Many people struggle with relationships and relationship advice, and often geeks in general have a hard time dealing with the particulars of all the social interaction involved. From knowing what to say, how to approach the other person, or even after you’re dating/married how to keep the relationship strong, this is a topic that has been ongoing since Adam and Eve.
To help out those who may have difficulty in this area of life, I asked several of our staff writers to give some tips or personal experiences that have helped them. I hope you enjoy, and that you will learn strategies to save you a lot of pain or heartache for your current or future relationships.
Being created by love as God is love, it is the desire of all human beings to be loved and to love. We know that Jesus Christ is the express image of God and that He demonstrated love perfectly to all He came into contact with even sacrificing Himself for His friends and His enemies.
In Matthew 22, Jesus gave the world two simple commandments during His ministry: to love God and to love each other. We instinctively desire relationship with one another as human beings and we are given instruction for how to treat each other and ultimately are even judged by how we treat each other. Naturally we will desire strong, deep, and meaningful relationships. Here below I have a few steps to building a better relationship.
Regardless of whether you are looking to build your relationship with your wife, father, son, friend, or sibling an easy way to sow into that relationship is to invite the other person to share a meal with you. Show the other person that you appreciate them choosing to spend time with you and consider paying for their meal. Jesus often provided meals for His friends and followers so take His example and choose to sow financially into your relationship and pay for the lunch you share.
Pray for Them in Person
I have attended church for the majority of my life and I have been blessed to have some good friends and a few great ones. I can count on one hand how many of those friends actually prayed for me in person, one on one. Joining with a friend, relative, or mate in order to communicate to God on their behalf is rare and consequently special in western Christianity.
Praying out loud and in front of others can be frightening at first, but it is a fear that must be overcome as a follower of Christ. Choose to pray for people you desire a deeper relationship with and make sure when you do, you recognize that God is listening and that He will respond to your prayer. This will bring a whole new value to the relationship and may be greatly appreciated.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” – Ephesians 4:29
The Bible says that the tongue can bring life or death and we as people have to consciously choose to speak life giving words to and about others. Honor your friends, relatives, or mate by acknowledging their talents and positive qualities and by thanking them for the positive influence they have had in your life.
Encourage your friends, family and mate in their pursuit of their dreams and goals especially when they are motivated by a love of the Lord. Remember that when Paul wrote to the churches he immediately spoke grace and peace to them even in the introduction of his letters. The people in your life were created by God and they are priceless to Him, treat them like the priceless creations they are.
Apologize & Forgive
We as believers are called to pursue the kingdom and live as citizens of heaven here on Earth and in part that means apologizing and forgiving each other appropriately. Our faith hinges entirely on the power of forgiveness. If we cannot forgive each other for the mistakes we make, how can we expect God to forgive us?
Of course Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness and we do not have to earn it. He died for your friend, relative, or mate’s mistakes too and you should recognize the sacrifice of Christ as payment for your brother or sister’s error. Apologize humbly and forgive wholly so that we can have the harmony and unity spoken of about the early New Testament church. It may be a simple apology or act of forgiveness that can bring your relationship to a new level.
In order to keep a relationship healthy we must make an intentional effort to invest in it. Whether you are looking to begin a friendship or become closer with your spouse, choose to sow good works into your relationship and watch as it eventually bears good fruit.
This article is written from a believer’s perspective regarding relationships and how to better them based on biblical truths. While this article was written by a believer it is intended for the believer and the unbeliever alike. It is the hope and desire of the author that all mankind would receive the gift of salvation, accept the instructions of Jesus Christ, and pursue a relationship with our Heavenly Father. To any Christian reading this article it is our responsibility and privilege to obey our Lord. To any non-Christian reading this article and visiting the Geeks Under Grace website, you have been invited to be forgiven of any sins and accepted as a child of God through Jesus Christ.
I’m going to use myself as an example, so just bear with me.
I’ve spent most of my life wishing I could be more like my best friend and I believe that has actually benefitted me most of the time. There are things I wouldn’t have tried had we not been friends, and I would probably be sitting in my closet reading a book without her to drag me out asking, “Why are you reading?” I never viewed my comparison of myself and her as a problem until after we both got married.
My best friend is an over-achieving extrovert who is very successful in her chosen career. Add to that the fact she’s also pretty, funny, smart, and confident, and you have what I consider to be a pretty amazing person. Her husband is also an over-achieving extrovert who is just as confident and funny. He is also a pilot who gets paid to fly wealthy people around and hang out with them on the golf course.
The flip side of this golden couple is my husband and I. Todd and I are both introverts who tend to be much happier with an evening at home and neither one of us likes to rock the boat or be the center of attention. I am a stay-at-home mom who writes on the side and I am largely unappreciated by everyone except my husband. Todd worked a job he really enjoyed for most of his life until he was laid off and he now has a job he hates.
The thing is, from the outside their marriage looks like a fairy tale most of the time: no financial worries, two great kids, a husband who adores her, and tons of friends. There are always lots of stories about this romantic thing her husband did or some way her marriage is growing and just getting better with time. From the outside, she is living the dream life with the dream husband.
If I’m not careful, I can find myself comparing my life with hers and my marriage always falls short. She tells me about the amazing weekend away they had; I realize that our last date was four months ago. She talks about the deeply spiritual conversation she had with her husband; I realize how little Todd and I actually talk. The list goes on, but it’s really not the point.
What she doesn’t tell me about is the day-to-day struggle that is always a part of any relationship. She is telling me the highlights of her marriage and I am comparing them to my day-to-day routine. When we start watching a string of romantic comedies and looking around at other relationships, our own will always fall short. Your significant other will probably never stand outside your house with a boom box like John Cusack or fly across the country to stalk you like Meg Ryan.
Your friends will probably continue to regale you with the exciting tidbits of their relationships and leave out the fact that they burned dinner and had to eat McDonald’s for the third time that week or that they secretly want to smother their husband in his sleep because of the snoring.
There is a very good reason that God made one of the commandments “Thou shalt not covet.” When I continually look over the fence at what others have, dissatisfaction and bitterness can creep in before I even realize it is happening. While I sort through the barrage of romantic gestures others are treated to, I start thinking “I deserve that,” and stop thinking about the things that matter. Instead of comparing my marriage to half-truths and anecdotes, it is essential that my marriage be focused on the reasons God blessed me with it in the first place: my marriage was given for a purpose and, like everything else, it was given for His glory.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
I struggled with comparing my marriage to others for years and I made myself miserable and I know I hurt my husband by trying to change him into something else. Through certain circumstance, I finally realized exactly what I have: a godly, caring, hard-working husband who does everything he can to love and support his family. I have a husband who continues to work at a job he hates so that I can be at home with the kids. I have a husband who doesn’t say a lot, but when he does speak, he has more wisdom than I usually give him credit for. In short, I have a husband who God designed specifically for me and I couldn’t ask for anything better.
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