Your relationship with the Lord must become so important and so close that your love for Him determines what your love for others requires. As Jesus said,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Mt. 22:37–40).
Only by giving all that we are and all that we can become to God will we be ready to give all that we can for the benefit of our fellow Christians and our fellow man. And anything less than this is not the love of a disciple for His Lord and His God.
Your relationship with Jesus should redefine who you are as a person—utterly and completely. How amazing it is that people should come to Christ expecting anything else! We need a relationship with Him because only then can we have a relationship with God our Father (Jn. 14:6). Having previously defined our lives by our sin, we should embrace the opportunity to change that identity and clothe ourselves with Christ’s instead (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27). But that can be difficult at times. The old habits can cling to us feverishly. But this is all the more reason why the love for our relationship with Jesus must surpass all others. Only then can the transformation reach its heavenly goal. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Our relationship with our Savior and Lord should become so important to us—so meaningful—that all others pale in comparison, without losing any of their own love and intensity. Jesus does not want to take away from the love you feel for anyone. Indeed, He wants to show you how to make that love soar! But the only way that will happen is when your relationship with Him becomes what it ought to be. And the only way you can have the relationship with Jesus that you ought to have is when you give Him complete precedence in life—not just over your own life, but over all other relationships in your life as well.
Become the disciple of Jesus Christ you ought to be and you will learn how to be the husband or wife you ought to be. Become the disciple of Jesus you ought to be and you will learn how to be the parent you ought to be. Become the disciple of Jesus you ought to be and you will learn how to be the son or daughter you ought to be.
Every relationship will improve when you submit it to your relationship with Jesus Christ. True, it may require some difficult things from you. But when Jesus is truly first in your life, you will want for others the same thing that He wants for them: eternal life. Our relationship with our Savior should change every other relationship we have because it changes our focus from pleasing ourselves to pleasing Him. And that is the foundation of a real relationship built on real love in the first place.