Many of us wake up, proceed with our morning rituals and routines, and carryon with the day. We get into a groove in our lives, and it can become so habit forming that sometimes we don’t recognize we’re neglecting our souls. When we bring this neglect into a new relationship, things can go sour pretty quickly. Love has a starting point, and we need to give it as firm a foundation as we possibly can. Ultimately, the love we put out there is the love that will come back to us, so if we’re neglecting the very core of our existence, what does this say about the caliber of love we’re able to give?
Self-love is not separate from the love of Christ. Society would like us to believe that the two are separate, that love of self is about practices that indulge and promote selfish thinking; not so. Jesus Christ said in John 15:12 (NLT), “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” It’s a tall order for sure. Jesus Christ loved us so much that he gave his life for us, and he did it when we were incredibly cruel and uncaring; many of us still are. He commanded us to love each other with a love that measures up to the same caliber of his love. Jesus knows our capability, and he would not have given us a commandment of which we’re incapable of fulfilling.
The highest form of self-love is to love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, because when we do this, He will help us to love others unconditionally, and to thereby love ourselves in the most fortifying and fulfilling way. Colossians 3:14(NLT) tells us, “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” If we begin our new relationships with the intention of clothing them in the love of Christ, something spiritual happens. We have an opportunity to plant a seed of unity that binds them together in perfect harmony.
A word of caution, you don’t want to sow your seeds on ground that will not yield a good harvest. This is a futile exercise. It causes us to lose valuable resources of stamina, momentum, and time on this Christian journey of life. We can regain stamina and momentum, but time is lost forever. So we need to exercise caution, caring, and concern, not just for ourselves, but for the destiny and journey of the other person as well.
God is our everything, and making sure we’re not trying to make a person our everything will give our relationships a solid footing. We must remember always that love gets its start from God. 1John 4:19 tells us that we love because He first loved us. He showed us the way to love. It’s logical, reasonable, and intellectually prudent to let Him increase our heart-space and teach us His most valuable trade-secrets. Wrapping our relationships in His unconditional love will secure His plan for not only our lives, but the life of the person we’ve chosen.
We can dedicate our new relationships to God by introducing newness into our daily routines. We do this by incorporating intentional spiritual practices to cover our relationships in the love of Christ each day. This means we must trim off any selfish motives, commit ourselves to pray daily for the person we’re involved with, and be willing to learn something new about God and His love from His Word. This will help us continue to spiritually grow in Christ, and to maintain harmony in our relationships by always putting God first. ■
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
“Dedicating Your New Relationship to God” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!