Who are you closest to? Your family? Or maybe it’s your friend? Or it can be your significant other? Or is it God?
Relationships are a huge part of our life, and since it is the end of the year (well, we are nearly there), it’s a good time to reflect on the past year and our relationships. For the next four weeks (including this one), we will talk about relationships that we experience and reflect on these relationships. Since today is the first week, this will be an introduction to the four significant relationships.
‘My parents don’t love me; they love my siblings more than me’. Have these words ever come up in your heads? Sometimes, these thoughts haunt me when my parents scold me more than my siblings, and I’m sure that most of you guys experienced this before. But, even if you don’t have any siblings, maybe you also have these thoughts.
Funnily enough, everyone thinks this way, which means that your siblings probably thinks that you are loved more than them. But think about it seriously, think about what your parents have done for you — education, a roof over your head and food to eat. Yes, some parents are maybe not that great, but for most parents out there, their scolding or angriness does not mean that they don’t love you. On the contrary, it is the opposite, and they do love you.
Now it’s our turn. When was the last time you did something for your parents? Last week my teacher said to my class ‘It is the end of the year, what are you giving to your parents? How can you show your gratitude towards them? To show gratitude for sending you to good education and supporting you in school? They always think about you. You are the first thing on their mind.’ This talk opened a lot of my classmates’ eyes, including mine. We need to respect and love our parents; sometimes, we forget that our parents are also humans. They need reassurance and love.
This also applies to our siblings (for those who have siblings). Even though they are sometimes annoying (Yes, I admit, they are annoying at times), but they do love you. At times, we first need to show our love to them. Do something for them, make them food, play with them, then you can see how much they love you back. Sometimes we are the ones that need to reach out to our siblings.
So, it is time to reflect on our relationship with our family this past year. Have we respected, loved and showed our gratitude to our parents or not? Have we shown our love to our siblings? If not, it is not too late to do something now, don’t wait until it is too late.
I’ve always wondered what friends are for? I mean, yes, to socialise but really, what else? All the drama and energy drain, sometimes I don’t think it’s worth it. But, as time went on, I realised that maybe friendship is also crucial since we are made as social beings (Genesis 2:18), as Vivienne wrote in her article ‘You Won’t Make It Alone.’
“Since the beginning of time, humans have been created with the longing for true friendship. And we can’t live life to the fullest without it.’
One of the main reasons I did not understand what friends are for is that many people are fake friends, not true friends. But I prayed to God to give me a friend that I can grow in faith with and share with, and God has answered my prayer.
There is a lot more to cover for friendship which is already covered in Vivienne’s article and our animation videos but for application, think about what you can do to show your love and gratitude to your friends at this time of the year. Maybe you can buy them a present or spend time with them. Something that we all need to remember is that we should not think that we will always have these relationships or friendships forever. One day they will be gone, so make the most out of it.
- Significant others
This is the only relationship that I have not experienced, but there are many things to know before going into this relationship. Unfortunately, in this generation, we do not take this relationship seriously, and we play around as if it is some game.
There are two types (plus a neutral type) of people in this relationship (or before going into this relationship).
The first type of person in this kind of relationship has a ‘crush’ on someone. This type of person has an eye set of one and only one person. A wise person once said, ‘before marriage, open your eyes as wide as you can and after marriage, close your eyes as tightly as you can’. This saying is true. Before marriage, there is no use in just focusing on one person. This is because usually, teenagers, when they have a ‘crush’ on someone, are blinded by love and cannot see the fault in that person. But after marriage, we start to see their faults and all, that’s when we have to close our eyes as tightly as possible.
The second type of person is someone that is dating in general. At our current age (around 12-16), we do not need a significant other yet. I mean, what are you dating for? Is it for fun? A saying goes, ‘if you are not dating for marriage, you are dating for heartbreak’. Maybe you have heard of this saying before, but what are we dating for if we are dating at this age? We are not ready to get married yet, are we?
So really, at this age, we don’t need dating yet. But yes, in the future, we do need dating. We are called to have a relationship with significant others and be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). Men and Women will leave their family and marriage in holiness (Genesis 2:24). We should not follow these two types of people, rather we should be the ‘neutral’ one.
Yes, as I said before, dating at this age is still too young and that we are still growing up in maturity. We need to wait for the right time, wait for God’s plan. Jim Elliot once wrote ‘No one warns young people to follow Adam’s example. He waited till God saw his need. Then God made Adam asleep, prepared for his mate, and brought her to him. We need more of this ‘being asleep’ in the will of God. Then we can receive what He brings us in His own time, if at all.’ Just like how Jim Elliot waited for the right time, we must learn to wait for God’s time for us, and He knows the best for us.
So rather than searching for the ‘one’ in this time of our life, we should wait for God’s plan and pray to Him about our future significant other.
- God and me
This, personally, is the most challenging kind of relationship. It is not based on usual everyday things, but it is based on faith, the faith we have in God.
One of the ways we can build our relationship with God is to get to know Him by reading the Bible. I know, I know, it is not easy to read the Bible constantly in your everyday life, and it is still hard for me. Still, we know there is nothing more important than your relationship with God in this life. Not just a relationship but your PERSONAL relationship with Him. Reflect on this past year, your relationship with God and your daily devotions. Start to include a plea for mercy in your prayers so that God will reveal Himself to you and so we can grow to know Him more. Without God revealing Himself, we will never know who He is.
That was a brief introduction of the four main relationships that we can reflect on in the last months of the year. This will be further discussed in the next three weeks as it will be reflected on from different perspectives from different people. So keep in tune, and see you next time!!!
Ivana Santoso (17) is a writer in RE Generation-Z. She hopes that through her writings she may learn more about the truth while bringing more teens to Christ. You will often find her playing with her guinea pigs or sleeping in her room.