As Gods creation, we are made to be in relationships but let’s face it, choosing right relationships in your romantic relationships, friendships, workplace and spiritual life can be difficult. It seems that some relationships last forever, and others end quickly before they have an opportunity to grow. It’s discouraging when relationships don’t work out not to mention it can be very painful. Why is it that we seem to attract the same types of relationships? This article provides biblical insight in choosing right relationships through prayer. We are to seek God whether we are looking to choose a new relationship or whether we are struggling to find peace in a current relationship. Here are some ideas on how to prayerfully approach new relationships and those that you may be in that are unhealthy or need re-alignment.
ASK GOD TO REVEAL THE MOTIVATING FACTORS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE RELATIONSHIP
Everyone desires to connect with others that have a common interest, someone you feel you have something in common with. We are attracted to people based on appearance, kindness, special interest, intellect, knowledge, giftedness and for the mere feeling of a deep connection or purpose. We must also not be naïve to believe that everyone who seeks a relationship with you is in it for right reasons.
Some peoples’ desire for a relationship may be different such as infatuation; lustful desires; deception; a desire to take something you have or to use you to gain something like a position or an association. The desire may be based on other ulterior motives. Therefore, it is necessary to seek God for help in choosing relationships.
Because relationships don’t come with recipes and we don’t know the ingredients required for choosing or building good relationships apart from Christ, we must seek God in making wise decisions. He promises he will give us guidance if we ask. Psalm 32:8 says “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go, I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” This scripture says that God is concerned about everything concerning us which includes relationships. In God our life has purpose.
Our relationships must also be aligned with purpose. The bible says quite a bit about choosing relationships. Proverbs 13:20 says “He who walks with wise man will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” And 2 Corinthians 6:14 says “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness. These two scriptures alone speak to the fact that God has something to say about who we chose to be in relationship with. It can affect our life purpose.
ASK GOD TO HELP YOU PRAY THROUGH ALL YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Most of the time when we talk about relationships we automatically think about friendships but they’re many forms of relationships to consider: business, friendships, dating/courting, marriage, work, prayer partnerships, social media, spiritual, and covenant relationships. Choosing relationship spreads across a wide spectrum. However, the task of choosing the right relationships can be sometimes daunting. As stated in the previous paragraph, God promises to instruct us in all things (Psalm 32:8). The problem with the “human condition” is that we sometimes don’t seek God about what relationships we should enter.
King David is an example of someone who chose a relationship based on lust. He decided to have a relationship with another man’s wife. His intended purpose was to take something that was not his, not thinking of the consequences. As a result, David brought a curse on his family that lasted a life time. (2 Samuel 12:8-11) tells us about Gods judgement that was pronounced on David by the prophet Nathan. “I gave you your master’s house, and put your master’s wives into your arms. I also gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all that somehow seems insignificant, I would have given you so much more as well. Why have you shown contempt for the word of the Lord by doing evil in my sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and you have taken his wife as your own. You have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. So now the sword will never depart from your house. For you have despised me by taking the wife of Uriah the Hittite as your own. This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring disaster on up from inside your own household.”
Just like David, we can see the writing on the wall but still choose to ignore the signs that God has already given us, not to mention ignoring what the word already tells us. When this happens, we are destined for pain that could have been avoided. This leads into a relationship that takes us out of alignment with God.”
I know firsthand that God does allow us to go down some wrong paths so that we can learn firsthand what being in ungodly and unhealthy relationships can do. This teaches us to trust God to lead us in making wise choices in relationships, choices that glorify him and are destined for purpose. It taught me to pray about all relationships.
ASK GOD IF YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP THAT LEADS YOU BACK INTO BAD PLACES FROM WHICH GOD HAD DELIVERED YOU.
God cares and is concerned about our relationships and he wants to give us guidance in the choices we make. The example of David and Bathsheba is a great example of what happens when we don’t seek God in choosing our relationships. Let’s look at some other examples of signs of an “ungodly or unhealthy relationship?
Our relationships should reflect who we are in Christ and thus glorify him. Any relationship that would cause you or tempt you to live a life that is contrary to the will of God is an “ungodly and unhealthy” relationship. If you are in a relationship that leads you back to places that God has delivered you from, this can be described as an “ungodly and unhealthy” relationship. “Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hinderance in the way of another.” (Romans 14:13).
“Power Thesaurus” has over 499 synonyms that help us understand “ungodly/unhealthy” relationship. I have listed some as follows: “irreverent, wicked, immoral, deceitful; outrageous bad, severe, offensive; vile, bad, evil, unpleasant; atheistic, wicked, immoral, deceitful.”
Before you allow the intensity of the words being used to rule out any “ungodly/unhealthy” relationships in your life; understand that evidences don’t always show up right away that these behaviors are present. The word of God does tell us the we can test the spirit of a person by the spirit of God to see if it is of God. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
So when someone says to you “God told me that you were supposed to help me, or mentor me, or whatever comes after the “God told me” pray and ask God if he sent them. This is what I have learned to do. If God gives you clarity that confirms the relationship, then move on. The enemy specializes in deception so remember he is a pro at hiding the truth. If we are seeking God, he will reveal to us the schemes of the devil. “In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:11) According to the word of truth the darkness cannot hide. It will eventually be exposed to the light.
PRAY TO DISCERN WHETHER THERE IS AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU
So, when we walk in right relationship we walk in the fellowship of the light of Christ and are accountable for one another. “Can two walk together, accept they have agreed?” (Amos 3:3). This is one of my favorite scriptures as it relates to prayer partnerships and relationships.
You can not agree with me in prayer unless you are able to agree to be in proper relationship with God. Then I know the spirit is pure and of God. When our agreement has been confirmed through God then I know we are in alignment to glorify God in our relationship. This should be one of the same principals we use in choosing relationships with others.
David and Jonathan had an Amos 3:3 relationship ordained by the Father. (See 1 Samuel 18:1) They were in a forever covenant relationship. Many relationships fail because we have not agreed on anything. Each person sets in their own heart the expectations of the other without agreeing or knowing what the other person can offer in a relationship. When the other does not meet up with the “unknown expectations” of the relationship, the relationship is dissolved. Why? Because there was never any agreement to walk together. There were conditions/false expectations put on the other party that were based on one person’s expectations of what they expect from another. Pretty powerful stuff huh?
For example, if someone has not experienced the kind of love another person experienced in their upbringing, then they will not be able to necessarily show love the way that you desire to be loved. The relationship may be for you to show them the love of Christ, but you have made it about you.
I remember a time when I entered into a prayer partnership with someone I should not have. I will not say it never should have been, but I will say it was not the right season for either of us. The bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1,5 “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.”
I did not have clarity from God as to the exact reason that I should not chose the relationship at that time but there was clarity that a spirit of agreement was not present. Even though the individual was a believer in Christ, God had said “no”. Please do not miss this. Pray concerning all relationships and get permission from God to pursue it for his purpose. Watch for the warning signs and do not be disobedient unlike myself, who entered into the prayer partnership anyway. It ended badly because God had not ordained us for relationship at the time and season. He allowed me to go through this as a lesson and as a testimony to share with others. I recall a time when the individual embraced me with a hug and told me “I love you”. I responded, “you don’t love me”. They responded, “I love you the best way I know how.” From that day I stopped putting my expectation on others with the realization that people operate from what they have been exposed to in life. There is always something to learn from making the wrong choices. I am thankful for it today because it taught me to seek God concerning my relationships.
ASK GOD’S GUIDANCE TO SEE IF THOSE YOU MEET SHOULD BE PURSUED AS FRIENDS OR SOMEONE YOU OCCASIONALLY ASSOCIATE WITH
Another reason we get hurt in relationships is because we are too quick to call someone “friend”. Some relationships are meant to be just a healthy “association” and that is all is was ever intended to be. They are only for a season or to fulfill a purpose. Don’t get stuck on everyone you meet being your friend. I know we live in a Facebook Friend kind of world, but honestly would you tell all your Facebook friends your most intimate things? We must stop setting ourselves up to be disappointed. Accept the relationship for what God has purposed for it to be and move forward.
Many years ago, I was in a dating relationship with a man that I really cared about but the spirit of God had shown me that he was not going to be my husband. Every time I got comfortable in the relationship and tried to settle there, God would say to me “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.” O yes, I learned the hard way “too many times” in these experiences and in some others, that I must seek God to gain wisdom in what relationships he would have me to enter in. I was one who had not asked, didn’t think I needed to, and ignored the warning signs he had already shown me more than once and the results were very painful.
PRAY ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS THAT COME ON TOO QUICKLY, SUDDENLY OR STRONGLY
Now, I pray fervently about the people and opportunities of partnership that come my way. I especially pray when people or opportunities come into my life “quickly or suddenly” and whenever someone tells me “God said you.” I pray. I pray until I get an answer!
In my experience, there is something about people who just show up suddenly and want to be your friend. I have found that the person wants something from you but will not come out with the true motive. If you discern spiritually the Lord will reveal. Don’t ignore the signs. Most often these relationships try to come into your life with force or even intrusion and the intention is to get something you have that they deeply desire to have spiritually. “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)
In Acts Chapter 16 when Paul and others were going to the place of prayer they were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. Basically, she had a spirt of divination. She was attracted to the light of Christ operating in Paul. She followed Paul and the other Apostles around for three days, shouting “These men are the servants of the Most High God.” (Acts 16:17) Until Paul became annoyed with her and drove the spirit out of her she continued to try to make others believe she was in partnership/relationship with them.
Remember God gives the anointing and God will do the drawing in who and where he wants you to use it. God wants us to help others but not everyone is our assignment, and this is where “the spirit of deception” tries to intrude. Sometimes we want things that God says is not the season for us to have it because we are not yet ready to receive it in the current state we are, so, we try to take it by force. It never works. When God says ‘NO” accept the answer and move on as quickly as possible. This is a little off the topic of “quick and sudden relationship’s”, but I wanted to share it here because it is a testimony about God telling me no when I was obedient. I thought I had made the perfect connection with my ministry purpose and the need to attend seminary. I put in my application and was ready to go! I was just about finish with my bachelor’s degree and ready for my next God move. I did continue to pray through the process and ask God to give me direction about whether I was making the right decision to pursue seminary. I prayed for about a year off and on as the spirit would lead me to pray about the decision. One morning after prayer, I proceeded to the shower and the Lord spoke to me there. I said, “What is it now Lord”? He said, “Seminary is not going to be for you”. I was honestly crushed because I thought I had figured it out but God said “NO”. It took me a few weeks to get over my disappointment. I couldn’t even talk to anyone about it until I got pass my emotions but once I did I moved on quickly and never thought about it again! Had I pursued seminary after hearing the “NO” I would have delayed my true purpose and there would have been other consequences that I would have had to endure.
PRAY FOR THE STRENGTH TO BE RELEASED FROM UNGODLY RELATIONSHIPS AND ASK FOR WISDOM IN FORMING NEW ONES
Remember Satan specializes in trying to throw us off track and out of alignment with the will of God. Our relationships are only one avenue he uses but it is a powerful one. Satan, who is the father of deception, comes to “still kill and destroy” (John 10:10). His mission is to bring unhealthy and ungodly relationships in an intentional attempt to “abort” your mission and keep you from your destiny.
I want to make this real for you so that you understand the importance of seeking God before you enter in any relationship because relationships can have spiritual connections and soul ties that are hard to break or detach from. You will be wondering why all these things are happening to you or why you are attracted to certain personalities and it is because you have formed unknowingly “soul ties” and entered into “unknowing covenant relationships with people or organizations that unless you break it off through the word and prayer will hold you bound and detain your destiny.
Pray right now for strength to be released from any ungodly relationships you may be in today. Pray about any new relationships, you are looking to enter in whether it be friendship, marriage or business partnerships. Praying the word of God is the key to being empowered to make the right decisions. Satan wants to give us substitute’s, but God wants to give you the real deal.
The Father “authenticates”, and Satan “imitates” because he has NO creative power. Because you are a child of the “Most High God” you can discern what is real and what is fake. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28) It is not always easy to see ungodliness in a person. We must seek God for guidance in all relationships.
ASK GOD TO HELP YOU KEEP YOUR IDENTITY FROM BEING CAUGHT UP IN ANOTHER PERSON OR RELATIONSHIP
You may be seeking God through prayer right now for guidance in a new relationship or you may be seeking God with a relationship you are struggling to discern his will in. It could be for a decision on whether to marry someone or to date someone or a job opportunity or a friendship. Whatever the reason, know that God is waiting for you to give it to him and he will answer.
Don’t allow your identity to be caught up in another person or relationship. Sometimes we think that our identity is in our relationships, who we/they know, what they have, power, wealthy influence, or fame. Breaking off relationships can be hard also. Especially if it involves someone who you thought would be your husband or wife. We worry about what other’s will think when we break it off because what we hoped for did not happen. Therefore, we hold on so tight to some relationships because we are ashamed to let them go. When I realize that I have sometimes overcommitted myself, I bow out gracefully. Ask God to show you how to bow out gracefully from any relationship that would try to take away your identity in Christ!
Power is in knowing that for the believer our identity is in Christ Jesus. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of the darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) For this reason we need to be identified in our relationships through Christ!
If you are struggling with finding your identity in people, feeling bound or stuck in wrong, ungodly and unhealthy relationships, listen to what the word of God has to say. Pray and ask God to help you to make wise decision’s in choosing right relationships and breaking free from “ungodly relationships”.
Prayer to break free from unhealthy relationships and to choose godly new ones
Father God, I give you praise for you are the God of my salvation! Thank you for your son Jesus Christ who gave his life for me that I may have life and have it more abundantly. Father my desire is that my life be pleasing to you in every area. I met ____________ today and he/she/they seem to be good people/persons.
I am asking you to show me their heart and intention for wanting to be in relationship with me. I want my relationships to glorify you and be characterized by who I am in Christ. Open the eyes of my heart Lord that I may see clearly your will.
Lord show me any deceptive ways or alternative motives that may be lurking in my heart that may influence my decision to enter in this relationship with ________ at this time or season in my life. You are the most important person in my life and I do not desire to be drawn away from you through deception. For me, the best relationship I have and will ever have is with you!
You said in your word according to 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Help me to end all relationships in my life that would lead me astray and give me the wisdom not to enter in new relationships that would do the same.
According to Psalm 32:8 you promised “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go, I will counsel you with my eyes upon you.” I am looking to you to fulfill your promise to me because you are a God who is faithful and true. You are a promise keeping God and I love you. Who I give a front row to in my life reflects on my life as a believer.
Send me people who will encourage me in my faith and people who I can also encourage on the journey, according to Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, accept they have agreed?”. Send me people who will sharpen my walk according to Proverbs 27:17 says “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Help me to understand that what looks good and sounds good is not always what you have for me. Give me wisdom and greater discernment to make wise decisions according to James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
In Jesus Name. Amen
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