Resurrecting Relationships - Keep God at the centre
We can all agree that Jamaica faces many challenges. One of the most overlooked challenges for our country, and even worldwide, is the area of romantic relationships.
In Jamaica, between 2005-2012 there was a 24 per cent decline in marriages, and during the same period a 72 per cent increase in divorces. When you put these together with the fact that over 80% of all children born in the island are born out of wedlock, then we can logically conclude that in Jamaica we have relationship challenges.
What causes this? Why do persons find it so difficult to find Mr and Ms Right? What does Mr or Ms Right look like? Is there a subjective test? when you meet this Mr or Ms Right, how do you proceed? How do you manoeuvre the process of building a relationship with this 'right' person?
Let's take a look at relationships and, in the process, challenge societal norms and uncover biblical secrets to good relationships.
Today, things have got way out of control. We seem to have lost confidence in the process of relationships and marriage due to the pain and tragedies resulting from relationship failures. For many persons, their marriages appear to be a lost cause - dead and sealed in a tomb. And some single persons may look at the challenges of meeting the right person or the stress and pain of failed attempts, and the future may look bleak. You may currently be in a relationship and what you are seeing is not so hopeful. you believe it is as good as dead, so you can't be bothered.
ROTTEN AND STENCH
However, in the story of Adam and Eve, we find some truths that will help us deal with some of the relationship problems that we face in the 21st century. hopefully, some of us will return to the 'tomb' where our relationships are buried. Some of the things in the tomb are rotten and the stench is really bad with only dry bones left. But let's take a different view of the situation, having the courage to accept God's offer to "roll the stone away."
In Genesis 1 and 2, God created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden, but there was a problem. Genesis 2:18 says, "And the Lord God said it is not good for the man to be alone..." Some may say Adam was not "alone", as he was with God, but the relationship with God was not enough. Adam needed human companionship, so right from the beginning, we discover that you and I are created for relationships. It is God's will for you to have friends and companionship.
God's solution to Adam being alone was that God said: "I will make a companion who will help him." God created Eve, but, after some time, this relationship got messy. And, if you have ever been in a romantic relationship, you know things get messy. As messy as relationships are, however, sometimes they are part of God's plan to develop our character, grow us spiritually, and help us become all that God created us to be.
As we look at Adam and Eve's relationship, certain truths can be applied to our current relationships and those to come. The first simple truth to understand is that we should expect problems in our relationships. Problems occur in any relationship, whether you are married or dating. many of us have bought into the myth that my relationship is going to be perfect. If you find a perfect person, know that you are going to be the one to mess up the relationship as we are all imperfect.
There are two types of problems that can arise - internal pressures and external pressures.
JEALOUSY AND FRUSTRATION
Internal pressures include problems like doubt and fear. You wonder - am I supposed to be with somebody else? What if this person finds out who I really am? There are also problems of jealousy and frustration due to differences in personality.
In Genesis 3, we see that not only are Adam and Eve a source of the problem, we also have a serpent putting external pressure on the relationship. External pressures promise to provide something better than God's best. Some of those pressures today include societal pressures from family, friends or from other temptations. Sometimes, it is just the easy accessibility of divorce, and just like the serpent in the Garden of Eden, all external forces promise more than they can deliver.
Many of us think that when a problem comes into our relationships, it's a sign that we should get out, but the truth is that, if you will hold on long enough to discover the purpose of the problem, maybe learn to avoid the problem, or even how to grow through the problem, then you can have a successful relationship.
For a relationship to succeed, not only must two people be committed to each other; they must also be committed to God. And that's the choice you can make even now. Choose to make God the centre of your relationship. You will find that He will come into that relationship and give you hope. Whether it's a struggling marriage or someone you are dating that you believe is worth the effort, allow God to roll away the stone and resurrect your relationship.
Join me again next week, as we continue the journey into restoring relationships.