Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships and how important it is to protect them. Our relationship with God; with our spouse; with our children; with our family, friends and neighbors. The devil doesn’t want us to think about that. He wants to do all he can to convince us that our differences must separate us. To make us believe that if we don’t agree with someone’s choices then our relationship with them is irreparably broken. But God doesn’t see it like that and neither should we!
Once we make the decision to put our trust in Jesus, we have entered into a relationship with our Father in heaven that nothing can ever destroy. (Romans 8:38) God is able to perfectly balance his mercy and grace with his chastening and judgement. He is able to let us go in our free will while standing with open arms waiting for our return. Sometimes he intervenes to protect us from our choices, and other times he allows us to experience the fall-out. But always he works for the ultimate good of our soul! (Romans 8:28)
As we move through life empowered by the Holy Spirit to become more and more like Jesus, (2 Corinthians 3:18) our relationships with the people in our lives should resemble God’s relationship with us. We may not agree with them. We don’t have to celebrate their choices. We can’t always rescue them from the consequences. And we should speak the truth of the Word of God in love! (Ephesians 4:15) But in all of it, we must do everything we can to protect the relationship! To make sure that they know that nothing will change the fact that we love them. If someone we love is lost in a sea of bad choices, we must remain firmly planted on the shore. Not as a cannon firing shots at them, but as a light house guiding them home.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:2,3
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8