Dear World Changer,
Here is Charity’s break out session from Radiate 17!
Many of you probably came in here today expecting to hear some good advice for dating but that’s not what I plan to talk about. Instead, I would like to share with you some advice on how to build solid, healthy, and growing relationships with everyone in your life, not just a boyfriend. Knowing how to do relationships well with your friends, family, coworkers, etc. will set you up for a successful dating relationship in the future. Because the basics of relationships are the same, regardless of the nature of the relationship.
When Pastor Natasha first asked me to do this session with you my response was, “PNat, I suck at relationships!” I certainly don’t have all the answers and I definitely don’t have perfect relationships but I have learned some things over the last few years. The Holy Spirit has humbled me and taught me how I can better participate in my current relationships. So, if you don’t want to suck at relationships like me, then take a look at these lessons I have learned!
Top Ten Ways to Screw Up Your Relationships:
- Assume you know what they are thinking and feeling.
- Communication is KEY to successful relationships
- Talk to each other!
- God may have created us with highly intelligent minds but he did not give us the ability to read the minds of others.
- We act on what we think about – if you are incorrectly assuming something then you will behave in a way that is going to create more tension in the relationship.
- Ignore the truth of personality differences.
- You need to know YOU and you need to know THEM.
- God created you both with different personalities; he never wanted you to be the same. And he put you together because you make a good team and complement each other. But problems arise when you expect them to respond the same way you do.
- Once you know yourself and the one you are in relationship with, then you sometimes have to make the decision to sacrifice and/or compromise.
- Understanding and respecting personality differences is KEY to successful relationships.
- Only give / only take
- You want a friend? BE a friend.
You want a great sister? BE a great sister.
- You have to actively give to the relationship. You can’t just take what they have to offer.
- BUT, you also have to TAKE. Nobody wants to be in a relationship where they only receive from the other party. Have you ever tried to give something to someone and they refuse it but instead give something to you? I don’t know about you, but that never makes me feel good. And it makes me think I will never have something to add to the relationship. Refusing to take what the other person is giving is not a selfless act and it is actually stunting the growth of the relationship.
- Proverbs says: As iron sharpens iron so one friend sharpens another. It takes two people to sharpen and strengthen each other. Neither friend will be sharpened if one does not give AND take.
- You want a friend? BE a friend.
- Believe they have the ability to jump over your very high walls.
- Trust is KEY to successful relationships.
- We need to be vulnerable with each other. I understand that is a scary thing. Being vulnerable with someone is equivalent to you just handing them the power to crush your heart and hurt you incredibly. But, what we often forget is that being vulnerable with someone is also giving them the ability to love you incredibly and to strengthen you and make you greater than you already are.
- We need to not just feel our emotions, but also share them with each other. Be real. Tear down the walls piece by piece, even if it takes you a long time. The smaller the walls get, the stronger the relationship becomes.
- And help each other tear the walls down. Don’t let them do it alone. They need your help and support. Tearing down walls and being vulnerable is hard but it gets a bit easier, and becomes far more worth it, when you do it together.
- Let your emotions dictate your choices without consulting your logic.
- Like I said, emotions and feelings are KEY to successful relationships – we all need to be vulnerable. And like I said, sharing those emotions and feelings with each other is KEY to successful relationships – we need to communicate. But it is important that we do not rely solely on our emotions to guide our decisions.
- Emotions change with our situations. Love, trust, and loyalty are decisions we make and therefore can be consistent.
- Emotions are KEY. But when we have a decision to make we have to consider those emotions alongside our logic and reason. Use your ability to reason to understand why you are experiencing those emotions and determine how long they will last. Then take your conclusions and apply them to your situation.
- Take your feelings, logic, and everything else into consideration before acting. Don’t just impulsively base a decision on a fleeting feeling. Your feelings are there to tell you something about yourself and your situation – but they are not always the wisest when guiding your decision making – they are simply the first step in decision making.
- If we let our emotions be the only step of decision making then we will end up making some terrible decisions that will hurt many people and weaken or destroy many of our relationships.
- Logic, reason, and a clear head are KEY to successful relationships.
- Refuse to move on from past mistakes.
- Forgiveness is KEY to successful relationships.
- First, forgive yourself. Do not beat yourself up for what you did not know. You made a decision at one time based on your current pool of knowledge and if it led to the breakdown of a relationship then you need to learn from that and move on. Refusing to forgive yourself is not helping the other person in the broken relationship; it is only stopping you from mending that relationship and thriving in new relationships.
- Second, forgive them. Just like you, they too have made mistakes and refusing to extend forgiveness to them is only allowing bitterness to grow in your heart and keeping them from moving on and thriving.
- If you extend forgiveness in a relationship and it remains broken sometimes you just have to accept it. At the end of the day we have to remember that every relationship involves TWO people and all we can do is the best we can with the strength of Christ in us.
- Choose things over people.
- Crazy + sacrificial + total LOVE is KEY to successful relationships.
- PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS MORE IMPORTANT
There are always responsibilities that we must fulfill, and I am not suggesting that you disregard those responsibilities and let people down. But often there are things on our to do list that can be pushed to the next day, or even the next week, to create time for the people in our life.
- Ask yourself these questions: Does someone need you right now? Are you making yourself available to the people who are important to you? Do you always have to schedule people in a week or two later because of your busy schedule or do you sometimes have the ability to sacrifice a task in order to build a relationship?
If you don’t like your answers to these questions then consider making some changes to your schedule and/or more carefully choosing what you put your time into.
- Things fade away. Souls and legacies last forever.
- Pick up your Bible and read about the relationship between David and Jonathan – their friendship is one we can look to as a great example of what it means to put people first and put our time into souls and legacies that last forever.
- Give up on them.
- Some relationships we choose.
- Ask yourself these questions: Why did you choose to enter this relationship? So why would you not want to do everything that you can to see it flourish?
- Hard work is KEY to successful relationships.
- Resent the ones you are “stuck” in relationship with.
- Some relationships we do not choose.
- This does not mean we have a right to give up on them. I believe it actually means there is a divine purpose surrounding this relationship, and even if we don’t know what that purpose is it should still motivate us to do all we can to see it flourish more than any other.
- Choose to see yourself as “planted” or “purposefully placed” in that relationship instead of “stuck” in it. This perspective change, and the resulting actions, is KEY to successful relationships.
- Believe you have to keep trying for perfection.
- Realize the perfect relationship actually has flaws because it is simply two imperfect people joining forces and doing life together.
- Christ is the only perfect part of any relationship. Keep him in the centre of your relationships if you want them to be as close to perfect as they can be. Christ in the centre is KEY to successful relationships.
- And finally, anchor your relationships in PRAYER constantly! Pray for them, pray for you, pray for the two of you together. Pray always. This is KEY to successful relationships.
For anyone who sat in on my session at Radiate17, let the anchor charm I gave you be a reminder to always pray over your relationships. This is the number one thing we can do to strengthen our relationships. All the other advice given here should follow this important behaviour. Do this and watch your relationships flourish and thrive!