My wife and I just got back from a weekend in Michigan with family. On the way back and later in the evening we talked about "family" and the joy that is to be found in a healthy family relationship.
There are many who do not have this in our world. Many who have been orphaned, divorced, estranged, separated, disowned or lost. Families often have clashed, personality traits that don't mix well with others. There are SO many variables that can cause disagreements amongst family and friends.
So what's the difference? Why do some families succeed and others fail? Why do some relationships last a long time and others end like a bottle rocket in the night sky? I believe the answer can be found in the Bible. More precisely, the answer can be found . . . in God.
Look at any failed relationship. What are the basic problems?
- Selfishness - Some ONE doesn't get what THEY want. This is where the "irreconcilable differences" phrase comes from in many divorce cases. Basically it's "You don't like the same things as me so we're done.
- Abuse - Physical or sexual abuse is just a further extension of selfishness. Someone doesn't get their way and they take it out on another. Not good.
- Sexual Infidelity - Someone's not getting what THEY want at home to they go searching elsewhere to find what they want. See #1 above.
So what does the Bible say about such matters? Let's start with the golden rule:
"31 Do to others as you would have them do to you." - Luke 6:31
If we followed this truth alone there would be very few divorces. Very few broken relationships.
Here's another verse that holds the key to successful relationships. Love one another!
"7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God." - 1 John 4:7
And what is the Biblical definition of love?
"4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. " - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is what holds us together. It is essential for our survival. But the love I speak of is not the kind of love the world offers. It's the kind that God offers. The key to this verse is found in verse five above.
Love is not self-seeking.
This kind of love keeps no record of right or wrong. It is not easily angered. It protects. It always trusts, always hopes and ALWAYS perseveres.
Do you have relationship problems? You need this kind of love.. You say you ARE a Christian and are still having relationship problems. You must do YOUR part. You can't change anyone else. Love one another because love comes from God. Pray for those who wrong you. Examine yourself for any wrong-doing. And then pray your butt off because only Christ can save. Give Him control of your relationships. Life other up top Him in prayer. Trust. Hope. Persevere. Love never fails.