Relationships can be both the greatest source of joy, and at the same time the greatest source of sorrow. Fortunately, in this book by Tom Marshall, we have a resource that avoids a shallow ‘‘glance over’’ approach, but one that takes the reader to a deep level which can bring about new insights and understanding. I especially appreciate a book which combines depth and practicality. This is such a book. The content discussed is essential for valued and long-lasting relationships. The style makes it easy to read, and also applicable to existing or future relationships. The chapter on trust and honor speaks to issues which seem to be either hidden or lost in many relationships. Hopefully the guidance provided by the author will go a long way in helping all of us build quality and God-honoring relationships.
-H. Norman Wright
1 Relationships – the Central Category
What are they?
Our relationship with God
2 Categories for Understanding Relationships
Our Godward relationship
Scope or extent
Intimacy with God
The building blocks of relationships
3 Love, the Enduring One
Putting content into love
4 Trust – the Cost of Commitment
Defining trust The content of trust
Trust – crisis or process?
How to build trust
Trust and leadership
5 Made for Honour
What is honour or respect?
Measures of value
The content of honour
Showing respect, giving honour
6 Understanding Understanding
The beginning and the end
Why do we want to be understood?
How do we know each other?
The role of the human spirit
Words, the vehicle of the spirit
Self-disclosure, the open door
Discernment – reading the disclosure
Imagination – entering the other’s frame of reference
7 What Damages Relationships?
Things that wound love
Things that breach trust
Things that damage respect
Barriers to understanding
What is the answer?
8 When Relationships Break Down
Intervening to help
9 The Way Back – Reconciliation
What is reconciliation?
What is reconciled?
10 How Does God Reconcile?
Persons are reconciled, not problems
Only grace works
Reconciliation and relationship
Steps towards reconciliation
11 Problem Solving in Relationships
Unresolved hurts from the past
The way to forgiveness
What if there is no response?
Appendix A Restoring Broken Trust
Restoration where capacity to trust has been damaged
Appendix B The ‘One-Another’ Syndrome