Thursday, June 15, 2006

What's God doing in my relationships?

Responding to the "Blog News" post Monday, Anonymous said, "What's god got to do with relationships?" That's a good question, Anonymous. I haven't been ignoring you; I just needed a little focused time to give you a thoughtful answer.

First off, let me assure you that you are not anonymous to God. He knows your name, knows exactly how long you're going to live, and even knows how many hairs are on your head (which is actually pretty amazing because this is a moving target--in other words, apparently He's keeping a running count). He knows that secret thing you do that you think no one knows about. He knows you better than you know yourself. The cool thing is, He loves you in spite of it all.

So about God. Most Christians believe that God is inherently relational. We believe in a concept called the Trinity, meaning that God is one god but is composed of three distinct entities: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Don't try to wrap your mind around it. This is why it's called faith. There are simply some things about God that are too hard for our finite human brains to fully comprehend and this is definitely one of them.

God created us as relational beings. In the Garden of Eden, at the beginning of time, Adam had a relationship with God. They took walks together in the garden. Kind of sweet. Still, God decided that Adam needed to have a relationship with another person. He created Eve. This was still in the garden, before sin, when everything was perfect. So God thinks relationships are part of His ideal world for us.

God went a step further with this relationship thing when He became a human being, when God the Son was born into this world as Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus was and is God Himself in human form. In this way, He once again walked and talked with us.

Jesus spent a lot of His time on earth teaching us about God (and who better to do so if He was the real deal?). Some teachers of the Jewish law once asked Him which of God's commands was greatest. Jesus responded: "To love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength" then He added, "And the second [greatest] is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commands." In other words, if you love God perfectly, you will love others perfectly, and vice versa.

Jesus's best friend on earth, His disciple John, wrote about this in a letter. He said that when you love another person, God is living through you, and that no matter how much you say you love God, if you don't love others, it's all a lie. (See the post about the Graham Greene quote!)

The cool thing about God is that He really does want to have a relationship with us, and that means He gives us the ability to choose whether we want to be in relationship with Him or not. You can certainly choose to turn your back on God, to ignore Him, to marginalize Him, to pretend He doesn't exist. That's one option. If that's the option you choose though, you're on your own in this life. No one to pray to when times are tough, no comfort but your own strength, no joy but your own happiness however temporary. The other option is to choose to be in relationship with Him. I think it's the better option. I think it's a far better option for those of us who have experienced the heartache that accompanies divorce. I'm convinced that God has the only really effective answers to our problems, the only real comfort for our souls, the only real satisfaction for our desires.

1 comment:

Chelle Y. said...

Pretty good post, Kristine. Congratulations, on the mention in the USA Today.com. I think it's great what you do for divorced kids.