They are often messy and confusing and full of hardships and mistakes.
Romantic relationships are something we all have experienced, will experience or are in the midst of experiencing right now.
You know how God prunes us and develops us in specific ways and specific seasons in our lives?
Well, I have felt him pressing this subject on me so much lately and I have avoided writing about it because, well I am only 23, I have yet to be married, I certainly have experienced broken relationships in my past AND I have so, so far to go in this area.
But then I quickly realized, no matter how old I am or how long I have been in a relationship, this will be a topic that I forever will be learning and trying to understand.
And that’s okay. It’s expected to be that way.
Anywho, have you ever heard the phrase, “die to one’s self?”
Well, the more that I seek Jesus and what He asks of me in my relationship, the more this phrase is at the forefront of my mind.
It’s one of those phrases that when applied, even in baby steps and the small moments, absolutely alters every inch of your life and every relationship you will ever be a part of.
The truth is this: The best relationship we will ever experience is the one we have with Jesus Christ.
You know why?
Because one of us is perfect.
I’ll give you a hint: It’s not you
Jesus, on the cross, died to Himself.
In His perfection, He covered our every imperfection.
He is quick to forgive, slow to anger, rich in mercy and abounding in love.
Now I know we are encouraged to love those around us, especially the person we are romantically involved with, like Christ loved the church.
And when we just leave church on Sunday, are listening to praise and worship, celebrating a special occasion or are in a great mood, it’s easier to do that.
But I have noticed that in the quick moments of life, as the clock ticks by and my spirit is unaware of the fragility it holds, I react in anger, frustration, impatience and am quick to take things personally or misunderstand.
I act like the SMALLEST things are going to drastically alter my life.
And if I am really feelin’ evil (obviously not… but I guess kinda), I want the other person to beg for forgiveness.
I have the one up at that moment right?! They owe me one!
I could slap myself thinking about it!
In my flesh, in my natural human state, my heart is a center of deceit in which I am led by emotion, consumed with selfishness and often feel entitled.
But when I am soaking in the truth of Jesus, I have a DEEP, unquenchable desire to love those around me like He loves me.
I want to forgive them immediately, as I have no time to waste being bitter!
I am desperate to see the potential that lies within them, even in their faults.
I want to cup their face and hug them and just remind them over and over and over that they are LOVED!!!!
You know why?
Because that’s Jesus in me.
That is the result of dying to oneself: Surrendering to His ways, His power, His will, His love!
Y’all, He wants us to love like He loves.
You want to share the Gospel?
Love when it’s hard and you don’t want to love.
People will know it is bigger than you.
His love is so powerful.
And it truly can overcome any difference we may have with another.
It is a consuming fire that engulfs us in grace, makes the mistakes and fears a distant memory and puts the biggest expression of JOY upon our face!
May we love like THAT.
But we simply are incapable of doing that on our own.
A relationship anchored in the truths of this world and led by our flesh will lead to rebellion, heartache, resentment, jealousy, pain and discontentment.
I encourage you today to spend time with Jesus, asking Him how you can better love those around you and praying that He so abundantly fills your cup, you can’t help but LOVE!
Especially the one whom you are in a relationship with!
It doesn’t matter about them.
I mean, I hope their goal is to love you in the same regard, but even if not…love them Jesus’ way.
Do you think Jesus’ love for you is contingent upon your love for Him?
So I am praying I die to myself today.
For through Christ alone, I am able to love another.
What a precious thing in this life- I am embracing it.
“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” –Galations 5:24
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” –John 15:12