I’m currently in the joyful throws of motherhood with baby number three. Laundry is in the wash waiting to be changed over, wooden baby toys are strewn about the living room floor, my older ones are playing “choo-choo” with the baby, and as I’m writing this, I just found some ambiguous stain on my shirt. It’s probably from one of the tiny, adorable humans in the room.
I can’t help but reflect on how my life is interconnected with these little people, and it leads me to believe we are created for connection.
My children’s very existence is predicated on the fact my husband and I came together in relationship. They literally came into being, and one of their first goals was to connect and find a home in my body. For the formation of their early life, from the time of their very existence, they’ve depended on my provision, love, and care.
Simply from observing how life forms out of connection, we can see how we humans are made for relationship. If we go back to the very beginning, looking to Genesis 1-3, we find five interconnected relationships we are made to have: with God, ourselves, others—especially our family, but extending much further—work, and the earth.
- GOD: In Genesis 1-2, we read how God created earth and all its inhabitants. We see that God created us for relationship with Himself; the man and woman were able to directly speak and relate to God. It wasn’t until the Fall that disconnection and a fracture in relationship with God was felt (Gen 3: 8-10).
- OURSELVES: Standing naked and unashamed before each other and God (Gen 2:25), Adam and Eve were able to freely stand before each other, fully see the other, and therefore, I believe, were completely secure with themselves.
- EACH OTHER: God gave man and woman to each other for relationship and to fulfill their destiny and purpose together, which included building a family (Gen 1:26-28).
- EARTH & WORK: God asked Adam and Eve to steward and care for the earth and its inhabitants. God took the person He created and placed him in the garden to work it and care for it. Humans were created for a reciprocal relationship with nature—it provides nourishment and we provide direction and care (Gen 2:15-19).
Then everything fell apart. And what was the result? Disconnection.
Adam and Eve distrusted, disobeyed, and disconnected from the very One who held them together. They no longer stood before God or each other without shame, so they hid. Similarly, we mess up, we have failures and blemishes, we hide and often feel shame. Out of shame we are left with the question, “If I try to connect, will that desire be fulfilled or will I be rejected?”
When we feel ashamed, it can be tempting to retreat from God or community and hide. Nevertheless, healthy connection is actually what we need.
Connection is at the very core of who we are as human beings. Yet, invitation to disconnect is everywhere. Hours of scrolling on social media, getting lost in streaming media, living in urban environments with lack of green space, or a hurried life that rarely stops to connect with others, ourselves, or God. Do you feel it?
You have an invitation to relationship with God, others, yourself, your work and the earth, but with so many distractions, are you willing to go there?
It may feel risky. Maybe it’s easier to not risk vulnerability, sharing yourself and exposing your desires and needs.
Building connection and relationship can start with God because in Him the answer to your desire for relationship is always a resounding yes! He is the one who covers our shame (Gen. 3:21) (Rom 3:23-26) and restores relationship with arms wide-open (read Luke 15:11-32).
Take inventory on these five areas of relationship in your life. How satisfied are you in each area? From 1-10, with 10 being very satisfied, rate each relationship:
Where do you feel the biggest need for growth in connection, and what’s one step you can make towards growth? This could simply be making space and time for a regular rhythm of connection in one of these areas.
What would this do for you? In my experience, deeper connection has led to feeling known, a sense of belonging and increasing love and joy.
I’ve also found in places where connection hurts and where there’s trauma, seeking professional help from a counselor or professional is recommended.
What’s one thing you can do to invest in connection?
We were made for relationship. Deeper connection leads to increased meaning and fullness of life. You were created to live the more Jesus promised (John 10), and this can be realized in greater depth when we cultivate healthy relationship with God, ourselves, each other, our work and our environment.