DCL 2.5 Instruction | The Gardening Principle

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds… Let us encourage one another.”

Hebrews 10:24-25

In the previous three lessons we have focused on three key questions:

1.  Are we prepared for relationships?
2.  Are we willing to focus on others?
3.  Can we build mutual trust?

When we have learned to faithfully practice the “people principles” related to the above questions, we will have laid the foundation for strong and meaningful relationships. However, if we stop here, we will miss the best part of relationships. This brings us to a vitally important investment question: Are we willing to invest in others?

So many people invest in things that will fade away. So what can you invest in that will last? People! When it comes right down to it, is there anything else that really matters in this world compared to people? Once you’ve gotten to know people, learn to invest in them. The best relationships are always the result of unselfish giving. The following five people principles offer insights on some of the most important ways we can invest in relationships.


The Gardening Principle: All Relationships Need Cultivation

Video Presentation: John Hull, CEO/President, EQUIP

For a garden to grow and flourish, it takes time, care and cultivation. If a garden is neglected, it will soon wither and die. Relationships are the same way: cultivate a relationship and it will grow; neglect a relationship and it will die. Whether it’s as a spouse, parent, friend or leader, you can cultivate a healthy, growing relationship by focusing on these ideas:

1.  Commitment – The foundation of a relationship is trust, and trust is fostered by a mutual commitment to the relationship.

2.  Communication – Often a relationship will begin with easy communication, deepen with difficult communication, and will be sustained with intentional communication.

3.  Concern for the well-being of the other person – Strive to put the other persons desires before your own.

4.  Build memories together – Shared experiences bring lasting connection between people.

5.  Experience growth together – Growing together helps keep a relationship fresh and strong.


Biblical Case Study: Moses and Joshua (Exodus 17, 24 and Numbers 27)

Moses and his assistant, Joshua, enjoyed a long relationship. For four decades, in good times and bad, their relationship became ever stronger. Moses invested faithfully in Joshua.

1.  He gave Joshua encouragement. When Moses commanded Joshua to choose some men and fight the Amalekites, he stood on a hill with the rod of God in his hand, supporting the fighting army (Exodus 17:8-13).

2.  He gave Joshua his time. Moses continually invested in Joshua over the years.

3.  Moses gave Joshua opportunities for growth. When he went to the mountain to meet with God, he took Joshua with him (Exodus 24:12-13).

4.  Moses gave Joshua his loyalty. He set up Joshua to succeed by inaugurating him in front of the Israelites (Numbers 27:12-23).



  • How are you investing in the most significant relationships in your life?



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