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What does the Bible say about Relationships?

I am always shocked at how people on one hand look to the Bible for answers about life or relationships and then on the other hand, believe the Bible isn’t irrelevant.


Note – this often happens when the answer the Bible gives is not the answer a person wants to hear!


What does the Bible say about relationships? Well from a 30,000 ft view the entire Bible is exclusively about relationships.


Did you know the Bible can be summed up as a book about 2 things. 1) How to have a relationship with God and 2) How your relationship with God is the driving factor for every other relationship you have.


With that being said, there is no way to capture all the wisdom and power in the Bible when it comes to relationships in a simple article!


There is however a vital starting place. A keystone bond the Bible clearly speaks to. Like a keystone habit, this bond tends to drive more than one would guess.


A keystone habit may be familiar to you. They light a fire in other areas of life. Here are a couple of examples:


1)     Have Family Dinners – Seems small right? A nice thing when you can do it. Did you know families who consistently eat dinner together raise children with better homework skills, higher grades, greater emotional control and more confidence.

 

2)     Make your bed in the morning – What? Why make the bed if you going to mess it up again in a few hours? Making your bed turns out is correlated to increased productivity, a greater sense of well being and better budgeting skills! Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, and feel well rested.

 

3)     Exercise Regularly – Yes it takes time and isn’t always comfortable. However, people who exercise regularly eat better, have more patience, less stress and are more productive. It works itself out in a better mood, more confidence and better sleep.

 

You get the idea. Making your bed in the morning, exercising regularly and eating family dinners seem small but they have an outsized impact.


That is what a “keystone” does. It is the same with relationships. There is a relational bond that has an outsized impact on your connection to God and others. It seems small, may not always be convenient, but it is a difference maker.


This foundational bond is knowing the other person. Shocking! You mean the better I know God and the better I know other people the better my relationships will be? That is the Bible’s great secret?


Well, YES.


Do you know why we struggle in relationships? Because so often the relationship in our head and the relationship in real life are not the same. The way you align what is happening in your head with real life is by improving how well you know God or the other person.


Here is an example with God. All of us hit hard seasons of life, often to no fault of our own. God has promised to walk with us through every hard moment…God never promised we would not have hard moments.


If the God I know in my head is supposed to keep me from all difficulties I will have a hard time in my relationship with God because in real life God promised to go with me, but not keep me from difficulty. When I hit a hard season my trust and reliance in God go down because I had the wrong expectation because I didn’t know Him accurately. Then my commitment wavers.


However, if in my hard season I look for God and see Him with me, helping me, giving me strength and peace then I trust Him more, I am quicker to rely on Him and my commitment to Him gets stronger. I know God well and it deepens my relationship with him.


Peter the apostle wrote as much when he was encouraging followers of Jesus who were living in hard days. His last written words were these.


But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

In your struggle, grow in the knowledge of Jesus. This will drive your relationship deeper.


Same happens in human relationships. When we trust and rely on people we don’t know well we often feel let down. If we make commitments to people and don’t know them well it costs us.


When we know someone (not just about them, but actually know them) whether we are going through good times or difficult times our trust is stable, we rely on each other, we stay strong in our commitments…because we know them!


Knowing is a keystone bond for all relationships.


Time for some real talk.


Our current culture is not good at knowing people.


At all.


We are good at knowing about people (google searches, snooping their social media profile). We are good at identifying if people agree with us not (and canceling those who differ). We are good at being influenced by people we don’t know (Taylor Swift, Mr Beast, or other Youtubers). We are not good at knowing people.


I shared this recently but it bears repeating. Getting to know someone comes down to three T’s. And surprisingly the three T’s work with God as well.


Talking – When communication dies, the relationship dies. Remember your close friend from 10 years ago, wonderful relationship but you grew apart. Why, you stopped talking. The spouse you can’t connect with…you don’t know them because you don’t spend time talking.


Pediatrics Journal studied meal time with 55 families. They wanted to know how they interacted. For 40 of the 55 families the thing that dominated meal time? Phones. Often the parents were on their phones and were correcting the kids when they interrupted their phone use by trying to talk to them!


Togetherness  -Be in the same physical space and do something together. You get to know someone as share experiences with them.


Watching a game, shopping, hiking, whatever you are doing, do it with other people. The activity is NOT IMPORTANT, the company is. Being with other people strengthens your bond. It can be two people quietly chatting over coffee or 5 friends at a stadium with several thousand. Doing it together increases your knowing.


Time - Researchers have come up with the 90-day rule from studies watching people over 20-years. They found for dating couples over a 90-day period relationships changed dramatically because in 90 days there would be some interaction with one of the persons causing a gasp moment. Gasp..I can't believe she acted that way. Gasp...I can't believe he said that. Gasp.. I can't believe he responded like that.


The takeaway, it takes at least 90 days of close interaction to know a person.


I know talking, being together, and time don’t sound revolutionary. But maybe they are since so many of us are not good at getting to know others. Besides helpful, effective, and powerful don't have to be novel, they just have to work.


Put it into practice to build up your “know”. You know what (pun intended), if you do, you will be building all aspects of your relationship.


Spend time talking with God, walking through your day with God, and listening to God as you read the Bible. You will know him better and your relationship will grow.


Spend time talking with your spouse, going to coffee with your friend, and listening to your daughter tell you about her day. You will know them better and your relationships will grow.

 

That's what the Bible says about relationships. Get to know God, get to know others and your relationships will flourish.


 

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