Building and maintaining healthy relationships has become more critical in today's fast-paced and ever-connected world. Did you know that the Scriptures provide valuable insights and guidance for establishing solid and meaningful connections, from our marriages to our friendships and even our co-worker relationships? Recently I saw that the “hashtag” #relationshipgoals is trending on social media, and I was thinking that it might be good to establish and help you with some faith-based foundation.
First and foremost #relationshipgoals need love and respect. Love and respect are the foundation of any successful relationship, as the New Testament emphasizes. Jesus taught his disciples to love one another as He loved them (John 13:34-35). This love encompasses selflessness, forgiveness, kindness, and genuine care for the well-being of others. In our relationships, whether with spouses, friends, or co-workers, we are called to prioritize love and demonstrate respect for one another.
Then I will say unity and harmony. The New Testament highlights the importance of unity and harmony within NOT OURSELVES but the body of Christ. In Ephesians 4:3, believers are urged to "make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." This principle applies to all relationships, requiring us to work towards resolving conflicts and fostering understanding. We should strive for unity and harmony instead of allowing disagreements to divide us.
Coming on third, a solid third, I will say servant-heartedness. Following the example of Jesus, the New Testament encourages believers to adopt a servant-hearted attitude in their relationships. Philippians 2:3-4 reminds us to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit" and to "look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others." This mindset encourages us to put the needs of others before our own, serving and supporting one another in our relationships.
Then those not on the podium, and yet very relevant, communication and accountability. Effective communication is vital in any relationship, and the New Testament emphasizes the importance of truthful and edifying speech. Ephesians 4:29 encourages believers to speak "only what helps build others up according to their needs." Furthermore, Galatians 6:2 urges us to bear one another's burdens, highlighting the need for accountability and support in our relationships. Open and honest communication and mutual accountability can strengthen the bonds we share with others.
And yet last but not least… Knowing that the last would be the first. Grace and Forgiveness.
Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:14-15 that our heavenly Father will also forgive us if we forgive others. By extending grace and forgiveness to one another, we create an environment where relationships can heal and grow. Holding onto grudges and refusing to forgive hinders the development of healthy and fulfilling connections.
So beloved Church. As believers, we are called to apply the teachings of the Scriptures in all areas of our lives, including our relationships. By embracing love, respect, unity, servant-heartedness, effective communication, and grace, we can establish relationship goals that reflect the values and principles found in the New Testament. Whether it's our spouses, friends, or co-workers, let us strive to build relationships that glorify God and bring joy, peace, and fulfillment to our lives and the lives of those around us.