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God in Relationships?

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Do you consult Him in yours?

Do we ever wonder why marriages are failing at an alarming rate in this society? Why we do not have to look far to see broken hearts, relationships and families?
Do we ever consider that most of us leave God out of one of the most important areas of our lives? Our personal relationships?
Now are healthy relationships infallible? Without conflict, or the struggles of life? Of course not!
The human factor always seem to "trump" all the decent (and good things, intentions, etc.) that we (have and) try and do! This will always be a struggle for us as humans. And even in the best of marriages there are (and will be) struggles! It's just the "human factor"!!
But do we ever stop and consider? That we leave God out of our personal relationships. So much so that we make poor choices in who we are involved with? Even worse. ...Those we marry?
Now if you are one of the many? Those who have had a broken relationship. Or a broken marriage. You know this well!

You see as christians. We tend to pay more attention to other areas of our lives! When we pray. Such as decisions on jobs, finances, buying homes (health, tragedy, etc.). Other than, the area of our relationships and marriages! Are the others important? Of course! But how much more so are our personal relationships!!
It's a very sad thing to think of the divorce rate in this country. Even more sad though? Is when there is almost no difference in the divorce rate in society versus the church (corporately)!
We are not much different than the world!
We tend to look at our perspective marriage partner as the world does! Such as, "does this person make enough money?", "are they attractive enough?", "can I mold them into what I want, or I think I need?", "can this person make me happy?" (very dangerous one!), "will this person be a good parent?", "will this person look good with me?", "are they the right height?" (etc. etc. etc.).
Now are any of these legitimate criteria? Well.....yes and (absolutely!) NO!
Would you want to be attracted to that person? Yes, or course! If you wanted children would you want someone who would make a good parent (and want to be a parent!)? Of course! But at the same time (you have to really put this at the forefront of your thinking, i.e. decision making, etc.) you have to pray and ask the Lord, "Lord, is this who You choose for me?"
But often we make our own choices without ever consulting God! Don't we?
You see we have to keep in mind that the Lord knows what is best for us! We must ask Him!! We need to let Him lead us!!!
You see often in society we have an "misconceived" idea of what marriage is for. Some believe it is only for "procreation". And pro-creation is part of the purpose:
 "Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
                          Genesis 1:18 NKJV)
But there is much more to it! You see what many do not understand is that marriage was created by God. So that man would NOT be alone:
 "And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
                             (Genesis 2:18 NKJV)
God gave Adam a woman. Someone "comparable" to him (Genesis 2:18). Someone who would be a companion! A "help mate". But unfortunately in society marriage has been perverted. Perverted to the point that people have actually made marriage almost like, "a god". Taking the place of God! They expect their marriage partner to fulfill themself and their life! But the reality is? Only God can fulfill our lives!
And this "fullness" is only through Christ:
 "For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,"
                          (Colossians 1:19 NKJV)
But yet we tend to expect our partners to take the place of God! We expect them to "fulfill" us. To "make us happy". Now for some this may sound shocking! For others? They will know just what this means! You see we are in very deep danger to ever think that another human being can satisfy, or fulfill us! And we will ALWAYS be let down when we try to draw from another, what only God can give us (peace, fulfillment, contenment)! And sadly enough there are so many out there. Ones who have left, or committed adultery against their spouses. All because their spouse could not "fulfill" them!
They leave their spouses and get involved with another. But yet they are never fulfilled! And they continue to live unhappy, unfulfilled, "broken" lives!!
They did not (and do not) understand that only God can fulfill them! Not another human being!! And it is these same people? That will always be unhappy. Trying to receive what they need from another person, what they can only receive from God. And they will always be dissappointed!
You see true peace? Can only come from the Lord:
 "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,"
                           (Ephesians 2:14 NKJV)
And we are "spiritual creatures". Created by God to have fellowship with Him:
 "that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ."
                            (1 John 1:3 NKJV)
 And the one thing we can NEVER do? Is expect someone to take the place of God in our lives! But yet this happens every day!! Even in the lives of christians. They expect their spouse to fill the void that only Christ can fill! They do not put God at the "center" of their lives (and lives together).
You see Jesus told us what the most important commandment was (and is):
 "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment."
                              (Mark 12:30 NKJV)
We have to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength! And if we put God at the "forefront" of our lives? Then we will love our partner as we should! We will be more considerate, sensitive, loving as we should. We will be seeking God's leading. In our personal lives and our lives together! Not our own selfish motives. But of course it will not always be perfect (we will still have our struggles)! The mistake that many couples make? Is to put God in a "back seat" in their lives. You see we can never expect our relationships to become healthy (the way God intended) if we leave God out!
Now we know (or should know!) that God has our best interests at heart (Jeremiah 29:11)! Whether it is our jobs, ministries. Or even (and especially) our personal relationships! So if we know this to be true? Why do we not trust Him in this area? Whether it is marriage, or the relationships we are invovled with?
We struggle with "heart ache after heart ache". But yet we are not willing to heed His voice!
We tend to do what, "we want to do"! Espcecially in the partners many of us pick:
 "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?"
                         (2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV)
We tend to gravitate towards those who would pull us from Him! And this is nothing new. God's people have strayed as long as the Lord has sought to bring His people closer to Him!
In fact King Solomon was the greatest example:
 "But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods."
                           (1 Kings 11:1-8 NKJV)
And it cost Him dearly:
  "Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant."
                       (1 Kings 11:11 NKJV)
Now of course we may not have that much to lose! But, in a deeper way? We have just as much if not more! You see your relationship with the Lord? Can greatly be hurt by making a very poor decison in who you involve yourself with! And even (and especially) the ministry He has appointed you to do!!
Think about it this way:
 "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?'
                            (Amos 3:3 NKJV)
Can they? Well, even if they, "seem" to agree? And they have opposing values. The "tranquility" usually does not last long!
You see when we marry? We become "one" with that person.
Just as Jesus said:
 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh."
                                (Mark 10:7-8 NKJV)
So imagine this! Two become one person, but with opposing views. What happens after a while? Well, for some. Very "few" in number. Some come to Christ (and that is always the hope!). But for many? The majority? The road is paved with constant struggles, pain, adversity and heartache!
Remember  what we just read earlier in 2 Corinthians 6:14? Paul said DO NOT be "unequally yoked with an unbeliever". Think about it! What happens if you were to take two oxen? You yoke them together. Now, what happens when one wants to go forward? The other wants to go backward? How much progress do you think they will make together? NOT much as you can imagine. They will both be frustrated! Won't they?
Now, does this mean you should leave your spouse if they do not follow Christ? Absolutely not! You should honor your vows. To the best of your ability with the Lord's help. And love that person as God has called you to! And if your not sure how? Just go back and read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7! You should be Praying for that person. For them to really come to know Christ. But also realizing that you cannot change this person. Only God can! And keeping in mind that you cannot make this person do what is right (either). So their own personal decisions? They are responsible for themself. Not you!
Now if they should decided to leave you? You are not repsonsilbe for their decision. But at the same time? You should do all you can as a believer in Christ. Doing what you know to be right.
Paul put it this way:
  "But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?"
                 (1 Corinthians 7:12-16 NKJV)
Relationships are never "easy". They can be difficult at times. And how much more so! For those who not only strubble with the normal difference (personalites, differences between the sexes, etc.)? But those who do not share faith in Christ! It's an accident just waiting to happen!!
You see as hard as it is to do? We must keep God in the very center of EVERY part of our lives! Especially in the area of  our personal relationships!!
But yet it seems we want Him to help us with everything, but this one! And sadly enough? By the time we are ready to listen. By that time? Much damage has been already done! And that damage can have far reaching affects. So much so that only God can heal it!
So I would encourage you! If you are thinking of getting involved in a serious relationship? With someone who may not share your common faith? Perhaps you may want to really think about your decision! Read God's word. See what the Lord's word says. And ALWAYS pray and seek His leading about it!
And remember this! Even if someone is a believer? They may not necessarily be God's choice for you! So put God at the "forefront" of your decision making. And pray! And also remember this. It is not your spouse's job to complete you! Nor is it your job to complete them!! Only Christ can complete each and every one of us (Colossians 2:10)!
And sadly? That is why we have a world full of pain and heartache! This world as a whole just does not get it! They leave God out of their personal lives!! And every part!!!
Remember marriage is a serious (and sacred) covenant with God! It's much easier, and less painful not to get married. Than to marry and have your heart broken! Afterall, when two marry?
Remember this from earlier?
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh."
                                (Mark 10:7-8 NKJV)
They become one flesh. And when a marriage is broken? It is as if that flesh is being torn in two! And for those who have experienced the pain of a broken marriage? They know this to be painfully true! It is as if your flesh is being torn. It is a spiritual breaking of a union made before God. One that those who have experienced it? Would NEVER wish on anyone! ...Not even on their worst of enemies!! Why? because it is so painful. And really takes God to heal (the pain of) it (for more info click here: The Pain of Brokenness)!
And if you are struggling in your marriage? Ask yourself this. Are you putting God at the center of not only your life, but your marriage also? And if you are? Your still struggling (greatly)? Remember! All you can do is continue to be faithful to God. And (always) seek Him! You can never make another person do what is right. But you can! And you can draw closer to the Lord!! He is what you need!!!
And the struggles we have in this life? Are of a spiritual nature! We are in a spiritual battle with the evil one (Ephesians 6:10-18). He will use what he can to try and destroy us (1 Peter 5:8)! And our relationships!! We need to remember this!!!
And during the struggle (s)? As hard as they may be? God will supply what you need:
 "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
                        (Philippians 4:19 NKJV)
And remember! No matter what happens in life? God is always faithful to us!
 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
                         (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
So ask yourself. Do you consult God in your relationships?

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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