God has a plan for us. It's clearly outlined in the bible. Each book of the bible includes applicable story lines of how people made God-honoring choices about their relationships and what happened when they choose to indulge themselves, other people or other things. It's possible to have great relationships, set Kingdom-building goals and follow God where ever he leads when we understand and reap the benefits of a flourishing relationship with him. The next generation inherits God-centered behaviors, confirms a belief in Godly character and applies Godly living to their life choices no matter what the circumstance they may face. Trust, confidence, commitment, and assurance are all natural by-products.
To anyone paying attention, it's obvious that human relationships are bearing the brunt of the new moral code's repercussions. *If virtue becomes irrelevant and traditional morality is considered extreme, the next generation pays the price for the relational world without boundaries. Relationships are designed by God to help us define who we truly are and how we relate to others. Learning about how to have good faith relationships requires training, practice and follow through if we are to become God-honoring in them. Faithfulness is not easy in a society that continually encourages behaviors that are focused on self-fulfillment.
Relationships will lead to the painful death of the self-focused pursuits. Relationships require us to care about someone other than ourselves and can help release us from the self-inflicted prison of self-gratification. An unhealthy preoccupation with self has always been and continues to be a constant threat to humanity's flourishing. We were created in God's image. We were created for relationships. We have a heart, mind and soul. This is the arena of relationships. I believe Jesus' command shook-up the first-century crowd and continues to impact us as we hear it today. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. This is the greatest command. We are invited to imagine life beyond our limitations and to search the richness of a relationship with a God who created us. Who knows what He has in store for us?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
*(David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons. Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You're Irrelevant and Extreme. Baker Books,2016. Page 120)