“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”
One of the greatest things I deal with when I am working with couples with a troubled relationship is the selfishness inside of the relationship. The biggest complaint you often hear early on when trying to rebuild a troubled relationship is that the other person in the relationship is not doing their part in the relationship.
Relationships are very complex, but the elements it takes to make them happy and enjoyable is very simple. Relationships are complex because you have two different people with two different personalities, likes and preferences involved in that relationship. A marital relationship is even more complex because you add time together every day to the complexity of that relationship. However, Luke 6:35-38 gives four elements that are needed in every relationship in order for you to enjoy them.
Love is the first element needed in every relationship. The verse above describes love perfectly in the phrase, “…hoping for nothing again…” God says that love is doing good without “hoping for nothing again.” He says that love is lending without “hoping for nothing again.” In other words, love is putting into the relationship without expecting anything in return. Too many people expect reciprocation for the efforts given to a relationship, but that is not love. True love gives to a relationship, “hoping for nothing again.” You will never build a happy marriage, friendship, or relationship with others until you stop looking for others to do something for you in your relationships.
Mercy is the second element needed in every relationship. Verse 36 says, “Be ye therefore merciful…” Mercy is the result of love because “charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) Mercy is needed because everyone will eventually wrong you. If you have no mercy for people, you will find yourself lonely in life. You must be willing to allow people to have a bad day. You must realize that relationships are built with humans, and humans are sinners; therefore, the other person in the relationship will do wrong or wrong you at some point. Mercy keeps you from retaliating when the other person does wrong or wrongs you.
Forgiveness is the third element needed in every relationship. In verse 37, God commands us not to judge others, but to forgive them. Forgiveness doesn’t mean trust, but it does mean that you are willing to move on from the wrongs that another has committed. Great relationships don’t live in past transgressions, but they build a bright future together by their willingness to forgive. You will never enjoy great and fulfilling relationships until you learn to forgive people when they do wrong.
Giving is the fourth element needed in every relationship. Verse 38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you…” The key to what you get from your relationships is determined by what you put into them. The latter part of this verse says, “For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” So, if you don’t feel that you are getting enough out of your relationship, it is because you are not putting enough into it. You will enjoy every relationship when you learn to have a giving mindset towards others.