Good Triangles, Bad Triangles.

By yourself, you’re unprotected. With a friend, you can face the worst.

Can you round up a third?

A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Triangles. These three-sided polygons assure structural stability and add to beauty in art. Consider what a simple, raised gable does to ramp up the curb appeal of a house?

Triangles are often used as trusses in bridges or other support structures in buildings. When fit together, they provide strength and stability over a wide area.

Unlike a square that shifts into a parallelogram when force is applied to one of its sides, an equilateral triangle can sustain high amounts of force without deformation.

There are triangles in relationships, as well. Not all of them are created equal. Depending on who is represented at each of the three points, a triangle could be considered a good one or a bad one (Can’t you just hear Glinda, the good witch of the North, with that giggly trill, “Are you a good triangle or a bad triangle?“).

When my husband and I were dating, we led a singles class on building relationships with God as the most important member, the One Who gives stability and balance.

To begin, we drew a large triangle.

Added to that was a (poorly drawn) stick figure girl and a(nother poorly drawn) stick figure guy at each of the bottom two corners. The top point of the triangle represented God, reigning over both. As such, when force was applied to either of the other two, the relationship held strong without deforming the image of God Himself. When the two looked upward for help, it reinforced their frame.

Good triangle 🙂

Then there are those other triangles. I’ve learned to stay far from them. And, by all means, to avoid creating them.

Triangulation: the failure of two persons to resolve a conflict between them and the pulling in of a third person to take sides. (Boundaries, When to Say Yes, When to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend)

Here’s how this bad triangle goes. Person A is ticked off at Person B but is too afraid to confront Person B. So he goes to Person C to vent his frustration/anger, saying things he would never say to Person B.

Person C is unfairly drawn into the conflict, with the added burden of having knowledge of Person B he should never have been given. When Person B finds himself lonely and in need of talking to “someone” he chooses…that’s right…Person C…who then is expected to offer validation and comfort, to act like he knows nothing.

He must either break confidence, lie, or remain silent.

This twisted threesome has unknowingly created a highly dysfunctional triangle, leaving no room for God.

Can you say unhealthy boundaries, a breeding ground for gossip and slander? 

Bad triangle! 🙁

If Person A had spent a good deal of time in prayer over the issue, then approached Person B with a humble heart, with the intention of making amends, then their relationship would have had a darn good chance of restoration, leaving the gossip monster undisturbed.

Alas, when A and B have given it their best shot but are unable to come to a resolution on their own, an objective, Person C is needed to create a good and healthy triangle.

[bctt tweet=”You, me and the Lord. Very good triangle 🙂 ” username=”MaryAFelkins”]

Who makes up your triangle?

#conflict #triangulation #gables #strength #threestrands #stability #triangles #Ecclesiastes412 #trusses