Thursday, November 5, 2009

Strong Relationships

Enjoy this guest post from Corrie Howe!

“He had no majesty to attract us to him; there was nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2

Since the birth of my youngest, nearly eight years ago, I’ve watched with interest the proliferation of reality TV shows dealing with various types of relationships. There are shows about matchmaking, parenting, swapping spouses, roommate wars, strangers on islands and friends redecorating one another’s homes.

When I nursed my infant daughter, I watched a show called Joe Millionaire. The entire show centered on a construction worker’s dilemma over picking a mate from 20 women who believed he was worth $80 million. He constantly asked himself, “Is she attracted to me or my imaginary money?”

A year later a show premiered called “Average Joe.” I didn’t watch it, but the commercials led me to believe the conflict in the show was “Can a physically attractive woman desire a physically unattractive man?”

I don't know about you, but as I reflected upon forty years of relationships, most of my important and long lasting relationships didn’t start from attraction. As I’m thinking about the people I hold near and dear to my heart, I think most of my important relationships stemmed out of common bonds.

My relationships with my parents, brothers, grandmothers, aunt, uncles and cousins started because we shared the same blood, but the fact that I still relate to them is because I grew to understand and love them.

My relationships with my in-laws (on my side and my husband’s side) started out because we share one person in common, but as I started spending time with them, I grew to value and trust them.

I have several relationships from my previous employment. Initially we shared an employer or vocation in common. The fact that I’m still in relationship with them after leaving the company a decade ago means we built something past the original common bond.

From what I can pick up from these TV shows about relationships, there doesn't seem much to keep the relationship together after the cameras stop rolling.

Pretty much all my own relationships which started out with a strong attraction of some sort usually ended with disappointment. There were dozens of men and women with whom I seemed to “hit it off” right away but now I can't tell you where any of them are. Despite the original attraction, we didn’t share common interests or values. Our personalities conflicted. We couldn’t unconditionally accept one another. There wasn’t mutual trust and loyalty....

One year I had Isaiah 53:2 stuck in my head. The Message translation is “There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.” The NIV says, “He had no majesty to attract us to him, there was nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

This verse is in the Old Testament in a series of prophecies foretelling the arrival of Israel’s Messiah (savior). The Prophet Isaiah said there was nothing to attract his peers to Jesus, nothing to cause them to desire to know him better. You see, the Jewish people were looking for a King from the royal line of kings to rise up and lead a rebellion reestablishing Israel as a sovereign nation. They weren’t looking for a baby to be born in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes.

I think Isaiah’s words are just as true today. How many times did people introduce me to Jesus and I didn’t desire him. He doesn't have the glamour of Hollywood riches or the excitement of sports fame. When I originally looked at him, I thought a relationship with him meant a lot of “don’ts”...which wasn’t really attractive. It was only after I began spending time with Him and understanding him better that I count him as the most important relationship in my life.

Now, I’m attracted to him because he loves me even though I am not perfect. In fact, he already knows I’m not perfect which is why he died on the cross for my sins. I find him attractive because his death on the cross and my belief in him guarantees me eternal life with God. I find comfort in being able to come to him daily for the things we all look for in relationships – unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness.

Thank you, Lord, for your ways are not our ways. In fact, your ways are much higher than our ways. We confess that we are often beguiled by the outward appearances. You are interested in the heart. Thank you for your precious gift of Jesus, who had no earthly majesty about him, but he gave up his heavenly throne to assume the punishment for our sins. Now when you look on our hearts, you only seen the righteousness of Jesus and we can stand before you unconditionally loved and forgiven. Amen.

Corrie Howe is thrilled to be able to write about her walk with the Lord today. Typically she writes about her middle son over at Just Because My Pickle Talks Doesn't Make Me an Idiot. While she does weave in how her faith helps her in "the joy in the challenge of Asperger's Syndrome," her primary purpose of the blog is to bring hope and humor into an often hopeless and dark community of special needs.


  1. I'm sharing this with my kids. Great post!

  2. I love that Isaiah verse about Jesus. It is fun to compare it to Revelation verses about Jesus busting through the sky, riding his white horse with a crowd of angels praising Him!

    That He gave up His attractiveness and His majesty while on this earth to save a sinner like me is just amazing!

    Love this post!

  3. Well said, Corrie! I agree about the skewed reality shows. They do set up unrealistic expectations for our youth. Thanks for this post and for directing me over here from your blog.

  4. I'm visiting from Corrie' blog, and I so enjoyed this post. Your discussion about the Isaiah verse is beautiful and thought provoking. Our relationship with Jesus must fuel how we approach all our relationships. Great job Corrie!!