TWLV Talk: Relationships
At TWLV in April, Greg Lusby spoke on relationships. This topic may not have been what most expected to hear about, as the word relationship has a tendency to cause either panic or delight in a room full of young adults. Greg opened the discussion with recognition that relationships, significant others, and all the in-between labels are of high importance as we walk through life. We were created by a relational God, and it makes sense that we would crave the status to “be known” by another. With the complexities of what goes into a relationship in mind, this talk shifted into a relatively untouched subject within the topic.
Dreams. Aspirations. Longings.
We typically go into relationships with our own drive. We have ideas, habits, and excitement, and human nature leads us into the expectation that our partner will simply jump on board and follow our dreams with us. That may be for some. But most on the partner side also have their own drive, ideas, habits, and excitement. It’s a cycle that introduces the concept of sacrifice and compromise in a relationship. Where one bends, another grows, and this season flip flops between individuals throughout the life of the relationship.
Greg shared his personal experience meeting his wife Carla. His dreams of being a rock star didn’t quite match with Carla’s dream of not being a rock star’s wife. This relatable experience calls for questions such as - How do you ‘relationship’ with someone different from you? Do you wait for another person to come along whose dreams align with your own, or can you move forward in togetherness? We are fortunate to have a resource that teaches us the pattern of self-emptying relationships and how they grow and succeed.
“The Christian God is not an Absolute Individual in isolation, but a community of persons in selfless abiding communion.” - Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, Eastern Orthodox Bishop
God is typically viewed as a singular being. Though God is one in essence, God is also three in personhood. (Father, Son, Spirit). Scripture tells us that God is in fact relationship, having three parts all in relationship with each other.
Philippians 2 - He (Jesus) existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death...Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names! The authority of the name of Jesus causes every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name...And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord Yahweh,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father (TPT)!
We see in this passage that a selfless relationship exists. There is an active willingness to let go on each person’s part. One’s success did not lead to the other’s unfulfillment.
In a culture where relationships are often weighed by what someone can offer - How can my life benefit with you in it? - it can be difficult to practice living out self-emptying commitment. Two people in a relationship together do not need to assume they will have to give up their dreams and aspirations. Together they have the freedom and the wisdom to decide for their relationship what to pursue. In a healthy relationship, there is no losing oneself to another, but rather a mutual giving of oneself to another, as a way to combine goals and catapult into new dreams. But it begins with a mutual willingness to let go and dream together. That’s what being in a relationship is all about. Working together as one.
“This is a relationship of oneness, yet not absorption. This is a relationship of thorough going communion in mutual self-giving love, in which the Father, Son, and Spirit have such a profound freedom to know and be known that they share all things together without losing themselves in the enmeshment.” - Baxter Kruger, Theologian
About the Author
Laura Moore wants to live in a world where everyone feels like they have a place and everyone is understood. Her goal for this blog is to share and recap real life topics, and to help provide a place for others to feel know.
In her free time she loves to go on hikes, sit in hot tubs, and paint. Coffee dates and long talks is how she gets to know others best. Laura loves hearing life stories and understanding how people came to be the way they are.
Keep up with her blog here for TWLV talk recaps, other topics and life experiences!