Summary: Maybe they call it a relationship because it can seem like we're on a ship. Sometimes the seas are nice and calm and sometimes they are stormy. And sometimes it can go from calm to stormy in a matter of moments. We need to learn how to navigate.
CONDUCTING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Maybe they call it a relation-ship because in our relationships it can seem like we're on a ship. Sometimes the seas are nice and calm and sometimes they are stormy. And there are times when it goes from calm to stormy in a matter of moments. This is how it often was on the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps Jesus used this analogy when he taught his disciples about relationships. Let's see what the bible has to say about conducting healthy relationships.
1) Conducting unhealthy relationships.
There are any number of things that contribute toward having an unhealthy relationship. We see a few of these mentioned in Prov. 16:27-30, "A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. He who winks with his eye is plotting perversity; he who purses his lips is bent on evil."
"His speech is like a scorching fire". That's pretty serious. Reminds me of what James said about the tongue being like a fire and how it only takes a spark to ignite a forest fire. My speech can be destructive. When I stir up conflicts and arguments and when I gossip I am separating and destroying relationships.
When my desire is to entice you down the wrong path then I am unhealthy for you. When I'm doing things to try to lure you in I'm focused on evil. I don't really care about you; I'm just going to flatter you to try to coerce you to do what I want.
This goes with what Proverbs teaches regarding the tactics of the adulteress. Prov. 5:3-4 says that her lips drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil but in the end she is bitter as gall and as sharp as a double-edged sword. We have to watch out for people like this.
Rom. 16:17-18, "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people."
There are people who use smooth talk and flattery to deceive people and cause divisions. When we come to Christ we are on a new path. But there will be those people who want to try to steer us back to our old path. They will try to put obstacles in our way to keep us from growing in the faith.
They may try to mislead you with false teaching; teaching that is contrary to the truth of the bible. Paul says to keep away from them-they are not healthy for us and staying connected to them will only tear us down.
Unhealthy relationships are about serving our own appetites. My relationship with you is really one-sided; it's all about me. This can be seen in the ways these verses highlights but it can be seen in other ways too. If I'm someone who only calls you when I need something then I'm serving my own appetite. If I'm constantly dominating our conversations I'm serving my own appetite. Being controlling or if I'm needy or smothering you-these are signs of being self-serving in a relationship.
These are the types of behaviors that indicate I might be co-dependent. I'm desperate for your attention; I can't go very long without talking with you so I find myself calling you multiple times a day. I have major anxiety if I go a day without seeing you. This is unhealthy. These are some of the things involved in conducting unhealthy relationships.
2) Conducting healthy relationships.
Conducting healthy relationships with people begins with having a healthy relationship with Christ. We just simply cannot love God without loving people. 1st John 4:19-21, "We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
Jesus said the two greatest commandments are to love God with all our heart soul strength and mind and love our neighbor as ourselves. All the commandments have to do with these two things. We can't say, "I love God but I can't stand people".
There will be times when we don't want to be around anybody and that's okay. Sometimes it's important to go and be by ourselves-Jesus did it. But to say I can have a healthy relationship with God without having to conduct relationships with people is a contradiction. To say I love God but I don't love people is a contradiction.