Relatonshp? Something’s missing.

 

I recently saw a title that said, “Take the ‘I’ out of your relationship.”  The idea, I suppose, was that we should not be in a relationship for what we can get, but for what we can give.  Our thoughts should be about the other person, rather than ourselves.

Well, that’s nice.  Not very realistic, but nice.  In fact, it isn’t even right, no matter how nice it is.

You see, there is no relationship without the “I.”  It might be service or duty or responsibility, but it isn’t relationship.  Relationship is shared.

Over the years I have talked and written a great deal about our relationship with Jesus.  I believe that our only right connection with Him is in relationship.  There are people who think of Jesus as their Master (which He is) and they believe they have a life of duty and obedience toward Him, but not a relationship with Him.  Some people think of Him as their Judge (which He is) and believe they have to walk carefully in His presence so they do nothing to offend Him.  Some think of Him as Creator (which He is) and believe He is too busy or too far away for a real relationship.  I want people to think of Jesus as their friend, an intimate and loving Friend who walks with them and talks with them in personal relationship.

But I often get questions from people who almost cannot believe such a relationship is possible.  They say, “I was never taught that Jesus wanted a relationship with me.  My life was too full of evil and confusion for Him.”  It wasn’t that they doubted God’s love.  It was that they doubted God’s love for them.  I heard a pastor say once, “I teach people that God loves them, but I have never really believed that He loves me.”

This is the result of telling believers that they are still sinners, still unworthy of God’s love.  The message that we must continually reject our “selves” is a message that robs us of the ability to live in relationship.   If a young woman is told that marriage is about denying her self and focusing only on the husband, she will never really enter into a relationship she can enjoy.  If our relationship with God is all about how we must deny our selves or even put our selves to death, then we will never know the joy of salvation and the peace of divine friendship.

Let’s face it: I must be a part of any relationship that includes love or satisfaction or joy.  And listen, Jesus wants me in that relationship with Him.

2 Comments

Filed under grace, heart

2 responses to “Relatonshp? Something’s missing.

  1. Angela

    so very true!!
    Too many of us have gotten too good at “denying self”, and have forgotten that there is the other side to that coin- the other guy has to “deny self” too in order for it to be a relationship. Too many of us have the idea that its ok, “I” will do all the giving and giving, and when the day comes that “I” wake up to see “I” have actually created another narcissistic/supply relationship “I” can’t figure out how that happened.
    Today I was humming the song “Your name is like honey on my lips..” A worship to Jesus…and I remembered feeling that way about my grand daughter, her name was honey to my lips also, and the thought came to me how beautiful and strange and terrifying it would be if someone felt that way about me… the shock, discomfort, turmoil, mistrust and disbelief…
    I believe that we (too many of us) are so lacking in true love, the Real Love that comes from Jesus that we are crippled as a people. That is why God says over and over that HE IS LOVE. We need so badly to recognize His love for us in order for us to be able to love properly, and to be able to receive love properly, even to the point of understanding what “relationship” actually means.
    Thank you for your post, it really hit home.

  2. Kelly

    I was afraid to want to be the “I” in a relationship of any sort. Relationships are giving and receiving. Too many of us had lopsided situations. It’s awesome to give and receive and not feel guilty about either.

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