So for us, looking at our relationships and how we are shaped by them, good and bad, let's not forget that. Those relationships we have in our Families. Friends, spiritually and otherwise. Within the Church, Home Groups, friends, mens/womens groups, prayer groups, even, dare we say it, on a Sunday morning. These all go to make us more than we thought. They all go to parenting/discipling us in our faith.
We may not fully realise it but our attitudes, reactions to trouble, when we feel we can forgive, how we can forgive, how we love, give of ourselves for others and many more, are born out of those connections, for better or for … well you know how the rest goes.
And let’s not forget we are, no can be, we are the same for others. We are parents in a spiritual sense. Our interactions and relationships, disciple, encourage and shape others in their faith. We can be an Ananias, a Barnabus, a Paul to a Timothy and Silas to a Mark (insert name here).
But of course our greatest and most fulfilling influence and relationship is the one we have with God. Father, son and Holy Spirit. As His children, God continues to parent us. However we relate to God, as we grow nearer to Him we grow as disciples. We become more like Jesus as we learn more about ,and from, Him and the word of God. We are guided, discipled and given all the gifts we need to fulfil our call from God as we allow the Holy Spirit more and more into our lives.
We may not realise this but each and every one of us is being shaped by our relationships. And we are shaping others as well. Just as we have heard about those both in the OT and the NT, the multitude of God’s people, we will be parented, discipled and grow in our faith by those who we share our lives with. And the benchmark for how far we can go and how well we do to help others mature is our relationship with God. So let’s not forget to tend to that relationship above all else. To be parented by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.