Relationships are hard.
We are human. And humans are not perfect.
We say things we shouldn’t, do things that make others mad, and are forgetful. We hurt those closest to us. Sometimes without even being aware.
So, how do we have close relationships – whether that’s with friends, family, or our spouse – and keep them healthy?
Well, I think there are a zillion self help books out there about relationships. But let’s take a look at the Bible to see what God says about it.
Colossians 3:13 says, “Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you.” (GNT)
Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (NIV)
Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (NIV)
John 13:34 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (NIV)
I think we could find hundreds of verses that instruct us on how to be in relationship with others. But, what does all this mean? How can we put this into practical terms?
Well, let’s look at a few examples:
Forgive. When a friend forgets your birthday. When your spouse comes home late and forgot to call. When your kid gets on your ever-lovin’ last nerve. Forgive.
Be patient. When your friend is late for a lunch date. When your husband isn’t giving you the attention you desire. When your kids just can’t get that homework.
Be compassionate. When your friend has had a hard day. When your husband is sick. When your kid had their heart broken.
Love. When your friend is lonely. When your husband craves your attention. When your kid is growing so fast.
Obviously, these are only a few examples of how we can help our relationships be healthier. What would you add to this list?