One-Sided Relationships

quarreled couple in their living roomI remember as a kid sending a note to this cute girl asking her if she would “go with me”. I also knew how to get other friends to “set me up” with the girl I was interested in. I’m not sure we went anywhere. I remember some childhood girlfriends and I’m sure I got hurt in that process as well as I inflicted hurt on others.  I believe that divorce is the result of a one-sided relationship. For a relationship to go sideways, it only takes one participate to start being selfish or self-absorbed.

Relationships are delicate and sometimes difficult. If a relationship is one-sided, someone is a doormat and getting used. Relationships are God’s idea and He built us for relationship. The Lord created us for relationship with Him and with others. He longs for fellowship with us – His kids. He also created us for fellowship with one another. Paul is trying to restore his relationship with the Corinthian church. Even relationship with our pastor and teachers need to be reciprocal to be healthy. Check this out…

 11 We have spoken openly to you, Corinthians; our heart has been opened wide. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 I speak as to my children; as a proper response, open your heart to us. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 CSB)

As my kids were growing up, we had lots of discussions about relationships. I talked to my sons about how to treat a young lady. I want there to be respect and honor “built-in” to those relationships. I believe that trust and respect are foundational to building a life-long relationship in any arena. If I can’t trust you, we will only be “casual friends”.  Some of my deepest relationships over the years have been with friends that also believe in God and want to walk with Him.  Relationships begin with something in common and builds from there. My faith is a huge part of my life and I have an immediate connection with others who are Christ followers too.

One-sided relationships are painful and expensive. They cost more than money. Their expenses are too numerous to mention, but I’ve almost lost myself in broken relationships. I also believe that there are ALWAYS two-sides to the story of a broken relationship. I’ve learned to enter new relationships with a lot of grace and truth. I am willing to work on building a relationship, but I’m not willing to do all the work.  My relationship with God don’t “require” a lot of work, because He did all the “heavy lifting”. If my relationship with God is going to work, I must invest myself into it. Someone spelled love TIME. I spend time investing in the relationships I love. It can be said that I love what I invest my time in.

I am a “people person”, but with loving deeply, I can be hurt deeply. I try to show patience and understanding. I have decided that I will only invest “lightly” in one-sided relationships. I will continue to love others, but I will pull back on my time-investment if things are simply one-sided. The Lord has been so patient with me over the years – He has my heart now, but I was reluctant at first. The more I know of Him, the more love and respect I have for Him. My relationship with the Lord is a more balanced than it ever has been and I think that’s how He meant for all healthy relationships to be.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Who You Know

Odessa, Ukraine - June 4, 2011: Minister of Foreign Affairs of tI’m not sure if this is a worldwide precedent or not. There is a network in probably every town that if you know the right person or persons, you can really get connected to the top leader very quickly. Unfortunately the reverse of that is true as well. If you don’t know anyone, it can seem to take forever to get to the top guy in order to get some things done.

There is also a referral system that says, “that’s old so and so’s boy – they are good people so he must be a good kid”. I can become known by being my Mom & Dad’s son. If someone knows them well, he can easily come to the conclusion that I must be a good man, if I’m Loyde & Deloris’ son.

I can also become known as a good person simply because of the people I work with. If people love the people I work with, they may simply believe that they will love me too.

King David had a good heart and it became obvious as his life unfolded. The Lord had really built some stuff deep inside his heart while he had been shepherding the flock for his Dad all those years ago. David asked if there was someone living in Saul’s house that he could honor because of his relationship with Jonathan, the son of Saul. He found Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son who was crippled in both feet. Check this out…

6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honour.

David said, ‘Mephibosheth!’

‘At your service,’ he replied.

7 ‘Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.’

8 Mephibosheth bowed down and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?’ (2 Samuel 9:6-8 NIV)

Mephibosheth didn’t do anything to deserve being treated like one of the king’s sons. His life was turned around simply because he was Jonathan’s son and David and Jonathan had had a rich and deep friendship.

I want to be known for being a friend of God.

I want to be known for being saved by God.

I want to be known for my journey with God.

If I’m known as a child of the King, then all my relationships are connected somehow back to Him. There is a network in God’s Kingdom that is eternal and goes very deep here on earth. I have been “burned” by someone who claimed to be part of God’s Kingdom. I’m learning to trust the Lord to direct me to who I can trust. He knows everybody so He can connect me to the right people to accomplish the work He’s calling me too. If I know the Lord and He knows everyone else, then I’m “hooked up” to the Network of all Networks!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Long Distance Relationship

Lady on the phoneIf you’ve ever experienced a long distance relationship of any kind, you know that on their best days it’s difficult. With today’s technology like Facetime and Skype, it’s a bit easier. Nothing replaces being together face to face and being able to hold hands and embrace. My heart goes out to families who are separated by the miles. I know of military families where the husband is gone for months at a time – that has to be tough. I also know of a family where the husband is working half way around the world for 3 months and then returns home for 3 months. It is hard for me to imagine just how hard these long distance relationships are. They take extra commitment and care.

The people of Israel had experienced a long distance relationship while in exile. They were in exile being disciplined for their sinful behavior against the Lord. He is now ready to restore them. There will no longer be a huge distance between them and He’s bringing them back home. Check this out…

25 ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed towards me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ (Ezekiel 39:25-29 NIV)

 

I don’t want to experience a long distance relationship with the Lord. I want to always be near Him. I want to always hear Him whisper to me. I want Him to occasionally give me a hug. I want His Presence to provide me strength for struggles. I want to do my part to keep my relationship with Him personal and close. I want to talk with Him about everything. I want to spend valuable time with Him. I’ve learned my lesson that a long distance relationship with the Lord is not really a healthy relationship at all.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Superior

Jesus signI believe that everyone has someone who is superior to him or her. I don’t know any one in any position that doesn’t answer to someone. Even if I am a partner and one of the owners in my own business, I still have accountability.  I hold my partners accountable and they hold me accountable. An important part in any relationship I have is to know where I fit in the relationship. If it’s a casual friendship, then there is distance. If it’s a close personal friend, then I feel much closer. If it’s a boss that I work for and respect, they can become a friend, but they are still my superior.

Relationships are tricky and challenging but incredibly rewarding.  I’m a friend with people in power and regular people like me. If I can figure out my place in each relationship, then I really better understand what I bring to the relationship. If I approach my relationships with serving in mind, I think I’m more like my best friend, Jesus.  Check this out….

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (Hebrews 1:1-4 NIV)

 

Jesus was in charge when He walked the earth, yet He came to save – not act superior. He was there and involved in Creation, yet He didn’t act superior to His creation as he walked the earth.  The Word also says, that the Son of God is the “exact representation” of His Father, God. If I’ve seen Jesus, then I’ve seen God.

Jesus walked the earth and even though He was God – He served.  He loved even the imperfect, broken people that He created. He was Superior, but didn’t use that position to His advantage; He used it to my advantage. He willingly gave His life for the Ultimate Sacrifice for my sin.

I live and serve/work because He called me to a life that honors Him. His life is a bit radical and different than “normal” – whatever that is. He really is my Superior and He really did come to seek and save lost people. I’m so glad He came. I surrender to His call and I want to serve Him always.

Pressing On!
Dwayne