Issues of Life

Your Relationships, Spirituality, and Journey to Significance…

What is Spiritual Intimacy and Maturity?

Spiritual intimacy is knowing and loving Jesus, and knowing that you are known and loved by Him. We can know of someone, we may even love them from afar, but we cannot say we are intimate with them without the assurance, the recognition, and the certainty that they know us too and love or care for us deeply. This means that we have a real relationship with God, through the acceptance of His Son, Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross.

Spiritual maturity flows from intimacy. It is what happens when we do what LOVE demands. The Bible says we love God because He first loved us. God invites us to intimacy. When we respond with joy and acceptance, what follows is trust and obedience, which is faith. Ultimately, this leads us to reciprocate the love we have been shown, which is sacrificial, by carrying our own cross. By also laying down our lives and desiring to serve more than we wish to be served. This is spiritual maturity.

When we are spiritually mature, we will understand why Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive…” (Acts 20:35). This is what will make our lives significant. That’s also why Jesus said that if we seek to save our life, we will lose it, but if we lose it (by surrendering to God’s call to spiritual intimacy and maturity), we will save it. (Matthew 16: 24-26). Our significance is at the other side of death! We must die to live eternally. This is the message of the Cross and the legacy of Jesus – “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone. But if it dies, it will bear much fruit…” (John 12:24).

What is the Significance of Our Relationships, Especially to Our Spouse?

All our relationships are of significance in achieving our purpose, but the marital relationship is even more so. This is because, quoting Jesus, “He which made them at the beginning made them male and female…and they twain shall be one flesh…” (Matt 19:4-5). The marriage relationship is unique and extremely powerful because it is the binding of two souls in covenant.

However, our other supportive relationships, or lack of, will determine how well a decision we make to be joined to another in marriage. Most often, families save their members from making poor choices, or they are the ones who coerce them into compromise for a number of reasons. Our friends and acquaintances also influence the pool of people we will be exposed to and can choose from in selecting a life partner. So, we must mind our relationships. They can make or break us.

The Bible says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life…” (Prov 4:23). Marriage matter is heart matter. There’s no two ways about it. Even if you think you used your mind to enter, you will soon realise that your heart is very much involved, and if it is neglected, that will be traumatic for you as a being made of mind, heart, body, and spirit. The problem is we try to overspiritualise marriage, not realising that it is a human endeavour… If we make the wrong choice, we set ourselves up for a life of trauma and pain. But if we choose rightly, we have an adventurous, challenging, but beautiful life ahead of us.

How then do You Choose the Right Partner to Help You on Your Journey?

If you want to choose the right partner, you need to become conscious of the choices you are making each day. These small decisions are the ones that lead you to the options at your feet as you go further in your life journey. The way you make decisions becomes a pattern of behaviour that will affect how you will make or stumble on your choice of a life partner. The choices you make also marr or build your character and will open up or limit the people who find you loveable or marriage material.

Every day you live, you are choosing how tomorrow is going to be. That is why you must, as soon as you can, begin to live purposely, like one with a vision. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Prov 29:18). If we lack a vision for what we want from our lives, we will live as people without a purpose. We will make the wrong choices that will limit the options in our future and damage our character, so that our lives are harder than they would have been if we were more conscious, thoughtful, and wise with the choices we made.

The point is, rather than focus on the big or milestones decisions, pay attention to the smaller, supposedly insignificant ones. Ask for wisdom early, learn how to hear and act on godly counsel, learn how to discern God’s direction and trust His voice, and learn how to correct your path, whenever you make mistakes, because no one can have a perfect record. Learning how to forgive yourself, forgive others, and move on from errors will ensure that you do not dwell too long on the past and miss opportunities to get your life back on the right track.

These things that we often take for granted amount to the state of our reasoning ability, social skills, mental health, personal discipline, and spiritual growth, which will all affect how we choose a life partner. If we lack self-confidence or self-esteem, we will likely not consider ourselves a worthy candidate for the person we truly desire, no matter how they may feel about us. We will likely settle for what we think we deserve. We may also likely attract abusers, who can smell our lack of self-respect and feed our need for acceptance by anyone.

It is wonderful to have a supportive and loving partner to do life with. I imagine it is everyone’s dream. But one must not live life like half a being. On your own, you can still do great things, you can be happy, you can fulfil purpose… You are not missing a better half.

What you need is a supportive network of friends and family, a resilient and noble character, and spiritual intimacy with the Lover of your soul. He is the one that will keep you at peace, no matter what season of life you are going through, whether you are in want or in abundance. If you learn to trust and obey Him, He will surely make all things work together for your good and bring you to a fulfilled end.

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