Anything neglected, eventually falls apart
By Teresa A. LeNeave
Relationship doesn't just happen. Anything neglected, eventually falls apart. When I think of building relationships I see a bookcase lined with happy books, funny books, sad books, horror books, science books, medical books and mystery novels.
Take a moment to imagine the relationship you have with people around you. What's it like? Each individual person has their own personality just like each book has its own story; its own plot. Life is like a library with every kind of book. Every book is different and every relationship will be different.
The one constant is that they are all books. People are just people. We come in every size and shape with no personality exactly alike.
In your mind, line your friends up like books and imagine there is a bookend that holds up those relationships. On one end, there is a bookend called, "Love". On the opposite end of the bookshelf is another bookend called, "Cleave". The word 'cleave' may seem scary, but I think you'll find it is really a very safe and comfortable place for people who love each other.
Without those two bookends, love and cleave, a relationship can quickly turn into a horror story. Cleave means to 'cling', or hold to. How can you let a relationship go that you are clinging to? You can't because it's too important to you. If you just let people you love walk out of your life, there will always be an empty hole. We can't cling to the past. We cling to the present. The Bible says God's mercy is new and fresh every morning. These two bookends, love and cleave, are what makes relationships strong and sturdy enough to weather storms.
Just like books, we are all different. We just have to figure out a way to appreciate our differences. "Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus said. Somewhere in the middle of all the differences we try to make sense of life.
In the end, our relationships with God and man come down to how we loved and how we followed God. How we love and how we cleave. King Solomon said, "Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, for this is the duty of every person. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Life has many seasons and each season has a story. What will our stories read like? Does it depict good things about you and your family? Is forgiveness or bitterness spilled on the pages? If it's good things, then at the other end of the bookcase probably sits the other bookend, "cleave". If either bookend is removed, the whole stack of books will begin to fall.
The books, the stories, in our lives will always be held in place by the strongest cords. What cord is getting weak right now? Strengthen the cords of 'love and cleave'. Don't let them unravel. Paul said nothing can separate you from the love of God ... not life, death, sickness, pain or suffering. God has a bond with us that won't break.
Value your relationships. When either bookend is moved, the books are apt to fall at the least movement of the shelf. Any little shaking can cause the books to tumble.
Satan is a master at killing, stealing and destroying. God is the master of restoration. If the two bookends 'love and cleave' remain in place, they have the power to hold up all the books and stories of our life.