<< Encouragement Café

Struggling With Relationships - Encouragement Café - August 20, 2015

Struggling With Relationships

Café Menu for Thursday, August 20, 2015

Today’s Special is: I’m a Killer

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Luann Prater

Main Ingredient:

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13 NIV


I'm a killer. Yes, you read it right. I'm laying it out there and admitting it.

I've wondered if it is from my dysfunctional home life as a kid. You see we moved annually, which meant I was in a different school every year until I was a teenager. For an extremely shy girl (yes, I was), this was terrifying. The dread and cold sweats would come the night before I had to face the new classroom. I knew what to expect: stares, whispers and giggles.

The layers built up thinking it didn't really matter if they liked me or not, because I probably wouldn't be there long anyway. Occasionally I would open up just a bit. Then mom would say, “Pack up,” and along with the boxes, my heart would seal up too.

It just hurt too much to hope that friendships could ever last. So I killed them before they could take root. End it now before I’m too invested, was my mindset.

Maybe you’ve been hurt by relationships and know exactly what I’m talking about. We can fool ourselves into thinking that we don’t need to open up and risk the pain of rejection or the devastation of potential loss.

Girlfriend, let me tell you what I discovered. The apostle John paints a portrait of a warm, real Jesus. He reached through that picture and out to me. He came into my heart and, at that moment, the love of a Savior poured into my life.

In the 4th chapter, He offered living water that becomes a spring welling up to eternal life! When you begin to live that effervescent life, it becomes contagious! The joy that bubbles up from the inside cannot be hidden. Others are drawn to you and wonder how you can have joy in all circumstances.

And then it happens. Friendships develop. The old me would shut down, walk away, or murder a relationship. I just didn’t think I had what it takes to keep relationships alive and healthy. I don’t, but God does.

Jesus goes on to say,

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. You are my friends if you do what I command.

John 15:14-17

This girl, who murdered most relationships found love, real love. Unconditional love changes the way you look at others. I slip on my God goggles and see people through His eyes.

That angry grocery clerk is really a woman who just discovered her child was arrested. That snippy coworker is dealing with aging parents. That unfriendly neighbor found a lump on her breast.

Suddenly, that spring of living water erupts and God floods my heart with compassion beyond myself. My heart can genuinely encourage and come alongside them.

Take Out:

Maybe you’ve struggled with relationships. God crossed our paths today on purpose. He is asking us to take a risk. Let your guard down and love, as He loved us.

Read John 4 and ask God to open your heart. Slip on your God goggles to see hurting hearts around you.


Dear Lord, thank You for loving me and teaching me how to love others. Open my mind to see beyond myself today and take the risk of relationships built on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2013 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Pull up a chair… He’s been waiting for you.

Need a refill? Please join us at the Encouragement Café with Luann and Friends.

The conversation at the Café is always hot and fresh. We invite you to listen inas Luann and Friends gather around the table to discuss everyday life.

Comfort food for your soul is always on our menu, and friends are always close enough to hug. We invite you to join us daily, as our writer’s share how the Lord continues to transform them into His glorious image.

Still craving more…Join us as we grow together in grace and truth through our online bible study.

Stop by Encouragement Café and listen as the girls share life. Find podcasts, videos, Bible studies, prayer, resources and daily helpings of hope, laughter and friendship around our table. We've saved a seat just for you!

More Encouragement Café Articles