What Does the Bible Say about Relationships?

The Bible emphasizes the importance of love as the foundation for healthy relationships. But what else does it say about relationships?



What Does the Bible Say about Relationships?  


No man (or woman) is an island,” you’ve probably heard this common phrase at least  once in your life and it couldn’t be more true. If you are a human, you are a social and  relational being. To be human is to be part of Humanity. In fact, Humans are the only  known creatures to rely on assistance from or to have others present, like friends and  family, when giving birth. This is significant as it illustrates that from the beginning of  our existence we engage in some form of social interaction.  

From Genesis on, the Bible tells a story of collaboration and partnership between God  and Mankind. The way of God, His laws and commands, reflect right relationships at its  core. Look no further than the Ten Commandments, half is concerned with right  relationship between the individual and God and the other half is focused on right  relationship between people. Marriage is often used to describe the way in which  Christ views His Church. There is no deeper relationship than marriage and this is why  it’s used to illustrate God’s connection with His people.  

As we look at what scripture has to say about relationships, we will see that God  designed each of us to know and be known -as He too desires this. 

This fits well with our aim as a missional movement. The motto of Youth With A Mission is “To Know God and Make Him  Known.” 


What Is the Bible’s Take on Relationships? 

Here we should start at the very beginning of the biblical story, Genesis. From  the very start of human history the Bible tells us God makes more than one  human:  

  • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created  him; MALE and FEMALE he created THEM” (Genesis 1:26) 

The text then goes on to tell us why God creates both Adam (Man) and Eve  (Woman).  

Then the Lord God said: ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will  make him a helper fit for (or corresponding to) him” (Genesis 2:18) 

I had to ask myself what the text means that Man was alone. I found the following  explanation. In verse 18, the Hebrew word for ‘ALONE’ is ‘BAD’ (nothing to do with the  English word) which gets most often translated in the rest of scripture as ‘APART’;  often associated with the concept of a branch cut from its trunk or a sheep separated  from its flock. Essentially, what God is saying in Genesis 2:18 is that Adam (Man)  cannot exist fully without Eve (Woman).  

This is an important illustration as it shows that God is relational. 

How so?  

Scripture tells us that humans are made in the image (or likeness) of their creator. (Gen.1:26). This is foundational to a right understanding of how scripture views both  God and Mankind. Being made in the image of the Creator is a massive thing as it  gives inherent value to the lives of all people. This also means that we share attributes  with our Creator.  

The main attribute that I’ll focus on is that of relationship. Christianity has long held that  God is Triune (Three Persons in One Being). Our worship and prayers are equally given  to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-Three persons; One God. What this means then, is that  God is inherently relational. I think this is evident also in the love of God. As 1 John 4  tells us, “God is love.” This means that before God ever created us humans, His love  needed an opportunity to be expressed. The fact that God is mysteriously tripartite,  provides this opportunity for love to have an object. How beautiful it is that God’s  essence is love. He created us each to experience this perfect love, expressed in our  relational design.  

Bible Verses about Building Relationships 

Key Verses About Building Healthy Relationships  

  • The first is probably the most well known. It comes from Luke 6:31 (and Matt.  7:12) “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” 

Often summarized as ‘The Golden Rule’ this is one way in which Jesus  summarizes the heart of the OT Law. This sentence is a helpful tool in which  

we can measure how we are to treat others. As you’ll see more about how  we approach relationships (friendship, mentorship, discipleship, romantic,  etc.) later on, this one is key and I believe at the heart of how we at each  YWAM base engage with others.  

  • The second like the first centers around consider others 

.Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility  count others more significant than yourselves.” 

Here Paul is imploring believers to make it their goal to serve others well,  using the example of Christ who came as a lowly servant for our sake. 

In each YWAM base, we strive to model these two relational goals of  treating others how we would want to be treated, as a start, and going  above and beyond to serve others well, preferring them over ourselves. We  aim to model the kind of service Jesus showed his disciples as we believe  this is key to effective discipleship.  

What Does the Bible Say about Dating Relationships? 

Short answer is: Not a whole lot.  

At least not in the sense that we would define or understand dating in our time     and place.  

Consider the culture of those who wrote the Bible. 

  • The OT looks at romantic relationships from the perspective of marriage and  family. 

The concept of marriage not only joined a man and a woman, but also  joined together two families. As a partnership in furthering and providing for  future generations.  

• The NT again is wrapped up in a cultural context of those in the first century.  Paul speaks to some forms of romantic relationships, mostly in the sense of  cautioning and correcting. He spends a lot of time addressing inappropriate  sexual relations within his churches. He speaks to the idea of dating/ courting in an instructive way in 1 Corinthians 7. Here he suggests those in  such relationships to not delay marriage if they find themselves unable to  control their sexual desires- seeing it best to get married (assuming they have  made that plan in engagement) And keep a healthy sexual ethic versus acting  on their desires outside of God’s design for human sexuality. 


How can YWAM Help you? 

Being Relationship-Oriented 

  • YWAM as an organization has 18 core values, central to who we are. Our 13th  value is to “Be Relationship-oriented” and we offer the following description of  what this means to us :  

YWAM is dedicated to being relationship-oriented in our living and  working together. We desire to be united through lives of holiness,  mutual support, transparency, humility, and open communication,  

rather than a dependence on structures or rules. (Lev 19:18; Psa  133:1-3; Pro 17:17; Pro 27:10; Joh 13:34-35; Joh 15:13-17; Joh 17:20-23;  Rom 13:8-10; 1Jo 1:7; 1Jo 4:7-12)” 

Christlike Friendships 

  • Youth With a Mission DTS and YWAM mission trips offer opportunities to  serve God while forming friendships that often last a lifetime. 

Discipleship Based on Authenticity  

  • We tell students before the even arrive, you get out of DTS what you put  in. This is true, the more you are willing to give in terms of your journey  with God, the more you are assured to grow.  
  • Likewise, as your leaders each of us in YWAM hold to the principle  above, and believe discipleship works best when it’s relational. We value  getting to know you so that we can better serve you in your journey. 

Final Thoughts 

If any of this has been helpful or you want to learn more about all forms of  relationships from a Biblical perspective, consider applying for one of our upcoming  Discipleship Training Schools. You can visit ywam.org and discover YWAM DTS USA  locations and YWAM DTS locations across the globe! There’s helpful information like  YWAM DTS costs, tips for picking the best YWAM DTS locations for you, specific  areas of study based on your interests, and more about us as a global missions  movement. If you are interested in exploring a DTS YWAM Asheville is a great  location for those in the US and from outside. We are nestled in the heart of the Blue  Ridge Mountains and have a specific calling to reach Travelers (see our website for  more info on who they are), those who are impacted by human trafficking. Likewise,  if you enjoy expressing your self artistically, the creative and eclectic culture of  Asheville might be right for you. 


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