Sunday 8 February 2015
Relationship can be defined as the way in which two or more people or things are connected, or the state of being connected. Synonyms include:
connection, association, link, correlation, correspondence, parallel, tie-in, tie-up, alliance, bond, interrelation, interconnection; interdependence
Whether we are at home, in church or in our workplaces, beautiful fulfilling relationships brings joy into our lives, while broken relationships especially with ones dear to us bring a lot of pain. The good thing is that there is much we can do to increase our chances of having rich and fulfilling relationships. A fulfilling relationship does not fall on us, it requires work, and when we work hard at it, it yields dividends.
Every formed ‘team’ or connection or relationship group has natural group/ team dynamics/ cycle of FORMING (when the team is formed or come together ab initio); STORMING (when they come with different perceptions, attitudes, mindset, backgrounds leading literally to storms and clashes of opinions) ; NORMING ( norming time is a time when each other perceptions are taken into consideration, compromises are made and seeming normalcy returns); PERFORMING.(finally the team is moving forward to perform the reason, task or purpose for which they were formed in the first place). In our family or marriage relationships, there is need to move quickly to norming so that the whole purpose for our coming together can begin to be made manifest.
RELATIONSHIP IN THE FIRST GARDEN( EDEN)
In line with our theme for the month, ‘My Home, My Garden‘ we will look at the relationships that existed in the first garden and take away some lessons from them.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
TAKE AWAY FROM RELATIONSHIP AT THE GARDEN OF EDEN
Players in the family relationship are God, the man, the woman, the children, satan, others…
1. God is the originator of relationships. It was his idea in the first place. He also desires a relationship with us, hence his coming down in the cool of the evening to fellowship and connect with Adam. Our relationship with God is the life of our relationship with our spouses and children and we should pursue it with all diligence. How is our time with God? How is the fire on our family altars?
2. There is a LEAVING of the previous in order to CLEAVE in the family relationship and the mystery of two becoming one takes place. The outfall of this oneness include
– LOVE – Ephesians 5:28-29
– REMOVAL OF LIMITATIONS –Genesis 11:6
– GEOMETRIC MULTIPLICATIONS in terms of favor and accomplishments in warfare (one shall chase a thousand and two ten thousand.)
3. Satan has been and will continue to seek relevance in this equation and we need to resist him, draw nigh to God and not be double minded.
4. One more mystery of the relationship in the garden is NAKED AND NOT ASHAMED.
– this speaks of pure sincere communication, financial nakedness, honesty and trust.
– it also speaks of sexual love within the context of marriage Hebrews 13:4-5
-Adultery is not part of this equation 1 Corinthians 6:16
HEALTHY VERSUS UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
A healthy relationship is when two people develop a connection based on:
-Respect for one another
-Recognition of individuality
Relationships need to be maintained and healthy relationships take a lot of work. This applies to all relationships; work relationships, friendships, family, and romantic relationships
A healthy relationship brings happiness and less stress to the people involved.
In a healthy spousal relationship, the couple are able to express themselves to each other without fear of consequences, they are able to feel secure and comfortable and do not worry about violence in the relationship. They trust each other and are honest with each other.
The couple recognize that Relationships require give and take, and allow partners influence and make compromise. Fighting could even be in a healthy relationship; the important factor is how the conflict is handled. Fighting fairly is an important skill.
Unhealthy relationships on the other hand, instead of bringing happiness and comfort, is laden with a lot of pressure, tension and stress and usually affects other areas of life.
-There could be neglect of self or partner or the home,
-There could be withdrawal into oneself,
-lots of arguments which are usually not settled
-Yelling and physical violence
-Attempt to control or manipulate each other
-No time spent with one another
– No common friends, or lack of respect for each others’ friends and family
-Unequal control of resources (e.g., food, money, home, car, etc.)
-Lack of fairness and equality
This does not mean the end of this relationship but recognizing how these characteristics affect you, can make you begin to work on improving the negative aspect of your relationships to benefit partners.
NUGGETS/ ESSENTIALS FOR A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
We will look at 8 strings we can pull or work on that will certainly build /improve healthy relationships in the family.
This is where most young people miss it from the beginning.
Amos 3:3 – Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
When you have a kingdom mindset, and go into a lifetime relationship with another who has a totally different mindset, trouble is the foundation of the relationship. That is why 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 says: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”
We take this for granted to our detriment.
Even after marriage, finding and walking towards a common purpose strengthens our relationships. Working together, building together, failing and succeeding together—all while pursuing a common purpose—is what relationships are made of.
The core basis of healthy relationships is love. I’m not talking about love as a ‘feeling’ .
We are talking about love as a’choice’. This is because feelings will sometimes fail, but we make a choice that COMMITS us to TREAT OUR PARTNERS ( or friends, parents, children etc) RIGHT AND HONORABLY. This definition of love modulates how we ACT towards one another.
And so ( from 1 Corinthians 13:4-9), I’m kind towards my partner, not puffed up, I seek his/her good; not easily provoked, I endure and I’m patient with, i will not think to do him/ her evil. The ramifications of these choices are limitless. This is the basis of all healthy relationships.
4.Playing Second Fiddle.
Romans 12:10b says “in honor preferring one another” another version says consider others’ interests as more important than your own and the message puts it this way “practice playing second fiddle”. The concept focuses on serving others in our relationships and not seeking to be served. It is looking out for his/ her interest. This is very fundamental to a healthy relationship.
“you can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.” ZIG ZIGLAR
3. Open/Honest Communication
In any good relationship you will find open and honest communication is a must. Full disclosure from onset is very key.
Communication enables us to pour out and also listen. Remember ‘naked and not ashamed’. It enables us to make a connection. Sometimes we are the one speaking and other times we are listening. Once we close the doors of communication, we hurt and kill our relationship.
Proverbs 18:24a “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly“:
Put simply, relationships just work better when we are friendly with others. Mirror what you want from your relationship – Put on a smile, have kind words to say to others, treat your spouse or relation with a great deal of friendliness and you will see your relationships improve.
People are not perfect and will constantly fail us and we also will fail people. So while we try to have more patience for others, we need their patience as well. Those who give up on relationships too early, or because the other person isn’t perfect, often forget that their next friend, their next spouse will not be perfect either! The bible says love is patient ( suffers long) . Patience and understanding are needed skills for healthy relationships.
Loyalty is a commitment to another person and is often a missing element in many relationships today. We have forgotten what it means to be loyal. Sometimes we just need to commit to being loyal and let the relationship move forward. We need a ‘sticking’ spirit. This kind of loyalty will take our relationships to a much deeper level. What a powerful and secure feeling of knowing that you have a relationship with someone who is loyal to you and you to them—that neither of you is going anywhere even when things get tough. We need to close the doors we have left open as second options in our relationships in order to forge ahead.
Oftentimes this key element can be easily forgotten or neglected in our family and spousal relationships. The fun things we did initially in a new relationship after a while can be taken for granted or simply fall by the wayside and we stop creating the fun and joy. So remember to consciously craft fun situations and moments, for these are the glue that hold our memories together and make our lives sweet. The options are limitless.
As we go through this family month let us X-ray our relationships, repent from where we have fallen, and work on these essentials, and watch our relationships blossom to Gods glory!