Three Key Ingredients to Good and Healthy Relationships
Relationships are funny things, aren’t they? It goes without saying that our relationship with Jesus is the most important of all relationships, yet I feel the need to say it anyway. While I want to bring all my thoughts back around to the most important one you’ll ever have, let’s take a look at the subject of relationships. There are many faces of relationships. Marriage. Parent. Child. Sibling. Friend. And on and on it goes. Some are harder than others. No argument, each one is different. Yet commonalities, right?
At this point in my life I've spent some time as a student of the various faces of relationships, but I’m far from an expert. The following are the key ingredients that I’ve come to realize are so very necessary for healthy relationships in my life.
The first thing that comes to mind that a good and healthy relationship requires is connection.
This one is a very basic step one. Simply explained like this: I don’t have a relationship with President Trump because we are not directly connected. Relationships start with direct common connections. Geographical location. Family. Workplace. Community. Shared experiences. You get the idea.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Galatians 5:14
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Ephesians 2:19
The second need for a good and healthy relationship is investment of time and attention from both parties keeping your connection current.
One sided relationships aren’t healthy, and I would think they couldn’t even be classified as relationships for very long. Both people must make contributions. Both must be doing their part putting in time and attention to the relationship. Long distance relationships make it hard to spend time together, but not impossible. They may require creativity and being intentional, but it is possible to have a healthy relationship.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
The third, and in my opinion greatest, need for a good and healthy relationship is love.
Relationships are hard. They require work. Relationships require sacrifice. Ongoing forgiveness. They require us to plunge into the deep end. Relationships are risky. While all of these “requirements” seem to be daunting, negative or maybe even impossible, it is worth it. We were not designed to go about this life alone. What a terrific example Jesus was to us!
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:9-10
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Practice makes perfect doesn’t it? Making good and healthy relationship choices on a daily basis will certainly bring good results.
The most important relationship we can connect, invest and practice love in is our relationship with Jesus.
He will teach us what good and healthy relationships look like. I believe all our other relationships will benefit from applying these three key ingredients to our relationship with Him. In fact, I’m confident that you can count on it!
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. John 14:22-24
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
I invite you to join with me to abide in Christ. If you missed that conversation check it out here. Also, I've created some tools for you to download that will help you to be intentional about your most important relationship of all. Let's lock arms together as Jesus' disciples and #abide with Him encouraging one another to stay the course!