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    MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIP

MARRIAGE AND RELATIONSHIP ARTICLES

Building Productive Relationships - Lifestyle Articles - Love Ambassadors Ministries

BUILDING PRODUCTIVE RELATIONSHIPS

by Pastor Andrew Okwe

Relationship! This is one topic that intrigues almost everybody. The level of interest may vary, depending on individual likes and differences; but the truth remains that it gets everybody's attention one way or the other.

A lot of things cross the mind whenever relationship is mentioned. While some view it as a connection by blood, marriage, kinship, or business; others view it as romantic, or any form of sexual involvement. Despite various individual opinions, life is all about relationships. Man was created a relational being. Whether in business, ministry or family, relationship plays a very important role in determining the level of effectiveness and success one can attain.

There are two kinds of relationships generally. I'd like to call one productive or asset relationship and the other liability relationship. By productive relationships, I mean those relationships that add value to every area of your life. Liability relationships on the other hand devalue and drain you. They may provide immediate gratification at the moment but on the long run, they depreciate your value. Funny enough, a lot of fellows are found there; but thank God knowledge has come to us.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119: 105

Generally speaking, relationship is like a garden. The fruit it yields for you is determined by the seeds you plant in it and how well you tend the garden. If left untended, it yields weeds and all sorts of unproductive influences. Definitely, nobody wishes for such in life.

It is paramount to learn how to discern productive relationships and cultivate them to maturity and fruitfulness.

In view of that, I'd like to share with you five simple keys that will help you build productive relationships. These keys apply to every form of relationship, whether it is business, marital, friendship, and all.

DEFINE THE PURPOSE: The foundation of any productive relationship is laid by the definition of a clear purpose for it. This foundation determines its effect and fruits in the lives of the persons involved. Without clearly defined reasons for the existence of a relationship, abuse is inevitable.

Just as a good farmer tills the soil to prepare it before he plants his precious seeds, so should every wise person who desires to cultivate productive relationship(s) in life learn to define the purpose to it before getting involved. Purpose precedes every other thing.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Eccl 3: 1

Sometimes the purpose is clearly known in advance, as is the case in a business relationship; and sometimes it is not, and will therefore have to be ascertained. In any case, it is important to have a clear purpose for the relationship right at the beginning.

Purpose definition prepares and helps you create boundaries and set standards that will keep you off every form of abuse. A relationship that is strictly for business purposes should stay that way - business! This gives you a clear picture of what is expected of the parties involved.

DEFINE YOUR CORE VALUES AND CONVICTIONS: Great and extraordinary men are men of strong values and convictions. A man without personal convictions will fall for anything in life. Knowing the core values of your life in advance prevents you from the manipulation and trickery of cunning people in your relationships.

Core values are simply your guiding beliefs. They are the ingrained beliefs in your heart that help you define those things that are most important to you and the things that are not. They may be drawn from your purpose in life and your perception of life. But ultimately your core values and convictions should be drawn from God's Word. The Word of God is your manufacturer's manual for living.

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. Psalm 18: 30.

So, what is most important to you in life: God, your work/career, your family or your business? What matters most to you in a relationship? Any relationship that does not respect your core values and convictions is a liability relationship. Such a relationship does not have regard for your person and consequently will not add value to you.

SEEK TO ADD VALUE: A renowned human relations expert stated that he is yet to see a man who does not do well in an atmosphere of love, care and appreciation, than in an environment where he is frequently criticized.

People enjoy staying around those who add value to them. As you add value to those around you today, you are preparing yourself for more profitable relationships in your life. Your focus in every relationship should be to leave your partner(s) better than you met him.

The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. Proverbs 11: 25

In every relationship, adding value should be your priority. In business, ensure that you are contributing immensely to the growth and profitability of the company. In marriage, seek to develop your partner and work towards 'completing' each other. Your success hangs on the success of those around you. The better they are, the better you become.

BE OPEN WITH COMMUNICATION:

Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share. 1st Tim 6: 18

'To share' in the context of this scripture also means to communicate. You must understand that no relationship is effective without proper communication.

Don't ever assume that the other party knows what is on your mind. Be open, be free. Keep the communication lines open. Learn to convey your likes and dislikes, and to also share your ideas. Communication breeds understanding. At the same time, try as much as possible to avoid criticisms (if they are constructive, okay), naggings and their likes; they only breed unhealthy relationships.

He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind. Proverbs 11: 29

To have a healthy relationship, you must be a person of integrity, in speech and in character.

HONOR GOD ALWAYS:

Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1st Sam 2: 30

This is actually the first and the most important of all the keys. Originally, relationship (in all its forms), was GOD's idea. No one understands it better than He does, and He is in the best position to put us through it.

God sets His mark of honour on any relationship in which He is honoured. What a man sows he will also reap. You can't expect God to honour your relationship when He is not acknowledged and honoured in it. A lot of fellows only get God involved when their relationship has turned sour, and there seems to be no other way out. Others have their relationship ridden with human philosophies and various selfish inclinations, yet they expect God to bless and honour it. It doesn't work that way. A thousand times no! God only shows up and gets involved where He is recognized and given the first place. That's honour! When this happens, the end of the story is glory!

In every area of life where the revelation of the principles of God's Word dawns on you, you will become a master. People suffer in their relationships only because they do not know. Life is easy, so also is relationship. Let these five keys guide you in all your relationships and begin to experience unprecedented favours and grace. It is your season of light! Stay blessed and fruitful.