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First off, I’d like to point out that relationships are hard. Now I’m not talking about romantic relationships here–those are a separate ballpark altogether–right now we’re talking about everyday relationships. Whether it be making friends at school, getting to know your co-workers, or greeting new neighbors; relationships are everywhere, and you think we’d be better at making them work…but we’re not.
Why are finding new relationships so hard?
There are three main reasons for why relationships seem so darned hard:
1. Differing views
It doesn’t matter where you go, everyone has a different view from you. Whether it’s a slightly different view or a major view, almost no one’s views are the same. That’s okay. The issue is getting over each hurdle and handling each difference in a careful manner while respecting both sides of the relationship. Whether that means you give in (on this argument, or they do) or maybe you compromise. Making sure there isn’t a constant argument about your differing views is extremely important.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. -Ephesians 4:26
Technology is one of the most major problems in trying to create relationships in today’s society. Trying to hold a conversation while somebody has a phone, tablet, laptop in their face is always fun. But another issue with technology is that people often create false relationships by hiding their identity online or by building a relationship with someone who hides their identity online or even uses another person’s identity!
It’s important when trying to build a relationship with someone new, or even maintaining a relationship with an old friend to realize that every time you put technology before that person, you are causing that relationship stress, and eventually, that relationship will crumble. Keep technology out of the way when spending time with others. Turn the ringer off, leave the alarm on for when your mom calls and put the phone away.
3. Discrimination and Hate
This is the top reason relationships don’t work out in today’s society, we decide that our values are more important than someone else’s values and that puts a wedge in the relationship until the relationship eventually falls apart.
Why are these relationships important?
Jesus taught us that it was important to go out and disciple to those who did not know His name.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:18-20
We cannot make disciples out of other Christians (theoretically), therefore we must go out and make disciples out of others.
Another reason these types of relationships are so important is that people need to feel Jesus’ love and understanding. Was it not the beggars, sinners and liars that Jesus befriended? He went out into society and welcomed the outcasts into His loving and accepting arms. Now that He has ascended into Heaven it is our duty to follow in His footsteps.
Not only are building these relationships what Jesus wants from us, but these relationships can be beneficial to us. I say this from experience as two of my closest friends (one being the maid of honor from my wedding) are not Christians. My maid of honor is a spiritual, non-religious type and my other good friend is a Muslim. I find that with these two, conversation comes easier, laughter is more abundant and the similarities between us are quite abundant as well. There is no law that says we should not be friends although society frowns upon it at times. These are the women to whom I disciple and discuss religion and my relationship with God. And although we don’t always see eye to eye, I am so glad these women are in my life.
It is from my acceptance and understanding of others that I’ve had many opportunities to share the bible with those who seem reluctant or misunderstand Jesus’ message. People know that I am an open-minded and loving Christian, and for this, I am approached often with questions and concerns. I get a lot of opportunities to pray for others and give God’s good word to them. This, to me, is a blessing and an opportunity like no other. I encourage you to strive for these opportunities as well.
Next week we’ll be talking about how to start a new relationship. Since it’s hard to find friends as an adult, sometimes it can be overwhelming to try and start a new friendship as an adult!
What do you think the hardest part about having a relationship with someone who has values different than yours? Join the discussion! You can find us on our Facebook page, in our Facebook group, The Homemaker’s Corner, on Instagram and Pinterest.
Check out the rest of the series:
Part One: Introduction