Hope for messy, conflict-ridden relationships.
Your best friend is suddenly cool and distant. Your spouse can't stop complaining about your bad habits. Your son refuses to talk to you. What are you supposed to do? Plans A, B, and C might be to shut down, lash out, or get out. But consider Plan D: Recognize that God has the last word on those messy, conflict-ridden relationships. He can use them to make you into a Christian who can give and receive love with God and others. Impossible? Idealistic? Not really.
In Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, Tim and Paul discuss the relational disappointments that we all suffer both in and out of the church. But they are also optimistic about the power of Christian beliefs to redeem and restore our relationships. Rather than presenting new or sophisticated techniques to make relationships flourish, the authors instead focus on the basic, Christian character qualities that can only be formed in the heart by the gospel.