07 November 2012

The Value of Relationships

“Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend.” (Proverbs 27:10)

We live in a throw-away society, and that not only is reflected in the size of our garbage can; it is also seen in the way we treat relationships. Divorce is seen as the solution to marital problems, but this is so short-sighted. There are always two sides to marital conflict. I have seen marital problems where one side bore the majority of the blame, but I’ve never seen a marital conflict where one side was totally innocent. It takes two to get married and it takes two to get a divorce.

This ancient proverb gives us a great secret to life: the value of relationships. I have come to believe that anyone who truly loves us is a gift from God, whether this is a father or mother, brother or sister, son or daughter, or a friend. God’s nature is described as “love.” (I John 4:8) There is a natural affection in families but God brings people into our lives who truly love us. Where does that love come from? I believe it is God who gives them love for us and we should treat their love as a gift from God.

Many people are careless with these gifts from God and fail to treat love with respect because they fail to value the people who love them. But love is a gift from God. Why should anyone love us in the first place? We have given them enough reasons to not love us, but they rise above our mistakes and failures to genuinely care about us. We must recognize this for what it truly is; a gift from God.

Treat love with respect. In the selfish world in which we live, true love is becoming a more precious commodity. Do not allow the petty issues of life to destroy a gift from God.

We can easily understand why we should not forsake our friend, but why does the wise man speak about “our father’s friend”? The answer is anyone who genuinely loved your father will also love you. This is the great value of love. It enriches our lives through relationships. Life is so short that we cannot accomplish all our dreams alone, so God gives us people who love us to help fulfill our dreams. We do not have time to build many loving relationships but through the power of love we can be blessed with relationships we did not cultivate. We can be enriched by the loving relationships of previous generations.

What a wise God we serve.
I encourage you to cultivate the relationships of genuine love and do not forsake your father’s friends.