November 13, 2006

 

Encouragement for Today

 

Principles 1,2,3,6

 

“Relationships”

Melissa Taylor, Speaker Team Member, Proverbs 31 Board of Directors

 

Key Verse:

Ecclesiastes 4:2, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (NLT)

 

Devotion:

Relationships are an important part of life. We begin a relationship with someone from the moment we are born and most of us will continue in relationships of some sort until the day we die. God encourages relationships. The Bible is full of them. It is obvious that from the beginning of time, people need people. Even God Himself said about Adam in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him.” Jesus, too, did not do life alone. He had His family, friends, and disciples to love, help, and encourages Him throughout His life here on earth.

 

Today, I want to take a look at the different relationships in our lives. I also want to point out the importance of prioritizing them. Friends, if you want to lead a balanced life with purpose, it is crucial to order the relationships in your life God’s way.

 

Number One:  Your Relationship with God. This should be the most important relationship in your life. Don’t say that you don’t have time– you do. We make the time for what is important to us, don’t we? The way to get to know God better is to spend time in His Word. Try spending at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time with the Lord every day. More would be better, but do what you can to develop the habit. God’s Word will teach, equip, cheer, encourage, and guide you. 

 

Number Two:  Your Relationship with your husband….if you are married, of course. Just like it’s important to spend time with God, it’s also important to make time for your husband. I have found that this relationship is the one that takes the most effort for me. I love my husband dearly, but I also take him for granted the most. It’s easy for me to allow my children, friends, or just busyness to get in the way of time with my husband. Set aside time each morning and evening to communicate with your husband in some way. Hug and kiss often and say “I love you” whenever you get the chance. Let your actions show him and others that you respect and honor him. One thing that my husband and I have started doing again is dating. Just like before we were married, we go out on dates. It takes time, effort, and often money, but it’s worth the investment. If money is tight, create a date at home or go to the park or for a walk together. Whatever it takes, spend time alone together, and make it a weekly habit.

 

Number three:  Your relationship with your children….if you are a mom. When I became a mom, I did not know what I was in for. I had no idea the extent of sacrifice it would take to raise my children. It’s worth every bit of it too. I once read that kids spell love - T I M E. I believe that with all my heart. God’s Word tells us that children are a gift from Him. We are to treat them like that, a gift. Motherhood is a high calling….possibly the highest we will ever have in our lives. It requires time and special attention. They are only with us for a short time, so let’s make the most of it.

 

Number 4:   Your relationship with others. This includes everyone reading this. Our relationships with other people could include family, friends, business associates, mentors, neighbors and more. These are important, and in order to develop, grow, and nurture these relationships, time is needed. I happen to be blessed with many friends and cherished family members. Although I don’t have time to spend with them each day, I always want them to know how important they are in my life and how much I love them. That takes effort on my part, but what I receive back is priceless. If you find yourself lacking in this area, create special moments with these special people in your life. Make a phone call. Mail a card. Send an email. Invite to lunch. Have a party. Create a “girls’ night out” event. Pray for them. 

 

Ecclesiastes 4:2 tells us that alone we can be attacked and defeated. This says to me, that we need people in our lives. We weren’t meant to go this life alone. It is often someone close to me who reminds me that I’m special when I’m feeling defeated. When I am alone, I often listen to the wrong voice if I’m not careful. The people in my life offer me love, encouragement, and fulfillment that tell me otherwise. I often refer to them as Jesus with skin on. This verse goes on to say that “two can stand back to back and conquer”. Then there is my favorite part. It’s when God is a part of our relationships. “Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Bless the relationships in my life and help me to prioritize them according to Your perfect plan. Above all, I pray that we would grow closer each day. Help me to know you better so I can better give myself to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Look at the relationships in your life. Take note as to how much time you are spending on each of them. 

 

Set a date with the people in your life who need your time. Schedule your time with God daily and write it on your daily planner if you have one. Plan a date with your husband and arrange for a sitter if needed. Sit down and listen to your children one on one. Let them know you are interested in them. Plan a fun girls’ night out next month. Maybe go to dinner or a movie or play tennis with a friend. Just remember to keep God’s perspective and balance when making your plans.

 

Reflection Points:

Do your relationships stress you out? Maybe it’s because they are out of order. Do a check to make sure you are filling up with God before scheduling anything or anyone else into your day.

 

Does your marriage feel stale, dull, or empty? Think about what attracted you to your husband in the first place. Pray first and then plan some uninterrupted time for you and your spouse. Treat your marriage like it’s the most important relationship to you on this earth. If it’s not, it needs to be.

 

Do your children get your leftovers? Let them know just how important they are to you and that you are thrilled to be their mom by spending some time with them.

 

Are you lonely? Pray for relationships in your life, but go to God first. Ask Him to fill you with His Word and to nurture and grow the relationships in your life.

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 46:10, "Be silent, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (NLT)

Matthew 19:4-6, "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (NIV)

Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” (NLT)

1 Thessalonians 5:11, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (NLT)

Additional Resources:

Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes

Capture His Heart  by Lysa TerKeurst

Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes