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The Ties That Bind // by Kendra Cagle

By August 24, 2016Relationships

Even the most introverted Christians have a spiritual need for connection. There are parts of our heart and spirit that only God can fill, but there are also spaces that can only be occupied by the spiritual benefits of fellowship and healthy relationships with other believers.

 

No woman is an island. We need each other. Our spirits reach out for fellow church-goers that get us, friends that support us, and romantic relationships that emulate the love Christ has for us. We are not meant to be alone. We may not need a crowd, but we thrive with family around us.

 

This thirst for company is so very important. The healthy relationships we form help us create an even tighter connection to Christ. In our friends, spouses, and pew neighbors, we find reminders of Christ’s blessings. We see their strength in struggle and grace in triumph, and we know that, through our prayers and faith, God has performed great works. We live separate lives, but we begin to share in the smiles and the tears. We reap the blessings of spiritual harvest not only from our own experiences but from our support and love for others.

 

One of the most spiritually impactful relationships many of us have is created through the ties of marriage. Many struggle through the beginning years because they do not realize the way that marriage changes our spirit. As you gain the title of wife, your spirit is knotted tight to your spouse’s. Your husband becomes a part of you and you of him. And this relationship requires a lifelong flow of growth and love. A godly marriage cannot remain stagnant and stay strong. A godly marriage cannot fall behind work responsibilities and other life struggles, or the linked part of your spirit begins to shrivel. A neglected marriage is a dehydrated marriage that desperately needs a sip of spiritual interaction.

 

We have to pour into our romantic relationships, especially marriage, daily. Through shared prayer and study time we can grow closer. Even when life seems out of control, we can find a few minutes to nourish our spirits and ensure that we aren’t growing further apart in the areas that mean the most. If our marriage is truly meant to reflect our relationship with God, work has to be done daily to maintain and build up our connection. The effort doesn’t stop once you put a ring on it. The opportunity for development and spiritual intimacy will be present as long as we live.

 

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:9-11 NIV

 

This is something we can all pray and hope for in our relationships. We can pray that, with every new story and every discovered quirk, we draw closer to our friends and fall more deeply in love with our dating partners or spouses. Just as our love swells every time we see more of our Father’s care and mercy, our earthly relationships can grow closer and fuller as we learn more about each other. We have to pray and put our fears aside so that we can fully open up our lives and spirits to those God brings across our path. We need the connection to others in order to encourage, support, and fill up our spirits to running over.

 

So if our spiritual relationships are getting a little dehydrated, we can replenish them through coffee dates with our best friend over our favorite new Bible study or in a late night talk with our spouses about the wonder of God’s plans. Life can be busy and distracting, but we can take moments to nurture our connections. We need each other. We can’t let the spiritual ties that bless us so much, wither away.

 

Featured image by Krista Ashley

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