How to build relationships that last

Here are some timeless principles to enhance the way we relate with others

Relationships are a good thing and every person is involved in one. It could be a parent and child, husband and wife, employer-employee, pastor-congregants, siblings and so on. The true test of the state of our relationships is in how well we interact with each other as we share this life God has graciously granted us.

I bet you agree with me that relationships are hard work and that some effort is needed to keep them going. Here are some principles that can be applied to transform or enhance our relationships while glorifying God.

True love

Love causes us to put others’ needs before our own. As it is expressed to others, it brings life to our actions and gifts. True love goes against the natural inclinations. It is patient and kind; it does not envy, is not easily angered, does not boast, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.

I know all this sounds like a tall order, but becoming more like Christ is what will enable us to love honestly, sacrificially and practically, expecting nothing in return.

Forgiveness

Forgiving others means letting go of wrongs committed against you. Jesus demonstrated forgiveness by dying for us while we were still sinners. It is not easy, but if we forgive others their trespasses against us, God will forgive us our sins. Choosing to forgive or not can determine if our relationships work out or crumble. So let us bear with and forgive one another (Colossians 3:13).

Faithfulness

Being faithful means choosing to be loyal, reliable, unwavering, steadfast and truthful, all of which aim at sustaining healthy relationships. A good model for faithfulness is Jesus assuring us that He will never leave us or forsake us. In Matthew 28:20, He assured His disciples that He would be with them to the very end of the age. Even when relationships are difficult, faithfulness will help us sail through the storms.

Understanding
Understanding means learning and knowing well the character or nature of something; to be informed and to interpret well. Ego can stand between us and those we relate with but healthy relationships call for understanding as we walk in the shoes of those we love. Feeling short of the ability to understand? Worry not, Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

God’s direction is the only sure way to guide us on what path of understanding to take.

Glory to God

If our aim is to glorify God in all we do, our relationships will be stronger, more resilient and fulfilling. Knowing that everything we do or say will be examined by God should definitely change the way we live or carry on our relationships. In Psalms 19:14 David said: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.”

He asked God to approve his words and reflections as though they were offerings brought to the altar.

So we pray, almighty and ever loving father, that you would enable us to have healthy relationships that will be testimonies of your goodness, love, and mercy, amen.

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