Relationships are hard work. I don’t know about you, but there are times when I get so tired, all I want to do is squirrel away by myself and ignore what should be done. However, relationships can’t be ignored or neglected. And shouldn’t be. Today–and tomorrow, a treat!–Tanya Eavenson talks about the four relationships we must invest in. And don’t forget to come back next week when I’ll share the rest of my thoughts on the S word and what biblical submission looks like in a modern day marriage.
4 Relationships God Wants Us to Cultivate: Part One
By Tanya Eavenson
With spring fast approaching, many people are preparing for warmer days. Spring break. A quick getaway. Perhaps you’ve starting thinking about what your family will wear on Easter morning. Maybe your thoughts have turned to gardening: the type of plants to purchase, the items needed to start the project, or the weekends to complete the task. In these instances, how much time do you think it will take to cultivate a plan, prepare to execute it, and then get it done? Days? Weeks?
In the same way, how much time do we spend planning, preparing and cultivating our relationships? Here are four relationships I believe God desires us to grow, care for, and nurture for our benefit and His glory.
1) Cultivate your relationship with Him.
The first and most important relationship you have in this life is your relationship with Christ. But cultivating a relationship with the Lord in our own strength is impossible. How many times have we forgotten to read scripture or pray? If you’re anything like me, it’s tough raising children, being a helpmate, working outside of the home, etc. These aren’t negative things; on the contrary, family and children are a blessing from the Lord. However, we can’t use people or things around us as an excuse. We have to make time for the Lord.
You might be saying, “Yes, I want to have a deeper relationship with the Lord, or I used to have that closeness being in His word, but how can I get that back?” Here are several practical ways to cultivate your relationship with the Lord.
- Prayer is one of the most important aspects of a Christian’s life, affecting his or her relationship with the Lord. Scripture says that even Jesus withdrew to quiet places, alone, and prayed. So if Jesus needed to spend time talking with His Father, how much more do we need to be before Him ourselves?
- Remove idols from your life. There’s a misconception of what the word ‘idol’ means. Years ago, an idol was a wooden, metal, or gold statue built in the image of a god. People worshiped this idol. Today this meaning still remains, but it also includes anything that takes priority over the Lord’s place in your heart and life. Is there anything in your life that you’ve put before God?
- Read the Bible. Designate a time during the day to set aside to read God’s love letter to you. Whether it’s morning, afternoon, or evening, find a time that works best with your schedule.
- Memorize Scripture. The Bible says the word of God is a lamp that lights your path, showing you direction when you’re lost or uncertain. It’s also called a sword: a weapon for protection against the enemy. Memorizing scripture is exactly that: protection for your mind and strength to carry on in a world that tries to rob, conquer, and destroy our joy.
2) Cultivate your relationship with your spouse.
Have you ever considered that marriage was created by God, not only for the sake of two people coming together as Adam and Eve had done, but to bring glory to Himself? We are to show our spouse the same sacrificial love that Christ showed for us, not only giving up ourselves for another, but being an example for others so when they see us, they too will be witnesses of God’s love. Here are a few practical ways to strengthen or to begin re-cultivating your relationship with your spouse, and in the process bring glory to God.
- Pray: for your spouse. For your marriage. For the Lord to protect your marriage.
- Be intentional. Did you know the word “love” is a verb: an action word? Put your love into action. Spend quality time together. Go on a date. Go for a drive. Just go—do something together.
- Offer forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7 says, “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” We have forgiveness through Christ for the countless things we’ve done, so how can we not extend that same forgiveness to our spouses? When we offer our forgiveness, we are glorifying God in our actions, honoring God and our marriage, and possibly being a witness to others around us.
Please join me back here tomorrow as I write about the other two relationships God wants us to cultivate.
Dr. Steven Moore is known nationally for saving lives. If only he could save his own. Unable to deal with his cancer prognosis, he retreats to a happier time in his past—to the woman who once stole his heart.
Four years after the death of her beloved husband, bookstore owner Elizabeth Roberts still struggles to sustain her faith and joy in the Lord as she raises her two sons. She strives to find a way through her family’s grief, never suspecting a man from her past might offer hope for her future.
But how can there be a future when he’s only come to kiss her and says good-bye?
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Tanya Eavenson enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers International, and writes for Christ to the World Ministries. You can find her at her website http://www.tanyaeavenson.com/ on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, or on Amazon.
For those who enjoy following me all over cyberspace… Here’s where I’ve been this past week:
Tuesday, my article on training our children to stand strong against spiritual warfare went live on Crosswalk.com. You can read that HERE.
Read about my heart behind my latest review on my publisher’s website HERE.
Tuesday I shared a fun book-lovers romance story on Faith, Friends, and Chocolate. Read that HERE.
Wednesday I shared one of my favorite culinary inventions on Country at Heart. Read that HERE.
Join me on Shannon Taylor Vannatter’s Inkslinger blog as I share how my wedding absolutely didn’t go as planned. I’m back on her blog today to share an excerpt from Breaking Free. Visit me HERE.
I stopped by Trisha Perry’s blog to chat about my novel, my favorite city, and a novel I read and loved and think you will to. Read more HERE.
Let’s talk about this: When you think about your relationship with God, how do you work on strengthening and growing it? How do you work on your relationship with your spouse (if you’re married) or other significant people in your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below, because we can all learn from one another!