Can you take a snapshot of your relational heartbeat? Don’t you think it’s an intriguing idea? If given the chance to get a snapshot of your relational heartbeat, would you want to? I hope so because Scripture encourages us to examine ourselves to see if we are showing the proper fruits of our faith. I discuss this idea more, later in this post.
Many of us are familiar with the sound of the fast pulsating beat of a fetus’ heartbeat. My husband and I were present to hear each of our grandchildren’s first heartbeats. We would be waiting for that sound of life indicating all is well, and then sigh with relief and joy! We also were excited to witness their rapid beating hearts on an ultrasound!
Those signs of life are critical. They are the first indications that the precious new life is on track for growing a healthy baby.
EKG to Check the Human Heartbeat
When someone appears to have had a heart-related incident, doctors will use an EKG machine to check the condition of the human heartbeat. Protocol is prescribed and the person goes home to make needed changes in their lifestyle toward healthier living.
Not So Simple with the Relational Heartbeat
With the vital relational entity of the heartbeat, it’s not so simple. We can’t just plug people into a machine to learn about the health of their relational habits. There’s nothing that tells us if they’re on track for a happy life and meaningful relationships.
If there was such a machine, we could all be tested before we contribute to brokenness in our family. Then we could follow whatever protocol needed to improve our relational health.
What Would We Look At? Are We Supposed to?
If we could take a snapshot of the state of a person’s heartbeat, what would we look at? Are we even supposed to? You might be surprised to know that Scripture suggests we are to test ourselves. It even tells us what we are to test and examine.
“Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it.” ~ 2 Corinthians 13:5
It’s clear we are to look at our faith, but what does that refer to? Here, Paul was linking faith with proper fruits. We already know that when the Bible refers to fruit, it’s addressing our character. God is pairing faith with character. Character is never formed in isolation apart from our primary relationships—how we relate with ourselves, with God, and with each other.
God is the one we receive our protocol from. He shows us how to make our relationships whole, and how to fix them when they’ve become broken. We heal our lives when we follow His prescribed relational protocol.
Linking Faith with Character — A Few Questions For You
• Have you ever thought about trusting God for your character formation?
• Are you believing God for the healing of a relationship in your family?
• Are you believing God for your internal growth and change?
• Have you received God’s protocol for what changes to make in how you relate with your spouse and children?
• Are you actively engaged with the work God wants to help you with your relational character?
These questions point to the faith-character connection.
Do You Want a Snapshot of Your Relational Heartbeat (SRH)?
If given the chance to know your SRH, would you want to?
Have you ever thought about this before: that the true quality and condition of your internal spiritual life can be tested by examining your external relational fruit?
When you look at, test, and check your own self and your closest relationships, you are taking a snapshot of your relational heartbeat (SRH). It tells you something and in some cases it tells on you.
Our Relational Fruit Tells On Us
Your SRH shows you what kind of fruit you have, and if you are showing the proper fruit that living as a follower of Christ is supposed to give you. It tells if you’ve been useful and fruitful toward having a greater understanding of the Lord Jesus and of the people in your life. Here it is in Scripture:
“For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Peter 1:5-8
What qualities is this passage speaking of?
“For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]…”
I love this passage! It shows us to what we are supposed to be actively applying our diligence. It even goes so far as to say that when we tend to these relational matters of heart in our human connections, we are becoming useful and productive toward getting to know Jesus. Imagine that! God is so practical and gives us practical ways to cooperate with Him so we can come into more holiness in His image.
Our Human Relationships Mirror What We Do with God
The activity of getting to know Jesus will affect our human relationships. Jesus will give us loving understanding for the members of our family.
The family’s heartbeat is a reflection of the sum of the parents’ relational interactions within the family. You can measure the effectiveness of your influence with your children by examining the fruit of your family’s relational interactions. What you want to know is right there.
Our human relationships actually mirror what we are doing unawares in relationship with God.
Dear Heart, God invites you into a two-part process—to know yourself and to know Him and His Love for you. When you cooperate with the Lord in His relational protocol of truth-telling, repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation, He will help you to heal your family’s heartbeat.
Begin by simply examining yourself. God loves you and will help you! Our “Family Heartbeat Evaluation” (snapshot) tool will help you get started. Get your snapshot (SRH) today!
Please let me know if this tool has been helpful to get you started. You can leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.
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You are welcome to join in the conversation with other moms who are going through the growth process that is producing the fruit of a healed and whole family heartbeat.
We just started “theme sharing” days—a different theme for each day of the week with a colorful image to head up the post thread!
Hope to see you soon!