By NaTamara Newton & Ashant’e Clayborn Roberson
The world has created a false sense of what “true” relationships are. We are living in a day and age where it is okay to be “the other woman”. Television shows such as Scandal and Being Mary Jane glorify this type of behavior. We are in a day in age where friendships consist of gossiping and downing one another while discreetly waiting for their downfall. Why is loyalty meant for people who could care less about us? Our ideas about relationships are so tainted and we blindly engage in “relationships” that truly have no meaning. So what is the definition of true relationship? Well let us shed some light on the topic and give insight on what Christ says about them!
The word “relationship” is defined by Webster’s dictionary as the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the start of being connected. This definition does not say what elements are needed for there to be a relationship. You do not see words such as sacrifice, love, trust, communication, honesty, or forgiveness in the definition. Yet, this is the recipe that is needed to have successful relationships, with Christ being the main ingredient. Can you look at your current relationships and say that both parties are displaying these characteristics and that Christ is in the middle of them? Or are your relationships filled with distrust, sorrow, loneliness, bitterness, and selfishness?
Two words that are often misused and thrown around are love and friendship. These are words that you will always find in a “relationship”. “I love you”, “That’s my friend” Why is love and lust confused? Biblical love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrong. It does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Love never fails. -1 Corinthians 13: 4-8. When you have “love” in your relationship, these are the traits that should be present. What is lust and why is it so often confused with love? Lust is defined as the intense sexual desire appetite; a passionate or overmastering desire or craving. If you have ever been in a romantic relationship and become intimate, an extreme amount of emotions will put you under the impression that you’re in love. God expresses to us in the bible why fornication should be avoided and why you should wait for Him to send your spouse. Our flesh is weak, and this is why we must keep God at the forefront of our relationships. The importance of establishing a strong spiritual life will give you the ability to recognize and transform that carnal relationship into a meaningful and long lasting spiritual one.
Did you know that friendship is the highest form of relationship? I am sure that you are thinking that maybe romantic relationships are the highest form but, have you ever met a couple that could not stand each other? Or have you seen a parent and adult child relationship, where they could not get along or did not care to have a relationship with each other? Well in both instances, it is because there is no true friendship. Many times we find ourselves being loyal to “friendships” that aren’t true. We hold on to relationships just to say that we have been with someone for so long, or because of the time that we have invested. A true friendship requires sacrifice. The first sacrifice that is to made is to ones’ self. Each person has to make up their mind that the other person is who is most important and not themselves. This involves a large degree of selflessness. Now this is totally against the world’s view of relationships where we can get divorced just because we no longer are feeling someone. In a true friendship, each person is valuable and important. They are valuable and important even when they are getting on your last nerves or have made a mistake. Now the key to this is that the friendship must go both ways, it cannot be one sided. You cannot be caught up in relationships where you are constantly giving and never receiving, either romantic or platonic.
It is important to always evaluate the relationships you are in and ask if you have a true friendship. If so, you have a solid foundation for a successful relationship. Nothing comes without hardship and trials, and that includes building true friendships/relationships, but you should not be constantly hurting, or being put down while building. Please do not miss the true component for anything to be successful, and that is Christ.
-NaTamara Newton and Ashant’e Clayborne Roberson
Tidbits For Women