Don't Waste Your Summer: Grow Your Relationships

Three girls laughing on couch

As we each go our separate ways during the summer, returning to our hometowns, taking on new internships and jobs, diving into summer classes, and remaining on DBU's campus, it is easy to sweep the relationships we invested in during the past semester under the rug. What would happen, though, if we intentionally grew and poured into our relationships with fervor and expectation during our summer breaks? The Word is clear: we were not meant to go through this life alone (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-12), and the summer break is no exception. Let's take a moment and reflect on some of the most inspiring and influential relationships in Scripture and apply the truth found within each of them to our own lives.

Timothy had Paul: Growing Our Relationships with Our Mentors

"To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." (1 Timothy 1:2)

Paul, the converted Christian-killer turned evangelist, possesses a testimony unlike any other found in the Bible. Wise, discerning, serious, and sold-out for Christ, it is people like Paul that we must lean into and learn from. Timothy traveled with Paul on his second missionary journey, watching how Paul lived and paying close attention to the advice and instruction Paul gave him. Paul even wrote not one, but two full books to help guide Timothy after they had gone their separate ways! Finding mentors within our lives and allowing the Lord to work through these individuals gives us insight we hadn't possessed before, wisdom we haven't yet acquired, and advice we can rely on.

Moses had Aaron: Growing Our Relationships with Our Friends

"Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. And moreover, behold, he is coming out to meet you; when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth..." (Exodus 4:14-15)

What a compelling and endearing depiction of friendship is found between Moses and Aaron. Moses had a lofty call- to orchestrate the exodus of an entire nation out of Egypt- yet Moses doubted himself. But where Moses fell short, God provided his brother Aaron to fill in the gap. Aaron was a faithful friend and companion to Moses. He spoke when Moses couldn't, loyally stood by his side during Pharaoh's persecution, and loved his brother with Christ-like zeal. These are the types of friendships we should be pursuing- ones that challenge, uphold, and love despite our shortcomings- whether it be through small groups, accountability partners, or simply finding community wherever we are planted in our current season of life.

Naomi had Ruth: Growing Our Relationships with Our Mentees

"And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, 'Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.' Naomi said to her, 'Go ahead, my daughter.' So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek." (Ruth 2:2-3)

Naomi loved her daughter-in-law Ruth dearly. After the passing of her husband, her two sons, and Orpah's departure, Naomi and Ruth remained, heartbroken but not hopeless. It was the specific wisdom and knowledge of Naomi that jump-started Ruth's relationship with Boaz ultimately leading her home to her kinsman redeemer. In the same way, each of us as Christians possess unique skills and experiences given to us by God to share with the next generation of Believers. Maybe for you that looks like working your church's VBS or youth camp, going on a mission trip, or finding someone you love to pour back into through discipleship this summer. Because someone loved you enough to share about our Kinsman Redeemer, go therefore and continue the cycle.

The Disciples had Jesus: Growing Our Relationships with Our Savior

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people." (Matthew 4:19)

The most important relationship we have is with Jesus Christ. If you take away anything, let it be that very simple fact. The time we spend enriching and growing this relationship floods into and influences every other relationship we have. It was through Christ alone that the disciples were able to become world changers after Jesus's ascension. This is our foundation. This is our solid rock. This is our most personal, most challenging, hardest, yet most rewarding relationship we will ever have. So crack open your Bible, find godly devotionals, pray consistently, and pursue Christ with renewed passion this summer. What better time to pick up where you left off with the Lord than today? What better time to dive deeper into His Word than this very moment? What better time to truly give your summer to Christ than right now?

Written by Emmalie Ellis

Emmalie Ellis writes for the University Communications department at Dallas Baptist University.