I believe relationships are one of the most important things we have as human beings. And as such has tremendous impact on us emotionally and spiritually. Positive healthy relationships are one of the most rewarding and satisfying of all human experiences. BUT, on the other hand, a toxic relationship can tear you down and destroy you.
Toxic relationships are those that don’t build us up but break us down. In a toxic relationship, the negatives are magnified, and the positives are diminished.
As a parent I was very conscientious of this while I was raising my children. I witnessed that there were some children that I didn’t want my kids hanging out with. It always ended poorly. I’m not saying it was the other child’s fault, but just that when my child hung out with this other child they both had problems.
The fact is that peer pressure is real, and it doesn’t end with adolescence. It continues throughout our life to be a very powerful influence for good or bad. Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “birds of a feather flock together,” It’s true. As a rule, we will resemble the people that we hang out with.
It is a natural instinct for the human being to want to fit in. It’s part of the way we are made; to be in community. It’s the way that God made us, the way he wired us when he created us. This natural instinct works really well when we’re in a positive healthy relationship. Unfortunately, in negative relationships it becomes destructive.
We need to protect ourselves from these relationships until we can establish solid boundaries and a clear understanding of who we are so that we don’t become negative as well. Guard your heart. Choose your relationships wisely.