Relationships…run the gamut. Family, personal, professional, business, some formal, others informal, you name it. When we were growing up in Tennessee in the country and then in a small town during the 1930’s and 40’s, people sat outside, mainly due to pre-air conditioning. And many homes had large front porches, even wraparound porches. You visited with or waved at people as they passed by. Life was much slower. People seemed to have more time for one another and needed each other.
Now, most everyone has a privacy or security fence. People seem to congregate in their backyard. The homes are designed with that in mind. But recently during the pandemic, I am sure you have noticed people moving out front, putting lounging chairs in their front yards to visit with friends or family. Very refreshing. We were made to have relationships, and we will seek them, even at the risk of sickness. Why is this?
God created man to be in relationship
Right from Genesis. It was the sixth day of creation. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them…” (Gen. 1. 26a). Notice the plural nature of the creator. Let Us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Relational. One God, three persons in relationship with one another. Then God said in the same command; let them. With that, he is commanding his created ones to populate, fill the earth, have dominion and rule over all God had created on earth.
Genesis 2 is a more detailed account of God’s timing and plan. He had formed Adam, placed him in the garden which had already been prepared for him. He was alone. What must that have felt like? But true to God’s design, there needed to be someone else. And the Lord God said,” It he is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Vs. 18). Adam could not fulfill the purposes of God for mankind alone. So—a helper but comparable! With unique characteristics and gifts.
Is there any wonder why we are so hungry for relationships? It is God-ordained, in our original DNA. And very critically, we were to have an abiding relationship with him, forever. That relationship was broken soon after creation by their sin. They were removed from the garden, for their good, and thus cast out of their intimate relationship with God himself. We see so many broken relationships today in every arena of life. We don’t have to ask, ‘why is this?’ We know; it is the inherited sin nature we live in, and under its power.
We are reconciled
But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus took away that penalty and power on the cross. He reconciled us to the Father, allowing us to re-enter the ‘garden relationship’. And he bids us to have fellowship with him and the Father. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (Jn. 15. 9,10). Abiding is true relationship. In order for us to abide in our earthly relationships well, we must first abide in our relationship with Christ through his Spirit. Daily, I might add!
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (I Jn. 1. 7) No wonder during this pandemic, people are moving to the front yard. We are drawn to and need one another, by design. Relationships are so crucial to our well-being.