If you made a list of the values you place on your relationships with others, what would be included on your list? You might record any or all of the following values:
- Open communication
- Healthy boundaries
- Unconditional acceptance
After all, shouldn’t we desire that certain elements be present in our relationships in order that they stay healthy and continue to grow?
It is acceptable to have these values in mind but I am reminded of a few passages in Scripture that encourage us in how we need to treat one another as we relate to each other. In Ephesians 4:32 we are encouraged to:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.
In Ephesians 5:1-2, we read:
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Later on in chapter 5, verses 18b and 21 we are encouraged to:
Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
All of these verses in Ephesians remind us of how Christ set the example through His fragrant sacrifice on the cross. If we imitate God and His love and are filled with the Spirit, then our relationships will contain His values of love and respect.
Question to think about: What may be some helpful ways to maintain healthy relationships?