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Pastor's View: The greatest relationship need

— Kari and I have been to many marriage conferences and studied many things about relationships. Sometimes it seems like relationships are so complicated! What did she mean? What does he want? Why did they do that? What did I do wrong? What should I do now?

We can end up walking on egg shells for awhile. Sometimes we end up crying a lot of tears and slamming a lot of doors. It can be frustrating. Can I get an amen!

Are women from Mars and men from Venus? Are we a different species? Is that the problem? Are women like spaghetti and men like waffles? There are all kinds of analogies and books out there. Should we let it go? Should we just hang on? Should we suffer in silence? Should we proclaim our frustration on Facebook? Should we yell and scream? Should we go get drunk? Should we eat another case of Twinkies?

Too many times we do things that make relationship strains worse rather than better. The best advice I ever received was from a pastor friend who was doing a marriage seminar in our church more than 20 years ago. He asked us to write down what we thought a man’s greatest need in marriage was. So we wrote down things like sex, food, encouragement ... Then he asked us to write down what we thought a woman’s greatest need in marriage was and we wrote down things like security, kindness, non-sexual touch ... we thought we were right. We had studied this topic before. Then he told us the answer that honestly shocked us all, but after he said it we knew he was right. The answer was ... wait for it ... forgiveness. Yes, our greatest need is to be forgiven. If we harden our heart and stay offended by each other, then we will have many more problems in the future. If we can just learn to forgive ,that is medicine for our soul. We still work on things. We still have conversations. We still need behaviors to change and we need to meet each other’s needs better but the greatest relationship need we all have is forgiveness. Let’s spread a little of that around. Let’s make that a trending topic. Love forgives. God teaches us that. We can do that too! — Loving God Passionately and Loving Others Purposefully.

Kelly Lineberry is the pastor of The Life Center in Kamiah


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