Here’s the first guest post inspired by this week’s abundant love challenge. We still need some more – please email me if you’d like to write one. Before you do though, sit back and enjoy YesHEis.com‘s Steven Harper’s alternative Valentine’s day reflections.
Its that time of year again…
Flowers, chocolates, every time you here music it seems to be Sinatra… you seem to find yourself singing along with the strangest smile on your face; an unusual feeling of happiness inside… yes, it’s Valentines Day.
Enough of that, let’s talk about something much more meaningful to Valentines Day: relationships…
Personally, I’m in one of the longest distance relationships you could ask for, with thousands of miles between me and my girlfriend. So Valentines Day for me, will consist of a candle lit dinner, over Skype!
The long distance got me thinking about more than just my relationship with my girlfriend, but more about relationships in general, and more importantly, my relationship with God.
My relationship with God has some similarities to the relationship I share with my girlfriend:
Distance. Do you ever just feel like He isn’t there when you need Him most? I have. Sometimes I need God because something really bad is happening in my life, and all I want is for God to come and sort it all out for me. With my girlfriend it’s the same; there are times when we both get so frustrated because we just can’t be there for one another, or because the time-zone difference creates barriers in our communication and relationship.
Time. Have you ever just wanted to sit and play on your PS3 or Xbox instead of talk to your girlfriend? Or just watch a film? Or spend time doing something you like to do by yourself, like reading? I haven’t, OBVIOUSLY 😉 But sometimes our lack of time creates a frustration that affects our relationship. And it is the same with God. God asks us to give Him time and dedicate our lives to growing and understanding Him more, but for whatever reason, we just get frustrated and take it out on Him, or those around us.
Dating. OK bear with me… Can you remember the first few dates in a relationship? They are so much fun, and you put in (especially the girls) so much preparation and care to how you dress, how you look, and even how you act. Because you want to impress right? We do exactly the same as Christians, when we first find God, we treat Him like our new partner, we worship Him more, we sing and clap that little bit louder, we tell everyone we know how happy He has made us, we make sure that we are always doing something that involves Him… But then it just gets, well normal. It becomes the everyday, and we feel like we have done it so much that it’s not worth bothering with because we are secure in our relationship and we know that He loves us, so that’s enough, right? Wrong.
For the distance, God gives us patience, and with that, strength. So that we can deal with the times when we feel He isn’t acting quick enough. So that we are prepared to wait on Him and His timing rather than our own.
For time, God gives us grace. To make sure that we are slow to anger and peaceful in all that we do. To show compassion to those around us and the situations that they are going through in their lives. Now for the hard one guys… To put down the controller when your partner wants to talk to you, and to joyfully spend intimate time together in relationship, and for God? Read your Bible more, pray more, spend more time in worship.
For er, dating, God gives us faith. It is faith that feeds the imagination, allowing God into the areas of your soul that no-one else can touch, bringing fresh ideas and new challenges to your life, so that in relationship with God, every day becomes more exciting and open to how He wants to use you. Having faith in your relationship and making the most of your time together, thinking of new ways to keep each other surprised and happy.
For all these things, we come back to the main emotion that should be at the front of any relationship… Love.
Love encompasses all of the good and defeats all of the bad. Any relationship without it will not last, but any relationship with love, will never end.
Be filled with love, and make sure that all of your relationships, whether they are with a partner, a friend, family or God, are invested into and surrounded by the love that you were created to share.
Steven Harper is a business expert who has recently completed his Masters Degree in International Business and Management. He turned down a professional career in soccer at the age of 17 to pursue God’s call on his life elsewhere. He is the Community Developer for YesHEis in the UK and has a heart for serving the homeless. Follow him on Twitter @steveharper12