Bible Studies for Life Lesson for March 20- Relationships Under Stress
March 7 2011 by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church

Focal Passages: 1 Peter 2:11-12; 3:1-12

When two boats pull alongside each other, the boatmen lash the two crafts together. Without the lashings, these two boats would passively drift apart even in the calmest of water.

And when a storm arises and the waves mount up, without the lashings holding the vessels together as one, they would smash each other to bits.

The more tumultuous the storm, the more vehemently the boats are pulled apart and pushed together by the raging sea.

Together they can aid one another and steady one another. Separated they can sink one another.

Boats, like individuals, have their own mission and their own captain overseeing the mission.

For the most part, boats are self-sufficient; they have to be so to survive long voyages.

But every now and then, it becomes necessary for two boats to mutually agree to be tied together for a time in order to be mutually benefited.

That’s what a relationship is: two individuals who choose to tie themselves together in a friendship, a marriage, or a workplace.

And just like on the ocean, storms will come on the sea of life; there’s no getting around that.

Marriages will be rocked by financial difficulties. Friendships will be strained by over-packed schedules or competition from other social connections. Workplaces can be poisoned by distrust and devaluing one another.

Stress is a reality in this fallen world. Are your relationships sufficiently lashed together in order to withstand the storm?

Love, mutual accountability, unselfishness, integrity, and fellowship all serve to tie relationships together in the midst of life’s storms. And the lashing — the tying together of these two lives must be sufficiently completed prior to the arrival of the storm if the relationship is to last.

On the ocean, if you can’t keep your ships together, you cut the ties that bind you and sail away from one another. We have all witnessed this sad conclusion to many relationships.

We must guard against such devastating results. Anger and bitterness, secrecy, and selfishness can rip and tear at the chords of fellowship when stress comes.

Dishonesty and betrayal are the axes that sever those chords with nauseating finality. The lashings must be strong and numerous, and they must be nurtured constantly.

Who is your boat tied to? Have you prepared that relationship for the inevitable storms that will surely come?

It’s true; relationships need an effort from both/all parties. But after all, somebody’s got to throw the first rope. 

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3/7/2011 3:52:00 AM by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church | with 0 comments




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