We are wired for relationship. Our memories and milestones are marked with close friendships, family members, and loved ones. God created us to love and to be loved. The best seasons we’ve experienced have often been full of meaningful relationships, and our hard ones have usually been marked by loneliness.
Our hearts know it: we are made to live in relationship with others! It is the currency of the Kingdom of God, and the foundation of our faith. We thrive when we do life alongside others that know us well, support us, and encourage us!
In a time where isolation and quarantine can be a threat to our relationships, we want to share some ways that your relationships can continue, and potentially even prosper more than they were before. We want to acknowledge the power of good friends, and how this season doesn't have to be marked by loneliness.
Understanding That He Loved Us First
“This is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” - 1 John 4:10 (ESV)
In our time at home, isolation can open doors to anxiety and depression. Life is different, and there’s some hard stuff happening. But as we get to know this love that God has given us, it starts to spill over and we begin to love as we have been loved. Our first tip for pursuing your relationships amidst COVID-19? Love from a place of overflow, not from a place of lack. But what does a place of overflow mean? It means living in the identity God spoke over you from the very beginning. It’s believing that He has finished the work, and you can rest in His love.
Jesus was a wonderful example with this, as he would spend time with his Father before He pursued his ministry and relationships. Let us do the same by going to the true source of love for our motivation and inspiration!
Here’s some stuff we recommend to really focus on that love!
Read the gospels and focus on how Jesus treated those that were broken and hurting.
Read through the New Testament, studying moments of God’s love for all humanity.
"Love Does" by Bob Goff
"Furious Longing of God" by Brennan Manning
"The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning
"Crazy Love" by Francis Chan
"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis
Make Intentional Choices
Now that we’ve come to understand where the source is, we can now find ways to connect. There are a million ways to stay connected with people, and the biggest x factor is intentionality. That’s the one thing that no app can give you. Intentional relationship.
You may not have a message of inspiration, or a bigger motive to call someone other than the fact that you thought about them for a split second. Chances are, they are at home, the same as you, and would love someone to reach out.
Be the chooser! Be the caller! Many will experience the inconvenience of isolation, but few will be the solution. Be brave, know that you’re wired for relationship (and so is the person you’re considering reaching out to).
Here are some intentional choices you can make now:
Video call a friend every day
Write letters and send them to friends around the world
Take this time in isolation to reflect on your relationships with your family and friends. Is there any bad blood between anyone you can think of? Let this time be an incredible healing process in your relationships. Are there people you need to forgive? Have a conversation with? Is there possibly anyone that you need to seek forgiveness from? Though it can feel uncomfortable, give yourself the room to ponder these questions. Let God grow your heart for the relationships in your life by bringing healing to them.
Pray for Those Closest to You
Though you might not be able to be as close in proximity to your family and friends as usual, we know that God always is! Spend time each day praying for your loved ones. Ask God for words of knowledge and encouragement for others and share those words with them. What a beautiful way you can continue to pursue relationships with others as you listen to God’s heart for them.
What relationship is God calling you to love bravely in? What steps of intentionality could you take in the following season that could transform it for you and others? Amidst the discomfort and feelings of loneliness, we push you to pursue others, even just one person. Because in the end, you might be the answer to someone else’s prayer for a friend in this season.