He was filling out an application yesterday, to help with our church’s Vacation Bible School this summer, and when he was done he magneted it to the fridge and as I was walking by, a statement caught my eye.
One of the points he was to address on the application read: Describe your current relationship with God, and I noticed he’d crossed out the word relationship and above it he’d written the word fellowship.
I asked him why he’d changed the word, and he answered, because I’m not dating God.
Relationship is just a weird word in today’s modern English language, he said. It’s a Facebook status implying romance… you are in a relationship with someone. That’s not God and me. We are a team, you know. I’d never say I’m in a relationship with my dad, or I’m in a relationship with my friend Jesse. That would be awkward. But we enjoy doing stuff together, which is fellowship, and that’s what it’s like with me and God.
It made me think about the things we say, and what we really mean by them. All my life, I’ve heard people talk about having a relationship with God, or wanting to be in relationship with Jesus, or that Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. Now, I’m kind of wondering what that means?
I’m thinking relationship is about status. I am a daughter. This is my relationship with my parents. I am a mother. This is my relationship with my children. These relationships will never change. A relationship is about blood or commitment.
Fellowship, maybe, is the living out of the relationship. It’s what makes a relationship good or bad, strong or weak, happy or troubled. How well I fellowship with those around me (or those with whom I have a relationship) is a function of time spent together, enjoyment of that time, and activities or experiences shared with each other.
Maybe this is just semantics, but I found it interesting that my son chose to make a distinction between the two. If nothing else, good for him for diving deeper into the language I typically accept without question.
I love it when my kids make me think about stuff.