I’ve found some relationship advice I want to share. There is a world out there of magazine posts and blog articles giving us “5 steps to…” and “10 ways to…,” many of them centered on relationships. Seems easy. Here are ten ways you can have a better relationship with God:
1. Don’t Have a Relationship With Other Gods
Exclusivity and fidelity to God are a no-brainer, but sometimes we give in to that craving to have more. We can’t forget who is Lord of our life.
2. Don’t Make Your God Look Like Something He’s Not
Sometimes we hold our own expectations to people, and we fail to let them be who they are. Loving someone means not fashioning them in an image that doesn’t represent them.
3. Don’t Abuse Your God’s Dignity by Taking His Name For Granted
God’s name is so majestic, it is beyond a mere label. “Yahweh,” or “I am that I am,” is the closest thing to a name that we have for this being who made us and seeks relationship with us. Don’t toss it around.
4. Honor Your Time Commitments To Your God
If you want any relationship to last you have to make special time with that person. It helps to have routine. Because God knows this, he asks you to set aside certain times for him. Honoring them honors him.
5. Show How Much You Respect Your Parents Around Him
Honoring the ones who raised us and first showed us what love is really impresses someone you’re seeking a relationship with. The same is true with God.
6. Don’t Let Your Heart Hate Anybody
You may think that in a relationship you can easily love the person and hate someone else. However, that hatred spoils the heart you have for them. The one close to you knows the darkest part of your heart. Hatred is murder on the heart.
7. Stop Dishonoring Other Relationships
Even when your relationship to God is fine, cheating and violating covenants in other relationships cheapens your relationship with God. How can he trust you if others can’t?
8. You Can’t Have What’s Not Yours
God is not impressed by lack of hard work. He doesn’t want what you didn’t work fairly to get, and he doesn’t want you to act that way either. He invited you to be his possession. If you belong to each other, you have to respect the concept of belonging.
9. You Can’t Put Up With Dishonesty
Falsehood breaks down the foundations of a relationship. Lies can also hurt people, even when they’re used to protect people. Your God values transparency and forthrightness. The integrity of your relationship counts on it.
10 Learn To Be Content In Your Relationship
If someone meets all your needs and all you can think about is what you don’t have, how can you call the relationship happy? Your desires can become an insult to your God when they take over your heart.
Do these steps sound familiar? You may have guessed by now that I’ve done nothing more than take the Ten Commandments and rework them into the context of a “How To” article on relationships.
But that is what “the ten” were really about, Moses bringing down a covenant between God and his people. While Christians live by the Law of Love as defined by Christ, the original ten laws of Sinai teach us deeply about what our God wants out of a relationship with us. They’re more than some old, stuffy, rigid code completely irrelevant to us now.
Sometimes it begins with “ten simple steps.”