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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pointers to Stabilize the Relationship

“Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” – William James

Some years ago, an evangelist told me about his first date with his future wife. When she got in the car, he took notice she placed a bible between them on the seat. He asked her why she put the bible between them and she responded “if you are going to get to me, you will have to go through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John first!” I never forgot that and I appreciated her placing God at the beginning and center of this possible relationship. I believe all new relationships would benefit greatly if they started out on this proverbial right foot. 

The value of the Word of God is inestimable. Like food is to the physical body, so is God’s word to the spiritual man. It is referred to in 1st Timothy 4:6 as food that nourishes the spiritual person. When the bible is kept alive by a husband and wife practicing its principles, then success is guaranteed. Their marriage will be nourished and be healthy instead of famished and dying. Colossians 3:16 says “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” When it lives in us then it creates sustained joy, peace, love, and develops our strength. 

You don't need a man as much as you need the Word! 

When the need of a person becomes more pressing than the criteria being met for who I commit to, then I am headed for trouble. You don’t need a man you want, but a man God wants for you!

Points for effective communication and relationship

Be careful of what and how you say things.
18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Remember, there are always two sides to every story.
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
Speak words that encourage the spouse           
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
   Let love rule
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
4  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
5  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
6  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
7  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Allow no competition to make the spouse feel less than your priority.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Grow up and become mature by putting away the childish pursuits.
2 Timothy 2:22
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

  Remain committed to each other and accept each other’s family as your own
Ruth 1:16
16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
 Be careful of who your friends are
1 Corinthians 5:9
9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB)
Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."

Be honest and open with each other. If there is a misstep, be willing to forgive and permit healing to take place
James 5:16 
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
1 Peter 4:8
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

Keep God at the center of the relationship at all times
Psalm 46:5
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. 

 Reuben Egolf 

Pathway to Better Relationships

Below is an excerpt from the book Avoiding Relationship Mayhem. Recently in the Marriage Series at Mt. Calvary Tabernacle I ministered it again.

I have complied a few nuggets of understanding that will protect you in relationships.   

1. Most believe – that if I put my best into a relationship it will work. 

Not true! The best you can give is not enough for some people. God has given and done everything he knows to do and yet some people walk out of relationship with him. The Lord has given his best sacrifice, salvation, life, blessings… and yet 1000s will walk away from that relationship thinking something else is better. Your best can be rejected as not enough, because many people have unrealistic expectations of others. All of us are human and that means we have limitations. Recognizing that fact is necessary for not setting ourselves up for a fall. Expectations decide our disappointments, so if I unrealistically expect something, then I have just scheduled a date with disappointment.  

2. A third voice has the ability to destroy a healthy relationship.

You will notice below that Paul is saying that at one time their relationship was so good that the Galatians would have plucked out their eyes for him. That phrase is like us saying today “I would give my right arm for you.” However, in the next verse you see the relationship change from intimacy to enemy.

Galatians 4:15-16
15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

The question then must be asked “what changed it?” The following scripture gives us a little more insight to the culprit that produced this change.

Galatians 5:7 (KJV)
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Everything was fine until a third voice got involved. I’m sure you have experienced this at some point in your life. It’s when you notice a friend’s demeanor change and they don’t talk as freely or show different expressions that are different than before. More often than not, another voice has gotten involved by speaking things about you that has created doubt in them concerning the relationship between the both of you. Husbands and wives run into trouble oftentimes when one of them begins listening to a third voice which has ulterior motives. Unfortunately, the third voice leads many into divorce.
Beware of the third voice! 

3. When two people no longer want the same thing.

Matthew 23:37 (KJV)
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Jesus was saying “I want relationship with you but you don’t want what I want!” Two people wanting or expecting different outcomes and goals in a relationship will ultimately put them on two different paths. The word “division” can broken down to “di-vision” indicating the reason for the separation was the result of two different visions.
This proves the importance of unity and maintaining it is a priority to keeping the relationship strong and focused.

4. Know when to let go!
You have to learn to let go or it will become the most tormenting thing you’ll ever go through. You can quote scripture till you’re blue in the face… pray till the cow comes home… and some people still leave. The bottom line is that some leave because they simply want to leave and their mind is made-up. The temptation will hit you – what could I have done differently – said – and the list becomes endless. However, people have their own will and nothing you can do will change their decision. That becomes the moment when we pray for them and move on in life without tormenting ourselves with regret. 

A good example is the prodigal son found in Luke 15. When reading the story you’ll take notice that the father does not chase after the boy. He realized the son had made up his mind to exit and there was nothing he could say or do to change it. The father realized that experience will have to become his son’s teacher. 

You can’t keep giving them what they cannot receive! Case in point; Jesus and Judas. The Lord made every effort at the “Last Supper” to preserve the relationship between Judas and himself, and yet Judas would not receive it. Like the father of the prodigal, Jesus did not chase after Judas through the streets of Jerusalem.
In other words – you have to know when to let go!
5. Treat others the way you want treated!
Matthew 7:12 (KJV)
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Healthy relationships demand skills we are not born with. They must be learned and practiced. Avoiding these pitfalls require the navigation ability of the Holy Spirit providing the discernment to protect ourselves from unnecessary harm. 

God bless you

Reuben Egolf 

Experience Life Today