“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity” (Ps 133:1). Healthy  harmonious relationships result when all parties pull in the same, not opposite directions, because they have agreed to walk and work together for the common good (Amos 3:3).

Am I easy to get along with?

Through submission I forgo my personal wants for the overall good so we “Live in peace with each other” (1 Thes 5:13). In any close relationship, there will be times of friction and conflict, yet when these are resolved the relationship actually becomes stronger through reconciliation. Focus on what you have in common, rather than the few differences that divide. Personality issues need to be addressed or accepted.

We must obey or refrain from (as the case may be) the non-negotiable commands of the Bible relating to our conduct, while in other matters, for the sake of maintaining good relationships, we can compromise and do things the other person’s way because we understand the value of co-operation and the multiplied power of unity (Lev 26:8; Deut 32:30). It’s not a case of one party being a ‘door mat’ and always being walked over, rather through discussion a suitable common decision is reached. Compatibility is never obtained through compliance.

In close ‘binding’ relationships like marriage or business it is essential to be equally joined with a person holding similar values, for the illustration is given of what do light and darkness have in common (1 Cor 7:39; 2 Cor 6:14,15). If one party becomes a Christian after marriage, they are to remain in that union (1 Cor 7:12,13).

Prospective marriage partners should share similar interests and values, with both adjusting and committed to resolving conflicts. While making each other comfortable there also needs to be space given so each can live their own life, besides respecting

Ongoing attention needed

and valuing the other’s family.

See also: agreement, compromise, conflict, co-operation, harmony, relationships, submission, tolerate, unity.