so this is the last of the ten ways to Love and it might be good to mention again that i got these on a list and just expounded on them – this was originally number 4 but i bumped it to the end, not because it is any less important but because the others were more relevant to everyone whereas this one is specific to people of faith…

Colossians 1.9 reads, ‘For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives…’

in my experience relationships are never easy. or never always easy. some seem easier than others and usually when you are looking at someone else’s dating or marriage relationship, you are exposed to the public side of it and so it will usually look movie-like and if you have ever had a strong difference of opinion with the person you Love and are in relationship with, then you may quickly find at that moment that the genre shifts from romantic comedy somewhat.

and so for this reason [and others] it makes a lot of sense not to do relationships alone and i am thinking specifically of marriage here but to differing degrees it can be relevant to friendships and dating as well. the colossians verse above starts with the phrase “since we heard… we have not stopped praying” and so this last way to Love could perhaps as significantly be titled ‘be an active part of community’ [whether church or small group or strong group of friends or combinations thereof] because the knowledge that people are praying for you is a powerful thing.

when i got married [to the beautiful Val] it felt like God took relationships and marriage in particular and placed them heavily on my heart – the growing statistics of divorce [as equal among christians as non-christians apparently] break my heart in terms of the statement it makes loudly that ‘We don’t do relationships well!’ and i wanted [and want] to be used wherever i can be to speak life and hope and perseverance and longevity into them, and hopefully model healthy relationships too.

and i am hoping it will make my Taboo Topic list someday altho finding anyone brave enough to share might be tough but ‘People who struggle in marriage’ is a topic that is never spoken about [until suddenly a separation or divorce is announced and often hits a lot of friends and family by surprise as everything looked great on the outside] but is really real and my desire is for married people to find safe people that they can share their struggles with in a way that brings them and their person closer together and provides outside prayer and assistance.

but also within the relationship it is good to have it centered on God and people do that differently whether praying together or praying individually but for each other or combinations of both. one of the strongest times for our marriage has been lying in bed together late at night having God-filled conversation about life or people or situations we find ourselves in and as we talk those out, they become like prayers to God as well [as prayer is as simple as conversing with God] and so it is incredibly important to find those places and times to really invite God into the midst of your stuff.

i will finish off with the rest of the passage that initial verse comes from as i think it is a powerful piece to meditate on:

‘For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.’ [Colossians 1.9-14]

as i seek to bring the concept of praying without ceasing into my own marriage, may i also be reminded to constantly be praying for the relationships of those around me, that they will be built on the Love of God that always hopes, always protects, always perseveres.

to head back to the start of this series in case you missed any of them, go here.