How do you measure your relationships? Do you look at others' and say "mine are as good as theirs"? Do you read the latest book by the foremost marriage and family therapist? Do you watch shows on television and compare yourself? If that is what you're doing, then you are missing out. You have completely missed the point of God's intent for your relationships. In a recent article from Relevant Magazine, Debra K. Fileta wrote that the majority of the millennial generation want a "'choose-your-own-adventure' kind of marriage in which you avoid lifelong commitment in exchange for the ability to jump ship if things don't work out the way you expect them too...marriage shouldn't be a permanent choice with one person for one lifetime, but a choice that you can 're-evaluate' every few years." She was speaking of marriage, but I believe those comments still apply to a lesser degree to many people's other relationships. When the relationship struggles, then the relationship is quickly over. The reason? Most people are in relationships purely for what they get from them, whether it be love or happiness, security or comfort. If they are truly honest, most are involved in relationships for what they get from them, not what they give to them. This may sound cynical, but it has been my experience that when a husband or wife or parent or child or even a church member feel "unhappy" or "disconnected" they are on the way to terminating their relationship. It is fulfilling to get something from our relationships, but the Bible is very clear that our relationships are to be unconditional. "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church." "Wives, respect your husbands." "Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." "Love your neighbor as yourself." "Everything you do must be done in love." "love your brother," "love your enemy." The Father asks his children to have unconditional relationships. Don't confuse unconditional relationships with codependence or with tolerating abuse. Unconditional relationships are those where we strive to be like Jesus. Where the words we say to each other are the same words we would say to God. Where what we do for each other, are the same things God would do for us or we would do for God. Your relationships are not intended for merely your happiness, but for your godliness,
and those kind of godly relationships are necessarily unconditional.