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How Can I Navigate the Tensions in My Relationship Systems, Part 1?

In my last entry, I noted the lingering tension people are experiencing in their families and other relationships, tension exposed after the presidential election of 2016 that continues to the present. If it is true that Jesus called me to be in some kind of relationship with people who are different than me, perhaps even hostile towards me, and if this relationship is to be redemptive and reveal the love of Jesus Christ, then how can I accomplish this when they don't like me much and the feelings are largely mutual?

Bowen Family Systems Theory describes tension relationship systems (such as families, churches, friendships, and even workplaces) as the result of anxiety: an emotional response to a sense of threat. That threat can be real or imaginary. Anxiety can be chronic: the system may feel threatened all the time - a constant crisis. Anxiety can also be acute: temporary elevation in anxiety that will subside in time.

Some people's relational systems are always tense. It m…
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