Restoring our relationships - Part II
You and I were created for relationship. There is no doubt that God created people to have friendships and companionship. We saw this last week, as we began exploring of this topic through the story of Adam and Eve. We looked at some relationship problems and suggested that there is no such thing as a "perfect relationship".
The truth is, you can expect problems in your relationships. Problems will occur whether in marriage or a dating relationship and they stem from internal and external pressures.
Internally, our own doubts, fears, and frustrations create problems that drive us apart. External pressures come in many forms including family pressure, sexual temptations, and even just the easy access to divorce.
But, as messy as relationships are, sometimes they are a part of God's plan to develop our character, grow us up spiritually, and help us to become all that He wants us to be.
Do you know that problems come even in relationships that are committed to following God's best plan? How do we respond to these problems?
The first step is to accept responsibility for our relationship problems. We live in a day and age where taking responsibility is not popular. We say, "My problems are somebody else's fault," but often our problems are our fault. Everybody wants to blame somebody else for his or her problems, but instead, when problems come - and they will - we have to be honest, and own up to the fact that they are sometimes our fault.
In Genesis 3:12-13 (NLT) when God confronts Adam and Eve about eating the fruit they were forbidden to eat, "The man replied, "It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it." Then the Lord God asked the woman, "What have you done?"
"The serpent deceived me," she replied. "That's why I ate it."
Adam blamed the woman. The woman blamed the serpent. However, there were huge consequences though Adam and Eve pointed the finger of blame at each other. They were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. If God had left them in the Garden, they would have had no hope. They would have spent eternity separated from God in their sin. But by being cast out of the Garden (as bad as that was), God gave us a glimpse of the hope that He has for all our relationships. Because of His love for us, He would do whatever was necessary to restore this relationship back on to a path of hope.
This is the big lesson of Genesis 3. No matter where we are in our relationships, no matter what we feel like we've gone through, we can get back on a hopeful track. We can't push God out of our relationships. For when we do, we face the consequences, but God loves us and is working continuously to give us the best so that our relationships can be restored.
This is where restoration of our relationships begin. For a relationship to succeed, not only must two people be committed to each other, they must also be committed to God as the centre of that relationship.
When God is intertwined into the relationship, this is where true relationship success is found. God dispatches His power into your relationship in such a way as to bring restoration and create harmony.
It's not too late for you to invite God to be at the centre of your relationship. If you are ready to put Him at the centre, then I invite you to pray this prayer.
"God, I want You at the centre of my friendships.
God I want You at the centre of my marriage/dating life.
God, I want You at the centre of my family.
God, I am going to lean on You
and I want to invite You to be that third person
and as the relationship grows in my life,
I want to weave my relationship life around You at the centre of all that I do.
In Jesus' name. Amen."