September 18, 2015

Relational Blueprint

We should make plans—counting on God to direct us. Proverbs 16:9 (TLB)

Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s hit show, Fixer Upper, help families see the potential in old houses by transforming their dreams into reality. They have a unique ability to see beyond all the problems with the existing structure and picture the possibilities of what it could be with the right plan. It’s gained such popularity that people are moving to Waco, Texas to get their own fixer upper!

What if we put as much time and energy into a relationship blueprint as we do the plans we draw for the house we want? It doesn’t matter whether you’re building a new house or renovating a fixer upper, the truth is, all relationships require constant remodeling. That’s because every relationship is a fixer upper. So, what does your relational blueprint look like?  The Bible offers four practical tips for making relational plans, counting on God to direct us.

  1. Gain a new vision

Instead of focusing on all the problems, faults, and failures in a relationship, ask God to give you a new vision of what it can be with His help. That’s what faith is all about. The writer of Hebrews said, 

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Faith is seeing what the future can be and believing that nothing is impossible with God. Before trying to remodel your mate, ask God to remodel your heart and mind. Think of ways to raise the value of your relationship with new vision.

  1. Draw a new plan

When you ask God for a new vision you need to write it down. Before remodeling a fixer upper, Chip and Joanna always show the couple a computer rendering of what the plan will look like when it’s done. A relational blueprint of God’s design creates expectancy and builds hope for the work ahead. It gives purpose and functionality. God has a plan for your relationships. He’s the ultimate fixer upper. No marriage is beyond His ability to restore if each partner will cooperate with Him. Years ago, Chris and I wrote down what we call our love at last sight vision statement.

“We are deeply committed and intentional about creating a marriage that is fresh and new every day. We feel completely connected to each other by listening and learning how to meet each other’s needs so that, the last time we see each other on this earth, we’ll be more in love than ever before.” 

  1. Begin new actions

One of the most common misconceptions in relationships is that love is a feeling and, when the feeling dies, so does the love. The truth is that love is an action that produces strong feelings. The Bible describes love like this:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…. 1 Cor. 13:4-8a (NIV)

The quickest way to restore those loving feelings is to be intentional with loving actions. Take one or two action steps today based on 1 Corinthians 13 to demonstrate your love, and those loving feelings will return.

  1. Seek a new power

The best news of all is that we’re not alone in trying to remodel our relationships. Every Christ follower has the same power available to them that raised Jesus from the dead! God specializes in resurrections! He can resurrect your marriage! He can make the house you have the home you want! Ephesians 3:20 promises, 

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us….  

Let Him do the work through you. He’s the master architect and the ultimate fixer upper!