I’ve heard it being said one way or another – if you ever want to expose your selfish side, get married. Then once you think you’ve gotten rid of what you thought was every ounce of selfishness, have children.
I’ve been married to my beautiful wife Tina for almost 5 years now, and we’re so blessed to have 2 children (and one due in a couple of months). The highlight of every day happens when I get home each day – that no matter how stretching work or ministry may be, to see my wife and my children, and the home that we have reminds me of how blessed I am to be given the honour of leading this Atiga unit in Singapore.
I was reminded earlier today that it is by God’s design and desire that he puts us in family (Psalm 68:6, 1 Corinthians 12:18) as he pleases. This is obvious when we speak of that which is biological, but it extends to every aspect of our lives and in particular, a sense of the Body of Christ or the Church. That there are particular expressions or churches that have differing cultural expressions of what it may mean to follow and worship Christ. But inevitably, it is Christ who places us in family as pleases Him. He knows what you need to be more Christlike, and therefore places you in situations of advancement and challenge within the context of relationship to brand this on us.
Are you branded?
I was helping a friend move today and couldn’t help but notice that one of the movers from the moving company had some very familiar traditional designs tattoo’ed on his arm. I asked him where he got the tattoo, to which he replied Batam (an Indonesian island off the coast of Singapore). The tattoo was of a Samoan design, but he had no idea, and apparently the tattoo artist told him it was Maori. I corrected him telling him that the tattoo design was from Samoa, to which her replied “where’s that?”
You see when God brands us in our hearts with all that he designs and desires for our lives, we can choose to go it alone and try to discover it in isolation. Or we can look upon the relationships around us as blessings, not wondering “what can I get out of each relationship?”, but looking for opportunities to love and serve, without putting price tags on one another.
The 10 commandments of relationship
- Do not build friendships with agendas of benefit for yourself.
- See people the way Christ sees them – opportunities to love.
- Love unconditionally
- Speak life. Always.
- God’s love for us is deep and wide. Our friendships should be the same way – Deep in terms of how well you know people, and wide in terms of influence and not being clique-ish.
- Learn to forgive and keep your relationships as “offense-free zones”
- Go out of your way towards people who are not anything like you.
- Stop. Look. Listen. Give your full attention one person at a time.
- Live to Give. Let the getting surprise you.
- You aren’t entitled to any relationships. Thank God for what you do have.