I wasted a lot of years letting past relationships play into how I dealt with things in present relationships. Who knew that a bad relationship with a parent could bring bad patterns into every relationship you develop in your adult life, for instance? A relationship with anyone from a teacher, spouse, pastor, employer, and child can suffer from the way you learned to react to issues with parents, for example. It is for this reason, that we can take a good long look at the issues that come up in our relationships over and over, and identify when we have the same old reactions each time things begin to fall apart. Then we can search scripture to see the way God would have us deal with those repetitive issues.
I don't know that everyone feels at some point like they are in a revolving door, stuck with the same old things going wrong each time they attempt to have a close friend, intimacy with a loved one, or a conversation with a child. Does every job end up with an employer who takes advantage of you. Maybe you have had more than one job where other employees succeeded in putting a large share of the work load off on you. Whatever it is that seems to happen again and again, may require a "Heavenly Father" intervention. And it starts with praying for the other person. It ends with finding the image of God that best describes how we should choose to develop our relationship, not what our heart says.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13.
When I look back and think about how I fell into letting old feelings of abuse, cause me to mistrust people, or react to someone as if they were my father when he was mean, when actually the situations might not have merited the same fear or mistrust....I just wonder how feelings had so much power over me. I have said before that the Lord spoke to me when I was driving down the road feeling sorry for myself, and saying, "God how could you...." To which God replied to my heart, "I AM NOT YOUR (earthly) FATHER." It came from out of nowhere, because I hadn't thought of my father recently, at the time. I had expectations that it was God taking things back from me, when my car broke down, or I lost a job. Where did that sense of having things taken away come from? My Father of course. God wanted me to know that he isn't like that. It was a wake up call to know God didn't want me to build my vision of a loving father on anyone but him. That day turned my relationship building completely around. I realized for the first time, that God is the only one upon which I can honestly build any concept of relationships.
When I have counseled through the years, I have discovered others who never stopped to see that repeated failures can come out of false concepts. If you journal, a great journaling project is to alot several pages to listing the charcter of God, as Heavenly Father. A good place to start is with the statements of Jesus concerning his Father. And secondly, when scriptures speak of God wooing the nation of Israel. Changing my expectations of relationships, definitely changed my relationship disapointments.
And not the God that "religion" often teaches - the condemning, out to get you, God. Rather, the one who is actually in the scriptures. The one who gives unconditional love. If I can reject the feelings, and choose to pray that God will help me be more like him, I can expect that some unique things may happen that heals the breaks in my relationships.
Dear Father, mold me ever more in your image, that I might always bring healing to the relationships in my life. Help me give more grace to all who are around me. May your gift of the Holy Spirit open my eyes to the way you desire me to act, rather than react out of feelings, and misconceptions. AMEN