This week’s devotion holds a somewhat more personal approach since you will be asked to come up with much of your own content. Why this approach? The more we deliberately think about our relationships, especially what we individually bring to them, the stronger their quality and depth.
To start, make a list of what you believe are the most important qualities of relationships in general. Try to write down at least 10 qualities, but feel free to spend time coming up with as many as you like.
After creating your own list, consider the following list of qualities that experts consider essential in healthy relationships.
- Unselfish motives
- Common goals
- Common interests
- Positive self-image
- Willingness to be uncomfortable
- Sense of humor
- Appreciate differences
- Personal ownership
- Willingness to change
- Good listening skills
Next, look up the following verses to get an even greater sense of what relationships should look like, especially those involving Christians. Keep in mind that you may have work to deliberately consider how to apply these verses to your own relationships. The results from this effort are motivational, though, and you’ll want to continue down that path.
Note: A hint toward possible application has been provided for you, but please do not limit yourself to that single application should the Holy Spirit lead you differently. Also, try reading the verses in a couple of different translations to really open up the concept being portrayed.
- Genesis 2:24 – Oneness
- Proverbs 12:18 – Soothing
- Proverbs 14:29 – Self-control
- Proverbs 17:17 – Enduring
- Proverbs 17:27 – Consistent
- Proverbs 18:24 – Depth
- Proverbs 20:19 – Anti-gossip
- Proverbs 27:9 – Counsel
- Matthew 7:3 – Self-reflection
- John 15:13 – Sacrificial
- 2 Corinthians 6:14 – Similarities
- Ephesians 4:26 – Self-control
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Encouraging
- James 1:19 – Patient
Now, let’s go back to the Proverbs 31 Woman. Please read Proverbs 31:10-31 and list the qualities you see in her life that go toward building relationships positively. Consider the following qualities if you have not already included them in your own list:
- Not lazy
- Fears God
In the Proverbs 31 Woman, we see a wonderful example of someone who develops qualities within herself that allow her to build strong relationships. So, the building of relationships is twofold. First, a person must develop inner qualities that allow her to build strong relationships. Second, she must deliberately focus on the specific qualities that create enduring relationships that honor God.
For further study: Consider the following biblical examples of friendships. What can you learn from them and apply to your own relationships?
- Jonathan & David – 1 Samuel 18:1-4 & 1 Samuel 20
- Ruth & Naomi – Book of Ruth
- Paul & Barnabas – Acts 9:26-30, Acts 13:1-16 & Acts 15:1-29
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