I recently read a book by Kyle Idleman entitled “Not a Fan”. Near the beginning of this book, Kyle encourages his readers to have a D.T.R. talk with God. Now if you’re like me, you’re wondering what exactly “D.T.R.” stands for. The acronym D.T.R. stands for “Define the Relationship”. My desire for this post is to show you why placing God first in your life is so important, as well as to challenge you to have your own D.T.R. talk with God, to define exactly where you stand in your relationship with Him.
When you think of the word “relationship”, what exactly comes to your mind?
My dictionary defines relationship as “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected”.
So basically, a relationship is a connection between two or more people. Whether it’s a positive connection (i.e. the connection seen in a healthy marriage) or a negative connection (such as the connection between an abusive father and a son), it’s still a relationship.
One of the main things that I find helps differentiate healthy relationships from those that are not is whether they are two way or not. In other words, both people should be enjoying and benefit from the relationship.
Now, you might feel that your relationship with God is kind of a one-way street. That is to say, you’re putting a lot of effort into your relationship and you just don’t feel like God’s really keeping up with his end of things. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about this.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
I’d like to dig in a little deeper on the second verse that’s posted above. Let’s read through it a time or two more, just to let the full weight of what the author’s trying to communicate sink in. My interpretation of these two verses is that the author is basically giving some of the most diverse examples he can come up with, and then, even after all that, he says “nor anything else in all creation” to top off the fact that there is absolutely NOTHING that can separate us from the love of God. Now, I don’t know about you, but I feel like the fact that God’s love for us is THAT strong is pretty good evidence that our relationship with him isn’t a one-way street. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to love God enough, to the point where we love him with the same kind of intensity he loves us with. In fact, I know we won’t. He knows the very number of hairs on my head (Matthew 10:30). He knew the very hour I would be born, and he knows the hour I will die. God knows of all the sin that I have committed against him so far and he knows of all the sin I will commit over the course of today, tomorrow, this week, etc. And yet he STILL loves me and STILL desires an intimate relationship with me. I promise you that you will not find that intensity of love anywhere else, no matter how hard you look.
Why should our relationship with God be the foundation for all of the rest of our relationships? Well, think about it… Imagine you’re building a house. When you start the actual construction phase, what’s the first thing you do? You level out the ground and lay the concrete, right? Why do you do this? Well, you want your house to be as stable as possible. It’s the same way with our relationships. If we lay the foundation for our relationships on our friends, our foundation won’t be stable. People change. Friendships fall apart. We live in a world where sin is prevalent. As long as we’re depending on people that are just as flawed as we are, instead of an all-knowing, blameless God, we will not have any stability.