Relationships Defined

by | Jul 12, 2016 | Vital Men Devotions

Wedding PicThis week my wife and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary, which to some of you likely seems like nothing, and to others may seem like a long time. As we celebrate 12 years of marriage I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships. Now, I’m not just talking about marriage, so those of you that are single are far from off the hook today! Every single one of us is in dozens of relationships, from our family to our friends to our neighbors, co-workers, and even the people next to us in the checkout line at Wal-Mart. Today I want us to all think about what relationships are all about, and to take seriously making EVERY relationship we are in stronger. 

Few things in this life are better then a thriving relationship. A solid relationship can make you better in so many ways, offering you encouragement, helping you through difficulty, drawing you nearer to Christ, and answering complex questions you lack the answers to. A bad relationship, however, can lead to immense pain, conflict, and more. In fact, broken relationships are the number one non-medical related problem I see people struggling with in life.

While relationships can take on many facets, and be incredibly complicated, let me offer up one piece of advice today: the overall goal and focus of every relationship we are in is to make the other person better. The point of a relationship should never be about what we get out of it, but about what we are giving to others. If we all adopted this view of relationships we would rather quickly see the extinction of gossip, slander, betrayal, bruised feelings, and the like. This is not just my opinion, but can be seen very clearly in scripture. Philippians 2:3-4 puts it like this:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Relationships can be one of the greatest aspects of our lives, or one of the worst. To make the most out of them heed Paul’s advice in Philippians 2 and make the goal of every relationship not the betterment of yourself, but the betterment of others. When I think about the past 12 years of marriage I can tell you that our marriage has been at its peak when both of us have taken the task of striving to make the other better serious. When we’ve lost sight of that {and, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m the one who tends to lose sight of this!} things have not gone nearly as well. This week I would ask you to think about at least three relationships you are in and ask yourself: what can I do this week to make this person better? Let’s all follow Paul’s advice and truly value others higher then ourselves throughout our lives. 

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