Jesus relationships with other people were centered on His relationship with God. As He was saying good-bye to His closest friends and followers the night before He was betrayed, He told them; And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. (John 14:13) What mattered most to Jesus was that His name and His relationships would be glorifying to God. Can you say the same about your own relationships?
Relationship is defined in the essence of God. He has existed for eternity in relationship–Father, Son, Spirit. He created the universe for the purpose of having relationship with man. When man's choice to sin prohibited that relationship for eternity, He sent His Son to buy us back, so that we could be with Him. Relationships are important to God. He rewards us for honoring Him by our relationships.
One way that honors God in our relationships, according to Matthew 10:40-42, is by receiving His prophets. Do you receive the message from the spiritual leaders in your life? Do you support those ministries? God will reward you for the way you treat His messengers of truth.
Another way you honor God by your relationships is how you treat strangers. In Luke 14:12-14 and Mark 9:41 God encourages us to have relationships with those who cannot repay us. Women are especially aware of social etiquette, written, or unspoken. If you receive a gift, you send a Thank You note. If you are invited to dinner, you reciprocate. God challenges us to think beyond our social boundaries in our relationships. He tells us to build relationship with and give to those who can never repay us, and we will be repaid in heaven.
Perhaps the most difficult relationships of all are the ones God wants us to have with our enemies. In Luke 6:32-36 God asks us to love our enemies. Who is your enemy? Whom do you have the hardest time thinking consistently loving thoughts about? God rewards you for doing good to those who hate and mistreat you. Those rewards are promised in heaven, but you also experience them on earth because loving your enemies sets you free from hatred and anger and hurt and shame.
Paul's greatest joy was in the disciples he had help to make. In 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20 he expressed his sorrow about Satan preventing him from getting back to see them. He also told them that they would be his glory and crown when he stood before Christ. The people we influence for Christ become our reward in heaven.
God makes special notes in heaven about the healthy ways we help others here on earth according to Hebrews 6:10. Helping others comes natural to most women. We need to be prayerful to make sure that we are really helping others, rather than controlling or enabling them.
God longs for us to have relationships that glorify Him. You've just considered five kinds of relationships that He wants you to have in your life. How many of these relationships can you identify? What can you do to glorify God more in your relationships?