Our You Were Made for This podcast listeners have suggested some very good ideas for relationship topics to be examined in future episodes. They are in response to my May 17th blog post where I asked for help in developing content for the upcoming podcast season.

As you probably know, the podcast is all about relationships and helping people of faith find more joy in them. It’s such a broad topic with so many aspects to it, that at times it has my head spinning like a Ferris Wheel. I asked you for help in narrowing this expansive topic into bite-size pieces.  Maybe even consider using a different format than a podcast.

Today I’m sharing with you three of the suggested relationship topics that came in. I’ll have more next week.

What do you think of these? What other ideas do you have for relationship topics for the podcast?

From M.S. – Greenville, SC

Hi John,

These are the relationship topics that interest me the most

•How to handle conflict effectively
•Handling dysfunctional relationships biblically
•Loneliness/Making friends

Perhaps a podcast that focuses specifically on just one of these topics? I like being able to listen while I am going places. And I always love your interviews!

Thanks for asking!!

From C.S. –  Chippewa Falls, WI

Hi John:  

Personally I have found so much that I needed to think about in all the relationship topics you have covered.  I especially liked the active feedback format that you used in your last podcast episode for season 7, i.e., a listener expressed her situation and asked a question to which you invited us to answer by sharing what we would suggest.  

You shared several who gave their advice, then you spent an episode giving your answer/advice.  Could you do this occasionally in your forthcoming podcasts again?

From L.H. – New York

The following is a relationship topic response from a former missionary Janet and I have known for many years. I’ve changed some of the details for confidentiality reasons. It ties in well with the suggestion from C.S. mentioned above – a real-life situation calling out for relational wisdom.

Hi, John!

Let me first thank you for the continued and faithful ministry role you still play in my life. I appreciate your podcasts immensely and I did read the blog that you posted today.

There’s an area of being parents of adults that I have never really seen addressed. A year-and-a-half ago, our (then) 26-year-old daughter called me from Austria, where she has been living for the better part of the last seven years, to tell me that she is gay. She now has a live-in partner to whom she is engaged to marry. Since then, Jason and I went to see her last May, and I spent a week with them this past March. I feel so helpless with her. She had been describing mental illness issues with us for the last few years, and living alone through Covid did not help her.

Needing help with this relationship topic

My question is where can I find any information on loving and uplifting my daughter who is living a life that goes so far from the values that we raised her to respect? I love her so dearly, and yet cannot approve her lifestyle. 

The cause at this point may be irrelevant. I don’t know. But I need to somehow meet her where she is and at the same time keep to my own convictions. In the craziness of the current culture, I am so obviously in the wrong. 

But it’s my daughter who has fallen through the cracks of the evangelical subculture of the US, which all of my kids have now rejected. How does a returned missionary parent the adult children who I raised to love Jesus? 

Now they come home and see ‘hatred’ in the evangelical church. They well-know how we were treated by our former church who supported us when we were on the mission field, and want no part in that world. 

It’s hard. We thought that we raised them well. They all still love us and interact with us, and are fiercely loyal to one another. Anyway, that’s where I am. I still practice ORA with them. Thanks so much for that skill.

Blessing to you and Janet,


What About You?

This last response from L.H. is loaded with difficult relationship topics and concerns. My heart goes out to her. Issues like hers discussed within a community of caring people can bring comfort, encouragement, and wisdom. I know we can do this. I’m working on how’s the best way to do it.  Your thoughts?

I’ll share several more responses next week. But for now, what relationship topics would you like to see addressed in the future?  Here are a few ideas off the top of my head. What are on top of yours?

  •  How to handle conflict effectively
  •  Church and ministry relationships
  •  Loneliness
  •  Becoming a better listener
  •  Parenting
  •  Handling dysfunctional relationships biblically
  •  Caring for aging parents
  •  Relational Intelligence
  •  Working under leaders who shouldn't be leading
  •  Making friends
  •  Group relationships
  •  Taking shallow relationships to a deeper level
Other Relationship Resources

Last week’s blog post, “Relational Encouragement Found in An Unlikely Place”

Episode 088 of You Were Made for This, “Get Them to Say ‘Thank You for Asking'.” This is an introduction to the ORA principle (Observe – Reflect – Act) of relations L.H. mentioned.

Episode 139: “Why Should I Listen to this Podcast?

THEM -The Richer Life Found in Caring for Others

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