Relationships. What do you think of when you hear that word? Does that 7th grade fling come back to mind? Maybe that awful heartbreak you had not too long ago? Do you think of family and friends? I actually think of Wormwood. No, it’s not the Mr. Wormwood in the Matilda book/film. The Wormwood I’m reminded of is found in the C.S. Lewis book The Screwtape Letters. If you have not read Screwtape, I highly recommend it. I’ll give you a little overview of the story: what you have in the book is basically three characters; Screwtape, Wormwood, and the Patient. Screwtape is mentor demon who has Wormwood as an apprentice. Their goal is get the human they call the Patient damned for eternity.
Now, the reason I think of this when it comes to the topic of relationships is because I personally see a tone in the book that relationships are very important in our Christian walk. Let me correct that, it’s not just relationships but God-centered, Christ-focused, Christian relationships.
For example, in the twelfth letter of the book, the demon Screwtape writes,
As long as he retains externally the habits of a Christian he can still be made to think of himself as one who has adopted a few new friends and amusements but whose spiritual state is much the same as it was six weeks ago.
I ask in regard to the above quote, are we just in a routine or habit with our friendships? It is a dangerous thing to have Christian friendships and yet those friendships aren’t helping you spiritually.
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Another quote I find on relationships:
I have looked up this girl’s dossier and am horrified at what I find. Not only a Christian but such a Christian – a vile, sneaking, simpering, demure, monosyllabic, mouse-like, watery, insignificant, virginal, bread-and-butter miss. The little brute. She makes me vomit.
In this story, it makes the demon Screwtape so mad and sick that this man has found a woman who is not just a Christian, but a Christian who lives, sleeps, and talks Christian things. We have to be careful with whom we associate ourselves with, especially when it comes to dating and marriage. Find a person who makes the devil vomit.
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7
Our relationship regarding God, the character Screwtape writes,
We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over.
The devil doesn’t want us to have a relationship with God. But God does. He calls us His own, His heirs, His children. He gives us so much and yet at times, we give so little back.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1 John 3:1
In this walk on earth, let us develop deeper Christian relationships with our family, our friends, and our Father.