We are made in the image of God. God himself is relational in the Trinity and His desire is to have a loving relationship with us and that we have loving relationships with each other. In the past two issues we covered how we relate to technology and how the church and community relate to each other. In both issues, it came down to relationships people had or the absence of relationships on an individual level. This issue has developed from the past ones, moving from a community level to a more individual one and looking at the overall components of a healthy relationship.
In recent magazine surveys, many in the Tyndale community mentioned that life’s busyness does not leave much time to build depth in relationships. Yet the church and community magazine articles showed how important it was to spend time developing relationships. In the technology survey most accepted technology as a great way to stay connected, yet many are worried that we were losing depth in relationships.
Recently I listed my priorities in life, from investing in relationships to church and work. On another list I wrote where I spent most of my time. To my surprise my list of priorities was in reverse to what I spent my time on. Relationships take time. It takes time to actively listen to a loved one, coworker or friend and understand where they are coming from. It takes effort to understand their differences and to embrace those differences in daily life. When you do not consciously make the effort to set aside time for those important relationships, eventually the intimacy diminishes and conflict arises. I am working on consciously rearranging how I spend my time to align with my priorities. Life is short.
Through developing the magazine it became evident that the components of any healthy relationship are similar. To know and be authentically known takes openness, to actively listen to each other, to try to use the love language that the person will understand, to sacrifice at times for the other and work through conflict in a safe and caring way. In today’s society of instant gratification, a healthy relationship is counter cultural, yet healthy relationships are what God calls us to have with Him and with each other.