Work at cultivating wholesome relationships – it pays good dividends!
healthy, non-sexual relationships. It goes beyond the superficial friendship of servants and masters to the knitting of spirits, as with David and Jonathan (1 Sam 18:1,3; Jn 15:15,16). In such a meaningful relationship deepest thoughts, desires and feelings can be shared without the fear of being rejected by the other person. We all need strong connections to at least one other person, where both parties benefit without losing their individuality and identity. It is impossible to grow in isolation, through superficial relationships and without accountability.
Relationships must be entered into wisely, to avoid sinful bonding which includes illicit sexual relationships, impure thought patterns and wrong soul ties that have caused countless tragedies (Mt 5:27,28; 1 Cor 6:15,16). Thus, all bonding relationships need boundaries to protect the participants. Each party needs to commit to respecting those limits that guard against control and abuse. Be humble and open up to others as appropriate, while mindful this exposes our vulnerable, inner self to the possibility of being hurt or the relationship abused if there is not mutual sharing.
Sin separated humanity from God and alienates us from others while redemption restores those relationships, especially with God. Jesus was intimately connected with His Father and we can be to be reunited [bonded] with Christ, in vital union, as illustrated by the vine and branches (Jn 15:1-8, 17:21-23; 1 Cor 6:17). Remember He is the one “who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov 18: 24).
Our bonds with other Christians (our spiritual brothers and sisters) will enable us to support them in their times of trouble, and receive from them when we have burdensome periods (Gal 6:2). Although there will be times of stress in any relationship, the connectedness and bonding from genuine love should be stronger than anything that would seek to divide (Jn 15:9-13; 1 Cor 13:1-13; 1 Tim 5:1,2; 1 Pet 1:22).