Relationships Are Central to Being Human

By Kirsty Armitage 

This year our devotions have focused on the theme of connection. Relationships and connections are an essential element of being human. It doesn’t take much to find proof of our need for genuine connection. One search online will bring up a multitude of articles and personal accounts of loneliness and isolation. Scroll through any online streaming site and there are countless movies and series about relationships. The importance of genuine connection extends across all peoples, every human being. We were made for relationships.  

In Genesis, we read that we are made in God’s image.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” Genesis 1:26a (NIV)   

God is relational. He is three in one; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has always been in relationship, and it is cental to who He is. So, it makes sense that connection and relationships would be important for us too.  

If we think about the greatest commandment, it is about relationships.  

Jesus replied: “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 22: 37-39 

Loving someone starts with being in relationship with them. You can’t love God if you don’t know Him. And you can’t love your neighbour if you don’t know them. How do we know what kindness or honouring someone if we don’t know them? Being kind to me might not be the same as being kind to you. Unfortunately, we’ve all probably experienced people thinking they were acting out of love toward us, when actually they weren’t. Of course, even in relationships we hurt each other, and we make mistakes but because of being in relationship there is opportunity to mend the connection.  

There are so many other biblical examples that show of the importance of connection, as we have read in some of the other devotions this year. The illustration of the church being a body and us all being parts of that body, really shows how interdependent we are. And the illustration of us being branches and God the vine really describes how we need to depend on Him and how connected we need to be. The illustration of Jesus as bridegroom and the Church as bride, is relational. The Bible is about people, their stories, their journeys, their relationships. We are made for relationship!  

Perhaps you feel disconnected or lonely. If you attend church, is there a small group you could join? Is there a leader at your church you could talk to? Sometimes it can be hard to go to church for many reasons. If you are in New Zealand there are local groups in some areas we could connect you with. We would also be honoured to pray for you.  

Father God, thank you each of these people reading this devotion. Thank you for who you made them to be. That they are fearfully and wonderfully made in your image and made for relationship. We ask for genuine friendships  

Kirsty Armitage is the Director of Elevate Christian Disability Trust.