Relationships are hard, but they can also be very rewarding. I have experience when it comes to doing life with others. I am the middle child of three children, come from a very large extended family, have been working in the service industry for over 25 years, run my own business, lead and participate in small groups, serve at the church, have been married for 20 years, and am the mother of three teens. So, believe me when I say relationships are hard, but they are rewarding when done God’s way.

What is God’s way you might ask? I believe that God gives us directions on how to love and operate with those in our lives. Throughout the Bible, we are told multiple times by Jesus that the two greatest Commandments are to love God and to love others. As Christians, we are blessed to have the wisdom of the Bible; it’s our guide to help us live successfully here on earth. God has already told us through the word what we should be doing in our relationships for success, but do we do it? Check it out for yourself:

Husbands– love, submit, and lay down your lives for your wife and do not be bitter towards her

Wives– submit to your husband in everything, and respect your husband

Children– obey and honor your parents

Everyone– be slow to speak, quick to listen, slow to get angry; give, forgive, help, encourage one another, pray, give thanks; and whatever you do, do it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men.

Jesus obediently did what God told Him to do and laid down His life so that you and I could be in right standing with God. That, to me, is the ultimate expression of love.

Although we have directions on how to do life with others God’s way, we still have the choice on how we are going to respond to and love the people that God has placed in our lives. When I think about love being a choice, I’m reminded of Jesus crying out to the Father in Gethsemane.   As He prayed, face down in anguish, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine,” (Matthew 26:39) we see Jesus’s selfless act of surrendering His will to the Father’s. We know that God’s will was for Jesus to die and be the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus obediently did what God told Him to do and laid down His life so that you and I could be in right standing with God. That, to me, is the ultimate expression of love.

Knowing this truth reminds me that I too must sacrifice my own selfish desires, wants, and even needs in order to love the way God wants me to love and treat others. As I choose to do this and follow God’s directions on how to treat others in my life, not only will my relationships improve, but I will now be reflecting the Cross back to Christ saying, “God, not my will be done, but yours in my relationships.” This shows God that I love Him enough to trust Him and His will over my own will and ways. Yes, this is hard to do and even seems unfair, especially when we have been hurt by others. But, I can guarantee you that God is faithful and He is just. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Just like God resurrected Jesus after the cross, we can trust God to resurrect life, peace, hope, and love in every one of our relationships as we love sacrificially and lay down our selfish ways to do relationships God’s way.

By Jennifer Eye

Jen is a part of the Pastoral Care team at Love Church. On a typical Sunday, you'll mostly find her serving with the Baptism and the Welcome teams. Some of her favorite things to do are going for long drives with the music turned up and the windows rolled down and just hanging out with her family and friends. 


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