SoS 2:15 Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.
NEG: Harshness; Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness. Stonewalling; Flooding; Short-Circuit; Reject Repair; Rewrite History
1. Know their: dreams, hopes, interests, fears, (emotional) needs, trials, triumphs/failures, preferences
2. Nurture Your Fondness and Admiration
– positively viewing, respecting and appreciating their differences.
2A. Weed out: Bitterness/Resentment/Lack of Forgiveness
Heb 12: Heb 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled…. Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Arrogance/Perfectionism/Bad role models
Mt 6:15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
2B. Plant: Being Respectable and Worthy of Honor by striving for virtue and to be pleasing to God
See TOYL Biblical Friendships outline: In order to be good friends with each other we must first be a good friend of God.
Gen 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is to rule over you for you, but you must master it.
Ac 10:35 "But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
2C: Cultivate: Appreciation/Gratitude/Thankfulness - antidotes to contempt (most rlshps are an answer to prayer…count your blessings.)
Gottman: The route to “revival” is to realize how vital fondness and admiration are to a rlshp. Why do you have the rlshp in the 1st place?
1Th 3:12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,
1Th 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit.
1Sam 18:1…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
3. Turn toward Each Other Instead of Away
- acknowledging “bids” and orienting towards others values and affirms them
3A. Weed out: Rejection Self-centeredness/absorption/distractedness (“I don’t want to do anything positive towards you because…”)
Rm 14:13 let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
3B. Plant: Affirmation (Emotionally Engaged; “I value you”)
Rm 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
3C. Cultivate: Skills/Focus Sensitivity
Rm 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.
Rm 15:7 Therefore receive (OLB 1d grant one access to one’s heart) one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
4. Let Your Partner Influence You
- yielding and “giving in” yields respecting one another on a deeper level.
4A. Weed-out: Self-will; Pride; Negativity; Escalation ` 65%
Js 3:16 where zealous defensiveness and self-seeking (putting yourself forward to gain worth and value at the expense of the common good) exist, self-destructive disunity-confusion and all worthless-evil accomplishments are there.. (BRV) 17 wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
4B. Plant: Teamwork; Common objectives; Principled Negotiation (Compromise on what’s right) See TOYL Marriage Outline
1Pt 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
4C. Cultivate: Interdependence; Counsel, Win-Win, Emotional intelligence
Leadership does not preclude soliciting and accepting input and advice, in fact it requires it. Delegation is not abdication.
Pr 19:20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
- What causes distance when folks who have lots in common (and are commanded to love one another) don’t enjoy another’s company?
- Why do friendships require repair and maintenance? What will happen if they’re neglected? How do you fix a sloppy relationship?
- Would you rate your rlshps as a model for others? Should they be? Do you need to weed, plant or cultivate more?
- List three positive traits of your significant others; then tell them that you appreciate them for it. List three faults; then tell God about them.
- What do you need to do to develop and deepen the kind of rlshps God desires for you? When was the last time you looked at the TOYL guide to Biblical Freindships?