We are surrounded by them- they are one of the first experiences we have- relationships. Our family, our neighbors, classmates, our Lord- all relationships we come to face in the course of our lives. In our house relationships are an important family value.
Each of us learns at an early age that while some relationships are good for us, some are not. Experience often leads us to the hard truth- some relationships should be limited or even severed. How are we to know? Our family has some guidelines to gauge our relationships on to help us determine whether they are profitable or destructive.
* A good relationship is edifying; it should build you up- enhance your character. 'As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another' (Prov 27:17) Our relationships should challenge us to better ourselves; to build a better character to compliment our relationships.
*A good relationships bears good fruit. In challenging us to better ourselves, there will be evidence of improvement. Habits, activities, and attitudes will bear the 'fruit' of those we spend our time with.
*A good relationship has boundaries. Balance is important in all areas of our lives and in a relationship it is key. Contentment with our selves and our relationships shows our practice of good boundaries.
*A good relationship honors God. His approval is the most important aspect of any relationship; if the relationship honors Him, He will approve.
While this is not exhaustive, and different situations lend different considerations- this is where we start. Our emotions should never be the guide we use; pressure should never hold you to someone. Good relationships are built and grown- nurtured and proved.
Today my heart prays for our family's relationships; that we would take the time to evaluate them and consider the path they are taking us to. I pray for the severing of destructive relationships and the construction of edifying, God-honoring relationships.