The other day I cut into a beautiful red Fuji apple to find it was rotten inside because of a worm. I didn’t see it on the outside at first until I examined it closely. This lesson of caution and examination is also true when you think you would like to be in a close relationship with someone, not just romantically.
All our relationships have healthy and unhealthy aspects because we are all imperfect people. However, we need to learn how to evaluate the health of our relationship according to God’s greatest commandments and Christ’s loving example seen in his life. It takes time to see how people treat others and themselves.
See Others in Christ’s Truth
Take time to see if the person is truly walking with Jesus, or they are just going through the motions of attending church and Bible study. When someone is walking with Jesus, their words and actions will look like his and be abundant in the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
The person you are considering sharing your heart with must act the same no matter if they are alone, in a crowd, at the store, or if they are in church. Pay attention to how they handle stress, opposition, failure, and anger. All their actions won’t be perfect but be cautious if they are disrespectful, dishonoring, or abuse to themselves, others, or Jesus.
To help you see the differences between God’s healthy behaviors and unhealthy behaviors, I have created the chart below.
Good News or Bad News
After reading the chart above, you may have discovered things about yourself or the person you are in a relationship with that are healthy or unhealthy. Remember we all have room to grow, so don’t expect perfection because you can’t give it. However, stay in reality of what the person is like right now, not what you believe, or hope is inside of them. Base your relationships on the facts they present to you and others.
If you have realized a relationship you are currently in is primarily in the unhealthy category, it’s time to see the truth. If you haven’t read the book Boundaries, by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend, this is a must-read. There is a healthy way to address unhealthy issues and an unhealthy way. Any time you address an issue, or you draw a boundary, the law of physics applies. For every action, there is an equal reaction.
Create Healthy Relationships Christ’s Way
Jesus always wants us to approach people in love and respect. However, all you can control is what you say and do and how you do it. The hardest unhealthy relationships to limit or stop are with family or people we thought were like family.
This week’s blog addresses unhealthy relationships that are not dangerous, toxic, and abusive, even though they will also have many of these unhealthy traits. This blog is to help you discern what is healthy and what can be better, or what is unhealthy and needs to be stopped.
Always remember that Christ’s disciples are responsible to be the hands, feet, and mouth of Jesus people experience. They are responsible for how they let others speak to them and how they let others treat Jesus Christ living inside of them. We are designed for relationships, so let’s make them as healthy as possible in Christ’s love design.
If you are in an abusive relationship, contact your nearest women’s shelter, a Christian counselor experienced with domestic abuse, or call the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Don’t try to change anything with an abuser until you have a safe plan, or you know they won’t hurt or kill you or your children.
To learn more about Christ’s exceptional love, join my blog to know when my new book is coming out. Quest for Exceptional Love: Transform your love and relationship through Christ’s exceptional love design.