God repeatedly says in His word that our relationship with Him should impact our relationship with one another. In fact, 1 John 4:20 puts it this way,
the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
We know this and we affirm this. So why the conflict, the anger, the distance in our relationships? So often it comes down to thinking that we are right and if others could just simply realize this, everything would be great. When I was newly married, I found myself getting frustrated at my wife, who saw things very different that I did. At the time it was very irritating and challenging. But I came to realize what a great gift the Lord had given me in her, and how much I needed to grow.
I’ll never forget what a Christian counselor shared with me about a woman he counseled. She was so angry because when she came downstairs in the morning, she would see the newspaper that her husband read the evening before. She would berate him about not putting the it away when he was done, but he would occasionally forget. It ruined her joy and fractured their relationship. Then her husband died. And with tears in her eyes, she said, “I would give anything to come downstairs and see that newspaper spread out in my living room.” It took the death of her husband to realize how foolish her perspective had been.
There is often a fallacy in our thinking that we need to understand: We cannot change our relationships without changing ourselves. The corollary to this truth is that the Lord uses the conflict we have in relationships to bring the growth that He wants to see take place. That is why the truth of Colossians 3:12-14 is so important,
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
May the Lord give us the grace to live this out, and to experience His joy and peace in our lives and in our relationships.