Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)
We were created to be in relationship with God as well as with each other. God created Eve as a companion and partner for Adam. We were made for community. As a church we model this by gathering to worship God and fellowship with one another. In community, we grow and stretch. Connections bring balance to our lives. By yourself you will tilt towards extremes; relationships increase our strength by allowing us to see multiple perspectives.
Question #1: Outside of love, what is the second most important quality in a relationship?
Love is the foundation of a relationship. It is beyond a feeling. It is a decision. It is wanting the highest good for the other person. Love is a responsibility. Jesus commanded us to love.
Unity is the second most important quality. What keeps a friendship or a marriage together? It’s unity. It’s finding commonality. You have to work to maintain unity.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” - Romans 12:18 (NIV)
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” - Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)
It’s impossible to be at peace with God and at war with other people. Always strive to find points of agreement.
Question #2: How do I communicate with my spouse in a loving way when we can’t see eye to eye on most things
Opposites attract but then they attack. Making a decision to love is a daily choice. Can two people coexist while being so different? Yes. It takes work on both sides. It’s about empathy. It’s about listening more than responding.
It’s important to realize that what we say isn’t always what is heard. 80% of communication is non-verbal.
What men need most is respect. What women need most is Love. When men and women are meeting each other’s needs, it creates an energizing cycle that brings life to a relationship. When those needs are not being met, insecurities and negativity surface, and the relationship becomes divided.
For relationships to work, we must be willing to see things from another’s point of view. Our differences are what make us beautiful. God made it this way.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Question #3: How do I stay pure? Is Biblical purity still relevant in today’s world?
God has something to say about purity. Culture shifts and changes but when it comes to the principles of God; you have to go back to the word of God.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-6, NIV
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.
Psalm 119:9, NIV How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.
Purity is still important today because it is still important to God. Put accountability safeguards around you. If you believe in God’s word and set your mind on obedience, the Holy Spirit will empower you to live accordingly.
In Matthew 16:13, Jesus asks his disciples, his closest friends: Who do men say that I am?
Why did Jesus ask that? He shared a vulnerable moment with his closest friends by asking them what other people were saying about him. Are there people around you that you can ask “What is my reputation?” or “What do people say about me”? It is healthy to ask and evaluate your identity within a safe communal context. The next question he asks is “Who do you say that I am?”. Do you have people that you allow close enough to you to have this kind of vulnerable conversation? Who in your life really knows you?
There is a quote that says, “True success is When those who know you the best love you the most.”
There should be certain people that you let into your life, who know you, both your strengths and and weaknesses. Allow and invite these trusted friends to speak into your life, to help to keep you honest and accountable. One of the church’s primary purposes is to create this kind of community where relationships and accountability can happen.
Action Items: Think about who in your life really knows you and holds you accountable. If you don’t have someone like that, take a step to get connected with someone: text a friend for coffee, join a life group, and pray for God to lead you to the right relationships.