I believe each day we’re given the choice to listen or to plug our ears. We can be accountable people in our everyday lives, our relationships, and in our conversations — or we can go against God’s word and follow our own will and wants. Most of the time our own casualty in our marriages, relationships with family, and those around us, begins because our own unwillingness to listen to God’s wisdom and seek his grace that’s been freely offered to us all.
One passage that comes to my mind that is loaded with essential relational wisdom comes from Ephesians.
“[Live together] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, hearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond on peace.” Eph. 4:2-3
Read about these wise guidelines for relationships:
1. “with all humility....” Pride always destroys a relationship. It gives you the idea that you’re entitled and you’re more demanding than serving and giving. You want control and it makes you have to be right. Pride is an anti-relational way of having a relationship. Humility is the godly way.
2. “and gentleness...” When we treat others when gentleness, it makes others feel safe around us and they want to move near you (closer to you). Responding with gentleness is essential to relational bond.
3. “with patience...” We cannot have healthy communion with another flawed human without willingness to wait. If we are demanding and want things our way and in our time, that means that we’re so busy loving ourselves that we have little time left to love others.
4. “bearing with one anything in love...” Love requires that we are willing to be forbearing, that is, willing to suffer. Why is that? Because we are in relationship with less-than-perfect people, living in a fallen world together. Man will always fail us, Jesus will not.
5. “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit...” Love means unity is more important to us than being right, having our way, and getting what we want. Love rejoices in the fact that God’s Spirit in those we’re in relationship with gives us a good platform for unity.
6. “in the bond of peace.” Love means committing to make peace, not war.
There are no more-important relational commitments that you could cite. So we all hold this wisdom in our hands, but are we listening?