RelationSHIFTS Part III
How do you know?: Discerning the level of relationships
Synopsis of Bible Study 03/02/16
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
What is love? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV) says 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. –The main thing to remember her is that love produces fruit.
Henry cloud wrote a book called “Boundaries”. In it he writes “Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership. Knowing what I am to own and take responsibility for gives me freedom. Taking responsibility for my life opens up many different options. Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out. Setting boundaries inevitably involves taking responsibility for your choices. You are the one who makes them. You are the one who must live with their consequences. And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with. We must own our own thoughts and clarify distorted thinking.” ― Henry Cloud, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life
For a long term relationship, there has to be some strategies. Every relationship has to begin with a friendship. If you are not friends with the person you are relationship with, then you could connect with enemy and not even know it.
Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV) 24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, [a] But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. -Jesus lays down his life for his friends, so this is an example that tells us that we can’t go into friendship too lightly. In this society, with social media and all, we can make a friend with a click of button.
Cultivate relationship connections
How to make good decisions concerning relationships:
- Find someone who you connect with easily – Connecting with the right individual will require the meeting of the minds. Opposites only attract to a certain extent. Connecting goes beyond the physical attraction. You got to connect spiritually and intellectually
Amos 3:3 (NKJV) says 3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? – Your left and right foot work in agreement with each, otherwise you could not walk. If the left and right foot wasn’t in agreement over who would step next, this would cause a problem. This is often what happens in relationship; You end up going into different directions, but you still want to stay connected.
- During the dating phase, you have to recognize that your paths are different. You can’t travel different roads thinking that someday you will finally connect. This makes no sense!
- Marriage is not the cure for relationship issues. Often this is what we have been taught though. We push people to the altar!
- Old preachers used to say, “You got pregnant so, now you got to make it right!” This is not a good idea! You made one mistake, so why would you want to make another? Getting married is not going to make it right.
- If a situation or issue is problematic during your dating, it will be problematic in the marriage. If they don’t cook or clean and they are nasty when you are dating, it is not going to get better after you get married.
- Select people with the same beliefs. 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV) says 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness – Being equally yoked goes beyond the spiritual level.
- Being equally yoked also includes being equally yoked financially and emotionally.
- Spend time getting to know each other. Don’t let your biology clock dictate your timing. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV) says 3 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: – Take your time and you will be amazed at what you will discover.
- We often rush into relationships and this makes us have crazy expectations on stuff. Ecclesiastes 3:11a (NKJV) says 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. – God makes perfect relationships in time. Take your time! Timing is everything.
- “There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.” ― Homer, The Odyssey
Understand the emotional needs of others
- Relationship is not the merging of to lives, but rather the collision of two histories.
1 Peter 3:8-9 says (NKJV) says 8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;[a] 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. – You got to learn to make the determination to see if you have the capacity to handle the person you are trying to be in relationship with, both emotionally and spiritually?
- You have to ask, did you sign up for this? Some people are in their feelings all the time. This can be taxing both emotionally and spiritually. A lot could have been avoided in most relationships if this had been assessed with honesty in the beginning stages of the relationships. We simply don’t have the conversations honestly about our history. We owe this to the people we are with.
- Constantly stay communicative. We have to affirm our love language.
- Different types of love langue expressed:
- It is a word of affirmation. In other words, we say it. We communicate with words that we love the other person.
- Acts of service – For some people, action speaks louder than words. They like for us to show how will about them by how act and what we do.
- Receiving gifts – Traditionally, love has always been communicated and associated with gifts. This is why Christmas is so big. For this type of person, little things mean a lot. Such as you bringing them Starbucks during a long day or stopping by with a biscuit, because you know that they left in a hurry and didn’t eat breakfast.
- Quality time – Some men can multitask, meaning they can be sitting with their wife, but working on the computer or checking the email at the same time. This often doesn’t work. She wants your complete attention.
- Physical touch – Some people need you to hold their hand every now and then. They want your body language to show your affection.
Marriage is Ministry
Ministry means to meet a need. How then can I meet your need if I don’t know what your need is? All I am doing at this point is assuming. If I don’t know your love language, then all I can do is assume. This makes me equate my love to you the wrong way. You have to be honest about your love language.
- Effective communication must become a priority – Proverbs 15:4 (NKJV) says 4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.- How you say something can sometimes make a big difference. Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV) says 24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. , Ecclesiastes 10:12 (NIV) says 12 Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.- You have to learn how to communicate!
- You can’t be combative ever time you talk.
- You have to listen. James 1:19 (NKJV) says 19 So then,[a] my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; – You have to learn to listen. Ex – Listening has two sides: On one side, there is talking and on the other hand, there is One side is on when while the other side is off. Then the roles reverse, but one side is still on and the other side is off. It’s almost like watching a ping-pong match. One serves and the other returns.
- Notice that the word silent and the word listen have the same letters in them.
- Create realistic categories.
- Comrades – They will fight with you (on your side) no matter what, just like Peter was with Jesus. They are your ride or die! Proverbs 17:17 (NKJV) says 17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
- Friend zone or life long partner – If your relationship is not for keeps, you got to know the terms and the term limits. Often, we can know that the relationship doesn’t have long-term potential, but we invest in it anyway.
- How do you know this? The Holy Spirit tells you when to go and when not to go all in. It’s like a traffic light; He gives you red, green, or yellow. Green means go, red means I’ll holla, and yellow means be cautious. Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV) says 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.- Get wisdom and understanding!
7 things you need to ask before you commit
- Can I live with this person for the rest of my life? If you are in your 20s, you will not be the same person 10 yrs from now. Even some of the things you like now, you won’t like 10 yrs from now. The same will be with your mate. Can you make it through this for the rest of your life?
- Is this person the right one for me? People can be a nice person, yet still not be the one.
- Will this person love you and your family? For the most part, people have strong ties to their family, especially in the south. It is hard to have a relationship, if you can’t stand the in-laws.
- If sickness or tragedy strikes your family, will this person stay strong and stay with you?
- Does this person share the same values you do? Do they believe the same as you do concerning church, education, and the raising of children?
- Can this person and I grow together at the same pace? This means, will you don’t have to wait on them to reach every milestone? Remember you want to win together!
- Can this person handle your flaws without judging you? Can they know the worse about you and believe God for the best of you?