Summer of Joy

Create Joy in Relationships.

Joy in Relationships

Last week we looked at what happens when joy grows legs and up and runs away on us and during tough seasons it is always interesting to observe what people do inside their relationships.

What do you do?

  • Do you run towards your closest friends or lock yourself in a closet wondering if anyone will notice that you are missing?
  • Do you utilize the power of prayer or choose to stay up late watching mindless TV worrying about what tomorrow will bring?
  • Do you engage God more or do you kick Him under the table and throw a table cloth over Him?

While joy is a fruit of living in concert with the Holy Spirit I believe relationships on this earth and with God are the water joy needs to thrive. As an introvert I naturally sink inward during times of doubt or worry but I have found that God uses relationships to bring explosive growth to my character.

Pursuing intentionality in relationships creates growth in the body of Christ.

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16

Did you catch that?
When we join together we grow together. We grow the body of Christ together.

  • I sent my kids off to VBS last week with hundreds of other little people curious about Jesus and each day I would pick them up and see growth in their desire to know more about God.
  • I went on a date night with my husband last week. We ate at a new restaurant and went to the theater. We laughed, we brainstormed, we shared, quite possibly, our most favorite desert in our 7 years together and we grew our waist line just a bit bigger.
  • Sunday night I went to dinner with a girl friend and we checked in with each other, we asked some hard questions of each other, and we grew in our trust of each other.

As a Life Coach accountability and intentionality are my thing. To me they have life changing value!!! I currently have the honor of holding numerous clients accountable to the life they desire to live out loud in this world and I consider that a major privilege. I ask them hard questions, boldly pray for them, and encourage them in their pursuit to live intentionally. In our sessions together they grow and I grow but most importantly we grow in our understanding of God. I hang up the phone from each call and I feel growth (like Pinocchio felt his nose grow kinda growth) .

Here is the cool thing you don’t have to be a Life Coach to do that with others. We can all do our part in growing the body of Christ and watering the fruit of the Spirit in others. Here are a few ideas that will help you in building up the body of Christ.

3 Ideas for Creating Joy in Relationships:

Pick a Prayer Priority.

If your life is anything like mine you have a lot of friends or family members that can use prayer for one thing or another and while I don’t want you cutting off anyone from your prayers life I would encourage you to:

relationship 1

Spend the month doodling their name and offering them up in prayer, intentionally ask them if they have any prayers requests, or write out a prayer for them and send it to them.

Who will it be?

Watch how your faithfulness fosters growth.

Pick up a Pen.

In this day and age of texts, IM’s, FB messages and Voxer there is a lot of power in taking the time to put pen to paper.

relationship 2

I have people that are really good at this in my life and I absolutely cherish it. The smile in seeing real mail and the realization that someone took a time out to hand write and mail a card is life giving and builds me up.

I love what Henri Nouwen says:

“When I write I think deeply about my friends…it deepens friendships and makes them more real.”

What friendship do you want to deepen?

Watch how your thoughtfulness inspires growth.

Pick Encouragement.

Who doesn’t thrive off a bit of encouragement? I often get annoyed by the folks I see on Facebook that are one big whiner fest. In fact I probably have anyone that falls in that category blocked. But, what if rather than being annoyed by them I took the time to encourage them? Hmmmm…I wonder.

relationship 3

There are no Dallas Cowboy short shorts required to be a cheerleader for God! This month choose to:

  • send an encouraging verse to a friend via text
  • forward an interesting blog article you read
  • share only inspiring thoughts and photos on Facebook.

Watch how your efforts spark growth.

Let’s re-read Ephesians again.

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16

Check out that last part.
When we work together love grows. It ripples.

3 people. I am asking you to challenge yourself in July to pour into 3 people in your life. Imagine if those 3 people ripple those same actions to another and so on…

love God reflect Jesus

*This is part of the Summer of Joy series with Britta Lafont.*

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