We recently organized a camping trip for the upper primary students that I teach at church. My family loves camping so I thought that camping would be a nice experience and outing for them. The aim of the outing was to promote fellowship between parents, teachers and children so that they can get to know each other better. Altogether there were 21 people who joined the outing.
I never thought I would ever broach this subject in writing, because I feel that I am the least qualified candidate to do so. Firstly because by the time I had been baptized in Christ in our church, I had strongly decided that marriage was not for me. I felt that it was enough for me to live for the Lord and serve Him all the days of my life. At that time, I had just passed twenty and gone through a tough period in my life. But ever since I prayed that to God, He impressed upon me in prayer that I was to get married. I humbly yielded and told God that I would marry whom He arranges for me. And that was the beginning of my change of mind, and the gradual forming of my perception of marriage in the Lord which I am about to share here.
“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.’” (Ruth 1:16)
The relationship between Naomi and Ruth is a beautiful example of a good family relationship. The key ingredients of good family relationships are love and respect. They consist of mutual commitment with freedom from each other and a relationship in which each person tries to do what is best for the other.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thess 5:11, NIV)
In order for us to grow in our faith, we must have love and encourage others. Within the church, there are opportunities for believers to show love and support for each other. One of the reasons for fellowship together in the church is to encourage and build one another up. A word of encouragement offered at the right time can make the difference between finishing well and collapsing along the way.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
How do we share our burdens?
In church, we may be surrounded by brothers and sisters we have known for years, and some perhaps for a lifetime. But how deep are our relationships? How well do we know one another? What do we know about their lives?