How to ROCK Your Relationships
Yes it was a little weird and it had a cheesy ending, but it was a dream, so don’t judge.
I was speaking on some college campus (so far, not strange), but the students were simply not paying attention. In fact, they were talking so loudly amongst themselves it was almost like I wasn’t there. And in some sort of desperate attempt to win their attention I went off script and started yelling, over and over again:
“If your relationships rock, your life will rock!”
By God’s grace, I’m usually able to hold an audience’s attention and, since He’s given me the heart of a teacher, I like to go far deeper than a simple slogan.
However, what I said in the dream is true. If your relationships rock, your life will rock.
Of course you want great health. Perhaps you’d like to look hot as well as healthy. You want financial peace. You might even want financial wealth. You certainly want some level of success in life. You probably want a lot of things.
But who’s happier? The billionaire without a friend in the world, or the poor man who’s admired by all who know him? The actor who’s “loved” for their perfect looks and genuine performance, or the accountant who’s loved for their positive outlook and genuine personality?
Let’s make a more specific comparison.
We’ll start with Olympic medal collector, Michael Phelps. You may know who Michael is, but did you know Phelps has struggled with being truly known? Indeed, after the London Olympics, he found all the victory in the world worthless without thriving relationships with family and close friends. (Join me in praying he’s doing better since Rio.)
Now let’s look at one of my Dad’s closest friends who just died earlier this year: Dan Marshall.
To be certain, his death was tragic: beginning with a diagnosis of esophageal cancer and then, despite medical intervention, ending just ten months later after that cancer found it’s way into his brain and spine.
But his life rocked!
Dan was respected by a fraction of those who revere Michael, but he was known deeply by the people most important to him, starting with his Lord and Savior, Jesus, and then extending beyond his wife and children to include such blessed beneficiaries as my Dad. He left behind family and friends who were better for knowing him, and entered glory to spend forever with the God who knew him before he was born.
At the end of the day, you don’t get to choose how you will die, but you do get to choose how you will live. And you get to choose what you will live for.
That said, please believe me. The words of my dream are a reality. You will find no deeper satisfaction in any other life endeavor than you will in pursuing and growing in healthy, life-giving relationships, beginning first with the God who gave you life and gave His own life for you.
So how can you achieve that kind of relational success?
Well, since this post is not a dream and I am really typing these words, I’m not just going to simply lead you in some chant about relationships and rock and roll.
Instead, I’m going to introduce you to our online Relation^ology study where we share truth for thriving in relationships. In other words, this discipleship series was designed to teach you how to rock your relationships.
And since you are not dreaming, and you are actually reading these words, you know it’s going to take a lot more than a slogan to learn how to rock a relationship, with moves like Jagg… ah… with moves like Dan Marshall. (Or better yet, like Jesus.)
Start with the YouTube LoveEd episode immediately below.
- Watch the video.
- Read the recommended readings.
- Then process your thoughts and questions with a mentor or a small group of friends.
- Then do the same thing with the next video in the series. And so on.
Not as easy as a simple mantra, but you can do it! You could at least watch the first video where we clarify what you are really looking for in relationships: relational intimacy.
Then after you understand how badly you want to know and be known by the important people in your life, you need to identify the intimacy impostors which we’re tempted to seek out or settle for instead of the intimacy for which our soul so deeply longs.
That’s why in this second video in the Relation^ology series we look at the life of the aforementioned Michael Phelps to grasp why these intimacy impostors are so enticing to us.
Then we spend the bulk of the Relation^ology series identifying seven of the intimacy impostors which are very likely keeping you from rocking your relationships the way you’d like. We encourage you to check them all out, but if you take a quick look it’s likely you can already tell which ones you might be more susceptible to falling for.
Intimacy Impostor: Attention
Whether you desire to be the life of the party, long for more likes on every social media post, or demand immediate responses to every text, meaningless attention will keep you from truly meaningful intimacy.
Intimacy Impostor: Acceptance
Everyone needs acceptance, but if no one knows the “real you” then you can never know real acceptance. What’s worse is when you don’t feel accepted by those who do know the “real you.” But feelings can be deceiving.
Intimacy Impostor: Influence
My Dad’s friend, Dan Marshall, may have lived his life in relative obscurity, but he changed the lives of those who knew him. But even a desire as good as changing the world can keep you from making the kind of impact you would have wished with those who know you best.
Intimacy Impostor: Exclusivity
The foundation of a stable society is built upon the success of a certain exclusive relationship called marriage, but the world has produced a snot-load of it’s own exclusive relationships from which many derive their identity. However, exclusivity should never be the point of any relationship. Not even marriage.
Intimacy Impostor: Fame
Whether you want to be a rock star, movie star, political star, or would settle for a viral video of you laughing at yourself in your car while wearing a Chewbacca mask, you need to understand that fame can keep you from ever knowing yourself, much less being truly known by others.
Intimacy Impostor: Romance
There are actually two videos in the Relation^ology series on how the intimacy impostor of romance can make you feel close to someone while keeping you from ever truly growing close to them. So be sure to watch this one and then the one that follows in the playlist.
Intimacy Impostor: Sex
There are actually four different videos in the Relation^ology series on how seeking out or settling for sex in your relationship life will keep you from the intimacy you’re dying for. So click play on this video and then let the YouTube playlist keep on rolling.
The Intimacy You Were Made For
Lastly, we close out the series reminding you of the one relationship you really need to prioritize above all others. As it turns out, it’s the only relationship which can empower you to rock all the others.
That’s it. It’s a lot to learn, but at least it’s not a dream. It’s real.
And so is your desire to know and be known.
So watch, read, discuss and rock your relationships like a boss because…
“If your relationships rock, your life will rock!”
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!