John 17:21—”so that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you …”
‘Human beings are innately social and are shaped by their experiences with others – relationships. An interpersonal relationship is a deep or close association or acquaintance between two or more people from brief to enduring which is formed in the context of social, cultural, and other influences.’
Are there multiple views to understand this underlying motivation to interact with others – why do we need relationships and then, are we happy (with the relationship that we develop) or still crave another because we find it hard to build the kind of relationship which we long for?
We inherently crave for this emotion to be met. Mothers of young children may crave for adult company with whom they can talk, single people need someone to talk to and hang out with, older people want people to stop and talk to them in this busy mechanical world, men feel the need to ‘unwind’ their tired bodies and minds in the company of their friends or family.
Even when we have relationships it doesn’t mean all will remain hunky dory; there will be misunderstanding, miscommunication, other emotions or people that put a spoke in the well-oiled wheel of a relationship.
What does the Bible say about relationships?
– God designed us in His image and also gave us control(dominion) over animals, birds and living things in the sea but not over other people. Genesis 1:26-27—(Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.)
– From the beginning of time, God created us to be in relationship — with Him and each other. Genesis 2:18—(And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him).
– Our need for the relationship connections comes from God, who is always in a community: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God wanted us to build our relationships with others in the world and with Him. John 17:21—(so that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.)
-The purpose of the church on earth can be fulfilled only through our relationship with Christ Jesus. Ephesians 3:10-12—(to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.)
– Some friends may come and go but true friends stick by someone like family. Proverbs 18:24—(A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.)
Jesus wants us to love one another by using God’s love that we know of and have received. Jesus wants us to know God the Father the way He does. We can follow simple ways to build deeper relationships as friendship:
– accept one another as God accepted us instead of trying to change/judge each other (let them dress the way they want).
– pray for one another to enable each other overcome obstacles in their lives (don’t forget to pray into what you spoke about when you met).
– support and edify each other with the Word when in problems, rather than spread their ‘news’ (see if you can find a scripture to message your friend to help them keep their faith stronger during their low or trying times).
– plan to get together to pray or to enjoy the Word come what may. It can only bring you closer (pray about difficult circumstances, current issues, and pray it forward for your futures too).
– start traditions together to keep the relationship going (plan to watch a Christian movie once a month or start a book club).
Are you ready to grow relationships around you today?