Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and while it is a commercialized event, it reminds us that we all have relationships we need to appreciate more – romantic and otherwise. The ability to love is one of the greatest gifts God has given to us but too often we take the people in our lives for granted. I want to take a few moments to remind us about the beauty of relationships and how important it is that God be a part of them.
Creation is all about relationships and not just human relationships. Everything in creation relates in one way or another to each other. That’s the beauty of creation. The Bible is also a book about relationships. God and Adam had a relationship. After Adam, God established a covenant relationship with Abraham, which then developed into a relationship with a nation. When that relationship needed restoration, God sent Jesus to bridge the gap not only for that chosen nation but to establish a relationship with others resulting in the establishment of His church. All of God's designs involve relationships: from family to friendships, to nations and kingdoms, and to His people and His church.
As humans, we desire relationship. We want to belong. God created us with that desire. We have an emotional need to be accepted, to be supported, and to identify with someone other than ourselves. Our families are our first relationship experience. But even family relationships don’t always play out as expected. In Genesis 4, we read about the demise of a relationship between two brothers brought on by jealousy. And, when one brother chose to do the wrong thing, it ended tragically. The survival of any relationship is about choice. Think about it – you either choose to form a relationship or you don’t. You choose to stay in a relationship or you won’t. It depends on your level of focus and commitment to that relationship.
Relationships that work the best and stand the test of time invite God in. Think about Adam and Eve’s relationship with God - it suffered the moment they left Him out and consorted with a serpent. In like manner, Cain and Abel’s relationship turned violent the moment Cain refused to repent and bring God in. When God is a part of a relationship, there is Godly love and it makes the difference. This doesn’t mean your relationship won’t be tried and tested – it will. But when we love the way God has demonstrated for us and commanded us to love, these relationships will not only survive, they will thrive.
As children of God, we are commanded to love. First, we are to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul. We are also to love others, not simply as we love ourselves, but we are to love others as Jesus loved us. That’s a tall order with no “escape clause”, I might add. The love that Jesus has for us is something we continually strive toward.
As long as there is life, there will be relationships. If you haven’t invited God into your relationships, I encourage you to do so today. The Bible says that a threefold cord [rope] is not easily broken [Eccl 4:12(b)] God is the difference maker in any relationship. So, invite Him in and take your relationships to the next level. You will truly see how beautiful they can become.