Six Words to Guide You in Difficult Adult Relationships



One day when I was analyzing a difficult adult relationship, a thought occurred to me, “I need to get rid of the ‘prove words’ concerning this relationship. These ‘prove words’ are adding fuel to this flagrant relationship.” I sensed I needed to be free of letting these six words rule this relationship. These six words are:  

Prove. Approve. Disapprove. Improve. Disprove. Reprove.[1]

Prove.To test the worth or quality of. I needed to be free of having to prove to this person that I am worthy of her respect and honor. I can never prove myself to another. I already have approval of the One that really matters because of Christ (Isaiah 43:1).     

Approve.To have or express a favorable opinion of. I subconsciously spent years trying to gain this person’s approval of me. The only genuine approval I can have is from the Lord which came before the foundation of the world! (Ephesians 1:3-10).  

Disapprove.To pass unfavorable judgment on. I need to let go of disapproval of her actions. I do not know everything about situations and even if I did, I lack the wisdom to decide what is right and wrong. I need to focus on the good things that she is doing and rejoice and applaud those things (Ephesians 4:29-32; Philippians 4:8).  

Improve.To enhance in value or quality. Flaws in her generally need to be corrected (and can only be) transformed by the Holy Spirit…not by me (Psalm 139:23-24; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Disprove.To prove to be false or wrong. It is a waste of energy to try to disprove her actions to myself and/or to others. God is the only lawgiver and judge (James 4:12).  

Reprove.To scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent. God is the reprover of our souls. A lot of my reproves for her come from what I personally prefer, my opinions, or what I think is the right way to do something. I need to remember she is accountable to God and not to me (Romans 14:1-12).  

It takes God’s power to remove these six words from my vocabulary. When I let go of using these six “prove words” in this flagrant relationship, I notice that attitudes (mine and hers) become more congenial. We begin to build each other up and encourage each other in Christ. Like we are supposed to do as sisters in Christ.   

Difficult adult relationships are God’s gifts to draw me to Himself and be transformed. Removing these six words from my vocabulary in difficult relationships opens the way for God’s transforming power in my life.

What relationship would benefit from your removal, through God’s power, of these six words?   


Definitions taken from “Merriam-Webster, Incorporated,” 2018 Application. Accessed on March 14, 2019.

PJ Beets is passionate about encouraging women and children through the Scriptures and life to see the compassionate God who redeems the rejected by acceptance, the silenced by expression, the labored by grace, and the lonely by love in order to set them free to serve in His ordained place and way for them individually and corporately. She has served the Lord through Bible Study Fellowship and her home church in various capacities with women and children. Upon turning fifty, she sought the Lord on how He would have her finish well which began her journey at Dallas Theological Seminary. She has a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies as well as a Doctor of Educational Ministry in Spiritual Formation, both from from DTS. PJ is married to Tom, has three children, and six grandchildren.