The Relationship Principles
Principle #1: The Faithfulness Principle
Faithfulness to a relationship means loyalty to a person. When problems are the primary focus of a relationship, principles are laid aside in order to air differences, and the importance of sharing feelings often takes priority over character.
Psalms 133:1-3 – “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mt. Zion. For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forever more.”
2 Timothy 2:2 – “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 -“If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.”
Faithfulness to our relationship outweighs the importance of any offense between us. I will not allow any problem to override the principles by which we live.
Is this problem a threat to our relationship?
Principle #2: The Final Word Principle
We believe God’s Word. We should also believe the words of our friends. If we respect the words we hear from each other, we do not need constant assurance of the well-being of our relationship. We can be confident that all is well because we have not been told otherwise.
Ephesians 4:15 – “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him, who is the Head, that is Christ.”
Proverbs 14:5 – “A truthful witness does not deceive.”
I Corinthians 13:7 – “If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.”
I will believe and act upon the last words we spoke concerning our relationship, and live as if you will do the same. If anything changes on my part, I will inform you.
Did you forget or disregard what we last spoke to one another concerning our relationship?
Principle #3: The Friendship Principle
God is the only one who knows what is in a man’s heart. One should not expect that a friend discerns what is happening inside him. Therefore, the need to be understood is met in friends by communicating with one another.
1 John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another…”
Proverbs 14:25 – “A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.”
I will not expect you to interpret my actions or recognize my heart’s condition. It is my responsibility to approach you if I need your help.
Are you offended that I did not recognize you were troubled?
Principle #4: The Four Day Principle
Resolving conflicts preserves friendship. Offenses between friends are spiritually, emotionally, and physically harmful. Bringing issues to a closure within a reasonable amount of time maintains the health of a relationship.
James 3:17-18 – “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
Matthew 5:23-24 – “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
I will not allow any problem I have with you go unresolved for more than four days. If, within that length of time, I have not come to peace about the issue, I will communicate with you.
How long have you been troubled about this problem?
Principle #5: The First Word Principle
Jesus instructed us to go to an offending brother privately. When we obey Jesus, we are able to reconcile with our brother much more easily than if we had revealed the issue to others before seeking him. This also prevents the potential of others taking up a secondary offensive.
Matthew 18:15 – “If your brother sins against you, go and show him first his fault, just between the two of you.”
James 3:5 -“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”
You will be the first person to know about any problem I have with you.
Have you spoken to anyone else about this offense?
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