- Mariann Eitzman
What Is Your Relationship with God Really Like?
Many years ago, my husband and I were in a married couples’ Bible study. We were to read a book on relationships and discuss it weekly together with the group. I was eager to start, as each chapter’s title covered some issues I was having with relationships in my life.
The first chapter was on Marriage and I couldn’t wait. I knew it was going to give me some new insights and scripture to help influence change in my husband. I read and discovered that the chapter’s content asked... “What is my relationship with God like?” Not what I had expected but I participated.
Week two’s topic was Parenting. Yes! I couldn’t wait for some new instructions on getting my kids to behave better. I planned on applying it to my two, high-energy, sons. I read the chapter and it was... “What is my relationship with God like?” - Part Two. Huh? I was perplexed but followed along and did the questions/discussion.
Week three’s topic was Finances. Great! We definitely needed some wise financial advice. Once again, I read and learned the focus was... “What is my relationship with God like?” - Part Three. What? There seems to be a pattern. I skipped ahead to the chapter I was most interested in...Conflict. I needed help, and I hoped that there were some special ideas I could apply right away. Guess what?... “What is my relationship with God like?” - Part Six. Finally, I got it.
I realized God was having to repeat himself until I saw my blind-side. What was my relationship with God like? Really? If I were honest, it wasn’t at the level that I was proud of. And if my relationship with God wasn’t so great, how could any of my other relationships be great? I was definitely uncomfortable but also aware that I had to change.
All great relationships take effort. If I had a great relationship with God would I be different as a wife? Mother? Handling our finances? Dealing with conflict? Yes. Besides working on a better relationship with God, what was my effort level with everyone else? I needed to look through the other person’s view. And really Mariann, what was it like to be married to you? To have you as a mother? To share finances with? To argue with? Gotcha!
Dear Reader, it’s not that God wants you to be uncomfortable but know that when you are uncomfortable, it can turn into a huge blessing. I learned that if I allow Him to speak into my life and work towards a better relationship with Him, my other relationships would be much better (and smoother) too. Did this catalytic moment change all of my relationships into perfect ones? No. But it made me aware of the parts that I owned and contributed to, good or bad. All any of us can do is to try and do our best each day. I now talk to God a lot. I am listening to Him through reading His Word and trying to apply it in my daily life. I know He and I have a much better relationship. And because of it, I have better relationships with everyone else in my life.
Personal Devotion and Reflection
Read the following verses:
Philippians 2:5 -- “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
Hebrews 12:14-15 -- “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (NIV)
John 13:34 -- “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (NIV)
Luke 10:27 -- “He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (NIV)
1 John 5:2 -- "This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands." (NIV)
Answer the following questions:
Did this blog post make you think about anyone in particular?
After reading the above verses, which one stands out to you and what is God saying to you about it?
What is your relationship with God like? What can you do to strengthen it?
What other relationships in your life would you like to put more effort towards?
What is in your heart that you want to pray about?
My hope is that at least one of your relationships will be strengthened today because of this exercise. At Principles to Live By, we really do believe that a good, successful life is one filled with great relationships, and we want to help you with that. If you would like to connect with me, feel free to reach out to email@example.com. I would love to hear how this works for you.
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