I don’t have any children yet, but I have walked through many of those in my family and friends circles having their own children. It is such a unique experience to look at both parents and then look down at their newborn child, who is a reflection of them. It is fun to figure out whose nose they have, or whose hairline they are forming. Although some children look strikingly like one parent or the other, the reality is that each parent is represented partially in this being. Dad gets a part and mom gets a part, and through each of their contributions, this child is formed, with all its features and personalities.

It is the same with God and us. God presents a partial version of who He is through every human being. When God created humanity, it says that we were made in the image of God. Think about Adam and Eve. As a couple, united as one, they both brought different personalities and experiences to the table. I mean, Adam couldn’t say he knew what it meant to be created from the rib of another human, but he could describe what being sculpted from the dirt was like, or what his experience was waking up and seeing his beautiful Eve first thing, or the experience that was naming the animals. When God created each and every one of us, His made us in His image. This does not mean that you COMPLETELY resemble the entity of God, that isn’t possible in humans given our imperfection, but God chose features of Himself to instill into each person.

I believe that this picture doesn’t stop here. Not only do we individually emulate pieces of God’s character, but He does a similar thing through relationships. God’s intention and design for us is relationship – first exemplified through the declaration in Genesis that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. We have always been created for relationships with other people. Relationships are a unique situation where two people come together, each with their own past, hurts, experiences, joys, successes, and more. If you look at every relationship, each person brings to the table a different version and glimpse of who God is. Relationships are an explosion of the present characteristics of God. Each person brings a special glimpse in a unique way of these characteristics of God, and as a whole, our relationships reflect God in a unique way.

This realization for me led me to appreciate my relationships so much more, even the ones that were frustrating at times. Every person on this earth was created in the image of God, and each person, even if it may not be clearly expressed at this present moment,(and even if they don’t know it yet) holds a characteristic of God. Who is your one friend who emulates love SO well, in a way you only wish you could? Who is the most patient of your friends? Who has a strength like you have never seen before? Who is the the greatest listener? See what I mean? All these are characteristics represented perfectly by God and partially through each of us us.

What is yours? What characteristics do others say you emulate well? I encourage you to ask those around you as you begin to unfold you who are and what your identity is through Him. However, I also encourage you to take this and look at your relationships (both good and bad) in a new light. That one family member who drives you crazy? They are God’s kid too — so what did He give them that you can begin to appreciate? This choice to see the good is also one that Christ makes, and one that changes your mindsets, resulting in healthier relationships.

With Encouragement,