How To Save Screwed Up Relationships

One of my favorite and, in my opinion, most real-life movies to come out in the recent years is Knocked Up. If Knocked Up shows anybody anything, it reveals how much work relationships truly are. One of the famous lines in the movie comes from Paul Rudd’s character Pete. He says: “Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of Everybody Loves Raymond, only it doesn’t last 22 minutes. It lasts forever.” You see the tension of marriage in this quote. His wife played by Leslie Mann vents similar frustration in the movie when she says this of husbands, “You criticize them so much, they get down on themselves, and then they’re forced to change!” In the movie you see the wars between Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen. You see the wars between Seth Rogen and his friends. And, you also see the power of relationships when you decide that they are worth pursuing. You see the reconciliation and acclamation of all of these relationships. Relationships are a lot of work.

I could come up with more reasons to blog about on how I have ended relationships. The truth is, relationships are hard. Relationships are hard, because people are messy. We’re filled with all forms of self-hatred, exhausted bodies and souls, a mind full of broken experiences and emotions, just waiting to pounce on each other. Human beings hurt each other. In some cases, often. Yet, there is something glorious about human beings that makes all of the work totally redeemable. Nothing will transform someone more than the gift of love. The very hand of kindness and compassion can often be an extension from God to another person. When we live out of our true selve’s, the self that is found in God, human beings become miracles to the world.

John Legend describes the state of relationships in his song Save Room with these lyrics, “This just might hurt a little/ Love hurts sometimes when you do it right./ Don’t be afraid of a little bit of pain/ Pleasure is on the other side./ Let down your guard just a little/ I’ll keep you safe in these arms of mine.” When we save room for relationships, we truly find the things in life that are worth living for. We find out who we are by who we are in relationship with. When someone hurts us, and we close ourselves off to the world, we close ourselves to the healing power of love. Keeping ourselves open to another human being can be some of the hardest work we can ever do in this life. Ask any victim of abuse, serious abandonment, and betrayal. Keeping ourselves open to another human being is one of the most powerful reasons to live your life passionately. Let the work of relationships transform you.

Save room for forgiveness.
Save room for reconciliation.
Save room for laughter, joy, peace.
Save room for others.


7 thoughts on “How To Save Screwed Up Relationships

  1. Brilliant. Completely and totally brilliant.

    Twelve years in and my wife and I are finally seeing our marriage as a long-term investment: high-risk, high-reward. It feels pretty amazing when you both know that the other’s on your team, doesn’t it?

  2. […] th&#1077 rest here: H&#959w T&#959 Save Screwed Up Relationships | Mike Friesen's Blog Share and […]

  3. steve says:

    Great post. Thanks Mike. It often seems like the right thing to do; to close yourself off to relationships in order to protect yourself, but then we miss the healing power of love in positive relationships. Good stuff.

  4. Thanks for following me on Twitter so I could find your blog! Great thoughts on relationships, I just wanted to poke my head and thank you for being vulnerable enough to write about how messy they can be!

    • Mike Friesen says:

      Thank you for taking time to read it Jess! Was there a certain thought that struck you the most?

      • Your second paragraph in this post was spot on. I counsel and mentor young women and I literately just got out of a session where I said those exact same things. However, it’s more than just saying it. It’s crucial to live that out and living it out is the hard part. Sometimes I find myself saying something to the women I work with and then walking away thinking, “Hey God… those words were just as much for me as they were for her, huh?”

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