Monday, December 14, 2015

Longevity In Relationships

This time of year is known for its "family" traditions. We've already had Thanksgiving - a time of giving thanks to God, usually celebrated with a family meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and corn. Soon we will be celebrating Christmas, a time to celebrate the gift of Jesus by giving gifts to our family members. Everyone has those special childhood memories of these holidays. Memories to last a lifetime.

There is a part of me that wishes those childhood memories could be relived. There was so much joy and happiness, and life was so much simpler then. But people grow up and people die. Relationships change. Sometimes relationships that once were so treasured disappear through no fault of our own. How can we make those treasured relationships last? How can we maintain relationships when it seems like everyone is leaving to go someplace else?

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday in church. He is now a youth pastor in Southeastern Wisconsin. We were speaking about longevity in relationships and the key to maintaining those relationships. We both agreed that the essential ingredient in making relationships last is . . . love.

My friend and I have many relationships with young people - both teens and young adults. My friend was actually in town because a former youth group kid of his is getting married and wanted to speak with him about doing the wedding. Now THERE is a lasting relationship! And why will it last forever? I submit that it is because of another lasting relationship. A relationship between each of these people and Jesus Christ.

The key to longevity in ANY relationship is placing one's faith and trust in Jesus. After that, the rest is easy. Establish trust, exhibit unconditional love, and pattern that love after the one who taught US how to love - Jesus. :)

There is a verse in The Book of Micah that described perfectly what relationships should be like and especially our relationship with God.

"To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6:8

In this time of self-centered, narcissistic relationships we see many relationships fail. That's because the focus of those relationships is on self. When we begin focusing on our relationship with God, and placing others first in our lives, things begin to change.

This Christmas, rather than creating a Christmas list for yourself, make a list of the needs of others in your life and make it your Christmas gift to God by checking off items on that list for others all for HIS glory.

Walk humbly as a child of God. Love my showing mercy and compassion towards others. Act justly in this way and truly . . . your relationships will last forever.

Courageous - Casting Crowns

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