Last week my husband and I took a 5 day trip to the Houston area to celebrate 31 years of marriage. It fills up my love-tank when I spend time with my husband. I also found myself reflecting on the power of life-giving relationships.
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Life-Giving Relationships take time.
Right before we left for Houston, I found myself irritable with my husband. When I thought about what was truly bothering me, I wanted more quality time with him. Then I realized, “Oh, he is making up hours at work so that he can take days off with me.” When I reframed the situation in my mind, I was able to realize that I was simply being petty.
Life-Giving Relationships need priority.
We only have so many hours in the day, if we don’t prioritize our relationships tasks and deadlines will win over relationships. As a type A personality I have let my tasks and responsibilities run my schedule. I am trying to change this, and make people my priority.
Last week, I was working on blog post that I regularly post on Monday’s when I received a text from my friend Susan Mead about having lunch. I had made a mistake and written our lunch date for the next Monday. When I looked at her text I knew I had a decision, I could either go out to lunch with Susan OR complete the blog post. Because we were going out of town, I couldn’t do both. In the past, I would have stolen the time from my anniversary trip.
The Holy Spirit will lead you on how to prioritize the time in your day so that you are able to fulfill your calling in your life. Part of your God-given calling is to make time for relationships. I am so thankful for the way that God gave me time with my children when they were small. I often felt pulled in every direction. It was only by listening to the still small voice of God leading me that I could prioritize time with each one.
Life-Giving Relationships may be Life-Long or Seasonal
Every year in grade school I would moan to my mom at the end of the school year. “Mom, I had the best year! Next, year could never be as good.” Then I would talk about each of my friends. Some of the friends continued to be strong each and every year, others because my classes would change would become more like acquaintances. I would mourn the fact that I couldn’t keep up with every relationship. In fact, if we tried to make every relationship life-long, we wouldn’t be able to fulfill all that God called us to do in our lives.
Recently, a hard decision that Wayne and I faced was the choice to answer God’s call on our lives and to move across country to relocate in Frisco Texas to plant Life Bridge Church. It was a bold move for us. We still value all the neighbors, friends, co-workers, church family that we used to see regularly in the flow of our lives. It was sad and we grieved saying goodbyes. We love it when we have the opportunity to connect on social media or in other ways.
Life is bittersweet and takes twists and turns that we don’t always anticipate. I have sat with so many broken couples who did not anticipate their marriage ending in divorce. Their relationship that was once the joy of their life had been broken by sin and neglect. God is a restorative God. He heals, mends, repairs, and restores the broken places of our lives and gives us the hope of new beginnings.
Life-Giving Relationships are our Inheritance
Jesus modeled Life-Giving Relationships. He gathered the 12 around him and lived every day life with them. The disciples didn’t think they would have only 3 years with him, they wanted the relationship to stay the same. But Jesus knew His purpose. He was called to die and rise again for those he loved. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we have eternity with him and with others who call on His name. Everything else will pass away, but life-giving relationships lasts forever. In eternity we will have an abundance of what we didn’t have on earth…TIME.
I would love to give you an opportunity to read the Introduction and First Chapter of my upcoming book 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage which comes out in book stores on October 2. Click the button for immediate download.Download Here