What's this Thing Called a Relationship?

What's this Thing Called a Relationship?

1.      Definitions: “Relationship”

: the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other
: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people
: the way in which two or more people or things are connected

2.      Characteristics of a Relationship: (credit) http://www.aafp.org/fpm/2006/0100/p47.html

Trust. Trust is the foundation for any successful collaboration. People in trusting relationships seek feedback from one another (and actually use it). Individuals who trust one another can discuss their successes and their failures, not to condemn but to learn and move forward.

Diversity. Diversity can be defined as differences in the way people view the world. Whether it stems from age, race, gender, education or experience, diversity of thought occurs anywhere people gather.

Mindfulness. In mindful relationships, people are open to new ideas. A mindful practice avoids operating on autopilot, encourages everyone to express their ideas without fear of ridicule, criticism or punishment.

Interrelatedness. This occurs when people are sensitive to the task at hand and understand how their work affects one another. In addition, they become aware of how each person contributes to the goals at hand and the larger community.

Respect. Respectful interactions are considerate, honest and tactful. People who respect one another value each other’s opinions.

Interaction. Relationships are multi-faceted. They can be described as social or task related. Social relationships are personal and often based on activities that exist outside of work; task-related relationships are focused on professional issues.

Communication. Communication can be described as rich or lean. Rich channels, such as face-to-face interaction or telephone conversations, are preferred for messages with potentially unclear meanings or emotional content. Lean channels, such as social media, text, e-mails or memos, are preferred for more generic messages. Both are necessary, and successful individuals use them wisely.

3.      Applications of Characteristics in Relationships

“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.” Unknown

“A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.” Billy Graham

“I was dating this guy and we would spend all day text messaging each other. And he thought that he could tell that he liked me more because he actually spelt the word 'YOU' and I just put the letter 'U'.” Kelly Osbourne

Marriage can be tough. It really is. But God is calling you to do everything you can. It's just not you and your spouse. There's a third person in your marriage. And God would like to bless and protect that marriage, and give you many fruitful days ahead.”
Tim Huelskamp

“No employer today is independent of those about him. He cannot succeed alone, no matter how great his ability or capital. Business today is more than ever a question of cooperation.” Orison Swett Marden

“When it comes to my salvation, all I need is Jesus; after my salvation, everything is Jesus plus the church... When people preach that all you need is Jesus, they cut you and I off from one of the greatest sources of healing, which is the body of Christ. Don't go it alone - you won't make it.” Josh McDowell

“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.'” Billy Graham

4.      How it’s all connected

You may be wondering where love and marriage comes into all this. After all, isn’t that where a real relationship starts? You meet a guy (or gal) and your heart goes pitter patter and poof! Love, then marriage, then comes…well, you know how the song goes.

Love is important, but in reality, the key to any relationship is actually much deeper…it's commitment. And it must be strong and withstand any adversity and trial. Respect and trust builds while communication and mindfulness supports the diversity of each party whether it be between long friends, family, employees or employers, or the body of Christ.

We see God’s love and commitment for us through His Son's sacrifice on the cross. This selfless act can not be dismissed but is to be respected. Why? For it's because of the blood of Jesus, the lines of communication to the Father are now open! That's right...Christianity is a RELATIONSHIP!

Friendship and fellowship are possible with the Lord. If we trust God's Word and remember that not only our but every Christian's sins are forgiven, we will never be alone. Amazing interaction and growth is possible in our daily walk with the Lord as well as within an incredible diverse and interrelational Church family.

And that question about love and marriage? Well now...that's the best part. For love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control…they're the fruit of a true and everlasting bond. Wow, what an awesome marriage...

Oh! One last thing to remember about relationships:

“Pride adversely affects all our relationships - our relationship with God and His servants, between husband and wife, parent and child, employer and employee, teacher and student, and all mankind.Ezra Taft Benson

Pictures courtesy of https://www.dollarphotoclub.com/
Quotes courtesy of http://www.brainyquote.com/
Special acknowledgement and thanks to AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) for their article, Fam Pract Manag. 2006 Jan;13(1):47-50.


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