Tag: relinquishment

Avoiding Relationship Failure

Relationships come in many shapes and sizes. From intensely deep to causal. No matter the relationship—the concept of preferring one another always applies.

This morning as I was preparing a word for a friend whose marring later today, the Lord dropped the word preference into my heart, along with Romans 12:10,

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Following is a re-post of a blog written about this time last year. This concept is timeless. Pleaseenjoy and apply!

Just the other day, I had a great conversation with a young bride to be. I was reminded of an amazing concept the Lord deposited in my heart years ago regarding relationships.

This approach to relationships is especially ideal when it comes to marriage.

Before I share this amazing secret with you, let me ask you a question. What do you think is the leading cause of any relationship malfunction and divorce?

Granted, I’m no expert but what God has shown me, is that selfishness and pride are the number one culprits of relationship failure.

I call it, “The Me factor.”

The secret  to relationships is “Preference.” Defined as: to value more highly, to hold before or above; and to give priority to.

Our example is found in Jesus. At the cross He preferred you and me. He knew it would be a brutal endeavor to go through, yet He chose God’s will over His. (Luke 22:42)

The concept unfolds as this—if each person in the relationship/marriage prefers and thinks more highly of the other, caring for the needs of the other person over their own needs, then all needs will be met.

Living a life of preference takes the focus off of our self; what I want—what I need and puts the emphasis on the other person in the relationship. We move out of the selfishness of concentrating on our own wants, needs and desires and tune into what will bless the other person.

Is this an easy way to live? No.

Why? Because in order to be like Jesus we must die daily—we must decrease so He can increase.

The fear to this lifestyle is; what if the other person in the relationship doesn’t want to live a preferring life style? What about Me? How will my needs be met?

Valid concern. The answer—Jesus.

Since He really is, the only one who should or could, complete, fulfill or meet our needs—then He is the answer.

This was a difficult concept to grasp, mainly because it opposed my flesh. But once I submitted to the Lord in thisit changed my life, not to mention all my relationships!

In my marriage I stopped choking the life out of my husband trying to get him to meet my every need. Essentially I discovered that Jesus really is enough for me.

This concept brings freedom. It frees you to go deeper in relationship with God, making Him all you need. It frees you to love others, love your spouse, parents, children and siblings without putting the heavy burden of meeting your needs on them. Basically you are free to love without unreasonable expectations on either party.

I have found such joy and depth in my relationship with God since He asked me to live life in this manner of preference.

I invite you to go deeper. To relinquish your wants, needs and desires to God and let Him be “The One” to complete you. You seriously won’t be sorry—just free. Free to love and be loved!

Marry a Prostitute?

I’m engulfed in an amazing novel titled Redeeming Love. It’s a work of fiction based on the true account of Hosea in the Bible.

The book of Hosea is about God’s restorative love for His people and the unique method He chose to reveal it. Essentially it’s a prophetic statement—God told Hosea to marry a prostitute. He doesn’t argue with God, but I wonder what he was thinking?

It was a harsh demonstration of loving the unlovely.

God wanted His people to know how much he loved and cared for them, that they were His beloved. He wanted to be known not as master, but as a loving husband. A loving husband that unconditionally loves His beloved, no matter the state of her heart and life.

As I’m reading this novel I’m praying and putting myself in two places, one—as the prostitute herself (Gomer in the Bible and Angel in the book) and two—as Michael Hosea, the man who loves the hurting, miserable prostitute.

Honestly, I can relate to both. Not that I’ve ever prostituted (thank God!) But in her, I see the person I used to be, one who self protects and is afraid to dream or imagine anything different for her life. A wounded person petrified of true love.

Sadly, I also see the person I am now. One who has experienced God’s immeasurable, healing, redeeming love—yet still hesitates—at times—to surrender my whole heart and soul in complete submission—for fear of pain.

I can relate to the man in this because He represents God. Scripture says to imitate God in all we do. I want to patiently love as He does. Even when the person you’re trying to love and help; can’t receive or won’t reciprocate, even if that person hurts you. Loving the unloveable is what Hosea did as he prophetically demonstrated how God loves us.

It’s interesting how the two personalities in the books, though they be so opposite, relate to each other. In order to love as God does, we have to experience it for ourselves. We must allow this unconditional love to penetrate our very heart and soul, therefore bring change to the way we give and receive love.

At some point in our life we have to surrender to God’s love and learn to walk in obedience. Knowing, His ways are much better than ours. Unfortunately,  some will wait so long that it will be too late.

How do we surrender when we can’t trust love? Surrendering is an act of the will. Youwill yourselfover to love and relationship, as painful as it may be—you choose love.

You will yourself to believe that God’s love is good and trustworthy. His love is evident in all He does, just read the book of Hosea…the book of John…all the books in the Bible! For God so loved the world, even though the world didn’t love Him, He gave Jesus.

I want to leave you with a quote from the book Redeeming Love. It’s found at the top of chapter 7, it’s a quote from a poem written in the 1400’s, by Charles D’Orleans.

I am dying of thirst by the side of a fountain

This appropriately describes a hurting person. Though they sit right next to The Fountain, they will die, for they refuse to drink.

Be encouraged—surrender to love—so you can be love.

Hosea 10:12  “Sow for yourselves according to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); reap according to mercy and loving-kindness. Break up your uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, to inquire for and of Him, and to require His favor, till He comes and teaches you righteousness and rains His righteous gift of salvation upon you.”

The Secret to Relationships

Just the other day, I had a great conversation with a young bride to be. I was reminded of an amazing concept the Lord dropped in my heart years ago regarding relationships.

This approach to relationships is especially ideal when it comes to marriage.

Before I share this amazing secret with you, let me ask you a question. What do you think is the leading cause of any relationship malfunction and divorce?

Granted, I’m no expert but what God has shown me, is that selfishness and pride are the number one culprits of relationship failure.

I call it, “The Me factor.”

The secret  to relationships is “Preference.” Defined as: to value more highly, to hold before or above; and to give priority to.

Our example is found in Jesus. At the cross He preferred you and me. He knew it would be a brutal endeavor to go through, yet He chose God’s will over His. (Luke 22:42)

The concept unfolds as this—if each person in the relationship/marriage prefers and thinks more highly of the other, caring for the needs of the other person over their own needs, then all needs will be met.

Living a life of preference takes the focus off of our self; what I want—what I need and puts the emphasis on the other person in the relationship. We move out of the selfishness of concentrating on our own wants, needs and desires and tune into what will bless the other person.

Is this an easy way to live? No.

Why? Because in order to be like Jesus we must die daily—we must decrease so He can increase.

The fear to this lifestyle is; what if the other person in the relationship doesn’t want to live a preferring life style? What about Me? How will my needs be met?

Valid concern. The answer—Jesus.

Since He really is, the only one who should or could, complete, fulfill or meet our needs—then He is the answer.

This was a difficult concept to grasp, mainly because it opposed my flesh. But once I submitted to the Lord in this, it changed my life, not to mention all my relationships!

In my marriage I stopped choking the life out of my husband trying to get him to meet my every need. Essentially I discovered that Jesus really is enough for me.

This concept brings freedom. It frees you to go deeper in relationship with God, making Him all you need. It frees you to love others, love your spouse, parents and siblings without putting the heavy burden of meeting your needs on them. Basically you are free to love without unreasonable expectations on either party.

I have found such joy and depth in my relationship with God since He asked me to live life in this manner of preference.

I invite you to go deeper. To relinquish your wants, needs and desires to God and let Him be “The One” to complete you. You seriously won’t be sorry—just free. Free to love and be loved!

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:10