You don’t have to look far to find someone who’s in either a stalemate or checkmate relationship.
- The girlfriend who feels trapped in an emotionally unhealthy relationship
- The married couple who has been together for 10 years, but everyone knows they are miserable
- A partnership that started out great but is now on a downward spiral because their morals and goals are in opposition to each other
- The friendship that constantly sucks the life out of you, but you feel powerless to distance yourself
No one plans or desires to be in an unhealthy relationship, but 9 out of 10 times, unless you are proactive in choosing your relationships, you will likely find yourself in an undesirable situation.
Why are relationships so important? Jim Rohn, (successful author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker) says, “You become the culmination of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Solomon, (the wisest man in history) says it like this, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm” (Prov 13:20).
So how can you be sure that you end up in a good relationship – whether marriage, friendship, or business partnership? Here are 3 key steps to get you started:
1. Be picky.
2 Corinthians 6:14 exhorts us “Do not become unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
Marcy began hanging out at a shake bar because the women who worked there were friendly and fun. Her kids were all at school during the day, and although she wasn’t ready to go back to work full time, she found herself with a lot of time on her hands. One of the gals at the shop was in the same boat. She wanted a bit of financial fluidity but also flexibility with her time. The shop owner was retiring, so they made a plan to go into business together and take over the shop. Things seemed to fall into place beautifully, and for about 6 months all was well. But Marcy began to realize that the way her friend and business partner conducted business and treated customers was not in line with her moral convictions. Marcy confronted her, but it only made matters worse. Eventually, there was a big fallout, and Marcy ended up walking away. The lesson she took away was that she should have never entered into a business partnership with someone who did not have the same morals and values, ambitions, and character as herself.
2. Be healthy.
Like attracts like. If you want better people in your life, you must work on being a better person yourself – Leon Brown
Healthy people attract healthy people, and victims attract victims. Know who you are and what you want. If you are in a bad place physically, spiritually, or emotionally, spend time in God’s word and prayer to find healing and a healthy identity. Then look for people who treat you with respect and bring out the best in you, to be your relationship and business partner allies. Proverbs 27:17 describes those types of relationships as ‘iron sharpens iron’ relationships.
3. Be stealthy.
Paul was an on-campus Bible study leader. One of the young women in his group seemed to have all the qualities he was looking for in a life partner. She was a faithful church attendee, came from a great family, and had similar interests and goals. He began setting up group activities that he knew she would be interested in so he could get a chance to get to know her better. Eventually, they had a few more private and personal conversations. In the process, he discovered that, although they had many things in common, they were miles apart in a couple of areas - one of them being the whole saving sex for marriage thing. Being in his mid-twenties, he wondered if a better option would ever present itself. He worried that he would never find ‘the one’ because his standards were too high. After all, even Christians weren’t really preserving themselves (mind, body, and soul) for marriage these days. Would it really matter if they were going to eventually be married? He went to God’s word and godly allies in his life and eventually decided to stop pursuing the relationship. He committed to trusting God to provide a woman for him who had the same Biblical standards as he did. Nearly a year later, he met, and eventually married the woman of his dreams.
Finding and building relationships that have a strong foundation is not easy. It takes being a bit of a detective by being strategic and proactive. Getting to the heart of a person’s belief system and moral warehouse takes time, intentionality, and prayer. While in the process of finding out whether or not it is a spiritually and emotionally compatible relationship, take care to guard your heart, mind, and body against distraction and destruction. Don’t settle for relationships or opportunities that are not right for you because you fear that if you let them pass you by, you won’t get another opportunity or chance. Trust God to bring the right relationship or opportunity into your life. Then do your part by being prayerful, active, and pro-active, with these 3 keys.
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Prov 12:26).
P.S. If you are single and looking for a mate, listen to my podcast Finding a Mate to learn how to apply the same 3 keys when looking for your life partner.
If you or someone you know would like more information visit Refresh Your Marriage.