Developing and maintaining healthy relationships can be tough. This is true despite whatever age bracket you find yourself in, which makes it no less true for our students. The reality is that we, because of the brokenness our relationships suffered as a result of the fall, constantly find ourselves faced with relational difficulties with those around us.
Helping our students navigate the waters of relationships from a biblical perspective is something that is always needed. Having taught middle and high school students in both the classroom and in the church, I can testify from first-person encounters how easily messes can occur when student relationships get off track from a biblical trajectory. Often times these messes occur from the sheer selfishness of one or both parties in the relationship, unrealistic and unmet expectations, the desire for the praise of others no matter who gets hurt in the process, etc. There are a lot of scenarios that inevitably lead to unhealthy relationships, including ones that involve young romance and attraction.
So how do we help our students think, form, and maintain healthy relationships within their lives? Well, we partly do so this week by helping our students take a step back and see the big picture of human relationships through the lens of Scripture. Part of this will involve showing our students how our identity as image-bearers is directly related to us being created as relational beings who were designed for meaningful relationships with both God and others. Biblical truths like these will help our students to develop a Christian worldview regarding relationships that corrects the pervasive and distorted views they absorb from the culture around them.
But not only do our students need the truthfulness found in the Christian worldview to help them develop Christ-exalting relationships––they need models as well. Students are impressionable. They are also keen enough to pick up on authenticity. As a result, let the gospel influence your own relationships in such a way that not only is Christ exalted, but also your students are incredibly benefited from the witness you live before them. By doing both of these, we equip our students to faithfully navigate their relationships in such a way that not only makes much of Christ, but is for their own good and joy.