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‘Each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.’ Ephesians 5:33 NLT

26 July 2023 Make the first move

Two of the most famous ‘marriage advice’ type of verses can shed some real light on how all relationships, not just the relationship between husband and wife, can work better: be considerate (1 Peter 3:7) and be worthy of respect (1 Timothy 3:11). In any kind of relationship, it’s about growing an environment where the relationship works to help both people become better people, and draw closer to God. And to build that kind of environment means giving a lot of encouragement and support. Not only when we feel like it, but also when we don’t feel like it. Jesus’ commandment to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:39 NIVUK) sums it up perfectly. It means asking God to soften our sharp edges, and provide us with the strength, patience, and opportunities to show His love to those around us. Want to work out a difficult relationship, make long-lasting friendships or even just feel loved? Make the first move. When we’re prayerfully proactive in a relationship, and willing to drop our own petty disagreements or dislikes for the sake of blessing someone, God will add to it. That doesn’t mean we should let ourselves be walked over by someone who isn’t willing to show love back. Sometimes, there’s reason to find the way out of a relationship (and if you do feel as though you need to get out, then listen to yourself, you know your situation best), but a few steps before that, it’s worth considering if you can bless the other person in some way.

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