Structure. Imagine a body without a skeleton. What would it be? Mush. Our skeleton is the structure that everything attaches to and without it we would be in big trouble. Our skeleton is also the thing that remains long after all the rest decomposes. Our skeleton is something that is always there, but we don't think about it unless of course we break part of it. Our skeletons are a reminder of the importance of structure.
God established structure from the beginning. The world, the laws of science, the boundaries of earth, sea, and sky, names, roles, and gender. These structures have enabled us to live and have our being. These structures also create the culture to love God and love people. Structure grows love. In marriage, dates, weekends away, and vacations grow love for our mate. In our spiritual life, Sabbath, prayer, and reading the Bible grow our love for God. In the work place, meetings, projects, and seminars grow our love for our co-workers.
So if you need more love in your life add structure. Let's agree, people are irritable these days and they can be hard to love. You may even find yourself with less patience and seemingly less love. What do you do? Add some structured times away so you can renew and refresh. We may think this is a waste of time or weakness. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16, NIV). If Jesus had this structure in place, then maybe we need to as well.
Structure grows love for God and people. I would encourage you this week to think about some structures you could add to your life. Maybe it's a date night, an evening with the kids, visiting parents, paying respects at a grave site, reading your Bible, journaling, starting a relationship with an accountability partner, going to church, joining a small group, or a serve team. Ask God to show you the structure you need because like a skeleton, while structure often goes unnoticed, it is vital to live and have our being.
Scripture: Luke 5:16 (NIV)
"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed"
"Father, we thank you for structure. We thank you for order. We thank you that even our bodies remind us of the importance of structure. We confess the times we have ignored the gift of structure. We confess our times of just being lazy. We confess the times when we have known we needed to add structure to our relationship with You and those closest to us, but didn't. We pray you would give us wisdom to see what we need to do. We pray you would help us add some structure, even if it is one thing, so our love would grow for people. We know when we love people we love You because this is what Jesus taught. Whatever we do for the least of these, we do for You. Make us a team player by embracing the structure you have established to play this game of life. In Jesus' name, Amen."