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Christian Relationships Friendship. The mature love and caring of friendship are as necessary to the spirit as food and water are to the body. Even Jesus.

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Presentation on theme: "Christian Relationships Friendship. The mature love and caring of friendship are as necessary to the spirit as food and water are to the body. Even Jesus."— Presentation transcript:

1 Christian Relationships Friendship

2 The mature love and caring of friendship are as necessary to the spirit as food and water are to the body. Even Jesus needed people he could be real with, people he could call his friends. The give-and- take nature of friendship makes it a strong foundation for almost all other types of love.

3 E.g. Jesus’ friends included the following: Martha, Mary and Lazarus who lived in the town of Bethany which lay outside of Jerusalem. Jesus would visit these sisters and brother to relax and get away from the pressures of the crowds. Jesus performed the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.

4 E.g. Jesus’ friends also included the 12 Disciples

5 What friendship means to you? Someone who: will let me be me someone to be real with will talk and listen, maintain confidentiality understand what you are trying to say or do keep you sane support independence and self- satisfaction mutual caring between two people involving ▫loyalty ▫honesty ▫acceptance ▫generous help ▫availability ▫equality

6 I-Thou/I-It Relationships: It is essential to friendship that each person sees the other as an end, not as a means to an end. We need to see value in other people not just useful to bring about some result. According to philosopher Martin Buber these are defined as I-Thou/I-It relationships. I-ThouI-IT when we treat another as a subject with an inner life carries the hint of the sacred quality of the relationship ultimately I-Thou relationships; how we relate to others is also how we relate to God or the “Eternal Thou” and the opportunity for grace. friends are not objects to be manipulated when we treat another as an object or a thing that can be used for whatever purpose.

7 Who Are Our Real Friends? We can determine who our real friends are by asking the following questions: Do we bring out the best in each other? ▫see potential and tell us about it Are we loyal and honest with each other? ▫will not desert you when times are tough, will be open, frank, keep ▫conversations confidential, and tell you the truth however painful. Is our relationship mutual and equal? ▫relationship is a two-way street with equal give and take, not one-sided

8 Who Are Our Real Friends continued… Do we accept each other for who we truly are? ▫who we are “warts and all” ▫overlook shortcomings that are not hurtful ▫do not condemn past mistakes ▫see goodness in each other ▫overlook fashion, size, shape, hair style, popularity ▫offer alternatives to problems and realize the other person must be free to make decisions

9 Who Are Our Real Friends continued… Are we generous with each other? ▫do you detour to see a friend? ▫do you consider your friend’s home your home away from home? ▫do you lend clothes, give rides? ▫do you take an interest in others activities?

10 Levels of Friendship Close Friend – One person in your life to whom you can disclose anything about yourself in confidence. Acquaintances – Coworkers, schoolmates, neighbours and social contacts with whom you touch base occasionally. Engage in small talk, joke around but don’t get personal.

11 Levels of Friendship continued… Collaborators – People who have a common interest or project that they are working on. Each member contributes something useful but when the project is finished the relationship does necessarily continue. Buddies – Form around mutual activity or interests e.g. sports, gym. Go out for drinks but not close enough to unload with or confide in. It is good to have buddies but cultural attitudes may affect the relationship e.g. close friends may make a person seem vulnerable or weak; this may lead to isolation in later years if have no buddies.

12 Levels of Friendship continued… Relatives as Friends – “You can pick your friends but not your relatives” Your relationship with you brother, sister, cousin may seem to have all the characteristics of a friendship, except choice; “Chance made us sisters, hearts made us friends.”

13 Types of Intimacy: Friendship does not happen automatically but begins and develops in moments of intimacy. This close association and contact results in bonding between two persons. Intimacy in one area can lead to closeness in other areas.

14 Types of Intimacy continued… Work Intimacy – When people share tasks at work or school including responsibility for decision making, mutual support, appreciation and satisfaction for a job well done. Emotional Intimacy – People who share significant experiences and feelings that touch them in important ways. They communicate joy, sorrow, anger, disappointments and exhilarations. The person accepts these as important and maintains our confidence. Emotional intimacy can become the core of our deepest friendships.

15 Types of Intimacy continued… Intellectual Intimacy – People who talk about ideas and opinions and challenge us to stretch our minds. Crisis Intimacy – People who work together in times of crisis – war, lifeboat, disasters. Common Cause Intimacy – Commitment of people who fervently share an ideal or cause.

16 Types of Intimacy continued… Spiritual Intimacy – Between people who share a relationship with God or a similar sense of the meaning of life. These are seen in religious practices, worship, or shared prayer. Aesthetic Intimacy – When people appreciate beautiful scenes, music, art, or movies together. Recreational Intimacy – People who work out or do something playful together. Creative Intimacy – The process of creating and nurturing new life such as gardening together or parents raising children together

17 Why Do Relationships End? distance changes in each person, competition or envy money or favours paid back or returned slowly, overdependence relationship becomes one-sided betrayal

18 When Relationships End? Need to go on living May want to formally close the friendship – lunch, letter, take down reminders. Attempt to recover the relationship – communicate to resolve to problem, work harder at the relationship. If relationship is unrecoverable, then move on and make new friends.

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