Friday, September 9, 2011

Finally, the FINALE!!!

Relationships Pt. 4

The whole point of this series was to point you back to the one and only person who loves you more than life itself.  Each and every relationship known to man was created to mirror an aspect of the relationship that God wants to have with you.  Our relationship with God is meant to be multidimensional.  For example, I have many hats to wear.  With some people I wear more than one hat.  I wear a mother hat, a wife hat, a daughter hat, an evangelist hat, a student hat, a teacher hat, a preacher hat, a worshiper hat, and on and on.  All of them are parts of who I am or what I do.  I cannot take off one hat and expect that hat to define ALL the relationships that I am capable of. 
When you come across a new relationship or an unfamiliar dynamic, I want you to remember this:  You can always look to the Bible to see how God set the example for the relationship.  Since I know that all human relationships are supposed to mirror different aspects of a healthy relationship with God, than anytime I am unsure how the relationship is supposed to look, I can look to the model, the creator, the author of the relationships and mimic it!
The second part of this blog is the phases of a relationship.  As a relationship grows, it always starts as a planted seed.  For this I was taken to the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.  The seeds were broadcasted (scattered across a wide area).  The ones that took root in good ground began to grow.  The process of growth starts with tender care, watering, feeding, and spending a lot of time with a new plant. 
In a new relationship, we find ourselves fostering closeness by spending a lot of time together.  We go out for coffee, and out for dinner, and in for movies, and fun with friends and all the fun stuff new couples like to do!  Just like a plant requires a lot of time in the beginning so that the sun doesn’t scorch it, the birds don’t eat it, the water doesn’t flood it, and the sprout takes root, so must a relationship be cared for.
Then, when the sprout starts to take root, (thinking of the trays of starter plants) it must be transplanted to fertile ground that is big enough for growth.  Potting soil is good for babies, but sprouts will become pot-bound and die if they stay in the trays for too long.  In other words, they need depth!  Every relationship, in order to stay alive, needs more than time.  It needs room to grow, common ground, depth!
So now that the plant is growing in depth, strength and size, it’s time to start making sure that the weeds are not coming in to choke a healthy plant.  In a healthy relationship, there are jealous people all around who want what you have or simply just don’t want you to have what you have.  These people delight in watching the thriving plant whither.  However, if you are consistent in removing these weeds, or at least cutting them down to size so they do not steal the nutrients meant for the plant, then it will continue to flourish.  Remember, not all weeds can be removed.  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Finally, it is time to watch your plant come to fruition.  This part is bearing fruit.  See, there is a point in a relationship (yes, even in friendships) that it comes to maturity.  That is intimacy.  In the friendship, the intimacy is the level of trust and commitment to each other through prayer (intercessory: praying for each other & corporate: praying together and exhorting/encouraging each other), support, and love.  My favorite friendships exemplified in the Bible would be David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:3-4).  The Bible said that Jonathan loved David ‘as his own soul’.  This is an exceptionally deep love!  I believe that everyone should have a friend this close… BUT also remember, not everyone can be this close!  The other friendship I love the most is Naomi and Ruth.  Ruth 1:16 shows the love Ruth had for her mother-in-law, Naomi.  She said, “…For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;  Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.”  The Bible even says in verse 14 that Ruth ‘clung’ to Naomi!  That is a friend that says, I have nothing to gain and very little to give but I will stick with you to the end, no matter what!  That is intimacy!
As a husband and wife, intimacy is that and much more.  It takes the human relations to a ‘whole natha levah’!!!  Not only do you share your heart and soul, like David and Jonathon, you also share bodies!  To give yourself completely to the other is the ultimate act of love and intimacy. 
I challenge you to examine your relationships and identify the resemblances between that relationship and our relationship with God.  If they don’t match, pray about how to mend the relationship or maybe even whether to keep the relationship.  Ask God if there is anything missing in your relationships or if there is anything you need to examine within yourself in order to foster Godly relationships.
Until next time, be blessed!

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