RELATIONSHIP TUESDAY WITH PASTOR (MRS) FAITH OYEDEPO
Humans are relational beings, we were not created to be in isolation but to relate positively with one another. God created male and female to coexist (Genesis 5:2), whether you like it or not, you have to relate with the opposite sex either at work, business places, neighborhood, social gathering or even religious gatherings – you cannot do without that. Interestingly, there is no separate world for men and women so you must learn to relate to the opposite sex by setting the right boundaries and this subject affects both married and singles.
God wants you to have friends and it is not a sin to be friends with the opposite sex. The Bible clearly records that women were among Jesus’ followers during His earthly ministry, for instance, Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna all accompanied Jesus during His earthly ministry. Being kind and friendly is Christlike but there are acceptable limits to every friendship and you must understand this.
James 4:4 “…know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
It is important therefore to know how to relate with everyone especially those of the opposite sex. Just as in every other relationship, there must be set rules and boundaries.
WHAT ARE BOUNDARIES?
Boundaries are limits; do’s and don’ts. It is important to set boundaries that represent who you are and who you want to be. A relationship cannot be healthy until clear boundaries are set and respected.
Recently, I watched a video of a couple that has been married for over 77 years and they were interviewed and asked what the secrets for their marital bliss were. Interestingly, they said “setting boundaries and respecting each other’s boundary is one of their secrets to a successful marriage.” Therefore, you must define your no-go areas keep yourself pure.
Interestingly, you must understand that setting boundaries must answer these four questions:
– where are you expected to be found?
– what are you expected to be found doing?
– when are you expected to be found doing it?
– how are you expected to be found doing it?
It must answer those four questions very clearly.
Boundaries define a relationship and create respect for the parties involved, boundaries are about taking personal responsibility for your own life and remember, no one else can take responsibility for your own life on your behalf. Be able to set boundaries firmly, clearly and respectfully and make sure that you communicate to the people that are involved in your life. Be courageous enough to wave bye-bye to anyone who doesn’t want to respect your boundaries. Don’t put yourself in a position where the enemy will be able to take advantage of you. A word is enough for the wise.
To set clear boundaries you should do the following:
1) Understand Male and Female Differences (Genesis 1:27b)
God created male and female to complement and not compete with each other. There are certain things that ordinarily would turn a male on emotionally but may not necessarily apply to the female and vice versa.
For instance, women are naturally attracted to words they hear, while men are more attracted to what they see. Therefore, men, stop saying things that you don’t mean to be a lady and you ladies, don’t send the wrong signal through your dressing, your carriage or unnecessary closeness to the opposite sex. Don’t set traps for the opposite sex whether intentionally or unintentionally.
2) Know the Importance of Good Friendship (Ecclesiastes 4:9a)
Good friendships keep us spiritually, mentally and physically strong. So, any friendship that deviates from that, you must take good note of that and act immediately. Good friendships improve the quality of our life, they also motivate you towards being your best. they serve as mirrors to your own character and they can be teachers to you and as your helpers.
In Luke 10:39, we were told about Mary, Lazarus’ sister who was said to always learn at the feet of Jesus Christ. There were also fervent women of God during apostle Paul’s ministry who ministered to the needs of the Saints for example, Priscilla, Junia and some other women. ChurchGist. So if you are in a relationship that doesn’t make your life better, you should think twice and make sure you take action accordingly.
3) Define Your Relationships (Proverbs 27:9a)
Relationships are vital to your destiny, clearly your association determines your destination. May you end your journey in life well!
Relationships are powerful and we get involved at different levels. I have come to discover that there are three main levels of relationship that we all get involved in, in our lives at one point or another.
i) You relate with your superiors (those who are above you)
ii) You relate with your mates
iii) You relate with those who are below you
These three levels of relationship are very crucial and to relate simply means to connect, contact and interact; to be involved with.
You must learn to clearly define whatever relationship you are involved in. I have come to understand that a sound relationship is free from the following:
Your comportment matters a lot so you decide how you must never be found and where you must never be found with the opposite sex. Don’t be careless, your life is too precious. Flee all appearances of evil. In your relationship with the opposite sex, it is important to set good boundaries. We must set limits for others and ourselves. Someone has said and I believe it is very true that lack of boundaries invites lack of respect. Therefore, avoid everything unedifying. Dress the way you want to be addressed, behave in an appropriate manner, watch your words and your actions. It was Henry Ford that said “you get what you tolerate”.
This is very critical especially in the world that we live in today. I read the story of this great man of God, Billy Graham, how that in his lifetime, at a point, he had to make a decision that he was never going to be found sitting at the back seat of a car or the front seat with a female except his wife. ChurchGist. And he stayed true to that commitment all his lifetime. Personally, I have decided and I made that decision a long time ago, you will never find me sit at the back seat of a car with an opposite sex that is not my spouse or my immediate family member. when you set boundaries, you keep your life on guard and keep the enemy away.
You will make it in Jesus name!
4) Be Sensitive and Sensible
You should be able to make good judgement about people and their intentions and of course making good judgement begins with your spiritual sensitivity. Therefore, be watchful and receptive to spiritual signals.
Remember Samson in Judges 16, though he had the Spirit of God to do mighty works, he couldn’t discern that Delilah was a danger to his destiny even after many attempts on his life. Remember how he ended? you will not end your journey in regret!
When you are uncomfortable concerning any relationship or a particular person, then you should watch it and take steps. Run for your life! You should be sensitive enough to know if a relationship is edifying, uplifting or otherwise.
How is the character of the person you are in a relationship with?
What are other people’s testimony concerning him or her?
Therefore, be sensitive, be sensible and be open to correction.
There are different areas of life where you ought to set boundaries and I am talking about issues that I have taken steps on in my own personal life. For instance:
a) You Must be Able to Set Spiritual Boundaries:
There must be what is exclusive to God in your life that you shouldn’t let anyone tamper with. don’t let any relationship take you away from God, your faith, or damage your conscience as a Christian.
b) You Must Set Emotional Boundaries:
In your relationship, be careful not to be emotionally attached to anyone except your God-ordained spouse. There are some individuals that are so attached to other people emotionally that it damages their destiny. ChurchGist. This is very critical.
For instance, if you keep holding hands physically with someone of the opposite sex, remember you are not just only holding the hands of the individual, you are holding the heart of the individual. So be conscious not to keep breaking the hearts of people.
c) Personal Boundaries:
For instance, you work in an office or an organisation and you have to travel to a certain destination where they are booked a hotel for you. Yes, that’s fine but when you get to the hotel, what are you doing in the hotel room of an opposite sex in your exclusive moment? Why are you doing that? You must set personal boundaries. Personally, there are boundaries I have set that people have known me for – even those who live in my house. This helps me to live a life of integrity.
d) Boundaries in Your Expectation: These are also very important.
e) Sexual Boundaries: Don’t be sexually involved with an opposite sex except your spouse, the marriage bed must be undefiled. Give no place to the devil.
f) Words and Promises: Avoid completely what is unedifying. don’t say what you don’t mean or make promises that can’t be kept.
In conclusion, setting healthy boundaries doesn’t come easy. You need to keep at it and don’t compromise. Don’t set yourself ablaze in a bid to keep others warm. Love your neighbour AS YOURSELF; that is what the Bible says. You must get to a point in your life where you make a covenant with God never to involve yourself in any unhealthy relationship. This is very critical.
Setting boundaries is all about respect – respect for God for others and for yourself. Boundaries are a part of self-care, they are healthy, normal and necessary. Remember, what you allow is what will continue!
Dear reader, wherever you may be today you must check the individuals in your life who are of the opposite sex and see the necessary steps and correction that you need to make. As you do so, I see you attaining to your God-ordained destiny in Jesus name!
In case you have fallen a prey in any area of your life right now in dealing with the opposite sex, I pray for the Grace of God for forgiveness and I pray for your complete restoration in the name of Jesus Christ!
I pray for Grace never to go back to those wrongdoings anymore!
In Jesus Name!