Let’s talk a little bit about healthy relationships. These can tend to be an anomaly in our society today. We cant cover it all in a blog, but here we go. Let’s make sure we put to death a misconception here. Healthy relationships are not the ones without challenges, they are the ones who can get through the challenge and be better on the other side. They are the relationships that are not allowing separation to have any part of their vocabulary. They may be the ones that seek out counseling because they do not know how to resolve conflict and need to acquire the skills to do so. In my marriage I am willing to do whatever it takes to be sure that our relationship takes first priority over anyone or anything else. Am I perfect? No. Do I misstep from time to time and have to be reminded that my focus is off? Sure, I am human..
Our relationships may be good, functional and beneficial, but are they healthy? Many publications talk about 50 characteristics of a healthy relationship, 8 traits of a healthy relationship. We read them and think, Yeah, I got this. We are good! But is it good?
I want to challenge you to read through Ephesians 5 and examine yourself and your relationships in respect to this one chapter. From the first verse where we are being encouraged to “walk in the way of love..” If you want to know what that way is, you can turn to 1 Corinthians 13. You can handle it, it is only 13 verses! But it is the hardest 13 verses you will accomplish when it comes to personal and spiritual development. These 13 verses are the foundation for any effective leader. And that is exactly what you are. You are the leader of your relationship. You did not ask to be, but God put you there, so let’s be the best leader you can be.
In a healthy relationship the man is the protector and head of the home. He is responsible and accountable to God for what happened in is marriage and family. There is no sense of dominance in his leadership, it is leadership through love and service. And don’t confuse love and compassion with weakness. Love is what fuels me to fight for my family, teach my children and protect my marriage. Love is a strong emotion that motivated you to date and marry. I am sure that if someone attacked your wife or children verbally, you would feel something rise up inside you to put an end to it. That is the power of love.
In a healthy relationship the man seeks the highest and best for those that are under his care. Too many times I see men that are insulting and demeaning to his family. We all know that this is not healthy, that is obvious. But what about the constant comments that are made in a “joking” manner. I hope you realize that these comments are having an impact on your children and wife even though you were “just joking.” I can tell you that it is true because I was the one on the other end of those “jokes” when I was younger. We cannot fix something that is wrong if we never knew it was affecting someone else. This is where families suffer in silence on a very small scale. These things are affecting their self-worth and self-confidence and they will not say a word. I say all this because I want you to begin to seek the “highest and best” for your family. Encourage instead of enslaving with your words.
How do you seek the highest and best for your family? Listen to your children, find out what their passion is and encourage it. Even go as far as facilitating it. If your daughter is into music, find a way to help her explore that interest. Find ways to help your wife in her career. This is what we mean when we say seek the highest and best. Always be looking for opportunities to help your family advance in their interests, education and careers.
Let me wrap his up by saying that it is critical that we strive to have healthy relationships. It not only has an effect on our life here and now, but it will affect your family for generations to come. Know that how you treat your wife has an impact on your children. How you treat your children will impact how they treat their children. You will precipitate a way of life and a way of behaving for years to come. If you want your daughter to be with a man that treats her well, treat your wife that way. Our children only know the version of normal that they grow up with.
I leave you with Romans 12:1-2 Amplified Version:
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be [c]transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
Dedicate all of who you are, even your shortcomings and yes, relationships to God. Don’t take the societal norms into your families and relationships. Instead focus on Godly family values and watch your family grow and flourish!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please feel free to start the discussion!!