Shaped by Relationship
Jesus left us a wonderful example to emulate as we pursue a deeper relationship with our heavenly Father. The Gospels record that Christ would often escape to a solitary place in order to spend time with His Father in prayer (see Luke 5:16). Jesus Himself told the disciples, "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen" (Matthew 6:6). Time alone with God is essential if we are going to develop an intimate relationship with Him. But godliness requires more than solitude; it is carved out in the tough work of human relationships.
Back in Genesis when God first created Adam, He declared, "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18). In the midst of His good creation, God found something that he deemed not good. It was the man He had made, living all by himself.
Although sin can make relationships difficult, God uses that difficulty to shape our character and make us more like Him. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church," Paul wrote (Ephesians 5:25). How did Christ love the church? He died for her. Husbands must die to themselves daily for their wives. Likewise, wives are to submit themselves to their husbands in the same way that the church submits to Jesus (see Ephesians 5:22). For husbands and wives to live out these roles, they must put the other person first. In doing so, they reflect the very heart of God. Each decision of self-sacrifice is a step toward Christlikeness.
Prayer: Jesus, I long to be like You, to be pure, holy, and loving. Help me to honor You with my life by imitating You by the power of Your Spirit in me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters" (1 John 3:16).
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