Safe Relationships – Part Two

The best example of a safe person is found in Jesus. In Him were found the three qualities of a safe person: dwelling, grace, and truth. As John wrote: “The Word became flesh and lived for awhile among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Here we see the three key qualities of a safe person…

    • Dwelling
    • Grace
    • Truth

Dwelling … Dwelling refers to someone’s ability to connect with us. The Greek word here in John’s Gospel means to ‘encamp’ or ‘reside.’ It says that the origins of that word have to do with the human body as the place where the spirit resides. What all of this means is that safe relationships are an aspect of the incarnational qualities of Jesus, for Jesus became present as a man, in the flesh. 

A safe person then is able to “dwell with us in the flesh.” They are able to connect in a way that we know they are present with us, that they are for us, and that they will continue to walk with us regardless of what happens. They are engaged in the details of our life. They embrace your life with you and do not walk with a sense of detached attachment. They are there for you. 

Grace … The second safe quality that Jesus exemplifies is grace. Grace is “unmerited favour.” It means that someone is on our side, that they are ‘for us’ even when we really don’t deserve their loyalty and support. Grace implies unconditional love and acceptance with no condemnation (Romans 8:1 and Ephesians 4:32). 

Relationships in which people do not accept us without shame or condemnation are ultimately hurtful and do not produce personal growth. They require us to be different than we are in order to be accepted, and we are unable to use love that we must earn.

Grace does the opposite. It says the you are accepted just like you are and that you will not be shamed or incur wrath for whatever you are experiencing. 

Truth … The third quality that Jesus embodied for us was truth. Truth implies many things, but in relationships it implies honesty, being real with one another, and living out the truth of God within the relationship or friendship. 

Many people think that safe relationships are relationships that just give grace without confrontation, but these relationships are ultimately destructive as well.

We need people in our lives who will be honest with us, telling us where we are wrong and where we need to change. We need friends that walk according to the truth and live out the principles of God with us. That does not mean that they are not accepting, but it means that in their acceptance of us that they are honest about our faults without condemning us. 

Ephesians 4:15 “Speaking the truth in love…”

Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”

True safe relationships are ones where we can speak the truth to one another, confronting one another as needed. Grace and the absence of condemnation allow us to do this with less fear than would occur in a condemning relationship. 

The calling of the Bible is that we need to be the kind of people to each other that Jesus is with us, people who dwell with each other in grace and truth. So a safe person will be one who is there for us and through whom we experience grace and truth.