Nequaquam nobis divinitus esse paratam
Naturam rerum; tanta stat praedita culpa
(Had God designed the world, it would not be
A world so frail and faulty as we see.)
I believe that the happiest people in the modern world are those who experience many deep friendships. We feel obligated to family (usually), and also to spouses and often, even our children. One purposefully forms friendships and this is where the difference lies. We choose our friends and keep the relationships alive through our own volition. Is it any wonder that many times, we prefer the love of our friendships over the love of family and family ties?
This is not as unusual as many people seem to think. If you have never read C.S. Lewis' book, "The Four Loves" I highly recommend that you do so and as soon as possible. It is the single most book that I can point to and say it made a difference in almost every long term relationship I've had since. It has also been effective in shorter term and fleeting relationships as well. Those which were established before I read it- such as family and people I have known all my life have been a little more difficult to apply the principles to- but if you read the book you will understand why.
There is a serious problem today of lack of affection between people who may ordinarily have closer ties or at least friendlier relationships for many complicated and not-so-complicated reasons. The increase in social-interactive crimes, identity theft, and a general- purportedly justified- lack of trust is mostly to blame. Our social ills also add to this general alienation between people and cinch the problem.
If you have attended a church which includes primary Bible studies including regular services then you have been taught to know that God is love and that all love comes from Him. Additionally, we know that we cannot love without Him. Love has many dimensions, faces and duties- just like God. The same way we learn to trust God we can also learn to trust each other. This is possible even in the perilous times we live in if we learn to use discernment.
Discernment has been a rather unused virtue for the past few decades and I don't see any improvements in wisdom or judgment either. We rely more on our general mistrust and skepticism than we do with our minds. It is a sign of the times but it's also sad. Are we to sacrifice relationships which might be more fulfilling than any other only because of fear ?
I believe there's a better way and my feeling is that great discernment is God-given. This requires trust in God first and then you can tap into this "mind" of God and know many things. This is scriptural. Look up Philippians 2:5 which reads "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." This is a verse full of power because it gives us awesome abilities with our own minds. If you repeat this scripture often it's like repeating the promises. Your mental abilities increase immeasurably.
Be blessed with abundance and my kisses !
The Castle Lady
It is impossible to understand the things of God
standing in the shadows of disbelief.
- Evelyn M. Wallace (2004)