Healthy Relationships (Part III)

When we say, enough is enough, and begin to put God’s principals into practice, we can have hope for healthy relationships!

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.

2 O my soul, you have said to the Lord,

“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
3 As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”

4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.

5 O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance. Psalm 16:1-6

The above passage speaks of three important principals that we can apply to living with love and limits. The first principal is that our love and goodness is tied to God’s goodness and cannot be more than what God allows. He is the source of excellence and when we follow His direction, our love will be pure and right. Sometimes we overdo it with love in the name of showing and proving our allegiance and care for someone. There are also times that others around us are operating in the flesh to show their love and allegiance. As a result, we may feel the pressure to go along with the program in order to be accepted and be part of the team. However, the Lord is the source of love. We are not called to love outside of God’s boundaries and desires, which keeps us healthy.

The first commandment is to love the Lord with all our hearts, soul, strength, and mind (See Luke 10:27). That means He is the only one worthy of having that kind of love, adoration, and allegiance. Furthermore, we are not called to check out our brain and love people blindly without examining the relationship and/or the behavior.

The second commandment tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. This commandment can be difficult to live out if we have not learned to love and be loved in a healthy way. We may not have the correct measure of healthy love. For example, if you were spolied as a child, you may not necessarily see giving too much or loving too much as a problem because you enjoy others treating you that way. At other times, people give too much because they lacked love and attention n childhood, and they wished someone had done it for them. In these kinds of situations, prayerfully ask the Lord to show you individuals who love in a healthy way and ask them to help you with your love gauge.

The Second principal comes from verse 4 in the above passage that tells those who try to take matters in their own hands, are actually creating idolatry and others gods in their lives. Idolatry will bring sorrows. Their focus is to maintain a person or a relationship in their own strength. Whenever we step into idolatry, it becomes very difficult to hear God’s correction because we have opened a door to the enemy, and our perception of truth and facts have been marred. Unfortunately, in those cases, only the pain of a bad relationship may be the remedy for bringing awareness to the person.

If you have opened the door to idolatry in a relationship,  repent from it now, and ask the Lord to help you to restore proper boundaries in your life and your relationship. You may grieve losing yourself as well as your time, energy, and resources over the years. But then it is time learn from the mistakes so you won’t repeat them again and then move forward.

The third principal comes from above verses 5-6. These verses tells us that the Lord has blessed each person with their own inheritance and boundary lines. We don’t have to strive in relationships and be afraid of losing a relationship. Whatever you do to make the relationship work and be maintained, you will have to continue doing it to make the relationship work, which may not be healthy. As long as we are doing our part in the relationship as the Bible instructs, we can trust the Lord to maintain what belongs to us.

When we don’t place limits in our relationships, we are jeopardizing our relationship with the Lord, ourselves, and others. Basically, we are saying either other people’s lives are our responsibility or our lives are their responsibility, and that ensues many problems.
You may have a tendency to overstep others’ limits and try to fix someone else’s problems in the name of love. You may take responsibility for their happiness and try to protect them from danger, anger, or disappointment.
On the other hand, if you are needy and wish others to take care of you, you will allow others to tell you what decisions to make. For a while, it will feel like someone is caring for you, but eventually, when you are ready to make your own decisions, you will begin to resent it.  Sometimes we do both by trying to fix someone’s problems in one relationship, and allow others to fix our problems in another relationship.

I hope this series has made you aware of unhealthy relationships and your unhealthy patterns that contribute to the unhealthy relationships. Meditate on the scriptures that minister to you and ask the Lord to change your heart about how you relate to others and your desire for healthy relationships. Healthy relationships are developed because we follow what God prescribes not what our emotions dictate.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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