Relationships are inevitable. Whether you like it or not, in order to survive, you gotta interact and depend on others. Moreover, effective communication, clear boundaries, and constant accountability are three important elements of a successful relationship and optimal survival.
Communication is the lifeline of the relationship. Without constant and effective communication, a relationship will suffer death. Communication allows you to assess other people and understand behaviors. Communication has the power to corrupt and authenticate. Proverbs 18:24 states that a real friend is closer than a brother. Considering the vast amount of communication siblings show in a lifetime, we see that a thriving, trusting relationship is drenched in rich communication. Communication provides transparency. It is an essential piece in building and maintaining healthy relationships. Effective communication in any relationship dramatically decreases the risk of potential deception.
Proverbs 18:24—One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
1 Corinthians 15:33—Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Proverbs 18:21—The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Boundaries are the ribbons that hold a relationship together. It is a dividing line indicating one’s jurisdiction and limitations. It is simply respect. It is a sense of what is important to one another. You gotta set boundaries in any relationship to ensure a level of respect for one another. For example, you want a drama-free life; a boundary for that person may be not to indulge in gossip or not to befriend anyone who indulges in gossip. Boundaries may seem selfish on the surface, but at its core, it is the opposite. It guards your heart and the collective relationship from hurt. It is not only considering you, but it is considering others also thus supporting a strong connection. Boundaries identify what is ‘too far’ so that everyone in the relationship feels safe. As time goes on, what is considered a boundary may change as the scope of the relationship changes.
Accountability molds the relationship into the beautiful masterpiece that it is intended to be. Proverbs 27:17 expresses how people should ‘sharpen’ one another in a relationship. Sharpening is growth, and growth in a relationship cannot take place unless there is loyalty and counsel. Effective counsel and undying loyalty is the core of accountability in a relationship. This can only benefit the relationship. Accountability does not include negative judgment and criticism, but it includes separating the person from the issue and being soft, loving, and yet firm with the issue—circling back to effective communication. Accountability involves lifting the one another up.
Proverbs 27:17—As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Proverbs 17:17—A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 27:9—Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
Again, there is no way to get around relationships in society, so why not make them successful! With effective communication, clear boundaries, and constant accountability, a successful relationship in any capacity will abound.
Give me your top 3 important elements of a successful relationship. I’d love to hear them and share.