7 Traits Of A Healthy Relationship
Many of us long to have relationships with other people whether it’s with family members, a spouse, our children, church members, co-workers, neighbors, etc… However, we must take the effort to make sure that these relationships are healthy. Unhealthy relationships are breeding ground for Satan to build strongholds in our lives that could take years to recover our confidence. A healthy friendship is from the Lord who wants us to enjoy long lasting relationships throughout eternity. What are the 7 traits of a healthy relationship?
Trait #1) Allows you to be yourself
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:27).
Some people like to gather around friends who shall all things in common. While having common interests help build relationships—there also needs to be a place for uniqueness and expressions of individuality. Healthy relationships allow us the freedom and safety of being ourselves without fear of being judged and/or condemned.
Trait #2) Acknowledges your gifting without hidden jealousy and/or envy
“A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great” (Proverbs 18:16).
Each of us is born with innate gifts from God to be used for His glory. Yet not all of us come immediately into the recognition and execution of our gifts. Our healthy relationships will lead us down the road of cultivating our gifts rather than ignoring or pretending they don’t exist.
Trait #3) Accepts your acts of service and/or love
“Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you—better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away” (Proverbs 27:10).
As long as we live in this world—there will be times of sorrow or tragedy due to the wreckage of sin. A healthy relationship is built on a foundation of trust and security that allows us to accept help in our weakness moments. Good friends humble themselves to receive encouragement and strength in their times of need.
Trait #4) Always open to hearing truth spoken in love
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Proverbs 27:6).
Few things are harder than to share the hard truth with a friend we love. To do so means to risk the longevity of the relationship; however, to not lovingly confront an issue will only erode the friendship in the long run. Healthy relationships give room for reproof when it’s necessary rather than looking the other way.
Trait #5) Addresses weaknesses instead of hiding them
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
Not only do healthy relationships have times of truth, but also there are times when we need to confess our sins to each other. The Lord sets His people in a community of believers so that we can unload our guilt, shame, and regret without fear or condemnation. Healthy relationships provide a safe haven so that we can be free in order to accomplish our calling.
Trait #6) Appreciates some distance at times without resentment
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Many relationships can take a downward plunge when they are taking up too much time and energy to maintain. When friends allow us to have times alone without resistance or negativity, it helps us to rejuvenate and reflect on our own perspectives. Healthy relationships gives us down time so that our moments together are more appreciated and respected.
Trait #7) Applies the teachings of the Bible in their daily walk
“I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts” (Psalm 119:63).
It’s not sinful to have friends who aren’t believers—we should have contact with the lost in order that God can use us to bring them to Christ. However godly and healthy relationships can help us grow in our faith. As believers we can encourage each other with reminders of God’s faithfulness of keeping His word.
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray”
Just as we work better when our bodies are healthy—so we also work together with other people when the relationship is healthy. We must avoid the temptation to readily accept new relationships without prayer and thoughtfulness. When we trust in God to lead us into the right relationships, we are blessed beyond measure with friends who stick with us through the ups and downs of life.
Article by Crystal McDowell
Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.
Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.