christian counselors here. Um, we can set up a free consultation for you over the phone, and they’ll pray with you and unpack different struggles you might be experiencing and direct you to further resources if needed. Just give us a call and request to have a time to talk with one of our counselors. Coming up tomorrow. You’ll hear from Ryan and Selena Frederick; they’ll describe how prayer is crucial for your marriage.


Ryan Frederick: It’s impossible to have a healthy prayer life and also have a prideful orientation toward God and a prideful orientation toward one another. A prayer is very, very humbling when you do it honestly.

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Today's Guests

Living Reconciled: 7 Ways to Bring Peace to Your Most Difficult Relationships

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