Last Sunday we kicked off Roses & Thorns, a new series in relationships and it was eye opening!
Roses and thorns comes from the dichotomy (a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different) between its beauty (delicacy) and its thorns (pain).
You can so easily focus on the beauty that you forget about the Thorns and get pricked! The rose expresses what happens in relationships.
There is beauty in all of us. In fact, the bible says:
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14
We are wonderfully complex! We are some complex people! Why? Because we also carry that same dichotomy. We are beautifully made! However, we all have to deal with something called sin. Sin is the thorn in our side!
Relationships are made up of beauty and thorns. God wants to remove thorns in our lives, so we learn how to handle this delicate, beautiful gift of relationship.
This is the reason why relationships are so complicated. Have you ever thought, ‘why is it in the beginning of our relationship our spouse, or significant other, was the bomb dot com and after you got married that was not the case?’
Because in the beginning we are all in what I call the infatuation state. We just see the beauty. We see the delicacy and we become enthralled and focused on only the good things.
But when we make the commitment to move forward in the relationship, or when we want to become more serious, that’s when we begin seeing the thorns.
In the beginning of the relationship we focus on the beauty and not the thorns. When married, we tend to focus on the thorns and not the beauty.
In order for you to focus on the beauty, you cannot focus on your spouse or significant other. You must focus on yourself and God.
God is what will help us see the beauty in others. God is the one that helps us see the beauty in ourselves. We cannot love others until we learn to love God and ourselves…PERIOD.
Got made relationship. He made all things good. (Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good…)
Sin messed everything up. So, we must go back to God in order to see others with love, grace, mercy, and beauty and not with the pain that sin causes.
How do we do this?
WE MAKE GOD OUR NUMBER ONE SO OUR SPOUSE WILL NEVER FEEL LIKE NUMBER TWO.
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' - Matthew22:37-39
Your neighbor can also be your spouse or significant other.
I cannot say I love God with all my heart, soul and mind if I mistreat my neighbor...AKA...my spouse.
God is a relational God. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. That’s a relationship. God created Adam and right away saw something that was off. Adam was lonely. He needed companionship. He needed relationship.
In Genesis 2:18, says: “18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
The moment man focused on himself, and not God, that which was beautiful, and good, turned into hurt, and pain.
The only way we can redeem it is if we make God first.
THERE’S A PROCESS TO SEE THE BEAUTY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:
If you want a blessed marriage/relationship… Make God first in your life.
You want successful kids… Serve God first.
You want financials blessings...be generous.
It’s the difference between making a temporal difference and making an eternal difference.
Don’t seek things—Seek God first!
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
Single? Seek the ONE while you prepare for number two. Become the type of person you’d want to marry, because you attract what you are.
And to the Spouses that don’t have their significant others in church. Seek God first until your number two has an encounter with God!
If God is your number one, your spouse is your number two. However, she/he will never feel like number two when you are seeking God first.
The goal is to seek the ONE with your TWO! That’s the priority. If you place things in right priority, God is going to bless your life according to scripture.
Here’s what the word says,
4 In his pride the wicked does not seek (God); in all his thoughts there is no room for God…6 He says to himself, "Nothing will shake me; I'll always be happy and never have trouble." Psalms 10:4-6
Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. 1 Chronicles 28:9 NLT
What happens when you lose something that is very valuable? You look even harder. You turn the house upside down. You are relentless is seeking that which is valuable to you.
If God is valuable to you, wouldn’t you turn your life upside down just, so you can find His ways?
This is not just sitting down for a devotional time, this is about God being woven in everything you do!
SO, HOW DO WE SEEK GOD TOGETHER?
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
It may sound Intimidating for some but it is hard to stay mad at or want to divorce someone you’re praying with.
HOW DO WE SEEK GOD?
• PRAY TOGETHER.
• READ GOD’S WORD TOGETHER.
• WORSHIP TOGETHER.
• CREATE YOUR OWN SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS.
• DO LIFE WITH GOD.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
God needs to be woven into every area of our life. Find a way that works for your family to intertwine God.
ACCORING TO A FAMILY LIFE SURVEY
• FEWER THAN 8% OF CHRISTIAN COUPLES PRAY TOGETHER REGULARLY.
• OF THOSE COUPLES THAT DO, FEWER THAN 1% DIVORCE.
Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1
Those are hard statistics! You cannot build the beauty if you are focused on the pain. God can truly transform your relationship when you put him first.
Don’t miss tomorrow as we explore another dichotomy – Fighting Fair! Invite a friend!