It is pretty clear in Scripture, that we were meant to be in relationship. Both with God and with His people. It also seems equally clear to me, that we have gotten the importance of those two exponentially entangled and continue to cross them up. And I think that the Bible has a ton to say about that.
It has been quite interesting the past few weeks. We've been in the midst of a "relationship/sex series" and I have been wrestling with the lie that I will never be heard because how can a single guy talk about sex and relationships and have any authority. The problem with this is that it stops me from being able to effectively communicate the truth that is found in Scripture. Truth that is authored by a guy who walked the earth entirely as a single dude and still gave us some of the wisest suggestions ever in reference to relationships.
The reality is that in 1 Corinthians 7, Paul pleads with the Church to pursue Christ more than our earthly relationships. That when the Church is in trouble, when we are trying to consider how to enter into relationship, when we are trying to decide if we truly love this woman/man, we should do what it takes to make sure that we can continue to be on mission; that we continue the ministry that God has set before us to accomplish in our lifetime. Paul talks about it again in Ephesians 5 when he is addressing the marriage relationship specifically and pushes wives to respect their husband and husbands to love their wives. Wives, respect your husband when he has to make tough calls because God is calling him to something greater and it's going to put stress on the family and the relationship. Husbands, make sure that while you are in the midst of the difficulty that that tough decision will bring upon your family that you remember to love your wife like you first loved her.
I am reminded in the midst of my preparation for this series, that ultimately, the most important relationship here is the one that exists between a person and God. That no matter what, the ultimate example is Christ and His Church. That He is the one that is providing me with the words to speak and that He is the supplier of all truth.
Relationships are hard. Preaching about them is easier said than done. May God grant me the wisdom to speak boldly, yet powerfully, as He lays the words upon my heart. I pray that I trust that the words He gives are the ones that need to be shared.