Good morning all-
It's snowing in Kansas and I am loving it. As I write its pouring from the sky. It's the first snow and I am so excited. Every year I wish for one thing on my birthday, snow! And it came 6 weeks early. Now that might make some pause but for me, it's the best thing that could have ever happened. My two huskies agree, the holidays are coming and God is cleaning the earth with white.
I digress though, today is really about Christ and our relationships. It's hard to fathom that God is really in every relationship but He is. Why would God want to be in the middle of this human mess? The answer is simple. He loves us. I am in awe every time I think about this but it's true. He loves us even in our sin. I can't think of the last time I loved someone in their sin, can you?
For quite some time I have been praying for my relationships. I pray for those at work, at home and for my friends and extended family. I can get really caught up in my home life but it's in all my relationships God wishes me to pray about. He called us to love our neighbor. What does that mean to you? For me, I realize I am not close to my neighbors. I don't know their kids, their spouses or their likes and dislikes. I choose to stay close to home and of course, I have all those wonderful excuses. I work a lot and I have a husband that likes me close, so many times I stay in my own little world. But lately, I have been convicted of this behavior. I also have realized that in my intimate relationships there is much work to be done.
So as I was in prayer this last week, I asked God to show me how to be deeper with my husband and humanity. He has already given me eyes to see what He sees and then I ask Him to convict me in my personal life. Well, if you know anything about Jesus, if you ask, He will reveal. So I began to be convicted that I pray for my children more than I do my husband and it struck me hard. How could I pray for my children and my friends but not pray for my husband? That's easy to answer. Our spouses are the closest to us. They know our weak spots and those weak spots cause friction and apathy. And of course, apathy can bring contention because apathy breeds a lack of caring, passion and need. Doesn't Christ warn of this even in our walk? Of course, He does. Unfortunately many relationships are like this. Mother and daughters, father and sons and brothers and sisters have conflict, which means they don't always agree and that contention builds resentment and tension. We also have good friends and even in those relationships and the pattern begins and our fears and doubts leak out and become like oil leaking over land. So why do we feel the need to lose feeling, walk away and pout when the truth is right in front of us?
I'm not an expert but I would think the reason we run away is to protect ourselves. We fear many things and that fear drives us away from people and into ourselves. This won't help us. I don't know of a Scripture that says, "Stay to yourself and only take care of you." No, instead it says leave your jobs and your comfort zone and go out to the people and preach the word. Jesus took His disciples from their work and their families to spread His word and the good news.
In the next couple of blogs, I will be sharing with you thought provoking methods to help us in our relationships. I am reading a book by Dr. Gary Smalley, The DNA of Relationships. This book was recommended by a client this week and it was an answer to prayer. How do I make my relationships better? We can concentrate on what we were called to do. We should focus on God and our attitudes and reactions to life and loving others. This is the formula to a successful life and in order to walk this journey successfully we must arm ourselves with tools that help us feel success in our relationships.
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31 NIV)
My prayer today:
O, Lord, lead me to You as I seek You to help me to be a better wife, mother, friend and follower. I seek you to help me be in relationship with others without fear or doubt. I, like others, fear things that hurt my relationships. I pray that this fear would be replaced with the confidence to love my neighbor and to be Your woman. As I sit here and pray I know You are near and that You will reveal to all of us how to love better in a world that is nothing but hurt, pain and sin. Give us Your passion for the lost and for those that hurt us. Give us sight so that we will see their pain. For we want to glorify You in the one thing that is so important to You, relationships. Help us be one body and one mind in You. Thank You for showing us how relationships can be and for the forethought to leave us this Scripture. It is always easy to come out of our own problems when we are loving others! I pray this Scripture in Your name. We love You Jesus.