Monday, April 07, 2014

Relationships are a crutch.

Relationships are a crutch!

I was always the guy at the school dances that was just hanging out, I went  bowling but never threw a ball, I went to the mall but never bought anything, swung by the pool party but never got in - I have always been interested in being around people. Engaging in banter and discussion is one of my favorite things, I don’t even care what the subject is, or who you are. I want to be around you more than I want to be by myself. 

Not everyone is as extreme as I am, but God created us for relationship and because of that we all have a deep desire to have community. Whether a little community here and there, or even being around community but being left alone to spectate. We have a built in need to be in community. This need comes from God, he created us to want Him, and to want other people. The church is the way that God intends us to live out this need we have for community - with both Him and others. 

It is a pretty common idea that people seek out religion (or church) as a crutch for life, as if they need something to get them through the day. I have found that churches sometimes take offense to that, thinking that it makes their relationship with God less. Honestly though - the church is a crutch and as needed as a physical crutch is to a boy with a busted knee so is our need for a relationship with God (and each other.) People have a need for something greater than themselves. Christians understand that this need is for a savior, but many find help for that need in other (insufficient) ways. 

Why is this a weakness? This is like saying: "you need to eat food, what a weakness. You need to breathe? Man it must be hard for you to be so needy!" That is ridiculous! We have a need for community with God and other people and it is a good thing to crave it! How we fill that need is the important thing to focus on. Spending time with God's word and with other Christians is where we need to start. This has to be intentional though - there are too many distractions to authentic relationships with both God and others. Television, laziness, books, this blog... We have plenty of things that we can invest our time in that don't foster real relationships and community. It is a good idea to intentionally set aside time every day for relationships. Carve out time for your relationship with God (prayer and bible study), your relationship with spouse and kids and also some friendships that know you and your family. 

Consider some intentional "real talk" with your spouse every day: share the ups and downs of the day and then talk about a dream for the future that you both share. Listen and talk. 

Try to spend time with your kids doing something they want to do and then something you want them to do. We help develop habits in our kids by what we do with them. Let them know that you are interested in what interests them but also encourage them to good new habits and activities. 

Your family needs friends. If you are a two-parent and two-kid family search out friends that are similar in make up. Single moms need other single moms, young couples need other young couples. Developing honest relationships with others in the same place as you is very important. 

What relationships in your life help "prop you up" when you need the help?
Do you need to adjust your life to intentionally add in more community with other Christians?
How can you be intentional this week with building a better community around you and your family?