Keduonienuo Aduo Solo
I know it’s one of the most attractive topics of our time- at least to me. Everybody, I think, wishes to have good relationship with other people. We don’t start off any relationship hoping that one day it will end. In fact we won’t actually start a relationship if we knew it was gonna end. We all have an idea of relationship goals through images in social media and when you read relationship goals as the heading, you probably thought it in a sense of a romantic relationship between a guy and a girl. Yes I mean that and actually, I mean so much more.
It is interesting to know that dating rate has increased and is increasing even here in Nagaland. (I wish I could present the statistics but I didn’t know how) We hash tag and comment ‘relationship goals’ and I believe that we have all understood the ‘relationship’ part of it because we are psychologically hardwired to be in connection with people. The Bible tells us that we are one body but many parts (see 1 Corinth. 12:12). There is no wonder in that, that health of your gut can be determined by the condition of your skin. We need connection. We need each other to be healthy, to be healthy ourselves. We are all trying to connect to something bigger than us through people. We need to feel love and belonging. That is a basic need of human beings and we understand that in a certain level. But what we don’t really understand is the ‘goal’. We don’t understand the goal and that leaves us aiming at every direction. We go from relationship to relationship, friend to friend, group of friends to group of friends, from business to business, church to church, job to job and the list goes on. I have been there. I have a testimony of my own life how I struggled with not knowing the goal, and without a goal, there is no aim, and without an aim, there is no meaning. It becomes only a distraction and a waste of time. It leaves us high and dry.
For the longest time I’ve allowed the society and media to define my standard of relationship goals and I believe I speak for many young people here.
There is nothing wrong in wanting to be in a relationship with people, to want to connect. In fact it is natural and again, I cannot emphasise the fact enough that we are biochemically engineered to be in connection with people around us. It doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic relationships between the two opposite sexes.
The problem is that society and social media directs us. But trend is always changing. what the pop culture say is unstable unlike the Word of God. The world leaves us confused and exhausted if we look into it to define our standards. Or worse, we become indifferent and passive of whom we embrace and allow to shape our lives. Passivity is becoming an epidemic but that is another whole subject.
I believe that many genuine, zealous young people in our church, I myself included are unable to move towards our destiny, because we don’t understand the ‘goal’. I’ve talked to many young people and they are truly sincere but they lack vision. They just know that there is something more, and media tells them what. They’re aiming at something that keeps changing. Many of us fall victims of relationships that we thought would complete us but rather it took away from us. It robbed us of our time, our joy, our innocence, our childlike wonder. We sing praise and worship songs, we pray in tongues, we serve in the church, we lead services, we do charity works but we miss out the ‘goal’ and come back home only to fail to love our family, our neighbours and fail miserably to love ourselves.
So here’s the math: we can’t really win at relationships until we learn how to love ourselves well. The greater equation is that we learn to love ourselves well when we encounter the love of God the Father. God designed us to connect. That need is revealed in our restlessness- our hearts cannot rest until we encounter His love and have a relationship with Him.
So the goal is knowing this- that our God is a relational God and having a personal reationship with our Father is the beginning of all good relationships in our lives. Like how we love a lover, He wants our hearts. He wants to connect with us. He wants to be a Father to his sons and daughters. He wants a relationship with us. That deep need to connect in us is actually met in getting to know our Creator. GOD WANTS OUR HEARTS MORE THAN OUR SERVICE AND GOOD WORKS. That is why the Bible says “these people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (see Matt. 15:8, Isaiah 29:13). God wants our hearts more than any offering because He wants to have a relationship with us. This revelation of God as a loving Father revolutionised my life. The realisation that I could never love and be in a relationship with someone in a successful way until I learn how much God loves me personally changed my life. Let’s look at two verses in the Bible: Mark 12:30,31 (a) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength… (b) love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
- (a) So loving the Lord your God comes as number one priority. The ultimate relationship goal is to get to know God in a personal level. We love Him because He first loved us (see 1 John 4). He wants your heart and that is what your heart really need. Developing a relationship takes time and as the journey unfolds, I believe we will thrive with one another as we run our race. I also believe that there is nothing more attractive than sons and daughters of God who are focused on running the race that God has set for them.
- (b) My understanding of the second commandment is this- that there is a pre-requisite to loving your neighbour and that is to love yourself. Love your neighbour as yourself. If you have never taken the time to love, embrace and accept yourself, you will fail at loving your neighbour. I believe the source and empowerment to be able to love yourself is through the Cross of Jesus Christ. It’s not just about pampering yourself, but rather knowing who your Father is and what you are to Him. (see Romans 8:14-16)
If God so loved the world- if God so loved you as you are, that He gave his only son to die for you so that you can have a relationship with Him, you ought to know that you are loved, blessed and valued. If you walk in this truth of the gospel, you will learn to love and embrace yourself and your neighbour as yourself.
So the next time you come across the phrase ‘relationship goals’, think of this: your Father in heaven smiling down on you and you walk with your head held high, very confident that the God of the universe and you are in a love relationship and that is awesome! I would safely comment #relationshipgoals on that one.
(The writer is one of my favourtie girl. She is a preacher; a drama queen; a literalist, and a romantic girl. She supplies hot cakes and God’s grace in and around Kohima. By the way she is single but not alone.)