Growing Healthy Relationships: Fertile Fields

Today, let’s work on healthy relationships.  We have so many relationships in our lives that grow and flourish or struggle.  How do we build better healthy relationships?  Today let’s look at part one, Fertile Fields.

Passage Matthew 13:3-9 (MSG):

At about that same time Jesus left the house and sat on the beach. In no time at all a crowd gathered along the shoreline, forcing him to get into a boat. Using the boat as a pulpit, he addressed his congregation, telling stories.

3-8 “What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.

“Are you listening to this? Really listening?”

When I re-read Matthew 13, I realized again that this parable of the sower can be applied to growing healthy relationships.

Healthy Relationships: Too Shallow

To grow healthy relationships, like the sower, we plant seeds of relationships, yet some fall by the wayside. These are relationships that we do not give a chance to grow because we are careless with the hearts of others.  They are good seeds that could grow to be healthy relationships, but they fall on us at the wrong time.  These are the ones that you could see and are showy.  You know the ones – the pretty boys and dime pieces.  Very pretty on the outside and full of potential, but the relationship didn’t make it.  Why? Because these guys are for show and the next person that sees them have more to offer and seem better than you so off they go as they were carried away.  What did you learn from this?

For Healthy Relationships:
1. You don’t want your relationships to just be superficial or about surface things.

You learned from that and said, ok, no more surface.  Off to the next relationship.  This one fell on the rocky places where it didn’t have much soil or depth or time.

Healthy Relationships: Too Fast

Another hindrance to healthy relationships are stony places which depict ground that had little soil. These are relationships that are microwaved – flashy and gone in 60 seconds.  We give them just enough time and heat to get in the relationship, and then they are over before we know what happened.  It springs up quickly and dies just as quickly. These are not healthy relationships. Quit scratching your heads. You know what type of relationships these are.  The ones that go from 0 to sex in 3.4 seconds and that “to” between 0 and 3.4 is all you know about that person.  When times get hard or the thrill is gone, so is your relationship.  It is over before it started.  Yes, we’ve all been there so shake it off and move one.  What have we learned?

For Healthy Relationships:
1. You don’t want your relationships to just be on the surface or about surface things.
2. You want depth and time to grow to know the person so it won’t be over before starts.

Healthy Relationships: Too Fake

As we search for healthy relationships we say: Ok got it, no surface and need depth and time.  You tell yourself you are ready to do the right thing and in walks the Choir Boy or the Church Lady who is professing the Lord. But, are they possessing the Lord?  Let’s see.

  • They know the Word
  • Attend services
  • They are involved in church

We are good to go, finally a healthy relationship.  But wait, here comes a storm.  Oh look, they are running back to the world because “this church thing is messing with my money honey, and I have a reputation to keep up.”  Wow, and you have already set a date.  See some of our relationships with “Church folks” aren’t always right.  They are there for show and believe somewhat but not deep, deep down where they need it.  So, you are left with the bag as they say trying to figure out how you missed it.  Well, let’s look at it.  They want the Lord to bless their material stud and give them more stuff, yet they don’t know that there are four gospels in the Bible because their Bible is for show.

They know the prerequisite scriptures:

But can they give you

No? They may be worldly Christians.  What have we learned?

For Healthy Relationships:
1. You don’t want your relationships to just be on the surface or about surface things.
2. You want depth and time to grow to know the person so it won’t be over before starts.
3. The person should be a POSSESSOR of the Word and not just a PROFESSOR of it.

Healthy Relationships: Too Consumed

As we continue to work on healthy relationships, we see ones that fell among thorns – these are relationships that truly didn’t mean us any good.  They cause us harm mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or physically.  These are the wrong crowds we ran with and end up with scars that will haunt us for a lifetime.  So, what have we learned?

For Healthy Relationships:
1. You don’t want your relationships to just be on the surface or about surface things.
2. You want depth and time to grow to know the person so it won’t be over before starts.
3. The person should be a POSSESSOR of the Word and not just a PROFESSOR of it.

  1. Don’t focus on it. Forget about it.  Work and do what the Lord would have you do.

Healthy Relationships: Relationship Farming

Continuing to search for healthy relationships, we can take heart dear ones because the real one is coming.  You have learned some very valuable lessons and now you think you are ready.  Let’s look at the seed we are planting.  Are you planting seeds that will develop Christ-honoring, healthy relationships or are you missing out on such relationships?  Do you always gossip and tear people down with no good words to say about anyone?  Are you sowing the Lord by volunteering at church, getting involved in a ministry, and tithing?  Can people that don’t know you are a Christian see that you are by your works and your walk?  These are turns in the soil that will take the seed deeper within you or keep it close to the surface.

The more you get the Word in you and let it take root and sprout, the more you will be able to see it in others.  You may run into some Farmer Brown or Boaz (as my Yah-sayer calls him) or Ruths for the brothers, while you are tending your fields.  The field is your Christian walk and tending is Bible Study, Sunday School, working in a ministry, knowing and living the Word, just to name a few.

Healthy Relationships: Applying to the Heart

That brings us to the last thing we learned.  Do you remember the song by Deborah Cox?  You know the one, Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here:

I’ve spent all my life, on a search to find
The love who’ll stay for eternity
The heaven sent to fulfill my needs
But when I turn around
Again, love has knocked me down
My heart got broken, oh it hurt so bad
I’m sad to say, love wins again

In this song, she talks about how the desire for love has only led to broken hearts time and again.  So, instead of staying with the insanity of it all, she walked away from the relationship and started doing other things.  Whatever she did, she moved beyond getting a relationship to being in service to the Body of Christ.

So I placed my heart under lock and key
To take some time, and take care of me
But I turn around and you’re standing here

And one day she turned around, and he was standing right there.  You can shout now!  She said it, not me.

Healthy Relationships: Make It Happen!

Now you have it, you take this information and this book (Bible) add some faith and stir.  Yes this is hard and you have to walk away from some relationships.  Want what the Lord has for you, and they want what the world has for them.  Even your worldly Christians are on that list.  The more you stay connected to the vine, the better off you will be.  Oh, you may slip, but it won’t be in the same area because you will be delivered from that.

Believe me, I have moments when the flesh is trying to choke the Jesus out of me.  I have learned to call on the Lord and bind the lust of the flesh up so it won’t get in the way.  When I am drawing closer to the Lord’s will and plan for my life, the enemy goes bananas because he knows the Lord’s plan affects my life and those that I will touch, and he doesn’t want that.

Ones that fell in good ground – these are relationships that are built to last.

The seeds that fall onto good ground will yield a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  Every seed planted will touch lives so that you create relationships that are built to last. Relationships take time to build, grow, mature, develop and evolve; they don’t just happen by accident. A strong Christian-based relationship takes time and effort. There are many obstacles that can prevent, thwart, and steal the life-affirming joy, pleasure and success of this type of relationship.  In a Godly relationship, you can weather any storm and come out on the other side stronger, wiser, deeper in love and closer to God.

Keep planting seeds even when you think you are alone, or it hurts, or you are tired.  Keep planting because the harvest is going to be more than you can imagine.