Relationships…God is all about relationships. Since He is, so should we be.
The Moral Law, known to most as the Ten Commandments, but more appropriately translated as the Ten Sayings, Ten Words, or Ten Duties, all deal with relationships. The first five sayings listed speak to our relationship with God; the second five speak to our relationships with mankind.
NOTE: The fifth duty to honor one’s parents should be included in the first five because our parents act as God’s representatives on earth until each child reaches the age of accountability. Our parents are our biological creators; therefore, we should honor them as we would honor God.
Relationships are important to Rachel Todd, the protagonist of my fictional series. In each one of my novels, you will learn why she considers her relationships with God, family, and friends so vitally fundamental to her life and health. And yet, nowhere are her beliefs more keenly felt and acted out than in my third novel, Under the Shadow. In this story, Marie Marshall, her best friend, suffers greatly as she faces the trial of a lifetime. Rachel, unable to use her wealth to assist her friend, must look within to find a way to communicate her feelings of love and concern in a way that Marie will truly understand.
While Rachel Todd’s best friend, Marie Marshall, is a fictional character; she was created to reflect a very real and significant relationship in my own life. My best friend has been a blessing to me for the past forty years; she not only introduced me to Evangelical Christianity, but she is faithful and kind and is always a constant source of support and encouragement to me and my family.
All relationships, no matter how good, face occasional problems. Regardless of how much you might like, love, or admire another person, you are bound to encounter difficulties in your everyday interactions with them. My friend and I don’t agree on every issue we discuss; we are different people from differing backgrounds. However, we have learned over the years, to accept one another, our differences, and, when necessary, to agree to disagree about some subjects without harboring hard feelings or resentments.
I believe great relationships happen when the parties involved are honest, sincere, and trustworthy; loyalty and faithfulness to one’s friends are essentials to lasting relationships. Friends that love us will handle our feelings tenderly but will be honest and truthful when necessary. Their words may inflict pain, at times, but these wounds are meant to help us grow and mature, not cause harm.
Faithful are the wounds of a fri but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. KJV
True friends act in the best interests of each other; as iron sharpens iron, so good friends work to the mutual benefit of each other.
17Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. KJV
I live in the Arizona desert where the intensity of the sun’s heat leaves the ground parched and dry; and yet lovely flowers and green grasses abound in the most unnatural places. In spite of poor soil, bad weather, pestilence and a host of other difficulties, plants survive where there is water. Water is the one essential ingredient to the life of a plant.
Our relationships with those we love and care about may be likened to a garden of diverse flowers, which bring beauty and joy to our lives. Their redolence perfumes our days on earth making each a pleasure to remember. And while friendships can survive great trials and tribulations, they cannot survive for long without the water of love and affection. Neglect them, and they will surely shrivel up and die.
Returning once again to our beginning, The Moral Law, God’s Ten Commandments, I would like to add that those who honor and serve the Lord by obeying the first five will be less likely to break the second five. When we love God and serve Him with our spirit, soul and body, we are more likely to treat those made in His image with respect, kindness and compassion.