While growing up, I spent many hours in front of the T.V. It was my companion, my babysitter and my teacher. As I spent so much time with my good friend Cable Television (yes, this was before the time of streaming Netflix), my beliefs about life and relationships began to develop. I just assumed that because it was on the screen, that it was true. I watched just about everything there was, and along with being entertained, I tried to understand what family and relational dynamics were about.
A Flawed Understanding and Lessons Learned
It wasn’t until I left home that I understood more fully I had a flawed blueprint for relationships. I was left with the question, “How am I supposed to know how to act with those around me as well as those I’m going to minister to?”
As my understanding of who God is began to grow, a correct view of relationships began to grow as well, but it’s taken time, a lot of mistakes and a giant dose of humility to get to where I am today.
In my younger years I didn’t do so well with being relational. I didn’t understand that others think differently than I do. Boy, was I in for a surprise! It was only through God’s grace that I met my husband in Bible school and married within a year.
Shortly after finishing our studies together, with much fear and trepidation, we embarked on the grand adventure of living in a cross-cultural situation. It was a bit of a shock to realize my four years of study hadn’t really prepared me to understand the great mystery of interpersonal relationships, especially under the pressure of living in a cross-cultural context.
God’s Blueprint for Relationships
Thankfully God didn’t leave us on our own to discover what relationships are all about. He gave us his blueprint for them. We’ll address the specifics of that blueprint in a later blog, but for now we see many examples of God being relational, starting in the book of Genesis.
He refers to himself and the trinity as “us”. He created the angels to worship and serve him, thus having a relationship with him. God created man to serve and worship him, but with man, God took it several steps further than he did with the animals. Not only did God create man in his image, but in the Garden of Eden, God walked, talked and spent time with Adam.
God allowed Adam to look around at the animals and Adam saw that each of them, except for him, had a partner. Once he saw his need for companionship and a partner, God created Eve. Adam and Eve were created in God’s image and as God is relational, they were also created to be relational. Since we all come from Adam and Eve, it means we are created to be relational as well.
The Oxford Dictionary defines “relationship” as the way in which two or more people or things are connected; or the state of being connected.” Being relational is at the core of who we are. Our innermost being cries out for us to be loved, make connections and fit in somewhere. This is a God-created desire so that we love him and those around us.
Hindsight is 20/20
They say hindsight is 20/20 and now that I’m a bit older, I understand that truth. Sometimes I look back at my younger self and shake my head, wondering what in the world I was thinking or how I could have been so blind.
Now I know I don’t have to wander around blindly, trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do, based on what I see on T.V. or read about in social media. God has given me a blueprint for it all, which is found in the Bible. Thankfully I’ve come to understand that no one is perfect, and that life is all about imperfect relationships, grace and growth in the midst of it all.