• Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC
  • Series: Fall 2015, Volume 22, Issue 3
  • Download PDF


By Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Relationships have a way of challenging me like no other. Since I cannot really enjoy life without relationships, AND it is my life’s work (smiling), writing another article about relationships and how they work is, well, “stretching” me. Relationships will often call us out of our comfort zone spiritually first, then relationally. There are basic principles that exist which help us understand the benefits of relationship struggles.


Spiritually our relationship with the Lord is a process in which we continually are stretched in our understanding of who He is, who we are, and what He has for us as joint heirs with Him. (Romans 8:17) The Lord is often calling us out of our comfort zone in order to be all He has designed us to be. Jesus was certainly stretched out of His comfort zone for our sake.


Relationally, it is the same process of expanding our comfort zone in which we are continually stretched to understand, extend grace and forgive one another.

We stretch and grow more effectively when we stay connected with the Lord. Whether it is responding to the challenges of relating with Him or others, it makes sense to involve the author of relationship. Asking the Lord to participate with us in relationship means we take any suffering and ill-treatment to Him. This means even when we do not understand or are upset with present circumstances. Jesus experienced disappointment in His relationships on earth. “Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?” (Mark 14:37b) This is a similar disappointment we experience with one another.

There are rewards and blessings to be enjoyed by walking through the process of being stretched. They are increased honesty, vulnerability, comfort, understanding, and the ability to attach appropriately. Candidly, I know the more honest and vulnerable I am with the Lord about myself, the more I feel stretched, comforted, understood, and connected to Him. In turn, I can comfort, understand, and connect with those God has given me. Is it easy? No way! Is it worth it? Absolutely!



Compliments of Practical Family Living, Inc.

P.O. Box 1676, Appleton, WI 54912 (920) 720-8920

You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute our articles in any format provided that you credit the author, no modifications are made, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you include Practical Family Living’s web-site address ( on the copied resource.  Quotations from any article are also permitted with credit to the author and citing the web-site.  Any use of other materials on this web-site, including reproduction, modification, distribution or republication, without the prior written consent of Practical Family Living, Inc., is strictly prohibited.