Today’s topic has been weighing on my mind lately because of how easily it is to let things come in the way of our relationships. It can become nothing more than a superficial relationship if we do not cultivate it and feed it the same way we would a garden. This is true of business relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships. I believe the root of all problems and sin is selfishness. In our relationships, when we make things about our selves instead of investing in the other person the relationship will generally fail or at a minimum it will suffer greatly. To have God honoring relationships, we have to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the counter part and they have to value ensuring our needs are being met. When it happens this way, both persons needs are being met without selfish intent.
I am sure there are people who this comes so naturally for and it does not cause them problems but as for me it does not come naturally. In my marriage, it does come pretty easily because I see my husband so much and I desire to have deep intimacy with him. It hasn’t always been this way. When we were first married, we both struggled to communicate with each other and communicate our needs to each other. It took acts of intentionality to make this a habit in our marriage. We set appointments each night to talk with each other with no other distractions. We would set an alarm and when it was time for our meeting it was only me and him. At times, it seemed cold and calculated and not natural as you would expect a marriage should be. But after doing this for an extended amount of time, we were able to make it a natural part of interactions with each other. And although we do have to work on it at times, we are generally very good at communicating with each other and ensure each others needs are being met.
It gets a little more tricky when it comes to relationships that you do not have the daily ability to pour into. I think mostly of my closest friends. Weeks and even months can get away from me if I am not intentional about talking with them. We have to understand that lives are busy. My best friend and I will schedule time to talk to each other. Aside from my husband, she is the one person on this earth who I need the most. However, due to life, sometimes we just aren’t there for each other. But we know that anything worth having is worth working for so we do what is necessary to ensure we make time for each other. That usually looks like 2 scheduled phone calls a month, a few unexpected text, and at least once a year face to face time with each other and our family’s.
When it comes to other friendships, I have to be willing to follow the Lord’s prompts about calling or texting someone. If he places them on my heart, I need to make a connection and follow-up. There are no coincidences with God. I have to keep a list. If I do not keep this list, I will not make those connections and relationships suffer. These are friendships I do not want to ever see suffer due to lack of building them up. Therefore it is necessary for me to be intentional with my actions and words so that my love for them and the Lord can prosper.
My challenge to you this week is for you to hone in on one relationship that you know is suffering because of a failure on your part to make connections, keep up with them, be there for them, or whatever else it is that is standing in the way of this being a friendship that honors the Lord and brings Glory to the Lord. Ask God to help you identify ways in which you can pour into this person, making deposits in their bucket, and always be pointing them towards the Lord.