Defining the Relationship

 Have you ever had the DTR conversation? It’s the conversation where you mutually come to an agreement of structure in your relationship with a significant other. Working with high school students, I know how scary and painful we humans tend to find straightforward communication to be. We’d much rather snapchat a selfie that disappears after five seconds than be faced with the possibility of face-to-face rejection!

Yet, Pastor Jason encouraged us to pursue real AND right relationship with God and others this past Sunday. This means there will be reciprocating love AND structure, as well as some clear expectations. Luckily for us, God defined His relationship with humanity a long time ago: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Jesus later describes the second greatest commandment to be like the first: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), and Paul would later confirm that the ENTIRE law is fulfilled in this second greatest commandment (Galatians 5:14).

It seems that loving God and loving people are inextricably linked. John would describe this link in a very serious way: “If someone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”

If we claim to have real relationship with God, then we will strive for right relationship with our brothers and sisters. Our relational structure is “all in” obedience.

So, what would a DTR conversation look like this week for you?
Maybe it looks like asking God to search our hearts and show us the areas of our lives that are not right. Maybe it’s finally becoming exclusive—breaking up with the idols of self-exaltation, control, or misplaced satisfactions.

Or, it could be that our relationship is outwardly “right” but we have lost our first love. DTR might look like going on a date with Jesus and spending time blessing His name and remembering all the ways He has infinitely loved you.

If we’re still unsure, I bet we could take an honest look at our relationships with those around us. It may reveal exactly where some structural changes need to take place in our love relationship with our Lord.

And on both ends, it could be that all we need is a little straightforward, honest communication to get back on track.

Michelle Townsley

Michelle Townsley is a young adult devoted to loving Jesus and loving people. A current staff member at Coast Hills, her passion is to “present everyone mature in Christ” whether through women’s discipleship in high school ministry, with young adults at Patmos: Reality Discipleship, or through communications and the written word. Michelle loves ministry, summer camp, and basketball in that order.

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