Your Relational House: Building Up or Tearing Down?

 
There are times when I leave the counseling room with a lot of sadness. Sometimes it’s because of sitting with someone in their grief, when the only encouragement I can give them is to hang on in any way that they can.
 
Other times I am sad because a person is unable to make necessary changes and is headed for unavoidable destruction. Things have been set in motion that cannot be stopped, whether self-inflicted or otherwise.
 
Then there is a third situation that might be the saddest of them all. And that is when a client sees the problem, understands the problem, and knows the solution but is unwilling to do what is required. This is where disaster is chosen or allowed because of pride or arrogance or stubbornness.
 
God would call this last one sin.
 
I have seen marriages break up for exactly this reason – where a sincere apology would have opened the door to reconciliation. But the person refused. How sad and needless. I have seen relationships fall apart and families wounded because one or both of the marriage partners would not control their tongue and contain their toxic emotions. Instead, they let it rip and damage the people that they claim to love.  

Proverbs 14:1 (NLT) A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. 

Of course the scripture could apply to men or women, but the message is the same: you have a choice to build or destroy. And it really is a choice. No one can credibly say “I couldn’t help it.” Sorry, it just isn’t true.
 
But every once in a while I leave the counseling room rejoicing, because a client has made the courageous decision to embrace humility, powering down rather than powering up. They go to tears instead of anger, kindness instead of meanness, maturity rather than childishness and faithfulness over a cheating heart. They understand God’s concept of wisdom vs. foolishness.  

Proverbs 22:3 (CEV) When you see trouble coming, don’t be stupid and walk right into it — be smart and hide. 

I love that verse and translation. Again, it implies choice. I must tell you that I have spoken foolish words many times knowing full well that there would be trouble ahead. I could have hidden my tongue in my mouth instead – or better yet removed myself from the room. These days I am much more prudent. Sometimes words slip out unintentionally, but I try to be quick to apologize when they do.
 
So how are you doing? Are you building up your relational house or is there some repair work needed — or perhaps even a full renovation?
 

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