Emotionally Healthy Relationships

Posted by: DVULI | November 22, 2022

"Emotionally Healthy Relationships" book by Brandon Woodard (Cincinnati, 2021) - cover image.

by Brandon Woodard (Cincinnati 2021)

As a pastor, one of the things I have come to accept is the importance of fruitful, meaningful relationships. Any impactful movement that has led to a radical transformation in individual lives and society, in general, started from the outworking of fruitful relationships. For example, the Civil Rights Movement was birthed out of strife and the coming together of individuals like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy, as well as others who locked arms to do something great. As I thought about the importance of relationships from both a historical and pastoral perspective, I could not help but be reminded of the work we do daily—building cathedrals in the lives of the youth we serve—and the importance of building fruitful relationships.    

To aid the youth we serve in radical transformation, we must sharpen our own relationship-building capabilities. My 100% DVULI Recommended Resource is Emotionally Healthy Relationships by Pete & Geri Scazzero. In this short eight-session course, the authors help leaders understand the importance of building deep, meaningful relationships and offer practical tools to shape our relationships.  

For example, the “Stop Mind Reading & Clarify Expectations” session has been transformational for me as a pastor and servant in our community. If you are like me, assumptions can be crippling. Through this session, I learned how to stop the toxic trait of assuming how individuals would respond to what I was asking them and shift to getting their understanding and honest response. The session discusses the importance of clarifying expectations, which is crucial for any relationship and is usually one of the most assumed components that fracture relationships. How to get clarity within my pastoral, familial, and community relationships proved to be immensely helpful.  

As Pete says, “Assumptions bring so much unwanted pain in relationships,” and this is the last thing we want in our relationships with those we serve. We want flourishing relationships, which begins when we equip ourselves with the tools necessary to build healthy relationships.” I highly encourage you to check out Emotionally Healthy Relationships today! 


This article was published in the Winter 2022 issue of DVULI’s On the LEVEL print newsletter