Our families give us the foundation for relationships. At home we learn values and morals about work, school, friends, church and God. We are taught what it means to be responsible, productive, loving children and we are expected to grow into adults who practice healthy relationships with others. But what happens when our foundation is built on dysfunction?
In many homes there are both spoken and unspoken rules about relationships. These rules dictate when a child can speak and even what to say. Often, children learn that adults have opinions and children are given their opinions. Boundaries are either not present, inconsistent, or blurred.
Such is the result of sin that entered the world distorting our concept of healthy relationships. God created us with a longing for relationship with Him and with others. We were to represent on earth, the relationship between The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
But when Adam unknowingly declared his independence in the Garden, that was the beginning of destroying the relationship our hearts long for. Our quest for power, authority, and control created rules and roles that don’t support genuine relationship. These rules and roles have caused us to believe we need to protect and guard our rights so as not to experience any “damage” that may occur at the hands of another. We have learned to do relationship from a distance!
Healthy relationships are marked by intimacy, openness, authenticity, honesty and love. These characteristics come from a God who loves us so much that “He gave His only Son.” (John 3:16). He wants to show us His heart towards us and teach us how to love others the way He loves us. His desire is that we would join in His plan to see others as He sees them and commit to a life of letting Him love others through our relationship with Him and them.
Relationships are going to happen by virtue of the fact that we live together on this earth. What a wonderful opportunity we have to choose health and love as the motivating factors for relating to one another!