In contemporary society, relationships start and break. In my few years on earth, I have witnessed break up of many long years of relationships between friends, brothers, sisters, siblings and many others. Many of such breakups were not without the resultant effect of bitterness, heartaches and pains that lasted for years thereafter. The worst that can happen in a relationship is the break- up of a marriage. Marriage is meant for a lifetime and it is meant to be enjoyed not to be endured. However, ‘lasting or successful marriage starts but not achieved in a day.’ It is a common saying that Rome was not built in a day; similar to this is marriage, it is a process. A marriage seminar could be a talk, a roundtable discussion, a conference or a meeting.
Within the few minutes we have we shall have a mixture of a talk and a round table discussion on some or all of the following questions or statements. What is a relationship? Type of relationship, what do you understand by a lasting relationship? How can one have a lasting relationship? Who is meant to have a lasting relationship? When and how does a lasting relationship start? How do we make a relationship last? What is our role in sustaining a marriage relationship?
Relationship means an association, connection, rapport, link or bond (Thesaurus Microsoft). It is also the way in which two people or two groups behave towards each other or a way in which two people spend time together or live together, and have romantic or sexual feelings for each other (Contmp Eng Dict).
Types of relationship
Relationship occurs between man and God his creator, between parents and children, man and a maid, friends and friends, between siblings etc. the relationship central to our discussion today is that between a man and a woman. The most important relationship of man that influenced all others is between man and his creator-God. The following are some biblical examples of relationship:
God and Man: Adam and Eve with God (Gen 3:8).
Parent and child: The prodigal son (Lk 11:15ff)
Friends: David and Jonathan (1 Sam 18:1, 4)
Siblings: Philip and Andrew (Mk 3:18)
Man and Woman: Isaac and Rebekah (Gen 24:63-67)
Relationship between man and God is an essential relationship that affects all other relationships. At the Garden of Eden, God created man and related to them (Gen 3:8). However, sin separated man and his creator. God made a way in Christ Jesus to return back to him. Until every man and woman find their place back to God through repentance, all other relationships may not be a lasting and enjoyable one. You can read more on this from the book titled: establishing a growing relationship with God- G.L Lasebikan and Relationship building by Pierson Lance.
Here are some comments on building lasting relationship
How To Build A long lasting High School Relationship?
- Most high school relationships do not last long. Most only last until 3 years because teenagers are in a developing period, trying to define themselves. Things change
- how do we build a long last relationship? Communication, Honesty and love are the keys to building and keeping a long-lasting relationship.
- Building a strong lasting relationship? what you both need. You should communicate, forgive, understand, pay attention to each other, listen, say i would appreciate it if you did “this”. instead of.
- Girls, how to best build a relationship? you really feel like taking this to the next level with her then talk to her about you two having a relationship together. Start asking her out to places to eat or
- how to build a good relationship? when you find the right person it just happens you don’t plan it.
Lasting means lifelong, enduring, unwavering, undying, irreversible, permanent, or long term; while relationship means association, connection, rapport or bond. Therefore, a lasting relationship may be defined as a lifelong, enduring, unwavering, undying or irreversible association, or connection or bond. In 10 best decisions a single can make read more on how to define relationships (pgs 119-143).
The How of Building Lasting relationship
- Follow the Master Plan: Building a lasting relationship is the desire of everybody especially in marriage. As a builder, there is always a design to follow which is done by an architect. If the builder follows the design or plan for the house, it will firmly stand. God, the mastermind of marriage also has a plan for how marriage works best (Gen2:24).
- Marriage as a Symbol: The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God and his people (Isa. 54:5; Hos. 2:9, 20). In the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of Christ to his saints (Eph.5:25-27). The Church of the redeemed is the “Bride, the Lamb’s wife” (Rev. 19:7-9).
- Do the right thing First: You must not put the cart before the horse. You may choose to be a wise or a foolish builder (Matt 7:24ff) but I counsel you –chose to be wise. Adam first related with eve by admiring God in her beauty when God brought her to him (Gen 2:23). Sex came later. Isaac’s parents Abraham sought for and paid dowry for Rebekah’s parents before bringing her to Isaac. 4. Friendship First: A relationship that will last starts from friendship and working together for a purpose. I met my husband during my NYSC year. We served God and relate together doing fellowship and going out for evangelism among corpers. During this time we learnt about each other as we talk and walk together.
- Marry within the Family of faith: Do not be unequally yoked together with unbeliever- Marry someone with same faith and similar aspirations with you.
Your Role in Building Lasting relationship
For a relationship to be a lasting one, you need to be open, honest, and sincere –no hypocrisy.
You need to be caring, but define commitment level. Never give out your virginity to someone who is timid, dubious or shy to ask for your hand in marriage. Tell him ‘go to my parents; tell them you need me as your companion forever not just a toy to play with.’ Be determining to keep yourself pure for the one you are to marry. It has implications for the future. Have self-respect, Keep sex till marriage night. From then on, it is your right and your spouse’s right. Enjoy it as it cements the bond of love between husband and wife (Read more on sex from Single, Whole & Holy by Jacobs and Strubel).
Play your role as a woman in marriage and work hard to sustain the marriage vow. Never neglect your duties as a wife, mother, counsellor, teacher, and a helper to your husband and an educator to your children (biological or spiritual). Once married, married till death do us part.
As a man, play your role as husband, father, owner of the work, provider, counsellor and friend to your wife and children.
Both of you be prayerful and in constant communion with God and always keep the line of communication open.
Building lasting relationship is not a day’s job, it is a process.
Friendship should precede relationship that will eventually lead to a lasting marriage. In it all, the basis of any relationship that will last is God whether it is between friend to friend, siblings, parents and children, and between husband and wife. We all must develop a growing relationship with our maker. The more we know him, the better we are in relating with those he created. And finally, we need to be caring, have self-respect, honest, trustworthy and sincere in relating with other people especially in husband-wife relationship.