Repairing Relationships: Building Doors

We all build walls. Some more than others, but I think it’s human nature to want separation from what scares us, and historically, has hurt us. Walls are a defense tactic. Keep the enemy out. We’ve attempted this strategy throughout history. Cities commonly built walls around their territory. The Great Wall of China. The Berlin Wall. Walls are a thing across cultures—we all get it.

Walls serve a purpose. They do. But at a certain point, walls are also destructive.

No, wrecking balls are destructive, you say? You’re right. One is actively destroying something, but there is a passive destruction as well. Passive destruction happens over time. It’s corrosive. It eats away at what was once sturdy and sure. It depletes what was once trusted, undermining and compromising the foundation. Walls are passive destruction.

Relationships are shockingly difficult. One thing I’ve learned is that every relationship (yes, every) has a breaking point. Your relationship with your sister, your spouse, your best friend, and even God has a breaking point. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced ruptures to relationships that not only did we not see coming, we also never thought it was possible. Those ruptures leave you stunned. Those ruptures leave the deepest of wounds. Those ruptures are what make you cry as you’re trying to fall asleep, make you long for solitude, maybe those ruptures are what make you seek anyone and anything that will keep you from feeling the wound, and those wounds are what make you build walls.

I think walls are necessary for a time. Safety is a primary need. But at some point, if what we want is repair, we have to be willing to cut out a door and allow some connection. I’m not saying tear down the wall and pretend nothing happened. You were hurt and you need to have some sense of safety. But, if repair is what you’re truly after, don’t can’t get stuck at an impasse, waiting for the other person to make the first move. I truly believe any rupture can be repaired if both parties are willing to fight for it. But both sides have to take an ACTIVE roll in the repair process. Both have to be willing to cut out a door. Both have to be willing to be vulnerable. And if you’re not willing, then you have stolen the opportunity for repair. You have stolen the opportunity for your loved one to be a sister, a spouse, a best friend, or a loving God to you.

Walls are safe | Walls prevent repair | Walls are passive destruction

So, maybe it’s time to consider building a door. And keep in mind—doors work from both sides.

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