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Ephesians 5:33 NLT 
2015-11-02Written by Bob and Debby Gass
First move
Two of the most famous 'marriage advice' type verses can shed some real light on how all relationships, not just the lovey-dovey kind, can work better: be considerate (1 Peter 3:7) and be worthy of respect (1 Timothy 3:11). In any kind of relationship, with anyone else, it's about growing an environment where the relationship works to help both people become better people, and closer to God. That'll mean a whole lot of encouragement and support, then. Not just when we feel like it, but especially when we don't feel like it. That kind of thing is perfectly summarised in Jesus' commandment to 'love your neighbour as yourself' (Matthew 22:39 NIVUK). That means asking God to soften our sharp edges, and provide us with the strength, patience, and opportunities to show His love to those around us. So, back to the start of the reading. Want to work out a tricky relationship, make long-lasting friendships or even just feel loved? Make the first move. When we're prayerfully proactive in a relationship, and willing to drop our own petty disagreements or dislikes for the sake of blessing someone, God'll add to it. And no, we don't mean 'become a doormat for someone who isn't willing to show love back'. Sometimes, there's reason to find the way out of a relationship (and if you do feel as though you need to get out, then listen to yourself, you know your situation better than we do), but a few steps before that, it's worth considering if you can bless the other person. What Now? Make the first move. Find out what would bless your partner/friend/colleague/parent. Now go buy/bake/say it.
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