We serve a relational God and relationship seem to be the focal point of His attention and dealings with mankind. Several scriptures illustrate how much God is interested in outstanding relationships. It was the love of relationship that caused Him to sacrifice His only begotten son, Jesus. He cherished relationship to a place where He had to implement a plan in order to redeem mankind after the fall. Relationship is also important to the Father because His dealings on earth are closely knitted with His relationship with man. For the most part, Man seems to be His contact and access into the earth.
Your desire to be in a relationship and see it succeed is a God–given desire. Sometimes, what makes relationships fail, is our inability to see that relationship is God’s intent and desire and He is the master of relationship. And that our approach and success in any and every relationship should be based on His criteria. By criteria we mean a principle or standard by which something may be judged or decided.
Several criteria can and should be used to determine a lasting kingdom relationship. By lasting, we are not necessarily referring only to a lifelong relationship but also to the degree of success. And this is so because, we also know that relationships are seasonal. The fact that a relationship is successful does not mean that it will always be there. We need to be very sensitive to the move of the Father in this area as well.
Relationships have the potential to succeed and do succeed when done according to God’s standards. Irrespective of how many times you have been disappointed in relationships, the truth about this God given gift to mankind is that it can succeed. Do not let your disappointment be the reason why you discredit the idea of relationship. Until you get to a place where you begin acknowledging that
1) Relationship is God’s idea.
2) There are God-given principles that must guide the process of relationship.
3) Your relationship with God himself is what determines your success in any other relationship. In other words, your relationship with God precedes your relationship with man.
Relationship will remain a mystery, a no go area for you or just something that you were never meant to succeed in.
For our studies, we are looking at two characters by name Naomi and Ruth.
A little background on this story as we delve deeper. As a result of famine in Bethlehem, Judah, Elimelech took his wife and two sons to settle in Moab. While in Moab, Elimelech died; his sons, Mahlon and Chilion later married Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah, respectively. Ten years later, Mahlon and Chilion died and Naomi was left with a husband and children. News got to Naomi that the Lord had begun providing for His people in Bethlehem, so she decided to return to Bethlehem and at this point, she told her daughter in-laws the situation and insisted that they all part company. Orpah agreed and kissed her mother-in-law good bye while Ruth insisted on going with Naomi. Amen.
Ruth 1:16-17 (NKJV)
But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried.
1) Destination – Always have your purpose in mind. Your purpose in mind will help you make the right choices about whom to be in relationship. Where are you going?
2) Location – By location we mean physical, intellectual, spiritual, financial, etc. Set attainable goals in these areas to move you to the next level. Always remember that you can soar higher. What plans do you have on the ground to move you higher?
3) Companion – Who do you plan to keep with you as you journey. It is commonly said that if you must travel far, consider travelling light. Choose your crowd. Enjoy being alone. Always remember that, although alone, you are not lonely. Amen!
4) Fellowship – Who is God to you? Do you know Him or do you know about Him? What are your priorities when it comes to fellowship with Him? It is one thing to profess him, yet another, to make him center of your lifestyle.
5) Sacrifice – Has everything to do with attitude, especially the aspect of selfishness. Choose not be selfish and encourage those around you not to be selfish either. It is a veil that covers like no other. Amen.
As you ask yourself these questions and evaluate yourself at the same time, do likewise for the person you plan to get into relationship with. Do so wisely. I must reiterate that these principles are universal relationship principles. It is not specific to a relationship.
Many criteria need to be considered when considering relationship. I believe these five criteria shared with you so far will get you a head start in the right direction. Amen!