Choose God’s place in your relationships

Columnist and Columnist

Imagine your relationships diagrammed in three concentric circles.

You are the common point all three circles share. All people have a relationship with you in some way.

Let’s start with the outermost circle.

Strangers, acquaintances and other people occupy the region outside this large circle.

These people will come and go in your life. You might speak with them some once and never see them again. Others are like placeholders. You may never get to meet them, but they have meaning to your life.

I would even include enemies in this region. Enemies also serve a purpose.

Now enter the region within the outermost circle.

You’ll begin to see familiar people in your life. However, they are more like acquaintances.

You may be cordial, but you’ll likely never have the desire or capacity to spend quality time or cultivate your relationship.

Now we’ll proceed to the middle circle. These people are more prominent in your life. They’ll also know more about your personality.

Imagine the region inside this circle has levels. Closer friends may occupy the outer level. Your family members may occupy the innermost level.

Finally, we arrive to the innermost circle. It is appropriate that this circle is the smallest of the diagram. Only a few people should occupy this.

Here, you’ll find that this innermost circle is reserved for people you should appropriately share your deepest thoughts with.

Intimacy is the main priority of this inner circle. Therefore, it would be fitting to reserve this space for perhaps a future spouse.

As my dad described, people in this circle may know what makes you crankier than what most people may know.

Someone showed me this diagram two weeks ago. It made so much sense with what I am going through. I thought I’d share this idea to anyone sorting through similar struggles, psychologically or spiritually.

In my mind, I wrote out “God” with a question mark. I took it upon myself to ask “Where does God fit into this?”

For some people like me, God has been hovering throughout the diagram. He could be near the circle of close friends. Then, at times, he could be like a stranger in the very outermost edge of your life.

As I revealed this past week, I have struggled with belief. I’ve had serious mistrust with God and certain people in my life.

I also revealed I struggle with loneliness. I desperately want close friends.

I’ve lived with loneliness since sixth grade. Before college, I never had friends to spend quality time with outside of school. I still don’t have friends waiting for me back home.

Now that I’m in college, I’ve struggled at times trying to find a balance with my relationship circles. My loneliness and dissatisfaction with myself in the center is the root of the problem.

As a result, those roots have sprouted an ugly dandelion. Its seeds have blossomed obsessions and anti-social behaviors I have allowed to go out of control.

Some of those seeds produce my strong desire for an intimate friend. I just want a person to share all my life with. That is driving me to want a girlfriend.

This desire reminds me of my closest childhood friend from my freshman year of high school.

She was a freckle-faced redhead. She was the only young woman in my life who ever told me she loved me. Call it childish love, but she always said good things about my appearance, even on days when I felt I looked my worse.

She wanted to be my girlfriend, but I always denied her. I was busy chasing after girls who had no intention of wanting a relationship with me. As we grew apart, my struggles with other females in my life continued and even got worse.

If you’re in a similar place in your life, keep reading.

No romantic relationship will satisfy you. Only God can fulfill that desire. From failure, I can tell you the truth is hard to fight, but it’s right. God should be near that dot on the diagram — not a romantic partner (or someone you want to be as such).

Respond to Phillip at

[email protected]