“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20). Our relationship with God is tested and strengthened through our human relationships. In other words, our Christianity finds its hands and feet in our human relationships. Without the human interaction, religion is just theory.
It is no wonder that the devil attacks relationships. A breakdown in human relationships spells disaster for our relationship with God. For instance, an absentee father makes it difficult for his child to conceive of God as a faithful Father. And an indulgent mother sets up her child to think any difficulties in life mean that God has forsaken them.
So the devil attacks human relationships as a means to destroy our relationship with God. The principal human relationship between man and woman is the object of his special interest. If he can distort that relationship, then he limits our ability to perceive God, since the image of God is reflected in the combination of male and female. He targets the marriage relationship; he attacks father/daughter and mother/son relationships; and he corrupts any interaction between men and women.
Wherever a healthy relationship exists, it provides an avenue to knowing God. A robust friendship illumines the Friend who sticks closer than a brother, and marriage, the most intimate of human relationships, provides a glimpse of the Trinity itself. This week we consider aspects of the intimate relationship.