(Photo: Priscilla Du Peez)
By Brook Ault
Due to our excessive exposure to social media and the increased use of it in our everyday lives, we are constantly comparing ourselves to those around us. We compare our appearance, our life styles, our experiences, and, quite often, our relationships. Whether that be relationships with friends or significant others, we convince ourselves that we have to have these relationships in order to feel significant and valued. Many of us throw ourselves into romantic relationships simply because everyone around us are pursuing them.
From personal experience, I understand the hurt and spiritual distant that can sometimes occur when we force ourselves to invest in relationships that God did not intend for us. God has a well thought out, incredible plan for each us of and he puts individuals in our lives for a reason. If we have suffered from a negative relationship in the past, whether that be romantically or with a former best friend, it is important to remember that, although sometimes painful, we can only grow and learn from these relationship. Sometimes, when someone new enters in our lives, it can be difficult to determine if they are someone worth investing time to. Scripture says to forgive our enemies and love our trespassers, however, God also calls us to live a life in service and obedience to. If were engage in unhealthy, manipulative, or unfulfilling relationships, we may struggle to glorify Christ.
Many times in some of past friendships or high school relationships, I often felt pressure to impress or please the other individual. A healthy desire to is please someone you care about is appropriate and necessary however, I learned from years of personal experience, that basing your entire worth around what those people think of you is not and can pull you father away from God than ever. However, the good news is that God will not leave us. He is always just step away, standing with his arms wide open, ready to welcome us back into his presence.
We can’t see God but we sure can see the exceptionally perfect couple photos that Susy and Jim posted on instagram the other day or the best friend post Darla and Amber keep blasting on twitter. This makes it easier to focus our attention on materialistic, worldly relationships. However, we can only find true fulfillment in a strong relationship with Christ. Now, I’m definitely not saying that relationships are bad, and don’t get me wrong, I pray that one day God will bring a compatible husband to my life, but when pursuing relationships it is extremely important to ask the question “Our we only moving closer to each other or Christ as well?”
Making Christ the center of our relationships and ensuring that our romantic interest bring us closer to Christ rather than pulling us away from him or distracting us from our morals and values, is essentially important to our relationships and spiritual development.
This summer, if you meet someone new that has completely different beliefs than you or return home to a former group of unhealthy friends, remember that the people you surround yourself with effect your relationship with Christ. When you are faced with certain decisions such as which relationships to pursue, which to turn down, or what boundaries to set, I encourage you to turn to God in prayer and ask him to give you the guidance and mindset to pursue healthy, christ-like relationships.