WHY RELATIONSHIPS MATTER
Hey everybody, Welcome to “The Trench” My name is Christian and today we’re going to talk about why relationships matter.
Relationships matter because without friends or family in our lives, there wouldn’t be anybody to love. There’d be no one to bring you presents on your birthday, no one to tell your wife all the embarrassing things you did while you were growing up and have spent years trying to forget. So while it may lead to mixture of feelings both good and embarrassing, our relationships are central to what it is to be human because we are made in God’s image after God’s likeness. So in order to understand why our relationships are important, we should probably talk about God’s image and likeness. So Let’s Theology! To say that we are human beings made in God’s image could mean a bunch of things.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SAY YOU’RE GOD’S IMAGE?
It could mean that we have the ability to reason, or it could mean we have a certain degree of freedom. Being made in God’s image also means that we have a communal character; Because we’re made in the image of a God who isn’t just One, but who’s three. We’re made in the image of the Trinity. So, you see that God isn’t just some isolated impersonal, individual, floating around in the cosmos, rather God is somehow an eternal community of Three distinct, but united persons.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Three divine Persons, dwelling together in one divine nature. So even though these Three Divine Persons all share one divine nature, they each have a distinct and unique identity that emerges through the relationship of the Others So without the Son, the Father wouldn’t be the Father, and without the Father, the Son wouldn’t be the Son The mystery of who God is, emerges in how God is as Persons in relationship.
And so as humans made in the image of a True God, something similar happens Our personhood emerges in relationship Who we are, comes from how we are. There’s an old Christian saying, “One Christian is no Christian” So I think that if we wanted to take this even a step further, we could say that “One person is no person.
RELATIONSHIP MATTERS BECAUSE GOD ISN’T ALONE
” There’s no abstract humanity floating around in the cosmos with that same impersonal God We’re made for relationships Our relationships impact our identity in a way that nothing else does Our relationships, in a sense, make us who we are. But sometimes we’re taught to think that our identity has less to do with relationships and more to do with things like jobs, or accomplishments, or interests.
I am an anthropologist who graduated at the top of my class, I also like Star Wars and Crossfit! Things like our interests or jobs or the things that we do or like can definitely shape us into certain kinds of people, but they aren’t who we are. Because my interests can always change, or I can switch jobs without losing who I am. A job is just one of many facts about me, but our relationships and our identities in them, these things are gifts.
Gifts that both make and reveal who we are I am a husband, but I am not necessarily a husband because of anything I do. I’m a husband because I have a wife; My wife gives me my identity as a husband by virtue of the fact that she married me and believe me, I got the better end of that deal. And it is only because of my children that I am a father.
YOUR RELATIONSHIPS DEFINE YOU, NOT YOUR INTERESTS
And daily, that’s awesome gift, even when I don’t know how to do a pony tail right. Because these people make me who I am, without my wife, I am not a husband and without my children, I am not a father – by myself, I’m not really myself, I’m an organism without relationships, I’m an individual left to nothing but his own interests And when we’re fueled by our own interests, we can see others as fueled by theirs.And it becomes way too easy to find ourselves in competition, or even in conflict with other people. Sort of like shoppers all scrambling for a flat screen on Black Friday.
RELATIONSHIPS MATTER BECAUSE WE’RE CHRIST-LIKE, WE OUGHT TO LOVE LIKE CHRIST
Which leads me to my next point Relationships matter because they are were we grow to the likeness of God, as we become like Christ, by learning to love others in a Christ-like way Relationships are where the rubber meets the road in the Christian life, where the image of God is refined into the likeness of God.
Because when it comes to Christ-likeness, the most important thing, is love Saint Paul says”If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” And as Saint Paul goes on to remind us that love is patient and kind; And so if God is love, then God is patient and kind, and if I am called to become like God.
PATIENCE AND KINDNESS ARE THE ROOTS OF SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS
Well, lets just say I have a long way to go, so I might know all kinds of theological points or be able to recite the entire Psalms, but if I can’t treat my daughter patiently and kindly when she has continued to ask and ask for frozen yogurt, even though I have told her no already, and I’m hungry and I’m tired and I have a work deadline hanging over my head. Well if I can’t treat my daughter patiently and kindly when things start to get intense for me, then my spirituality is a joke.
One self-serving, self-deluding joke. and that makes me sad because I love jokes. But guess where learn patience, guess where I learn kindness. Yep, in relationships.
By learning to sacrifice my own interests for the sake of love so I can learn to deal patiently with my daughter and with others In relationship, I become like Christ That is, I’ve grown to the likeness through the refinery of relationship. Our relationships matter, and it’s time we start taking them seriously as the arena in which we work out, what it means to really be human, So join the fight.
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