Under The Influence of Love
Have you ever been in love or seen people who are in love? I am not talking of the Hollywood kind of love which appears so intensely passionate one minute and the next intensely cold and hateful.
I am talking about that kind of love - undying, relentless and powerful, defying all forms of obstacles. I am talking about the love so committed and fiercely loyal. That is the kind of love I am talking about here, which unfortunately, is no longer common place in our society today.
Drawing from my own experience, I have found that the relationship between a man and a woman in love, passes through different stages. Each stage reveals the strength and/or weakness of the relationship.
The initial stage is the discovery stage. This is the meeting point. This is where the partners meet and discover each other for the first time. At this point, they can barely take their eyes off each other and gradually look for more ways to interact. ]
Remember when you first discovered Christ? You couldn’t take your eyes off Him! He was everything to you. There was nothing anyone could say to dissuade you from following Him. You just wanted to be where He was and nothing else mattered.
The next stage is the knowledge stage. At this point, the initial excitement is reduced somewhat to a manageable level and is often the stage where love and infatuation separate. Some intimate relationships do not even survive this stage but for others, the knowledge they have of each other drives them closer to one another. They are not moved by the displeasure of others or external pressures to separate them. In Daniel 11:32b we read, “but the people that know their God shall be strong and do exploits”. (Emphasis mine)
The more we know Christ, the more we want to worship Him and commune with Him. People may not approve of our devotion, they might even criticize and persecute us but we do not allow this to discourage us because of the knowledge of who we are in Christ.
The commitment in the relationship stage is what leads us to forsake all others and cling unto one. Christian marriage is a commitment for a lifetime. That is why it is taught in churches that marriage is not an estate that should be lightly entered into. Careful consideration must be taken to ensure that both partners are ready and willing to commit to each other for life no matter what.
In Ephesians 5:31-32, we learn about the symbolism of marriage with relation to Christ and the Church. A man is expected to leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife and the two become one. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus had to leave His Father to cleave unto us, (the Church) so that we may become one in Him?
How is your relationship with others like? I believe that the quality of our relationship with others is directly linked to our relationship with God. If we love God, it is obvious and expected that we will love others. When we are faithful in our worship of God and doing His will, then it is expected that we will be faithful in our marriages or in any relationship whatsoever that we may have with others.
If you are having serious relational problems with others or someone, my advice is that you check out your relationship with God.
So, how do we cultivate healthy relationships? Simple, learn from Jesus, the Author of love. Examine His humility, compassion and undying love for us and seek ways prayerfully to engraft these qualities into your lifestyle. You will be amazed what effect this would have in your home, work and everywhere you find yourself relating with others.