How to Have More Stable Relationships
How to Have More Stable Relationships: Four Anchors for more stable Relationships
Four Anchors for more stable Relationships
In Acts 27:27-29 in the midst of the storm, searching for stability, they dropped four anchors into the sea.
Today we are going to drop four anchors for stability in our relationships.
Our relationships and the quality of relationships say a lot about us. The most important thing we have in life is our relationship.
I believe God has called us to be “winners” in every relationship that we are in, whether it be family relations, work relations, and social relations. That simply means having good, stable relationships, which go the distance.
How we relate to others reflects how we relate to God.
As people we are defined by our relationships. You want to know how a man really is ask those people who know him best. Healthy relationships are the foundation for a healthy life.
Most people are brought into the Kingdom through relationships.
Broken Relationships are often the indicator of deeper problems. People that have a history of broken relationships after becoming Christians, are not fit for leadership.
About the Church & Christianity we can say:
Christianity is not a system of religion. It is a way of life, a way of relating in love to God, people, and the environment that God has placed us in. Church really is a community of birth, discovery, growth, equipping and empowerment, through the quality and longevity of our relationships. Church is the extent to which we relate, the depth of our experience of Church is determined by the quality of our relationships.
The Bible is full of teaching about relationships.
Let’s look at our text today to find our four anchors. Ephesians 4:25.
“Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood…”
Our first anchor for stable relationships is the anchor of REALITY. Keeping our relationships in a state of reality. The word “falsehood” means any type of lying. Including being fake. The opposite of “falsehood” is “REAL”. You’ve probably heard the saying “Keeping it Real”. Relationships must be based on trust and the reality that a person is representing who they are truthfully.
The Bible says in Proverbs 30:8 “Keep falsehood and lies far from me.”
The context of our main text here in Ephesians 4 is Christian to Christian. “For we are all members of one body.”
Relationships not only need trust and honesty, but they also need openness and transparency. Hiding behind a “spiritual front” or a “religious front” will hinder the growth of relationships.
Could you imagine hiding behind these kinds of fronts in Marriage? Or in Child raising.
One of the fundamental elements of relationship is self-disclosure.
Self disclosure creates intimacy and community, which is a profound force for healing and growth.
Think about it, are you in relationships where you really don’t know the person. Where they really don’t open up at all and let you in.
Let me close this point, with a quotation from Alexander Venter’s “Doing Church.”:
“Relationships take root in the soil of self disclosure and accountability, creating a safe environment for people to be themselves, to try and to fail, to be open and honest, without the fear of being judged, labeled, gossiped about or psycho-analysed, but just accepted and loved for who they are.”
I think Alexander’s statement is true of any relationship.
The Second Anchor that we will drop into the sea of relationships to find stability during the storm, is the anchor of Self-Control. Specifically related to the area of having control over our emotions.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26, “in your anger, do not sin.”
Paul’s advice is that when we feel the emotion of anger, that we are not to allow that feeling or that emotion lead to sin. Don’t let the emotion you feel make you feel like you have the right to sin.
In the context of marriage this means not retaliating to your spouse when he/she angers you. In a conflict, when we feel hurt, we think we have the right to fight back. But God’s way is to control the emotion, not letting the emotion control us! In marriage we work to understand our spouse and deescalate situations by lessening defensiveness and work towards validating their point of view or feelings.
The Holy Spirit warns us here to not give the devil a foothold. In this context one of the ways to give the devil a foothold is by letting emotions lead to sin.
We have to realize that “emotions’ & “feelings” are very deceitful in stable relationships
We cannot rely on them. Our emotions and our feelings change.
Have you ever met somebody that you did not like at first, but after getting to know them you really fell in love with them. For some of you that’s how you first felt about your spouse. LOL!
Paul also tells us in Ephesians 4:31 “to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
Paul knows that these kinds of emotionally rooted problems lead to giving the devil a huge foothold. I think you guys know what I am talking about here.
Nobody likes to have to walk on eggshells around people. Nobody likes dealing with people who are so emotional you don’t know what to expect out of them.
Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 3:2-4 that an elder should be temperate and self-controlled. Sober minded.
Let me drop this anchor into the sea and close this point with two scriptures from the Proverbs.
Proverbs 29:11 “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”
Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to Anger is better than the mighty. And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
The third anchor is the anchor of “building others up.”
If you want stable relationships learn to encourage and build those in your life.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
This means that all the talk that comes out of our mouths should be consistent with the goal of building the one you are talking to, up. This word “unwholesome” signifies something worthless that rots and decays. Paul is contrasting worthless words with words that last because they have a clear purpose: to meet the needs of others.
How To Have More Stable Relationships: SPEAK WORDS THAT LAST
Relationships have a potential for healing and growth that far outweighs their potential for destruction. To be able to influence another person in a way that promotes a fulfilling awareness of their wholeness in Christ is an awesome opportunity. We have a God given secret here that helps us to make the most out of all relationships. We are to approach all relationships from this basis, that we are to minister to them, to meet their needs. We should never look to people just to see what we can get out of them.
Many people see the value of the people they are in relationships with only in what they can get out of the relationship. How can that person meet my needs? We should always be asking how we can meet their needs, not ours.
We should never use, exploit, and manipulate relationships for our own ends.
According to this scripture- I am to say nothing that in any way compromises the basic goal of ministering to the needs of the one I am speaking to.
In a marriage, words that do not comfortably fit within a commitment to minister are foreign to God’s design and will not yield the dividends of increasing oneness.
We are to regard our relationships as an opportunity to minister in a unique and special way to another human being, to be used of God to bring that person into a more satisfying appreciation of their worth as persons who are secure and significant in Jesus Christ.
The fourth Anchor that we will drop is “Compassion.”
Paul speaking in the context of our relationships, particularly in the context of our Christian relationships tells us in 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Most of us know that one of the key ingredients to healing in the New Testament is compassion. Compassion is that tenderheartedness, that ability to feel what someone is going through and allow that to lead us to helping them. Compassion always acts. Action is where compassion surpasses empathy or sympathy. It asks how can I help? What can I do?
Relationships require understanding, compassion, and a lot of forgiveness. Unforgiveness will kill just about any relationship. Any couple married for a long time will remind you that copious amounts of forgiveness are required. Ephesians 4:31 says to put away bitterness and anger. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness and anger.
The Bible tells on many occasions that Jesus had compassion for those he healed.
Peter and John had compassion on the beggar at the gate beautiful. Developing our ability to be compassionate with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and all others we relate to will open up doors for us to make a difference.
People need the kind of loving compassionate relationships that God truly intends for believers.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
Kingdom minded people are compassionate and kind.
God has made us people who relate. In Christ he has given us an incredible ability to get over ourselves and help others. Our relationships are of utmost importance. We cannot think for a second that our pure-hearted investment in others will not have an eternal impact. It is an awesome promise to know that God can use us to bless others and to help them develop and grow in Christ, no matter where they are.
The benefits of dropping these four anchors are endless, the end result is that we are better at relationships, and better equipped to bless people for God’s Kingdom.
Ephesians 4:25-32, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,and give no opportunity to the devil.Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
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