On Healthy Relationships (Part 1)

On Healthy Relationships I. Scripture has much to say about human relationships (the state of being related; a condition or character based upon this; kinship). A. In sinless innocency, God declared it not good that man should be alone. GEN 2:18. B. There are great benefits in the healthy companionship of others. PRO 15:22; 27:17; ECC 4:9-10. C. There are also potential pitfalls in all relationships except one. (1) The supreme relationship that any human can have is with God, and He has rightly commanded this to be our priority. MAT 22:36-38. (2) Since He made us, owns us, loves us greatly, gave and gives of Himself so freely for our benefit (JOH 3:16; ROM 8:32), He has every right to be jealous of our attention, affection and worship. EXO 34:14 c/w REV 2:4. (3) Because God is perfect, pure and holy, we can be assured that a whole-hearted relating to Him will never not be in our best interests. JAM 1:13. a. He is harmless. HEB 7:26. b. He is faithful. 1CO 1:9; 1PE 4:19. c. He never lies. TIT 1:2. d. He is a good listener. PSA 34:15-18. e. He provides security for all of our being. PRO 18:10. f. He will never leave nor forsake. HEB 13:5. g. He is merciful, gracious and longsuffering. EXO 34:6. h. He is good and rejoices to do us good. PSA 136:1; DEU 28:63. i. He comforts. 2CO 1:3-4. j. He is love. 1JO 4:8. k. Submission to Him will always be beneficial. 1JO 5:3; PSA 81:15-16. (4) Whole-hearted relating to anyone else will not be in our best interests; in fact, it will be to our own destruction. JER 17:5. II. There are basically four categories of human relationships for a believer to ponder: A. God-ordained/approved relationships which would include: (1) marriage of man and woman. HEB 13:4. (2) family. PSA 127:3-5; 1TI 5:1-4. (3) civil society/nations. ACT 17:26. (4) co-workers. ECC 4:9; 1CO 3:9. (5) friends. PRO 27:6, 9-10. (6) church. EPH 4:16. B. God-forbidden relationships such as: (1) fornication, adultery, homosexuality. 1CO 6:9-10. (2) spiritual ties with known wicked brethren. 1CO 5:9-11. (3) spiritual ties with unbelievers/false religion. 2CO 6:14-18. (4) collaboration with unprincipled men/criminal enterprises. PRO 1:10-16; EXO 23:2. (5) relationships where inordinate affection rules. COL 3:5. a. inordinate: Not 'ordered'; devoid of order or regularity; deviating from right or rule; irregular, disorderly; not regulated, controlled, or restrained. b. affection: The action of affecting, acting upon or influencing; or (when viewed passively) the fact of being affected. Of the mind: An affecting or moving of the mind in any way; a mental state brought by any influence; an On Healthy Relationships 7-1-12 Page 1emotion or feeling. c. Such a relationship might be lawful and profitable to begin with but become an occasion for an affection that goes beyond lawful restraints to where sin enters and/or the relationship becomes more important than the love of God: one's dependence shifts from God to that person. PSA 62:5-6. d. In such a case, a repentance is required to reorder the relationship and/or the relationship may have to be ended completely. C. Profitable/wise relationships which would include: (1) companionship with those who fear God. PSA 119:63; MAL 3:16-18. (2) companionship with virtuous people. PRO 2:20; HEB 6:12. (3) companionship with those who have a good name. PRO 22:1; 3JO 1:12. D. Unprofitable/unwise relationships which corrupt (1CO 15:33) and would include: (1) companionship with vain persons/fools. PRO 12:11; 13:20; 9:6. (2) dwelling with the depraved. 2PE 2:8. (3) meddling with changelings. PRO 24:21. (4) friendship with furious people. PRO 22:24-25. (5) companionship with drunks or gluttons. PRO 23:20-21. (6) the company of dissemblers. PSA 26:4. (7) the company of those who mock God and His truth. JER 15:17. (8) companionship with those who poison the mind against brethren. GAL 2:11-12; 4:17. III. Friendship is a good thing, especially familiar friendship (JOB 19:14), since it reflects the relationship we should have with Christ and God. JOH 15:14-15; JAM 2:23. A. familiar: Of or pertaining to one's own family or household. B. Even a marriage is supposed to be a familiar friendship. SON 5:16. C. Scripture also speaks of inward friends (JOB 19:19) and chief friends (PRO 16:28). D. These terms (familiar, chief, inward) all imply special closeness above other friendships. E. The person you are closest to and that you love the most has the potential to bring you the greatest joy but also the greatest temptation and pain. (1) Love is a powerful thing (SON 8:6). The more you love someone, the more power that person has over you. (2) There is probably not another theme that has more driven men's writings. a. “But love is blind, and lovers cannot see The pretty follies that themselves commit.” (Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, II, 6) b. “When my love swears that she is made of truth, I do believe her, though I know she lies.” (Shakespeare, Sonnets, CXXXVIII) (3) Therefore, your best friend has the potential to become your worst enemy. a. Satan will seek to attack us through our friends if he can. PSA 41:9. b. How many have been lured into sin by friends or betrayed their faith for them? c. How many times has love for a spouse been a believer's downfall? (4) This should put us on guard to: a. select our close friends carefully. b. never trust anyone in any way that you should only trust God. JER 17:5; PSA 62:5-6. c. give no place to the devil lest he use you to attack your friends. EPH 4:27.

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