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On the cross shaped tree are two types of lines –horizontal and vertical. In the environment of earth we were made to live with “people”. Humans are beings with a spirit, body and a soul. The spirit emphasizes a vertical relationship (man and God), the body emphasizes a horizontal relationship (man to man) but the soul emphasizes the cross (horizontal and vertical relationship).

The soul is as broad as the sky and as deep as the ocean floor. It’s the summary of the will, emotion and intellect. We go “soul-winning” because the position of the soul is critical to dictating the state of the spirit and the destination of the body after death. Precisely, I will look at the emotions and how it plays in our human relations on earth. 
Let’s talk about relationships. Have you met good Christians that backslided because of a new boyfriend or a new girlfriend? I am not a love expert or relationship counsellor, I’m just a girl inspired by God to share a story. You may want to understand this piece as a story of the LADY, her LOVER and her LORD. The lady must keep all these relationships, balanced and appropriately. Her LORD needs her and her LOVER needs her and she needs HERSELF. She must understand the dynamics of these three special relationships, the better she does, the more productive she becomes. Each of these three relationships has its own need, priority and goal.
I met this young lady in her 2ndyear, she walked into my room one day and decided to unleash herself. Yes, “unleash”. From our conversation, I perceived a young girl who was embittered with past experiences. She told me to never trust any guy, they were all the same. Of course, I did not let her paint the world bitter, we talked on and on. I realized she desires to be in a relationship, but she is not ready. Her spiritual life check-up didn’t provide a positive result but she was keen on getting a “faithful guy.”
Many times, we run ahead of time. We want to get into a relationship when our first relationship (with God) is not working. We pretend that God is the centre of the relationship, when in fact He has been pushed outside. Before you can create a relationship of 3 (God, you and your partner), you must have a working relationship of 2 (you and God). The challenge is that if you don’t have a good relationship of 2, keeping a good relationship of 3 is IMPOSSIBLE.
God will never sign up for someone that will take His place in your life. If your “boyfriend” deserves a 2-hour conversation on the phone, give it to God first. Be conscious of this truth always. If you really love someone, make sure they are not taking God’s place, God’s time and God’s priority in your life because God will resist anything that tries to contend for His glory. God’s glory is a sum of His place (His position is non-negotiable), His time (His will is King) and His priority (He is supreme and Alpha). Moreso, I once told this gentleman, the more of God you know and have, the better you can keep me. You know why? The easiest way to break a relationship is to make one party grow cold towards the relationship with God. If a person who drives is called a driver, a person who cleans is a cleaner, then a person who loves is a lover. A lover loves but love is God (1John 4:8). So invariably, a lover must be a God follower, believer and worshipper.
From the pyramid of trust, you will see three (3) elements –You, Partner and God. 
Author’s Conceptual Framework
The peak, closer to the output is GOD. Relationships that work push GOD ahead. Because if He leads, you WIN???? (Exo. 33:15). Where is a relationship that works? It’s in between a relationship of two beings and three beings (see pyramid).
Let’s briefly talk about the pyramid. In other to examine the role of each party in the working relationship, I put forth four (4) hypotheses. They are;
H1: There is a relationship between God and You (GY)
In explaining the law ‘And He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27a). You have a responsibility to keep a personal relationship with God. One that exists before and after you meet your partner.
H2: There is a relationship between God and your Partner (GP)
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2Corin.6:14). It is more reliable to walk with someone God can discipline on your behalf. With the Holy Spirit, he has a good judgment and looks unto Jesus, the perfect description of love, to love you. Love can be pure with a pure person.
H3: There is a relationship between You and your Partner (YP)
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'(Luke 10:27b). Be diligent to work on your character, your career, your sociability, your personality. These are important because human relationships need all of them to grow. Make a personal effort to know your strengths and weaknesses, your wants and goals, your value system and fear. I mean know each other because love does not happen in a vacuum. Dig deeper to find the true beauty of each other. Be kind to one another. Matt.1:19 “Because Joseph her husband, a righteous man, was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her quietly”. Let kindness and goodness be seen in your relationship.
H4: There is a relationship between God, your Partner and You (GPY)
Mark 10:9 “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” This statement reinforces that a relationship that works is one that God has joined together. Like a knot, He is part of the relationship that works, He is the cornerstone.
Because you have a soul, keep the vertical and horizontal relationship. Keep your priority straight and understand that it only takes a turn to make a vertical line horizontal and vice versa. Make God above, do this in actions and words. A man who loves you and loves God can deal with this and will turn away from you the day you begin to make him come first. He understands that your faithfulness to God is the guarantee that you can be faithful to him also.
I wish you a working relationship!????

(C) 2019 Elizabeth Ewudiwa

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