Your relationship with God is vital to your Christian life, but your marriage, family relationships and friendships are also important. There is nothing as draining as a relationship under pressure. Truth be told, bad relationships can make life unbearable and impact every area of your daily life. The Bible offers some wise advice about relationships:
Firstly, we are encouraged in Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” In other words, you should do everything in your power to live at peace and enjoy good healthy relationships. I understand that this is not always possible. Because of our humanity, we sometimes clash with people. However, the Bible encourages us to work at having right relationships with others. This is particularly true in our marriages. We need to invest time and energy into our marriages – this relationship must be our priority. It is important to be quick to listen, slow to speak, be honest and quick to forgive each other for our failures.
Secondly, there are some relationships that are not worth investing in. The Bible actually warns us against a ‘gossip.’ Proverbs 20:19-20 says, “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.” I think we probably understand the intention of this text. It is a warning against a perpetual gossip who breaks down other people. Sometimes we say things we regret and our words are harsh or unkind. This text however is talking about the sort of person who is bent on destroying the reputation of others and causes division amongst friends. The Bible wisely exhorts us to ‘avoid’ such people. That does not mean we are rude, unfriendly or unkind to such a person, it simply means we do not pursue or invest in a friendship with them.
Thirdly, the Bible says in 1Corinthains 15:33 that, “Bad company corrupts good character.” That is why I believe it is important to ensure that your children keep good company. You should be actively involved in your children’s lives and you should know who they keep company with. Your children are precious. Ensure that they keep good company.
Finally, the Bible says in Proverbs 13:20, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Great advice! If you choose good friendships, they will benefit you. If you invest wisely in relationships they will bless and enrich your life.
Our relationship with God is paramount, but our relationships with other people are also intrinsic to our spiritual well being. This is not a call to exclusivity in friendship; it is simply an exhortation to be wise in the relationships that you invest your time and energy into.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,