Coronavirus and Relationships: 4 Keys To Health
This Coronavirus crisis, especially the shelter-in-place aspect, has affected many relationships. It has tested many families and friendships. An over-abundance of stress and frazzled nerves, plus dwelling in closer quarters, almost always results in increased friction. If we are honest, we have all contributed.
Have you found yourself using search words or phrases such as "Relational friction during crisis", "Getting along at home during pandemic", "Coronavirus and relationships", or "Gospel answers to common problems"? Then this is for you.
In this season of time, people are basically the way they usually are, only magnified. If you’re usually friendly, you probably are friendly now. If you tend towards unfriendliness, you’re probably that way now. The presence and pressures of a worldwide pandemic really brings out the real you.
Yes, people can change and grow during crisis, but for the most part we are a magnified version of our usual selves. It’s the same with our relationships. Those that were good and close largely remain that way. Those that were in trouble are probably experiencing more trouble. Scary, and changeable.
Christian, ask yourself, “What do I want? What can I do about it? How can I foster healthy relationships? How can I redeem this time relationally for Jesus and the Gospel?
How can you make a positive, godly impact in your home, church, neighborhood, and the larger community? Here are 4 Keys to Relational Health you can practice during this Coronavirus pandemic:
1. Be Biblically Realistic.
God wants you to see things as they really are (Ps. 19:12-14; Ps. 139:23-24). Assess your current situation honestly. What’s going well and what’s going poorly? What’s good and what’s hard, uncomfortable, or otherwise not ideal? How have you contributed to the current situation? Where are you being pushy, complacent, complaining, and who has been affected? Where have you been guilty of unkindness or unforgiveness? What is the state of your heart, household, and other relationships? (1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Peter 3:8-17)
2. Be Biblically Repentant.
God expects and enables believer's to trust and obey Him. His kindness leads us to repentance. Deal with your own sin issues. It’s so easy to want to correct others. Receive the correction the Holy Spirit gives. Confess your sins to God (1 John 1:5-10) and those you have affected (James 5:16). Make sure your thoughts, words, and actions align with chapters like Ephesians 4. Rest in what Christ did for you (1 Peter 2:24), and do what is biblically required of you (1 Peter 1:17-21; 2:11-17).
3. Be Biblically Responsive.
God wants your willing surrender. Yield your heart to His good and perfect will (Phil. 2:12-13). Respond to God and His Word. Fill yourself up with Scripture and trust God for strength to live it. Obediently initiate good towards others. When someone tries to make up or ask forgiveness, quickly show mercy. Remember, grace gives us what we don’t deserve, and mercy holds back what we do deserve. Trust God to soften your heart. Do the right thing biblically. Kindness and love go a long way (Eph. 4:32).
4. Be Biblically Ready.
God wants you to engage in good deeds (Eph. 2:10; Titus 2:14, 3:14). So, be ready for every good work (Titus 3:1). Gird yourself for action. Plan out a scheme to bless others. Decide to reconcile. Resolve to only say words that build up. Brighten the day of others rather than bringing them down. Don’t look out for your own personal interest look out for the interests of others (Phil. 2:1-11). Wring each moment dry of every opportunity to worship God, love Jesus, and help and bless others.
In order to do these Biblical things you must be Biblically saturated, drenched with Gospel truth. You need to spend time in God’s Word, prayerfully and humbling taking it to heart. The Word is powerful, it saves and sanctifies. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to change the people of God for the glory of God. I encourage you to read and meditate on Scripture and pray daily. Do this alone and initiate it with your household. This is God’s design for the growth of His people in godliness, and the way to bear good relational fruit.
For a Christian it really goes back to what is your life all about? Serving Christ or serving yourself (Col. 3:23-24)? Living for Jesus or yourself (2 Cor. 5:14-15)? Following Christ or your own ideas (Matt. 16:24)?
We like to be comfortable and we don’t like our routines changed. So, we resist. What if God wanted you to receive this time as a gracious opportunity from Him? What might God want to teach you during this unsettling, inconvenient season of life? How can your relationships improve?
This crisis is paring us down to Biblical basics. Realistically assess your situation. Repent of all sin. Respond to God’s leading. Be ready for every good work. Pray dependently. Preach the Gospel to your heart, household, and all you meet. Bless people, for God’s glory (Rom. 11:36).
Practice these 4 Keys to Relational Health in Christ’s strength and watch God do wonders!
Soli Deo Gloria