Being in a relationship helps me understand God in new ways. As I understand my boyfriend better, I am stretched to be more patient, observant, and thoughtful. I also see God in him, not only in how he treats individuals but also in the ways his personality differs from mine, highlighting fresh aspects of God’s nature in his image.
My boyfriend says I have a lot of energy, and having lived with myself for over two decades, I can affirm his observation.
I want to hang out with people every day. I can talk for hours about what happened at work, the black squirrel I saw on a walk, what my cousin and I plan to do together, how yummy dinner was, and what Buzzfeed got right on a personality quiz.
Being extroverted, people give me energy, and God gifted me with a lot of my own energy to share. Sometimes I jump up and down for no reason. I enjoy getting out of the house. I like to travel and explore.
Still, I understand the need for rest and can get with the fact that my boyfriend, having less energy than I, prefers to chill at home.
While I like to go out and DO things with my partner, I also enjoy simply spending time in his presence.
I’m content to sit with him at his home, sharing a blanket and watching a show together. I love when he holds me, his arm resting comfortably around my shoulders, his lips occasionally surprising my forehead with a sweet kiss.
Though I still have a lot of words to express about Netflix and the delectable microwave popcorn and when his new car part might arrive, I’m content simply being with him.
Being in a relationship teaches me about sacrifice and constantly builds my character. It also helps me understand God in new ways.
That’s part of the blessing of being physical people on a physical earth with a God who became incarnate. Because Jesus created everything and then spent time dwelling among his creation, he gets us and provides tangible ways for us to understand him.
God draws us closer to him through the things we see, feel, smell, hear, and taste, like the enchanting and earthy scent of autumn as we crunch over windblown leaves or the crucifix and bitter Eucharist on Sunday morning.
He shows us how he relates and loves through other people as well.
In addition to providing shelter and safety, God’s presence is a joy and delight.
If we are walking in God’s ways, we will accomplish the things he has prepared for us to do. However, it’s helpful to take a step back and remember why we do. It’s good to stay in that place for a while, basking in God’s presence and growing closer to his heart.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” -Psalm 16:11, ESV
Through my gentle boyfriend, God has reminded me that it’s quite enjoyable to spend quality time just basking in the presence of the ones — or One — we love.