Hello everyone and welcome to episode 036, Investing in Relationships. Before we get into this topic with two guests I interview on today’s show, there are a two quick items I want to mention.

First off, for those who would rather read the content of each episode, you can do so by reading the show notes that accompany each program. Just scroll down below whatever podcast player you use, and you’ll find a general description of the episode. It’s not a transcript, nor is it a traditional outline. It’s just notes I work from for each episode. Here in the show notes you’ll see links to resources mentioned in that episode.

Secondly, if you’re not already receiving my weekly emails, I encourage you to sign-up for my private email list. Those on this list get a brief email from me once a week where I share a relationship resource, information about the podcast, or other items that are more efficient to share with you in writing than through an audio channel like the podcast. Listener responses to the various episodes will often be in these weekly emails, and we’ve had some really good one’s lately.

I don’t want you to miss out on this. You can sign up by going to johncertalic.com/blog, and then clicking on the form on the right-hand side of the page. It reads “Access our relationship resources.” It’s very easy to unsubscribe if you choose to do that after giving it a try.

I’ll have a link to this page on my website in the show notes.

Now on with today’s topic of investing in relationships.

If you’ve ever wondered why relationships are sometimes challenging, and if they are worth our investment in them, you’ll want to stick around to hear
what two experts in the field of relationships in the world of global Christian workers have to share with us.

On our program today we have Dr. Robert Lugar and his wife Debby. They are the founders of One Another Ministries, a missionary care ministry in England.

My wife Janet and I have a similar missionary care ministry in the US, that we named “Caring for Others.” But I must confess my envy for what Robert and Debby call their organization, One Another Ministries. It’s my my all-time favorite name of any ministry.

I saw a list recently of all the “One Another” verses in the New Testament. There were 59 one them, “Love One Another” being the most common.  It’s just a great name to describe what they stand for.

Janet and I have known Robert and Debby for several decades now, and have worked together with them in a few engagements in North Africa, Spain, and the Island of Guernsey in the English channel. As you’ll soon find out, they are very interesting people.


[Recorded interview]


Here is what I’m taking away from this interview that will be helpful in building better relationships, whether we’re a missionary or not. A few principles that stuck out for me that you might consider too

1. One of the challenges in relationships is the sense of isolation we experience when our relationships are one-sided. When we’re the one giving and giving, and not getting anything in return. Missionaries, in particular, because of the nature of their work and calling, are susceptible to this. But so are some of the rest of us. I’ve had relationships like that, and I bet you have too. It causes me to ask myself, am I more of a giver or a taker in my relationships?

A former missionary told me recently, “I like talking to you because you fill my
relational tank so that I can listen to the people who drain it.”

2. It’s important not to give up when relationships are one-sided. Initiate and pursue anyway. Pray that the Lord will bring people into our lives where we have a mutual give and take. In the meantime, don’t pull away.

3. Good relationships allow for disagreement. They encourage differences.

4. Good relationships talk through expectations and question assumptions

5. When you work very closely with people, build in times for fun and recreation. Especially true of missionaries who often work and live in close proximity.

What Robert and Debby and their staff at One Another Ministries are doing with their lives so illustrates what I’ve been talking about when it comes to T.H.I.S. T – Transcendent relating, that goes beyond our natural inclination, that H – Honors God by obey his call on our lives. And that I – Initiates with others in acts of S-Selfless service. We were all made for T.H.I.S.

Before I close, here’s the main take-away from today’s episode, our show in a sentence

It’s important to invest in our relationships, even when the return is low, because the alternative is isolation and loneliness.

Here’s what you can do in response to today’s show

One thing we can do is reflect on our relationships and ask God to show us if we are more of taker than a giver. Do we drain the energy from people, or do we pour into them? Do we wait for people initiate with us, or do we initiate with them?

Let’s pray that however we answer these questions, the Lord will show us what to do next. As always I welcome your feedback!


Before I leave you with our relationship quote of the week, I want to thank you for joining us today, and for showing the world the character of Jesus by the way we relate to each other.

Our goal here is that you will feel good about your relationships, knowing you are doing everything you can through the power of the Holy Spirit in your life to make your relationships the best they can be.

Relationship Quote of the Week

There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.                  – G. K. Chesterton

That’s all for today. See you next time. Bye for now.


Resources mentioned in today’s show

To sign up for John’s private email list:  click here

Robert an Debby Lugar and One Another Ministries:  OneAnother.com

Missionary care ministry of John & Janet Certalic:  Caring for Others