Melissa Taylor

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12(NLT)

Relationships are an important part of life. We begin a relationship with someone from the moment we are born and most of us will continue in relationships of some sort until the day we die. God encourages relationships. The Bible is full of them. It is obvious that from the beginning of time, people need people. Even God Himself said about Adam in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him.” Jesus, too, did not do life alone. He had His family, friends, and disciples to love, help, and encourages Him throughout His life here on earth.

Today, I want to take a look at the different relationships in our lives. I also want to point out the importance of prioritizing them. Friends, if you want to lead a balanced life with purpose, it is crucial to order the relationships in your life God’s way.

Number One: Your Relationship with God. This should be the most important relationship in your life. Don’t say that you don’t have time– you do. We make the time for what is important to us, don’t we? The way to get to know God better is to spend time in His Word. Try spending at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time with the Lord every day. More would be better, but do what you can to develop the habit. God’s Word will teach, equip, cheer, encourage, and guide you.

Number Two: Your Relationship with your husband….if you are married, of course. Just like it’s important to spend time with God, it’s also important to make time for your husband. I have found that this relationship is the one that takes the most effort for me. I love my husband dearly, but I also take him for granted the most. It’s easy for me to allow my children, friends, or just busyness to get in the way of time with my husband. Set aside time each morning and evening to communicate with your husband in some way. Hug and kiss often and say “I love you” whenever you get the chance. Let your actions show him and others that you respect and honor him. One thing that my husband and I have started doing again is dating. Just like before we were married, we go out on dates. It takes time, effort, and often money, but it’s worth the investment. If money is tight, create a date at home or go to the park or for a walk together. Whatever it takes, spend time alone together, and make it a weekly habit.

Number Three: Your relationship with your children….if you are a mom. When I became a mom, I did not know what I was in for. I had no idea the extent of sacrifice it would take to raise my children. It’s worth every bit of it too. I once read that kids spell love - T I M E. I believe that with all my heart. God’s Word tells us that children are a gift from Him. We are to treat them like that, a gift. Motherhood is a high calling….possibly the highest we will ever have in our lives. It requires time and special attention. They are only with us for a short time, so let’s make the most of it.

Number Four: Your relationship with others. This includes everyone reading this. Our relationships with other people could include family, friends, business associates, mentors, neighbors and more. These are important, and in order to develop, grow, and nurture these relationships, time is needed. I happen to be blessed with many friends and cherished family members. Although I don’t have time to spend with them each day, I always want them to know how important they are in my life and how much I love them. That takes effort on my part, but what I receive back is priceless. If you find yourself lacking in this area, create special moments with these special people in your life. Make a phone call. Mail a card. Send an email. Invite to lunch. Have a party. Create a “girls’ night out” event. Pray for them.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us that alone we can be attacked and defeated. This says to me, that we need people in our lives. We weren’t meant to go this life alone. It is often someone close to me who reminds me that I’m special when I’m feeling defeated. When I am alone, I often listen to the wrong voice if I’m not careful. The people in my life offer me love, encouragement, and fulfillment that tell me otherwise. I often refer to them as Jesus with skin on. This verse goes on to say that “two can stand back to back and conquer”. Then there is my favorite part. It’s when God is a part of our relationships. “Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Dear Lord, Bless the relationships in my life and help me to prioritize them according to Your perfect plan. Above all, I pray that we would grow closer each day. Help me to know you better so I can better give myself to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Additional Resources:
A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes

Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Look at the relationships in your life. Take note as to how much time you are spending on each of them.

Set a date with the people in your life who need your time. Schedule your time with God daily and write it on your daily planner if you have one. Plan a date with your husband and arrange for a sitter if needed. Sit down and listen to your children one on one. Let them know you are interested in them. Plan a fun girls’ night out next month. Maybe go to dinner or a movie or play tennis with a friend. Just remember to keep God’s perspective and balance when making your plans.

Reflection Points:
Do your relationships stress you out? Maybe it’s because they are out of order. Do a check to make sure you are filling up with God before scheduling anything or anyone else into your day.

Does your marriage feel stale, dull, or empty? Think about what attracted you to your husband in the first place. Pray first and then plan some uninterrupted time for you and your spouse. Treat your marriage like it’s the most important relationship to you on this earth. If it’s not, it needs to be.

Do your children get your leftovers? Let them know just how important they are to you and that you are thrilled to be their mom by spending some time with them.

Are you lonely? Pray for relationships in your life, but go to God first. Ask Him to fill you with His Word and to nurture and grow the relationships in your life.

Power Verses:
Psalm 46:10, "Be silent, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (NLT)

Matthew 19:4-6, "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (NIV)

Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” (NLT)

1 Thessalonians 5:11, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (NLT)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotional was very much close to home for me. I just said a prayer in chuch yesterday for God to show me how to better prioritize my relationships. God blessed me with a great position about a year ago, after I had prayed for it for so long, but I let it take major time away from my family and my time with God. It wasn't until my 6 yr old son told me Saturday that he liked it better when we didn't have enough money because Mommy was fun then. It broke my heart and I was truly devastated. What made it worst was the reaction from my husband. I wasn't so sure that he disagreed with our son. It is now my heart's vow to allow God to lead me in redeveloping those relationships with God, my family, and my friends. This devotional was a great help! THANK YOU!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotion helped me to realize that I really do need to nurture my friendships with other women. I feel as though I am always spending time on my family and I am not giving any of my girl friends ANY time or energy. It was good to see that in writing that I do need girl friends. I was just talking to one of my best friends today and it is awesome that your devotions are always right on point. Very refreshing for the soul to know God is working it all out for His glory. Thank you. And thank you, Lord!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happens when your relationship with your adult daughters isn't what you expected it to be when they were little? I feel so defeated right now.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your daily devotions. I was recently listening to the radio and heard your website so I decided to visit it. And as I was reading your home page I decided to go to your link on relationships b/c I really felt something missing from all of my relationships. About two months ago I quit my job to be more active in my children lives. (ages 3,5,7). Because with the job I was really missing out on my children childhood as far as taking them to school, visiting them in school during lunch or breakfast, and plays. And now I have time to do all of these things. Sometimes it can become overwhelming and I do get stressed out or feel that I can't be the wife and mother that God's wants me to be. When I first quit I was enthusiastic about being a house wife. But I realized when I do get stressed out its because I don't balance my relationships. And your daily devotion help me to realize that. And it also gave me a better perspective and way to value my time in all of my relationships with God first , husband, children,and then my girlfriends. Thank You

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