We were created for relationship. Without it, we’re lonely, forlorn, and unfulfilled. However, while companionship of one form or another is essential to our wellbeing, not every relationship is healthy. Whether a friend or family member or partner, it’s important to set boundaries for your relationships and understand your priorities.
As believers, we prioritize our relationship with the Lord above all else. He is our Father, Creator, God, and Friend. Not only does He love you (John 3:16), but He is trustworthy, gracious, and merciful (Psalm 86:15). He will never betray you, hurt you, or let you go (Psalm 118:8). He is constant and always has time for His children.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.”
Mark 12:30 (NKJV)
Spouses should fall directly under the Lord in priority. Your partner should come before anyone else. This is the person that you have made covenant with – you are one in the sight of the Lord. In a godly marriage, your spouse should be someone you trust. They should be able to challenge you, honor you, love you, be there for you, and support you (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). If you both prioritize faith and worship, the Lord will bless your marriage and give you grace no matter the season.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her… let each one of you in particular love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Ephesians 5:25, 33 (NKJV)
Your children come next. It is your responsibility to break any generational curses you were raised with and raise them in humility, grace, love, and gentleness. The Bible makes it clear that we are to model godliness for our children and spend the time to teach them properly.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NKJV)
In the matter of extended family and friends, your obligations are different. You should of course show the people in your life the love of Jesus, but not everyone is trustworthy or compatible as a friend. Exercise caution and discernment with who you are close to.
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)
Take the Tabernacle as a visual example of how to organize and prioritize your relationships. The Lord should be the only one in your Holy of Holies, and your spouse should be the only member of your inner court. Your children and close relationships should remain in your outer court, and the rest can remain outside of your tabernacle or come to visit occasionally. To everyone, demonstrate Christ’s greatest commandment:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35 (NKJV)
– Jennifer Ann Turner, Staff Writer
To learn more about biblical relationships, check out some of the online Bible studies at International School of the word. Consider starting with Marriage and Family 101. Visit www.ISOW.org today to get started on an affordable online biblical education!