The most important part of our lives are our relationships. Relationships, whether good or poor, live on in the landscape of our minds. God made humans for relationships; they shape our perception of who we are and provide us with our sense of self-worth and purpose. Relationships are most fulfilling when they are rooted in the trinitarian God who is the source and model for all good relationships. God’s ultimate expression of relationship to people was to send his son, Jesus Christ, to show you and me what makes relationships work.
When asked about what was the most important of all the things God commanded his people to do, Jesus answered simply and directly. Love God with everything that is in you and love your neighbor with the intensity that you love yourself. Life is about relationships!
Modern culture has largely replaced relationships with events & activities. Now people tend to draw their identity from accomplishments and achievements. While this is not all bad, events and activities, accomplishments and achievements are poor substitutes for relationships.
The focus on events and activities eat away at the one thing that is essential for relationships to flourish — time. Relationships require the soil of time to grow – to become strong and healthy.
The fruit of God’s Spirit is about relationships: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Growing the Spirit’s fruit also takes time, huge amounts of time. For example cultivating the fruit of patience will yield the blessing of dissolving anxiety into trust. There is no formula for this to occur. What is needed is the investment of time — time that is too often spent in pursuing accomplishments and events.
Consider carefully how much time is taken up in the life of your family that draws you away from building relationships. Most importantly consider how Jesus Christ must be the center and model for your relationships. Take the time to pursue him and to invest in the fruit of his Spirit.