How do we maintain healthy relationships with others that God places in our lives? God brings people across our paths and it isn't always easy to build and preserve those relationships in a way that moves us forward in our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical growth.
A Biblical example of a true and healthy relationship was that of Jonathan and David in the Old Testament. In 2 Samuel 1:25-26 when David learned of Jonathan’s death, he lamented,
I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.
Their relationship held up under circumstances like separation from one another, family interference (King Saul didn’t want his son Jonathan associating with his enemy David), threats, danger and eventually Jonathan’s death. Jonathan and David had a relationship where they were interdependent not co-dependent with one another. Interdependence occurs when two people are equally dependent on one another and co-dependence is defined as one person being stronger than the other and the stronger person allowing the weaker person to have control emotionally with their neediness.
In the posts to follow we will look at the dimensions of healthy relationships:
- Difficulties that we experience in relationships with others
- Causes of those difficulties
- Values we place on our relationships with others
- Ways we can maintain healthy relationships with others
Question to think about: What are some difficulties that you have experienced in relationships with relatives, friends, co-workers and others you come in contact with each day?