Relationships: A Mess Worth Making (2006), by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp was a required book for a class I am taking through the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. I had previously read Tripp and Lane's How People Change, which was a very good book, so I was looking forward to this one as well. This one surpassed my expectations. As the title would suggest, this book explores the mess of relationships and why we should pursue them anyway.
They rightly demonstrate that relationships are often difficult and, given enough time, all relationships will likely show strain. However, they suggest that "God keeps us in messy relationships for His redemptive purpose" (page 11). In the midst of struggle, it is often difficult to see God's work at hand, but it is.
Exploring topics such as sin, forgiveness, and mercy, the authors provide examples of moving in the rhythms of life with one another. In many ways, this book was reminiscent of the things that I have been reading from Dr Larry Crabb. The idea of "relational sin" would not be foreign to these authors and this book would serve as an excellent addition to the libraries of those who believe that relationships are a mess worth making.