The ultimate guide to christian relationships: back to basics
This evening there are three lessons I feel the Lord would have us learn regarding relationships from the passages we just read.
- Origin and purpose
Lets us start at the beginning.
Origin and Purpose
In the Genesis reading we saw very clearly that relationship between a man and a woman is solely God idea. He is the one that looked at man and decided that it was not good for him to be alone. Man ( in this case referring to the male gender) was not even aware that he was missing something!
But God in His providence, in His kindness looked at man and made a decision to create/ make a suitable helper for him. I don’t even want to imagine what company Adam was keeping before God had mercy on him and created Eve. Maybe the chimpanzees, maybe the elephants, maybe the crocodiles; only God knows.
So we see that the idea of relationship is from God. The Bible is very clear on that. God does not only generate the idea of relationship He also gives purpose to the woman –
“I will make him a helper as his partner”
God created the woman to be a helper and a partner for the man. Let’s pause and breathe in and out for a moment.
When you think about relationships with the opposite sex, is being a helper and a partner on top of your agenda? Be honest with yourself.
Well the creator of the universe, our Heavenly Father, the originator of and purpose Giver to relationships between male and female says that He created the woman as a helper and partner for her male counterpart!
That right there is the foundation, should be the foundation of any relationship you as a sister enter into. It is God who should direct you to the man, and when you get there your role is to be a helper as his partner.
When we buy electronic gadgets in the house, or in our rooms J we are very careful to read the manual and follow it to the letter in the setting up and using of the gadgets we have acquired. It would be very foolish indeed quite costly to bypass the user manual and pretend to use such gadgets on guesswork basis.
Why then, do we as sisters in this most important area of relationship bypass the author and creator of relationship and the manual (God’s Word) he has given us to guide us? Why do we feel that the opinion of friends and family, popular culture and trends matters more and should be followed at the expense of losing our very souls.
The Lord is calling us back to the beginning, to Himself. He is the author of relationships, He is the purpose giver to relationships and desires to walk with us through this most beautiful phase of life.
This transitions us to the next lesson which is timing.
Joshua Harris the author of the phenomenal book ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance’ said and I quote:
“The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.”
I would encourage all of us, if you have not yet done so, to look for this book and read it. If you have read it, read it again.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 gives a very detailed account of seasons and times we experience under the sun with the resounding message
There is a time for everything under the sun!
My sisters, a relationship with the opposite sex ( specifically one that is leading towards holy matrimony) can be the most beautiful experience on earth or a taste of hell while still living. I need to take a step back, I specified a relationship leading to marriage because as believers I am convinced that that is the only exclusive relationship you should be having with a brother. You are welcome to have friendships with as many brothers as the Lord opens an opportunity with the fellowship; however once you decide to go exclusive it better be for the purpose of marriage not trial and error!
Now that we have covered our bases lets go back to timing. Sisters, it is important not to rush into a relationship. I repeat what Josh Harris says – a right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.
Relationship have their origin and purpose from God as we clearly saw in Genesis. However that does not exist in a vacuum, in Ecclesiastes the Lord lets us know that there is a time for everything! There is a time to get into a relationship, and it would be very wise and prudent of each one of us dear sisters not to get into a relationship before or even after the right time.
So how do we know when is the right time to allow love to blossom in our hearts, to plant the seeds of a relationship leading to marriage, to build on it and to embrace the feelings we feel towards a brother? By following the leading of our Heavenly Father. When Christ was about to be taken up into Heaven, He looked with love at His disciples and made them a profound promise:
John 14:16 – 18, 26
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[g] to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in[h] you.
18 “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you
26 But the Advocate,[i] the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
As a believer, the Holy Spirit dwells in you and He teaches us and guides us into all truth. Relationships are not an exemption! Praise the Lord.
My sisters, we need to and indeed we must wholly depend on God when it comes to relationships. Which brother to relate with? When to enter into a relationship? How to conduct ourselves in the relationship?
So what happens while we wait, while wait to enter to godly relationships?
This takes us to our third and last lesson for the evening in our discussion on relationships.
The reading from 1 Corinthians 7:34 answers our question above quite explicitly:
And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit;
First things first, did anyone notice the grace of God extended in this line? The Bible says – the unmarried woman and the virgin – these are two distinct persons. Don’t raise your hand but if you have broken your virginity and come back to the Lord, receive the grace He extends to you this evening. If you are still a virgin, carry yourself with humility and don’t Lord it over your sisters who have fallen into sexual sin and been restored into the fellowship; instead as the Lord to keep you that way until your wedding night.
So what are we as sisters to do as we wait for the Lord to lead us to whom He would have us enter into a relationship with?
We are to be anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that we may be holy in body and spirit. Other translations read, we are to be devoted to the Lord.
My sisters, the single status season is not a season to be spent mourning and weeping; some even gnash their teeth about their status. The season of singleness is one to be enjoyed and spent in total pure devotion to the Lord Jesus we aware that it is coming to an end; unless the Lord has placed it upon your heart to be celibate.
The Bible is very clear, a single lady should be anxious ( should be focused on, committed to, consumed by the Lord) so that she may be holy in body and spirit. This is the time my sisters to commit yourself to extended prayer and fasting, to extended nights, to missions, to sacrificial giving, to eb wholly devoted to your Lord Jesus Christ. Because verily, verily I say unto you a time is coming when your devotion will be divided; to your husband and to your children. Just read the rest of verse 34:
. . . but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband.
Once you get into a relationship, your attention begins to get divided. Your desire becomes to please the man you love, from the courtship days right into marriage. The Lord gets your divided attention. Wait until the children come and it is one hard and delicate balance, you can ask me; I am married with two children. Sometimes I feel like I need to take a break from marriage and mothering to devote myself to the Lord. But that season is looooooong gone, I must thrive and bloom in this season of my life!
Therefore single sister, enjoy singlehood; devote yourselves wholly unto the Lord and in His vineyard for a time is coming that you will not be able to do such a thing.
My dear sisters, the topic of relationship and is very diverse as diverse as all of us present here this evening. However the principles from God’s Word regarding relationship govern every one of us regardless of our diversity. It is some these principles that we have been taught this evening by our Father.
First is that God is the author the originator and purpose giver to relationships. He is the one who saw the need of Adam and in His grace create for him a helper as his partner. Women are helpers to their partners in relationship and marriage. Secondly there is a times for everything under the sun, relationships are included in the everything. The Holy Spirit who indwells every believer guides us into all truth and teaches to be able to enter into godly relationships. And lastly, while wait, we are to enjoy the season of being single and use it to wholly devote ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us Pray:
Dear Father, thank you for loving us. Thank you for creating relationships and giving a purpose to it. This evening you have taught us, Father help us not just to be hearers of your Word but to be doers also. In Jesus Name
PS: This sermon was first preached at Jomo Kenyatta University of Art and Technology (JKUAT) on 18th February 2017, in the ladies fellowship of the Christian Union.
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