Friday, 20 November 2015

Biblical Relationships

Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,  the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1 Timothy 5:1-2

Relationships. When we think of them, many thoughts may cross our mind. We see the breakdown of them, we see them done well, we see them in all kinds of shapes and sizes. To get a clear picture, we need to define what a relationship is. A relationship is not just a friendship or marriage. We have a relationship with everybody we interact with. We even have a relationship with people we've never heard of on social media who see our public posts and those who even just see us or hear on when we go about our business 

We need and require relationships

Take a look at the headline verse again. This is how we are supposed to treat certain people. So we see that first of all we are supposed to honor them, depending on age and gender and with all purity.  If we would not treat our parents or our siblings in a certain way, we should not treat others that way and The last phrase just emphasizes the preceding words even more. God commanded we behave in this manner because people are created for people and of course being God, He knew that. The mess of todays relationships are the result of not treating others the way God expects us to. 

Our relationships must be loving

All commands in Scripture are subservient to the Greatest Commandment.


But what is love in the first place? Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person with a continual view to seek the very best for that person. We cannot be loving if we do not interact with them in a pure and honorable way, or at Romans puts it in 'honor preferring one another' 

What should we honor?

This goes to the very basics of what we as human beings were meant to do. Our very purpose in life. Men were mandated to lead the home and the church, primarily by setting a good example to those God has entrusted them with. So we know from the youngest of years, a boy is in training for that purpose and should be learning how to lead biblically, honestly and caringly. He can learn by watching his father older men who must again set that example. The old saying like father, like son is very true. If the father is a failure in his role, chances are his sons will repeat the same mistakes.
Ladies are the keepers of the home so the training a girl is to receive should match that role. From the earliest of ages, she can be taught how to be a lady, how to cook, clean, and serve others with kindness and humility. And yet this station is incredibly important and every bit as essential as the mans role.
I've become incredibly old fashioned partly due to my own past failings and partly as an act of rebellion. Rebellion?? Yes, I did say that. I rebel against the modern day erosion of the biblically defined genders and I believe part of the problem is people have lost the ability to honor and love in the way that they used to and the language has become loose, informal, lax and people do not honor who the other person was created to be.
In years gone by it was considered quite a 'vulgarity' to address a lady without a title and likewise a man would not be addressed so. It's certainly in keeping with the idea of seeking the best for a person to bring those titles back and in some circles they are. Children always want to grow up and it would certainly be honoring to a girl, learning to be a lady, to address her as Miss and likewise she can address older ladies and gentlemen as the case may be. I'm not going to cover every single way of doing this as that would be rather insulting your intelligence but I would like to cover two of them. Firstly the idea that addressing a lady as ma'am is somehow insulting or trying to say something about said ladies age. Where did this idea come from? It has no basis in history. In fact I strongly suspect any lady would be quite offended and maybe scold the offender for not showing proper respect. I believe it's just a symptom of the bigger problem of relationships not being treated properly. Second, the idea that a newly married lady does not need to be addressed and Mrs. Quite untrue. She should expect to be addressed as her position demands her to be. Of course being addressed like that for the first few times with be highly awkward and embarrassing perhaps but it should also be seen as a sense of pride as to the fact this lady has embarked on a life-long journey with a gentleman whom God has provided.

Finally in whatever state our relationship is with people, remember the key verses

Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,  the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1 Timothy 5:1-2

Should I add more to this? Would you like an expansion of other ways to build and keep relationship?

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