I see that a lot of people, as well as myself, have this need to always be in a relationship. And it’s true… We all have this need- a need for relationship with another. Especially in our teen years, our emotions and our culture tell us that we are made for an exclusive, intimate relationship with someone else. Ultimately, we are made for a companionship- a companionship with Christ. The book of John helps us better understand this.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
We are made for a relationship that cannot be satisfied with anything or anyone but God.
I love what Jackie Francois says about this: “No human being will ever be able to satisfy your heart. God is the only one who can satisfy your heart.”
The thing that sometimes we forget is, that God has a relationship with us. We are made for a relationship with him. We should value that over everything else, even relationships with other people. And the thing is- we won’t be fully satisfied with anything else- even an exclusive relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Our hearts are restless, until they rest in God. This relationship with Christ translates into a vocation- be it marriage or a holy vocation such as the sisterhood or the priesthood.
As teenagers, we all love to date…. And that isn’t a bad thing! Dating helps us figure out what we like and don’t like in other companions, so that we have a good idea of what will work out well when we do come to that person who we are called to marry. (This is, of course, if we are called to live out the vocation of marriage.) In dating, though, it is very easy to get swept into our emotions- and that is why breakups hurt so badly when they do happen. We make these connections with others, connections that we may have never experienced before. After a breakup, we feel this unsettling emptiness, because we feel this great loss. The companionship we have gotten so attached to has been severed, and we grieve.
In relationships, our emotions and our love for one another is astounding. God gives us this amazing ability to love- an ability that should in fact be used more. We feel great during the relationship, but a relationship without Christ is like a fish without water. When we experience breakups, we feel so alone. But the thing is- in a relationship with Christ, we will never feel this emptiness. We feel whole.
Are you putting your relationships with other people before your relationship with Christ? Are you keeping Christ in your intimate relationships as well? Is your heart restless, or does it rest in God?
“Our hearts are restless until we rest in you.” (Confessions 1:1)