Seeing God in Our Human Relationships

“People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”  This quote is from “Funny Girl” a musical that was popular in the 60’s and the song “People Who Need People” was a hit for Barbra Streisand.

Are people who need people lucky?

There is a lot of research information to support this.

People in relationships experience support from others and that allows them to explore their world.  They have less fear and concern and are confident that their loved ones will be there for them if they are needed.  People in relationships feel understood by others; they are not constantly seeking affirmation.   In times of trouble, people in relationships know who to turn to; in times of celebration, they know who to turn to.  Close relationships allow for an exchange of ideas that can be good, especially if those ideas lead to mental growth and a more open, stimulated mind.  Being in relationships with others can help us identify with others as we can experience our identity in belonging to a group.   Also, happiness “rubs off” from others.  People who have relationships with happy people benefit because others’ happiness is contagious.  I guess the reverse is also true.

The list goes on and on.  Some advice I have received from others:

When I retired, I had so much advice given to me about transitioning from the work world to “retirement life.”  You have to have a network to replace your work network.  You need relationships even more after retirement.

As I got older, I had people tell me to stay married.  Married men really do better later on in life with a marriage partner.  You need that spouse to stay happy.

Do activities with your men friends, go to a ballgame, play a round of golf, work on a car together.   Guys won’t just sit and talk and relate to you.  They will work on a project with you and as you do the work, the talk happens.  The relationship grows.

Does this information sound correct to you?   Do you think the advice is good?

It is all based on the idea that “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”

But Dr. Chapman goes further than that.

He says “the love languages observed in human relationships are a reflection of divine love.”  Further he states “God speaks all five love languages fluently and that people tend to be attracted to God most deeply when they sense that God is speaking their primary love language.”

I am sensitive to pulling quotations out of context but I am going to do just that.  Recently I was teaching a Sunday School class and I was referencing the Koran or Quran, the holy book of Islam.  I was trying to draw a contrast between the Islamic conception of god and Christian conception of God.  In Surah 171, the Koran says “God is but one God; utterly remote is He.”  I realize that I have quoted just a few words from a large book and those few words don’t represent the whole Koran but in my Bible, Jesus allows us to be a bit closer than this I think.  In fact, He desires a relationship with us.  My Bible is the story of God’s efforts to pursue a relationship with man after man’s fall in the Garden of Eden.

This culminates in passages from the Bible like John 14: 23-26, when Jesus says:  “If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. But anyone who doesn’t love me, won’t obey me. What they have heard me say doesn’t really come from me, but from the Father who sent me.  I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you.”  Further efforts at relating are in Revelation 3:20:  “Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together.”

These don’t seem to be the actions of a distant, remote God.

These seem to be statements from a God that wants to get to know you better, a God who wants to have a relationship with you.

In the context of “God Speaks Your Love Language” maybe we need to change Barbra’s lyrics to “people who need God are the luckiest people in the world.”

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2 Responses to Seeing God in Our Human Relationships

  1. I’ve read that the worst form of punishment is solitary confinement. People crave interaction. I have a friend who works in a bank, and she often talks about the customers who call with a superficial question of some sort just because they want to talk to another human being. People really do need people and fellowship.

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  2. One of the scariest movies I have ever seen is “Castaway” starring Tom Hanks. I hate to say it but my fear comes from being all alone on that island.

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