Love is the only solid foundation of our commitments in life. If we don’t have a revelation of love in a relationship, our commitment to the relationship will be easily offended when the natural circumstances of that relationship shakes in life. When we become offended with another we then make a judgment towards them based upon things that are naturally true or perceived to be true in the relationship. Those judgments are birthed in the environment of fear, a fear of our own death in some way in the relationship. Our actions will become ones of judgment and will not be acts of love towards another. When we make a judgment of another we then become defiled in the relationship. Rather than responding to the other partner we seek to isolate and separate from the relationship. We no longer see the need for a testimony as one and thus we seek to protect our own individual identity. When we become defiled it inspires an insubordinate attitude towards the relationship. Submission is lost and a protection of personal agendas is sought. We become negatively expressive towards the relationship. We don’t see the other as a part of us so we are willing to destroy them with our attitudes, words, and acts in life. When we become insubordinate we then become apathetic towards the relationship. We no longer see the need to live to contribute who we are to another. We don’t care about the relationship anymore. We are not awake in our hearts towards them and we no longer see the need for them in our lives. When this happens we become bound to the logic of our own judgments. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil has surpassed any revelation of the tree of life in the relationship. We seek to be separate in our desires, attitudes, visions, and aspirations in life. We find no need for the relationship. The end result is a total destruction of the relationship. Destiny has been laid in the dust and the relationship has been annihilated. There is no more future. Offense has led to judgment, judgment has led to defilement, defilement has evolved to insubordination, insubordination has transformed to apathy, apathy has grown to atrophy, and atrophy has now been revealed as death. The relationship has ended. Its end began with an offense, a refusal to stay in a revelation of love. Love is the foundation and love is the substance in the journey of our relationships in life.
Within a healthy relationship there is a foundation of commitment for the relationship. So, the first key element to a life-giving relationship is a commitment to the other or others in the relationship. This commitment is based upon a divine connection and it is a matter of the heart. It is the source of desire in the relationship. This is why it is very important to consider the possible boundaries for any relationship before allowing your heart to go to a level of commitment. God gives clear direction in His written word that confirms His voice in our lives. If we ignore simple wisdom like “equal yoking”, “godly pursuits”, “godly lifestyles”, “covenant principles” or other things instructed by God we will be inviting a destructive force into the foundation of any relationship we seek. Every relationship will be tested and only those established on God’s word and godly character produce the destiny of God’s will. We won’t get everything right, but we must seek to try to get it right!
The strength of any commitment in a relationship is the heart. Even if you are part of a team that sells a product, you must first be convinced that the product is valuable to those who will buy it. It cannot just be a matter of reasoning of the mind, you must believe in your product in your heart. This is even more true in life-giving relationships. You must believe in your heart that God is good for your commitment to Him to be lasting and true. This same principle carries over into the practical connections of our lives. We must believe in one another before we can believe in our connections to one another. The source of your belief must be rooted in your heart and not merely your head. For a relationship to be birthed and succeed takes a commitment to believe in the ingredients and the purpose of the relationship. The ingredients are its members and the purpose is its destiny.
Offenses lead to judgments, judgments lead to defilement, and defilement leads to separation by differences. The measuring of things in the relationship becomes self-focused and apathy spawns a care for external things above the relationship. Logic and reasoning bind the failing members to a stronghold of atrophy toward the future. The result is a divorce and a loss of destiny in the relationship. Can you see how important that first level of connection is? Offences are not worth taking!
Every God-ordained relationship must have within it increasing measures of commitment, faith, response, submission, contribution, love, and dedication. Let’s not forget that the strength of every relationship is only found at its simplest level of its formation. That simplest level is the point of our commitment. That commitment is based upon a revelation of who the others are in the relationship, not what they can do. As I have stated before, I call it a “first love” level of the relationship. The degree of connection to the “first love” level of the relationship will determine the increasing testimony of every other level that follows.
As leaders in the Church we must understand these things and we must live to demonstrate true relationships within our team connections. This is more important than what we say. Who we are as a team will demonstrate God’s grace and will empower those we lead to live in healthy relationships.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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Thank You – Ted J. Hanson