Your Value?

"Aren't you worth much more than birds?"
photo
"Look at the birds; they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren't you worth much more than birds?" (Matthew 6:26)

How do you know you're valued? That's a question I always ask of couples that are coming to me for premarital counseling. I want to make sure they are aware of how important it is in relationships to feel that each of them is valued by the other. I know they're feeling valued at the moment or they probably wouldn't be asking me to marry them. However, valuing one another is one of the things that couples get sloppy about pretty quickly in relationships. They quit doing and saying the things they were offering when they were dating that sent a simple but vital message to the one they love, "I value you. You are really important in my life. You mean so much to me." In order to have healthy relationships we need to communicate that message with our words and our actions. When that message is not communicated we can feel the energy begin to wane and conflicts increase in the relationship.

It was late this past Sunday evening when Patti and I pulled into our driveway, well past dark, so we didn't notice we'd had visitors until our headlights hit the sign. "YOU'VE BEEN FORKED," the sign informed us and directed our attention to the 1000 white plastic forks that were sticking up in our front lawn! From a prior conversation and ominous text message I had received earlier that evening I had suspected that our church's youth group was up to something. Now I knew my suspicions were correct! While they were out hanging reminders on doors for one of the important ministries our church shares in the community, the youth had decided to visit our house.

We weren't upset with the youth. In fact, Patti and I laughed and remarked about their creativity and ingenuity. I almost hesitate to say it, but in a strange sort of way I was actually grateful. When we saw the forks Patti and I both had an immediate sense that it meant the youth value our presence with them. As the new pastoral couple at the church we took it as a sign that we must be doing something right with the youth. Our thoughts were confirmed when we saw the back of the "You've Been Forked" sign:


photo

When Jesus spoke to the crowds gathered round as the Gospel of Matthew records, he taught them many things. He was also careful to tell them just how much they were valued by God as evidenced by his presence with them and the way that God gave them everything they needed to live. God continues to remind us just how much we are valued. When we take the time to notice and let that message sink deep inside us, we are drawn into closer, more intimate relationship with God.

It's essential that we feel valued by God and one another, and show others we value them. I think our youth have got it right. I pray that God will keep me mindful of how I am divinely valued and keep me on my toes when it comes to sharing just how much I value others. How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia




Help save lives! For more information on my new book, "A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression," visit www.survivingteendepression.com.

Check out my new video, "Teens Surviving the Storm"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24