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All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

Relationships

The choice of a career path and of a lifetime partner are probably the two most important decisions (apart from salvation) that we ever make. Does the Bible offer us some guidance in the latter?

‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife’ Genesis 2:24.

When looking for a relationship, a Christian should always choose someone who shares their values, principles and faith. The Bible warns us not to date or marry an unbeliever. 2 Corinthians 6:14.

God has a good and great plan for your life. Don’t even date, let alone marry a non-believer. Some think that they can go out with someone who is not a Christian, without letting it get serious. You can’t stop yourselves falling in love in a long term relationship, so don’t make it harder on yourself and fall for the wrong one - don’t miss God's best!

People who have married non-believers find that they cannot share their walk with the Lord with their spouse. It causes them great pain – and they are not able to serve God properly, let alone enter into their destiny! Is that what you want for yourself?

If you are young, do you really think it is a good idea to go through several relationships? Do you really need the emotional hassle of constantly breaking up, whilst trying to deal with exams, work, parents, study and everything else? Does that lifestyle glorify God and help unity in your church/youth group?

A Christian should live to please God. When we do, then we are on the right track to experience the personal fulfilment and happiness desired by all.

Is your relationship a blessing or hindrance to you? Does this person help you get closer to God, or pull you away from Him? Are you straying near sexual sin? Is this relationship a bad distraction from study?

‘Can two walk together unless they are agreed?’ Amos 3:3.
 

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Replies to This Discussion

don’t miss God's best!
like this one kuya..its true!!
So true. I was married once and I often felt we were not meant to be. I would invite him to church with me and he would make excuses not to come. After our divorce, which was no surprise, I got saved. When I do date, I find myself asking the question, " Do you believe in God?" I now know that when I date, I have to ask myself questions, Will he help me get closer to God? or Does he put God first? etc...I am so blessed and highly favored, God loves me and I know he wants to bless me. I am willing to wait on God, Glory be to God. In Jesus' Name. So for all the women and men who wants a spouse, please wait on the Lord. I enjoy being single because Im getting to know myself and working on myself in Christ. I am being sculpted to the person God wants me to be.
yes, for sure when we date an unbeliever we go through unnecessary arguments
and it takes time to agree on issues.
thats true my sister, waiting upon God is the best thing and rushing into a marriagethat is not inspired by God is just heading for disaster.
Jolivic / Marquita / victoria / Zethu,

Ya'll have blessed me with your comments peeps. Really cool. I am glad that we are not alone in honoring God in this very important command.

I am not even attracted to unbelievers and we have enough issues hahaha with believers anyways. :)

Blessings to you all.
Annie,

I pray you don't mind me using your comment to make some observation and give my own view of some important topics you brought up. I will highlight portions of your post and give my 2 cents after.

>>The truth is the so called bad boys always have so much charisma and have great experience and understanding that Christian boys seem to live in their shadow…

So so true and so unfortunate. I have a suggestion for you sisters who have a need for a bit of the wild side. I see lots of good guys who do not get a second look at church from sisters who have tasted the world or who are simply attracted to the bad boy, which by the way speaks of their maturity maturity in Christ. A Godly mature woman (I am speaking in generalities here Annie and in no way am I referring to you or anyone in particular here) is able to see the immaturity in the so called bad boy, but is attracted to the boldness and self assurance these bad boys tend to have. Learn to love the good guy, yes he may be a bit boring hahahaha but sisters you guys have been given the God given capacity to edify and change a guy (not completely or in a negative way). A woman can turn a boring guy into a bit more exciting if she is wise and does it while using her God given sensuality and charm, in a subtle but effective way. Of course I am talking about in a marriage arrangement and not before marriage. Learn to appreciate the good guy who is not going to hurt you or cheat on you, the man that loves God and will love you.

>>more reason why the so called unbeliever will appeal readily to a Christian girl

A bad boy in my opinion should not be attractive to a Christian woman. I will use myself for an example here. I came to the Lord at age 25 without any religious background and before being a Christian like most guys I enjoyed the easy bad girls here and there. Not to build a relationship with, but just to have for a while. When I became born again, I did not become holier than thou or think that I have reached that for which Christ has apprehended me and like the rest of us I fall short of the glory of God daily, but the things I once loved or liked, became repugnant to me, the sin, not the person. And girls in church who are marry and/or single women who let me know that we could get busy really break my heart. It grieves me to come across that because we see that they haven't got it yet. The bad girls are not attractive to me. In the same way I believe that a Christian woman should not find a bad boy appealing. They should be able to see their immaturity and their appeal should dissipate.

I THINK THAT THE SEXIEST MOST BEAUTIFUL BEING WALKING THE EARTH IS A GODLY WOMAN. WOW!!!! NOTHING COMES CLOSE TO THE BEAUTY AND VALUE OF A GODLY WOMAN.

>>it takes God and the spirit of God to really keep christens in check.

Amen and amen but we can get to the place where we see the beauty in Godliness and see the ugliness in worldliness.

>>On the other hand, there is that small voice which says that by our lives we could change the unchristian to become a follower of Christ and I believe a lot of people are persuaded by this thinking to befriend the unbeliever…. All in the bid to draw the person close to Christ…

I firmly believe that the Christian has to get to a place in their walk where this in no longer an option. I am not a bit attracted to an unbeliever. Now I am not saying I do not recognize that there are beautiful people out there who are not Christian. I have had co-workers who are beautiful people and they are very attractive as well and let me know they are interested, but for the praise and glory to God, as soon as I find out they are not Christian I lose all interest and no longer consider that an option. I find out rather quickly if someone is a believer or not. I do not even feel attracted to immature Christians. I only feel attracted to sold out Jesus freaks hahahaaha I rather be by myself for the rest of my life than unequally yoked.

>>This is truly difficult to expound because Jesus himself said he did not come for the saved but for the unsaved and throughout his life we witnessed the example of him befriending Zacheus and Mary Magdalene

The Goal of Jesus was only to save their souls and nothing else. And so it should be with us. I really do not have any friends who are not Christians. I have nothing in common with them nor do they with me. They do not want to be around me cause I make them uncomfortable. I do not go out of my way to make them feel unconfty but if they curse then they turn around and excuse themselves because tho I do not go around preaching in the office, my coworkers know where my passion lies. Now I go out with them to have lunch and they are acquaintances, but I would be lying if I did not tell you that my one and only purpose in establishing friendships with them is to somehow, someway sow the seed in their lives. After 16 years in Christ I have not been able to establish a strong relationship with one unbeliever. Not saying is not possible or that we shouldn't I just haven been able to. I want to talk about church, Jesus etc... You get the idea.

>>BUT GOD help us because… he doesn’t wish for the unbelieving to change us but for US to change the unbeliever and bring them to Christ.

Amen and amen sis Nice saved. hahahaha I was about to go Loco on you ahahahaha J/K I truly appreciate you being real and bringing some real topics to the table beloved.

>>I certainly cannot give a YES or NO answer but can only say be guided by the spirit

Sis you and I do not have to. God has already told us His mind about this.

The apostle Paul wrote the saints in Corinth, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14, KJV).

"if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord" [only to believers] (1 Cor. 7:39).

Does the teaching of Paul have application to marriage? Specifically: may a believer marry an unbeliever?

The Greek word which the KJV renders "unequally yoked" is heterozugeo, which is a very rare word in biblical literature. It is found only here in all of the New Covenant writings, and is found only once in all of the Old Covenant writings (Lev. 19:19). It means to be "yoked unequally" with another. In the Law of Moses, many feel it had a clear reference to breeding or mating of animals that were unsuitable. "You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind" (Lev. 19:19, NKJV). The NIV renders this verse: "Do not mate different kinds of animals." "It is the prohibition of mating animals under a different yoke, i.e., of a different species, like the ass and the ox" (Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 2, p. 901). Some scholars, therefore, feel that Paul may well have had mating in mind between believers and unbelievers (i.e., marriage).

A lot more could be said but I will stop here since this post is become too long :)

Love to you Annie
I agree with you sister, defintly don't turn one away because of what they know not. You may just be the only christian that they come in contact with, so it is important to do as christ would, but there is a great difference in befriending and dating, in which I thnk boundries should be applied.

Hello in reply to this video, i truly like it i do agree with all he has said, wisdom & yes the christian men of God are cowards alot of the times from my experiences at church/ functions except the men with a little mental problems they are far from shy or of cowardness they will even run up to you & bluntly let you know hey you wanta go out for coffee out to a dinner, I find it so cute charming & brave & its so funny seen in action. life is fun in God its never boring even if mr. mate has not showed up yet make the best of what ever God gives you, we are blessed people!!
:) Super cool sis. Great comment.
Wow! never knew that dating a non believer was bad,seriously! But, how are we going to bring them close to the faith we are in if we avoid them? What if the relationship we are having was to be the eye opener to their faith and belief in Jesus Christ?

Good article for you Jerry - enjoy,

 

I was twiking the article just a bit and lost the reference page AAAAAhhhhhh - sowwee

 

First, I think we can all agree that Christians absolutely need to be the “light.” We need to be loving, kind, and gentle with all people. This means whether they are the nicest people we know, or whether they are terrible unrepentant “sinners” (we all sin by the way), we  are supposed to be “like Christ.” We are supposed to set an example and love all. We are supposed to be the light they can see so they can distinguish light from darkness.

 

So there is no question that we are supposed to be nice, friendly, and loving to all people, regardless of religion, faith, or lack thereof. How else would we show an example? How else would we ever win people over to God? But I think a lot of confusion and disagreement on this topic comes from not defining the word friend. There are certainly different types. When we define friend, we can see this more clearly, and I think people will be more inclined to agree.

 

Because we all know there are different types of friendships. We have people we see a lot, we have co-workers, we have best friends, etc. So for this article, I will divide the word friend into the 2 main types: Close friends, and Acquaintance friends, and define them:

  1. Close Friends–This to me means people you spend a great deal of time with (outside of a job or other forced time). You spend time by choice. This means you call each other often, email often, spend time together often, go out to eat, see movies, etc. These are people you trust, people you care very deeply about and usually have a lot in common with them. You have a serious and deep relationship with these friends.
  2. Acquaintance Friends–These are people you merely come across in you daily life. Perhaps it is a co-worker, perhaps it is a friend of a friend, perhaps a neighbor, someone online,  etc. These are people who you like or want to stay on great terms with, but don’t really have enough in common with them, or for some other reason, simply never really spend any time with them. You tend to only see them or talk to them on rare or isolated occasions (unless you work together), and that is the extent of your relationship. These are usually more shallow in terms of emotions and bonds, but still a loving type of friendships in the spirit.

These are the two main types of friendships I will be referring to. If you can visualize a spectrum in your mind, and one extreme is a close friendship, and the other is an acquaintance type (with different levels in-between). 

 

And yes, almost everyone has these types. Even Jesus had a disciple who he loved a bit more, (note when the bible says, ‘John, the disciple Jesus loved.’).

Should Christians Be Friends with Acquaintance Type Friends?

Again, this to me is an absolute YES! You need to be on friendly terms with any person you come into contact with. Love they neighbor. Who is your neighbor? Anyone you see or come into contact with. Be a friend. Who is a friend? Anyone.

 

So in this sense of the word, we need to be friends with everyone. So if there is a co-worker of a different faith, you need to be nice, friendly, and loving to that person, even if they disagree with you. The same applies to any person you may come into contact with in your life.

 

Again, this is a more shallow type of friendship, but it is a friendship nonetheless. We need this type of friendship with all people. This is how we can extend love to our fellow humans. It is how we can even occasionally share the gospel with them. We can also learn a great deal and grow spiritually by having these friendships.

 

Even if they reject the gospel, we Christians need to maintain this type of a friendship with all people. We must love and respect our fellow humans. Did you ever notice that Jesus had many acquaintance type friendships with sinners? The Pharisees would criticize Jesus about this. They would accuse him of occasionally hanging with a sinner or eating with them.

 

How did Jesus respond? He replied, “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

 

Isn’t Jesus so brilliant with his responses? I think so. Anyway, we all need to be loving, set an example, and share the gospel with our friends. And yes, there is nothing wrong with having an acquaintance friend of any or all faiths (or no faith at all). And YES, we need to maintain them even if they do not  convert to Christianity. We should love even our enemies (and isn’t that hard sometimes?).

 

So again, yes, in this sense, we need to be friends with any/everyone. But what about close friendships?

Should Christians Have Close Friendships With Non-Christians or Unbelievers?

This is where the topic gets sticky. On one hand, we can totally have shallow friendships with everyone. On the other hand, should we have deep friendships with unbelievers or people of other religions? Let’s take a look. I will divide this up into 3 sections: Christians, Believers, and then Unbelievers.

 

First, just let me say that of course all Christians can be close friends. That is a no-brainer. There may be some who label themselves as Christians, and then do the opposite of Christianity. In this case, I think the friendship will suffer, and potentially default to the acquaintance type. But of course all Christians can and should be close friends with one another. We are all in one body of Christ.

 

Next, we have other monotheistic faiths (such as a Christian and a Jew). Again, I think this is fine as well. There may be some distinctions that arise in doctrine/theology at points in the friendship. There may be also some cultural differences those pose problems over time, but overall, if two people have a similar beliefs, I think a close friendship can definitely be maintained.  However, I think some problems can definitely arise. If this happens, the friendship will probably slowly slide from the “close” type to the ‘acquaintance” type.

 

Lastly, we have the unbelievers. These would be atheists, agnostics, and any other religions (such as buddhism) that have wildly different views. I think it would be difficult to maintain a very deep or close relationship with a person like this. Why? Simply because there will be too many differences that arise in every area. This is due to a dramatic world-view difference. I am not necessarily saying we should ignore these people and kick them to the curb. But I do think the relationship will naturally slide from close to a non-close over the course of time if both hold fast to their own beliefs.

What Scriptures Are In the Bible Concerning These Things?

Let me divide the scriptures to show how some support the acquaintance friendship, while others tell us to avoid certain close friendships.

 

Scriptures that Show we Should Be Acquaintance Friends with People:

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”  Luke 6:27 ESV

And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth…              2 Timothy 2:24–26 (NIV)

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”   Mark 12:31

These scriptures above clearly show that we are to be kind, loving, and “friends” to all people. We should love everyone as our self. Our neighbors are our friends, and we should love and respect all.

But again, at the same time we must make a distinction between the different types of friends. Should a Christian be hanging out constantly with a person who is not very Godly? Let us see what the scriptures say about this:

 

Scriptures that Show We Should Distance Ourselves from Inappropriate Friendships or People Who Reject God’s Will:

Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?   2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV)

 

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”    1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Not only are those scriptures crystal clear, but look at what Jesus himself says regarding an unrepentant brother:

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will bed bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will bee loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:15-19

 

 That’s right folks, you have it from Jesus’ own lips. What more scriptures do you need? In the scriptures above, it is very clear that we are to NOT have the very close types of relationships with those who have NO interest in God’s will. This isn’t my instruction either, it is the scriptures’ instructions.

When we develop close relationships with those who reject God, we risk being influenced in a negative way. We risk being associated with certain ideology or beliefs that the other person may have. Let me just give you an example:

 

Extreme Example of Acquaintance Friendship: Let’s take 2 people on the opposite ends of the spectrum for an example: Billy Graham (the great pastor) and Marilyn Manson (very anti-Christian/Gothic rocker).

 

Now if Billy Graham was at the same place with Marilyn Manson (say it was some conference or something), he should absolutely be an acquaintance type friend. He should be nice to Marilyn, not rude or ignore him. He should set an example, and be kind and loving. That would be the appropriate Christian thing to do. There is nothing wrong with having a conversation or shaking hangs.

 

Extreme Example of a Close Friendship: Now let us suppose that Marilyn invites Billy Graham to hang out with him. Okay, no big deal, right? Perhaps Billy can eat lunch and share the gospel with Marilyn (even though Marilyn rips up bibles at his concerts and blasphemes God).

 

But now suppose suddenly Billy Graham is hanging with Marilyn every day. Suppose you see pictures of Billy Graham hugging Marilyn at his house (with big Satanic pictures in the background), and the two are playing Nintendo together. Here is where the problems come in, because 1 of 3 things will happen:

 

1. Billy Graham will have to compromise his beliefs in Christianity and be “slack” on it in order to fit in with Marilyn Manson’s worldview (religion). Or he will flat out lose the faith.

2. Marilyn Manson will have to convert to Christianity and follow it tightly in order to fit in with Billy Graham’s worldview. Or he will have to be extremely slack on his beliefs to the point where they don’t interfere.

3. Both Billy Graham and Marilyn Manson will each hold tight to their differing religious views on life. In this case, their friendship will naturally (and gradually) slide from a close friendship down to an acquaintance type friendship. Why? Because the 2 will simply disagree on way to many things. They will have little to nothing in common.

 

Not only that, but even a simple conversation can result in one of the two being offended. If Marilyn starts cursing or saying something inappropriate, Billy will probably be offended (and he should). If Billy starts to talk about God, or talk about a certain behavior as being a sin, Marilyn will probably be offended.

 

It isn’t too hard to imagine the differences that would arise when a person who rips the bible regularly hangs out with a person who preaches the bible regularly.

Should Christians Be Holier Than Thou? Should We Ignore People That Reject God?

I am certainly not suggesting to have an arrogant or “I am better than you” type of attitude. This is not about being “holier than thou.” Instead, this is merely about following what the scriptures tell us. Don’t we have an obligation to follow the scriptures? Yes indeed.

 

Didn’t Jesus hang with sinners? Sure, but did not notice something: Jesus only hung with them to share the Gospel. Jesus viewed himself as a doctor trying to heal a “sick” person. He certainly didn’t hang with sinners for the thrill or exposure of sin, or because they had similar interests. He hung with them to try and save them.

 

Also notice another point: Jesus hung with them long enough to be friendly and share the gospel, and then moved on to other people and other areas. In other words, Jesus wasn’t BFFs (best friends forever) with people who rejected God’s will. In fact, Jesus even says he won’t know these people. He says they won’t inherit the Kingdom of God.

 

We are certainly all sinners aren’t we? But isn’t there a difference between committing a sin and repenting (and feeling terrible), and committing a sin and enjoying it (with no intentions of repenting)? There is a world of difference between those two. In fact, you might say that that is the difference between a Christian and non-Christian.

 

Both are sinners, yet one turns from sin and feels terrible. The other enjoys sin and does not seek to correct the sin or remove it. As the famous bumper sticker says, “I’m not perfect, just forgiven.”

Should Christians Just Drop Non-Christian Friends?

I once heard a great sermon by the late Adrian Rogers. He once said something like, “Sometimes when a person converts to Christianity they ask if they should leave their old friends. You won’t have to, your friends will probably leave you.”

 

This is the sad but often truth in life. When people develop 2 differing world-views (or religions), sharp differences arise and it is often best to simply not spend as much time together (simply because you won’t have as much in common). Either you will not enjoy hanging with your older friends as much, or they won’t enjoy hanging with you.

 

If you can imagine this whole friendship thing like a spectrum of extremes. On one hand you have a very light friendship, on the other a very close friendship. The spectrum can swing from one extreme to another. Here is simple example below:

 

Acquaintance——————-O——————-Close Friendship

 

 

The idea here is not that Christians should just “abandon ship” when they have non-Christian friends. But I think the scriptures are telling us to not be too involved with these people. So we would move the “O” above closer to the acquaintance type of friendship. This means to limit the time spent with people who are not on the same “page” as you (spiritually speaking). Especially if you tried to convert, and they wasn’t up for it, and still don’t like religion or God.

Again, this is just common sense, and will probably be the natural outcome anyway. If you are a true Christian, will you enjoy hanging out with someone if they are not doing God’s will? For example, if your friends talk about having promiscuous sex, drugs, partying, lying, pornography, music with curse words every 2 seconds, bad movies, going to clubs, and things like that?? Wouldn’t a true Christian feel uncomfortable in those cases?

 

And what about their political or social views? Should a true Christian be best friends with a person marching for gay rights? Or what about someone who supports abortions? What about a person who thinks there is nothing wrong with frivolous sex, cheating on a spouse, etc.?

 

At that point, what would the two have in common? They may still have some things in common, but certainly not many things. Also, it is a FACT that you will pick up some traits of your close friends. As the scripture says, “Bad morals corrupt good company.” If you are struggling to do God’s will, do you need extra temptation leading you astray? I don’t think so.

Are All Non-Christians Immoral? Are All Christians Moral?

I am not trying to imply that non-Christians are all immoral people. There are a great many non-religious people who are very nice and relatively moral people. In fact, some non-Christians may even be more “moral” than some self-proclaimed “Christians.” That is certainly true isn’t it?

 

But the problem that arises is that if a person isn’t following God, what is their moral compass? Society? In that case, it will probably lead to differences in your views, and then, differences in the closeness of your friendship.

  1. It is important to define “Friendship.” Once we do that, I think we can see that there are different “levels” of friendship. The scriptures certainly have something to say about having friends.
  2. I have divided it up into 2 types “Acquaintance vs. Close”
  3. As Christians, we should be acquaintance type friends with all people. Love thy neighbor. There is nothing wrong at all with this, and in fact, is encouraged. So don’t feel like it is wrong to merely carry on a conversation, or even have an occasional dinner with someone.
  4. The scriptures warn of being “unequally yoked” with those who reject God or have immoral lives. This is scripture, and this applies to friendships.
  5. Close friendships are great, but we must be VERY careful of who we develop close friendships with, as we will rub off on one another.
  6. We should share the gospel with all friends, and try to set a Godly example.
  7. We aren’t perfect, and must work hard to eliminate arrogance and holier than thou attitudes. Instead, we should have a loving and friendly spirit to all, but at the same time, exercise discretion when choosing close friends. We should NOT spend a great deal of time or have very close friendships with immoral people (and I define moral by God’s standards, not mans).

The main problem that arises is the differences in worldviews. As a Christian,  it is your COMMAND to follow God’s moral code, and not mankind’s.

 

Do not EVER try to twist the bible to fit in with society or the world. It just won’t work folks (it never has and never will). Instead, twist yourself to fit in with the bible. That is the will of God, and the Christian goal. You must change your life to fit in with God’s will. It is impossible to twist God’s word as to make it compatible with society’s morals. It just won’t happen.

 

Enjoy

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