Relationships. Now there's a topic that has been widely discussed, analyzed, taught - generally dissected in all kinds of ways - most likely because it remains an incredibly vital part of life as a human. Can we even imagine life without relationships?
Okay so maybe especially for the introverts among us, there could be a certain appeal to life apart from relationships. You mean I could just read a book by myself whenever I want and not have to interact with anyone else ever? Sounds amazing! Or maybe there are parents or teachers out there who have found themselves thinking in some of their not-so-noble moments, Man I could get so much more done if it wouldn't be for these kids that keep asking me questions or needing things all the time!
I think I tend to be somewhere in the middle on the introvert/extrovert scale, so I can't speak for those who are more firmly planted in the introvert camp, but my hunch is that even for the most extreme introvert, life without relationships would grow old quickly.
We are simply not meant to go through this life alone.
After all, consider the words God spoke as the reason for creating Eve: "It is not good for man to be alone." (Genesis 2:18) Even God Himself exists within the context of a relationship - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If we are made in His image, it seems that there is something within us that makes us hard-wired for relationship and connection.
I wonder though, why are relationships so hard? If this longing to have good relationships is at the very core of our being, why aren't we better at it? For as long as humanity has existed, shouldn't we kind of have this relationship thing more or less figured out by now?
Instead, even for those of us who know and love God, we mess up relationships in so many ways. This person hurts that person. This child feels neglected by that parent. This sister can't figure out how to communicate with that brother. And on and on. Problem after problem. What can be done?
There are certainly no magic buttons. There is not one fix-all solution or someone would have found it by now. But I'm convinced that one of the best things we can do for any relationship is to pray. A funny thing about relationships is that they are difficult to control. We can be intentional for sure, but we can't always control every outcome or make a relationship be exactly what we want it to be. All we can really control is ourselves (and sometimes even that can be hard!). But when we don't know what else to do, we can always pray.
Pray when things are good, pray when they're not. Pray for the person you're trying hard to understand, and for the one you wish would understand you better. Pray for the relationships around you, those you admire and those you see that are struggling. Pray, pray, and pray some more.
As I'm writing this blog, we have just started a new school year. When we think of school, we probably think first about learning. School is a place where we take in new information, develop new skills, grow, and have new experiences. All of this does happen, but let's not forget that it happens in the context of relationships.
As we pray for Alliance Christian School District this year, let's pray for the many relationships that make up this community... Teachers with students, students with their peers, parents with teachers, teachers and their colleagues, relationship dynamics within each family, and so many more. Maybe there is a relationship that is coming to mind for you, whether at the school or in your own life. Maybe God is drawing you to bring it to Him in prayer.
We may never figure out everything there is to figure out about relationships. But by God's grace, we can cover each one with prayer, trusting that He knows and understands them better than we do. May He hold them - and each person within them - in His hands.
Pray with me...
... God, please let each person in the ACSD community grow in relationship with You this year
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
... Father, we lift up every relationship within the ACSD community to You, asking that You would infuse them all with an abundance of grace, peace, truth and love
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
... Lord, please heal and restore the brokenness in our relationships and use us to bring about healing and restoration to the world
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory