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Chapter 5

Can you really love most people?

How do you get on with your parents? Is there a mutual love and respect between you? What about people with whom you work? Do they often gripe you, causing you to stay at a distance from them? Do you have people you can really trust, someone you can call a friend? Can you love and care for people who cannot be nice to you, whether they be neighbours, acquaintances, friends, workmates or relations?

This chapter tells about the basis of the real meaning of love and good relationships as children grow into adulthood and begin to relate to more people in the world. It also looks at how it is possible to become free of any difficulties that occurred in the family unit and now have an effect on relationships in the wider world.

An example of poor relationship.

This is a real life story to demonstrate the nature and effects of a poor relationship. Lyn was one of the children born to a couple who had a lot of difficulty in their marriage. Difficulties in settling in a new country and a number of marital separations had disrupted their family life. Because of her parents's difficulty, Lyn had a pretty rough time. She suffered from the lack of expressed love from her parents, who were too occupied surviving emotionally and economically to be able to build a good and loving relationship with her.

Lyn had an incomplete education because she left college when only part of the way through her secretarial course. She had a run of routine jobs that never led to career employment. She sometimes had difficulties in relating to workmates and rarely kept a job for more than a short time, spending frequent and sometimes lengthy periods on the dole. Her friends over the years have tended to have similar experiences. Family relationships, never developed early in life, were not a high priority.

A changing relationship.

Paul was a part of a family of three children who did not have good relationships within the family. His father had no real influence or control over family affairs and did not know how to apply loving discipline to his family. Paul came to dislike his father intensely and didn't really want to have much to do with him. Paul's emotional and family life at this stage was not too dissimilar to that of janet's. See Chapter 8.

However, changes came about in Paul's parents life, after they extended their churchgoing into a real commitment to God. Their actions gradually began to influence Paul. Both his parents began to build a relationship with Paul and he was attracted by the changes in them. About that time, he began to read a bible given to him and the circumstances of his life led him to consider God and eternal things in a new light. He began to seek God and some short time later became a Christian. He and his wife, who also became a believer in Jesus, share good relationships with family and friends.

What made the difference?

In a word: Jesus! Paul's parents, because of their new found Christianity, had both been able to influence Paul in ways that lead people to Christianity. Also, in their work. situations, Paul and his wife demonstrate their ability to form and maintain good relationships. Only the love and grace of God could have supplied the love needed for these changes.

Comparing the differences.

Relationships are the result of the nature of the people in them. If you were to compare the characteristics of those that have true, loving and lasting relationships, with those that find it difficult to do so, you would find a comparison something like this.

People experiencing poor

relationships will

generally be:


Self- centred  

Mind driven  






Moving away or fighting.  






Frantic under pressure.




People capable of good

relationships will

generally be:  


God- centred.

Holy Spirit activated.




Unconditionally loving.













It would be a rare person who was able to exhibit all of the characteristics in the right hand column. Even the most Godly person will at times display some of the less desirable attributes. However, only people who have the fruits of the spirit of God can have these characteristics permanently and in abundance. This is not to say that people without the spirit of God cannot have some of these good gifts. However, because of the nature of man without God explained in Chapter 13, they cannot be had in their fullness without the Spirit of God.

Non believers in good relationships.

Some people, by virtue of their upbringing in a stable home, even without Godly parents, can seem to have perfect relationships. Sometimes, public and media figures seem to have great personalities and you would think that they would probably have great relationships. Two comments can be made about such people.

Firstly, no relationship is generally open to public scrutiny, so we can never really know what they are like in private. Public disclosure of the turbulent lives of some well known people appear sufficiently in the news, to make one have some doubts about the long term possibilities of good relationships without Christ.

Secondly, we know from looking at human nature in Chapter 13, that since the fall of adam, man's basic nature has been sinful and that the only way of overcoming this is through knowing Jesus Christ and having his Spirit dwell within.

Finally, it must be said that non-believers, even those who appear to have reasonable relationships, cannot gain eternal life until they come to believe in Christ at some time before they die. There is really no point in not knowing Christ. Part three of this book, starting at Chapter 24 shows how this can be achieved.

The way to good relationships.

Knowing God through Jesus Christ is the first step to lasting and good relationships of the best kind. Lasting unity, the love that goes with it, and the good relationships that result, can only come in their fullness, when there is unity between the human spirits of people firstly, and their souls secondly. This unity of the human spirit is achieved when brought about by the holy spirit of God. Time is then needed for the holy spirit to work the changes in a person.

What this chapter has said.

  1. It is possible to have good relationships with most people.
  2. It is possible to recover from a difficult background and have good future relationships.
  3. Good relationships are the net result of the nature of the people in them.
  4. Unbelievers with good upbringing, May have mostly satisfactory relationships, but unless they know God, cannot attain eternal life. Moreover, their relationships would be even better by knowing Jesus.
  5. Good relationships in all their fullness are only possible by knowing Jesus Christ.