An International Center for Fellowship and Learning

As Your Soul Prospers – Lesson 11: Relational Health

Scripture Text: 1 Corinthians 13

Memory Verse: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, by your love one to another.” John 13:35

Lesson Aim: To discover biblical principles that govern how we should behave and feel toward one another.

According to the Encarta English Dictionary, relationship means the connection between two or more people or groups and their involvement with one another, especially regarding the way they behave toward and feel about one another. Relationships are crucial to God. He is relational. In fact, the primary theme in the Bible is relationship—to God and to one another.

From Creation, God has demonstrated His desire to connect with mankind. He made man in His image and in His likeness so that He could relate to him. God made man a personal, rational, moral being with the ability to think, feel, and desire. Through His voice, God communicated with Adam and Eve, walking and fellowshipping with them in the Garden.

After Adam and Eve sinned, God sacrificed a lamb to temporarily cover the sin and continue communication with man because He was committed to preserving relationship and covenant. To fully restore the connection with man, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to lay His body over the chasm that separated God and man.

As Jesus is united with His Father, He instructs us to be connected to one another. All relationships take work and in the same way that we work on our relationship with God, we must work on our relationships with one another. God wants us to be whole—spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically, intellectually, and directionally.

This wholeness should be reflected in our marriages, our nuclear and extended families, the family of God, and even how we relate to those not in the body of Christ.

We all need relationships, but we must admit that many of our relationships are not as healthy and stable as they should be. Fulfilling relationships do not occur by accident. They result from transparency, honesty, and investment of time and effort. In order for relationships to be fulfilling, one must be willing to become vulnerable, risking emotions and feelings. Intimacy, interaction, and consistent, honest communication are critical to achieving healthy relationships.

It is God’s will for His children to enjoy the benefits of healthy relationships. He has made us ambassadors and given us the ministry of reconciliation so that we can prosper in our relationships and help others to prosper in their relationships.

Interact with God’s Word:

  1. How does Scripture say that we should relate to one another? John 13:34-35; 17:21-22; Colossians 3:9-10, 12-15
  2. Identify five barriers that affect our connection to one another?
  3. How can we overcome the barriers to our connection? Matthew 18:15-17; Romans 12:9-21; Ephesians 4:31-32; Philippians 3:13-14; Hebrews 13:1
  4. Discuss the positive results in these examples of followers of Christ being rightly connected? Acts 2:1-4; Acts 4:31-32; Acts 5:12-18
  5. Discuss practical ways the behaviors described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 can impact our relationships?

Personal Reflection: In light of today’s lesson, what will you do to further develop your relational/social health?