A Key to Better Relationships: Advice from the Bible

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On Valentine’s Day, we, of course, think of romantic relationships, but it’s a time to reflect on all relationships in our lives. Look no further than the Bible for guidance on the keys to forming better relationships.

Relationship Key #1: Prioritize others

“Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”

– 1 Corinthians 10:24

Nothing will endear you more to others than selflessness. People will appreciate that you care about their happiness, needs, and wants. That’s not to say that you should completely ignore your own needs. It simply means that you should do so when you have room to concede or give. Not begrudgingly, but out of love for the other person.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

– Philippians 2:4

Relationship Key #2: Doing for others

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

–Hebrews 13:16

The song’s core theme found within the title of the Janet Jackson song “What Have You Done for Me Lately” gives us a twofold message. First, we should ask ourselves: “What have we done for others lately?” And secondly, we should not expect others to be doers, but we should be the ones doing first.

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

–Galatians 6:10

Relationship Key #3: Honoring others

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

– Romans 12:10

The above can also be interpreted as “brothers and sisters” or “family affection” or “mutual affection.” Be the first to show honor rather than waiting or demanding it be shown to you.

You probably shouldn’t be keeping company with people you don’t honor or respect. But even when you are with such people, you shouldn’t go out of your way to dishonor them. Trying to belittle the other person only makes you look small.

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

–Philippians 2:3

Humility is a sign of strength and confidence. Boasting is the opposite, revealing weakness and fear.

Not trying to view ourselves as superior to others, but as humble and a servant to the needs of others is an accurate representation of love.

Jesus Christ said:

“The greatest among you shall be your servant.”

–Matthew 23:11

Relationship Key #4: Loving others

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

– John 15:12

The love Jesus was referring to above is unconditional love. A love that honors, bears the burdens of others, is patient, gentle, doesn’t judge, and is forgiving.

“Bear one another burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

–Galatians 6:2

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,”

–Ephesians 4:2