We will have many different relationships over our lifetimes. Usually, they change and become more complicated. We start out as children with parents and, many times, siblings. Inside the family unit we will have lots of experiences with immediate and extended family members, neighbors and family friends. Hopefully, most are good experiences, but sometimes they’re not so good. As we grow, friends, neighbors, coworkers, spouses, in-laws, and more come into the picture. Most levels of development will bring many kinds of relationships, but along the path of life we will all experience good and bad interactions with people. We are to learn and grow through these encounters.
We are designed to be in relationships, but how can we make sure they are healthy and beneficial?
As relationships change, we need time to adjust to new roles. It is not always easy to see all aspects of each relationship, but we are on a journey to grow and develop so we can serve others. Being healthy requires us to have healthy relationships. Sometimes we are the giver, sometimes we are the taker, and other times we share those roles. As we move through life, we should become better and better at understanding our roles and how to make them successful.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
— Philippians 2:1–8
So for successful relationships, we have to have the same mind as Christ, serving others and looking for the best for them. Selfishness is the number one killer of relationships!
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
— Ephisians 5:21
For a relationship to work, both parties need to follow Jesus’ example of standing in the other’s shoes. Are we willing to humble ourselves and submit to others “out of reverence for Christ”?
Prayer: Father, help us to follow Christ’s example in building healthy relationships. Lord, be our mediator and give us extra patience when relationships get tense. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.