Thoughts on Relationships

Thoughts on Relationships

It bothers me that many people do not seem to value relationships any more. Families, once a unit that meant something, now fall apart at the slightest infraction. Husbands and wives divorce; siblings don’t talk to each other; parents and children can’t get along; friends who used to be close have now drifted apart, and the saddest part is that it doesn’t bother them.

I’ve been discouraged lately thinking of the various friendships I’ve had through the years that have now gone by the wayside, or at least isn’t what it used to be. And I’m not sure why. I’m sure there are instances where it’s my fault for not staying in touch as well as I should have but, in some cases, I don’t know where the breakdown was. I was working to be a friend but maybe I wasn’t the friend they were looking for.

I’ve also seen people who don’t seem to have any close friends. They seem quite content to keep people at a distance and only see them at church or other social functions. I realize that this is probably largely due to people being hurt and, therefore, they have decided that getting close to people is not worth the risk. I understand this mentality well, because I have been there and, at times, I still wonder if the potential pain of rejection or slander is worth taking the time to invest in a friendship that may not last. I struggle with this but, when all is said and done, I realize that, yes, it is worth it. For, you see, whether they know it or not, everyone needs a friend: someone to be there for them through thick and thin when everyone else has deserted.

Our Brothers and Sisters are the only things that will be going to Heaven with us. That makes them more valuable than anything else we spend our time and money on.

Matthew 5:23-24 says, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

Even if you are sacrificing to God, Jesus says that your priority should be to make things right with your “brother.” I realize this is not always possible but I think it’s important to at least attempt to reconcile and discuss things. Then, if your Brother or Sister refuses, or if you just can’t agree, at least you have the peace of knowing you tried.

The hardest thing for me is when people will not discuss an issue. I would almost rather be told off than to be avoided or ignored and not know why. If I am the one having an issue about something, I want to be able to talk about it. I’m learning, however, that not everyone is like me. This means there are times I just have to let things to without any resolve. I still do not handle this well, especially knowing that unresolved issues are the greatest breakdown of relationships. Even so, I can’t control others. I’m only responsible for my actions. Therefore, I am asking God to help me in those situations too. There are still lonely people out there who do need a friend and I pray that I will be faithful to keep reaching out for however long they will accept my friendship.

If you are in a situation where the busyness of life has brought distance between you and a close friend, I encourage you to call or text or email that friend today. Let him or her know how much they still mean to you.

If you had a relationship that is strained or has been severed, pray for wisdom to know if there is something you need to do to help bring healing. Were you in the wrong? Repent to your friend. Did they wrong you? Maybe you need to contact them and see if they are willing to discuss the issue.

Having a relationship of any magnitude is work but I believe it is worth it. Ask God to help you to be slow to speak, quick to listen, slow to get angry, and quick to forgive. Do not let offenses eat at you until they become hatred or bitterness. I know this isn’t easy but it is vital. Ask God to give you a humble heart and a willingness to confess when you are wrong. I am working on all things too but I take heart in knowing that He who began a good work in me will complete it. He will do that for you too.

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Sony Elise

Sony has been an avid southern gospel fan since she first heard The Happy Goodman Family on a cassette in the mid-1980s. She is the co-founder of Family Renewal and the owner of Sony Elise Editing Services.

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  1. Reply September 19, 01:55 #1 scottysearan

    This is a well needed article.

    I needed it, because I have felt over 30 years that I have not had a friend that I could really confide in.

    I have tried, but had my bubble busted too many time.

    So much of the time I feel friendless.

    I don’t know what to do.

  2. Reply September 19, 13:45 #2 Sony Elise Author

    I understand your frustration and disappointment. I feel blessed in that I think I finally have friends who care, will pray for me, encourage me, etc. But even with that, I am guarded with most since I too have been burned quite a bit in my life. I would encourage you to specifically pray that God will show you someone who would be a good friend, one in which the friendship would be mutually beneficial. It seems so many relationships are one-sided. Those can get discouraging really fast.

    I know it’s not the same, but I am always happy to listen and be a friend … at least until God brings a better friend into your life.

    I know there are seasons where God may bring us to a place of loneliness in order to draw us nearer to Him. This can be a blessing while not having people to turn to. But I also believe that God created us to have fellowship, to have people who will challenge and encourage us. We were not created to be little islands forever.

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