Did you know that God formed mankind for the purpose of establishing relationships? Genesis 2:18 says that in the beginning, He created Adam, and decided it was not good for him to be alone. The interesting thing about it is that God said alone, not lonely. Because He didn’t want Adam to be alone He created Eve, and said she was help that was “meet” for him, meaning she was someone suitable (or proper) for him. Why did Adam need help? He needed help to develop out of self-centeredness. With Eve in his life, God knew Adam would always be challenged to consider someone other than himself. God established the institution of marriage between Adam and Eve for the purpose of eliminating their “aloneness.” We need the proper companion for reasons far greater than just satisfying a lonely heart. With Eve by his side, Adam was forced to fight his selfish desires. By loving someone else unconditionally, he would become a better man. Please understand that this does not only apply to married people. Single people also need to establish covenant relationships that help them grow out of selfishness. Everyone needs someone in their life to help them develop. Relationships are designed to help us mature in unconditional love which is also called agapé love. God created us in His image; however, we can never totally be like Him with a self-centered mind-set. God is love therefore His foundation for everything is love, not selfishness. Although it is good for us to love ourselves, it is not good to disregard everyone else in the process. That is selfishness. Instead, healthy self-love serves as the foundation for the love we distribute to others. God never intended for us to live alone, and unattached to other people. He wants us to enter relationships so we can be challenged by others in a way that forces us to look at ourselves in a different light. Other people help us see our selfishness and other character flaws. And when we have to deal with conflict in our relationships, we must not run away from it, especially in marriage. If we do, we will not grow to reach our fullest potential as human beings. God’s will is for us to learn to develop above conflict. So what do we do when we face challenges in relationships? Just as we would use weights to develop our muscles, we use pressure or conflict to develop in unconditional love for one another. Therefore, conflict should be seen as simply another opportunity to grow. When things are not working, we should first check the root issues of our hearts. It’s as simple as that. We need to check our motives daily to be sure that everything we do is based on love, and not selfishness. We should ask ourselves, why do I do what I do? Am I involved in manipulating people? What’s my motivation?” If we answer these questions honestly, we will discover areas where we need to make adjustments. If you don’t know the purpose of a thing, you will abuse it. God designed covenant relationships so we can learn how to give each other the advantage, and not take advantage. I encourage you to examine your relationships today, and decide to develop above the temptation to live a self-centered life.
Scripture References: Genesis 2:18, 1 Corinthians 13
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