Building Relationships

Christian Relationship Advice

By Jill Briscoe

We can learn from the Bible what strengthens relationships and what kills them. For example, taking offense easily kills relationships. Amy Carmichael, in her little booklet If, says, “If I take offense easily–if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”  Again Amy says, “If I do not give a friend the benefit of the doubt but put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”  And, “If I can hurt another by speaking faithfully without much preparation of spirit and without hurting myself far more than I hurt that other, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

Ruth Bell Graham is often quoted as saying, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” Good forgivers build strong relationships. This is not contradicting what I have said about saying things that need to be said.  Remember, “faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Prov. 27:6, KJV).  But when necessary hard things are said, afterward forgiveness is needed to heal the rough edges of those painful conversations. Sometimes we even have to forgive those we care about for being faithful and telling us the truth!

When you know someone loves you and has you in their heart, you can hear their words of correction. It’s called “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) or sometimes we call it “leveling in love” but when it happens you aren’t “leveled.”

Relationships need to be based on biblical principles, and they also need to be practical. For example, we can offer words of encouragement but we also need to think of concrete ways to help. It’s more than talk - it’s offering a meal if your friend is sick, a ride in your car if she needs it, help with her kids if she is exhausted and needs a break. 

Just Between Us (JBU) is here to support you on your journey to build strong, meaningful relationships. Our articles and advice can serve as roadmaps for your journey. Take a moment to read one that speaks to you. Learn from the experience of others and perhaps find comfort and encouragement in your own quest to cultivate lasting relationships.

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