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RELATIONSHIP STATUS: CHILD OF GOD

Dylan White

devozine Theme Survey TS 95425582All my life I have struggled to answer the question, “Who am I?” Whether I’m filling out job applications or creating social media bios, this question is tough to answer. Am I a student? an artist? an employee? Am I a lover of Nashville hot chicken and bad dad jokes? Yes, I am all of those things. But which ones do I use to fill in the blank?

We often define ourselves by our relationships to other people: I am a son, a brother, a boyfriend, a nephew, or a friend. Some relationships are facts that cannot be changed. Others are aspirations to live up to or work toward—and at any given moment, may or may not be true.

In high school, I learned from my first serious relationship what it was like to let someone else define who I was. In this season of my life, I felt it was important that the first—and in some situations, only—answer to the question “Who am I?” be “I am she-who-must-not-be-named’s boyfriend.” I often felt pressure to make sure our relational bliss was constantly on display, in real life and online. Soon I lost sight of myself as anything but a boyfriend.

That relationship lasted about three years. Now I have now been out of a serious relationship nearly as long. At times I’ve been happy about my status of singleness; at other times, dissatisfied—but the whole time God has been teaching me an important lesson about how to answer the question “Who am I?”

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1 (NIV)

No matter who I am to someone else, knowing who I am to God is crucial for me. First John 3:1 reminds us that we are children of God, who loves us lavishly and unconditionally. God pours love into me so that I can love others in the same way. Though my relationships with others may change, God’s relationship with me will never end. Though I may stray, God will never stop loving me. Though at times I may feel independent, I am created to be dependent on God and God alone.

This knowledge is key to being happily single. Each day, I discover new ways that I am dependent on God’s steadfast love. Knowing that I am loved beyond comprehension gives me peace and even joy during this season of singleness. As a Christian, my identity comes first and foremost from the One who created me. Living with that perspective will help me be a better boyfriend and husband someday and also enables me to be a better son, brother, and friend now.

When we live as God’s children, it shows. People can look at us and know that we are in relationship with God by the words we say and the way we treat others. When we know whose we are, others can tell that we are children of God—for that is who we are!

 

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We often think of time with God as time spent reading the Bible or with heads bowed in prayer. But God is with us wherever we go! Make a date with God today. Go to the park, the mall, or a favorite restaurant. Have conversations along the way, and let God be your #1 companion.

CHALLENGE: Are you serious about your relationship with God? Add “Child of God” to your bios on social media!

Dylan White is a child of God, the youth leader at Matthews Memorial UMC in Madison, Tennessee, and the Marketing Manager for Children, Youth, and Young Adult resources at The Upper Room.

—from devozine (March/April 2019). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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