by Gail Rodgers
Help with relationships is one of the most searched topics on the internet. We are all in them and, at times, we will all struggle with a relationship of one kind or another.
Whatever the relationship, husband/wife; parent/child; siblings; extended family; friendships; relationships outside the home… there is one set of guidelines that is timeless and true in dealing with how to relate to one another.
These guidelines don’t tell you to put yourself in harms way, nor to be a “door mat” or not to have any boundaries with those who are manipulative or mean spirited. No – these guidelines give you an attitude of the heart and a way to see yourself as you respond to others in your life.
There are just over 50 of them. Some are repeated, often with a little different direction given as to how to carry it out.
It’s like changing the glasses you are looking through. Often we choose to focus on seeing faults and finding complaints and irritations in another, especially when our hearts have been bruised. These guidelines give you opportunity and insight to change your glasses and see your own heart first as you respond to other person through the lens of compassion and care.
After all, it’s our own hearts that lead us in relationships and it’s our own attitudes that help make the daily rubbing of shoulders pleasant or irritating.
You can never do anything about another’s responses or attitudes. You do not have the authority to change their glasses no matter how much you try. You can only change yours. Yet in changing the glasses you wear and choosing your outlook and your response, you will find yourself changing and those around you will respond differently as well.
It may be some of the very basic things in these guidelines that you need to begin doing. Waiting for one another before you eat. Being kind. Being tender hearted.
It may be more challenging to forgive another, to not build up complaints in your heart and mind toward another or to encourage and serve another.
These guidelines are all you will ever really need in your home and outside of your home as you navigate the relationships you hold dear. They come from the timeless truth of the Bible, God’s word to us. The best part is that God is the one who can restore kindness and gentleness within our hearts even when we don’t feel like it and can’t muster it ourselves. He is the one who can change our hearts and our minds and pour His love into us so that it can spill out around us.
May I challenge you to take the next 30 days and work through this list one at a time? Ask God daily to help you specifically change your heart toward the one you find yourself in a challenging relationship with.
You will be amazed at the wisdom and insight you will receive as God’s peace begins to flow in your heart and in your relationship.
THE “ONE ANOTHER” OF THE BIBLE (N.I.V.)
Mark 9:50 - “Salt is good; but if the salt becomes un-salty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
John 13:14 - “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
John 13:34 - “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:35 - “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 15:12 - “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
John 15:17 - “This I command you, that you love one another.
Romans 12:10 - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
Romans 12:16 - Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Romans 13:8 - Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Romans 14:13 - Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.
Romans 14:19 - So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
Romans 15:5 - Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,
Romans 15:7 - Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
Romans 15:14 - And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.
Romans 16:16 - Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
1 Corinthians 11:33 - So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
1 Corinthians 16:20 - All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
2 Corinthians 13:12 - Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Galatians 5:13 - For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:26 - Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Galatians 6:2 - Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
Ephesians 4:2 - with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,
Ephesians 4:25 - Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 5:19 - speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
Ephesians 5:21 - and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Philippians 2:3 - Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
Colossians 3:9 - Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,
Colossians 3:13 - bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 - and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;
1 Thessalonians 4:9 - Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
1 Thessalonians 5:11 - Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:13b - Live in peace with one another.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 - See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 - We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
Hebrews 3:13 - But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 10:24 - and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
Hebrews 10:25 - not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
James 4:11 - Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.
James 5:9 - Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
James 5:16 - Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
1 Peter 1:22 - Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
1 Peter 4:8 - Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:9 - Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
1 Peter 4:10 - As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1 Peter 5:5 - You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
1 Peter 5:14 - Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.
1 John 1:7 - but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 3:11 - For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
1 John 3:23 - This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
1 John 4:7 - Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:11 - Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:12 - No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
2 John 1:5 - Now I ask you, dear lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.