God is THE model for freedom in relationships. He is entirely free of any control. So, it is accurate to state that freedom is divine. God is the only being who has complete control and sovereignty over everything. He is all-powerful, and everything that happens is part of His infinitely perfect plan.
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. – Proverbs 16:33
A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. – Proverbs 16:9
Because He is omnipotent and all-powerful, He could make you do what He wants, but He models freedom in His relationship with you. Additionally, He created you with the freedom to ignore or obey Him. So, freedom is divinely infused in everyone.
Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know? – Proverbs 30:4
We Tend to Ignore Freedom for Others
Without a doubt, God is beyond our comprehension, but He has "...granted to us everything about life and godliness..." (2 Peter 1:3). That means He gave you all you need to know about Him and His ways if you are His child.
And one of the most important elements is whether you use your freedom responsibly for yourself and others. Unfortunately...
All we like sheep have gone astray… – Isaiah 53:6
Because each of us is a foolish sheep, freedom is a tool we use to manipulate or dominate others to get what we want.
So do you notice the irony? God allows freedom, but we TRY to control (manipulate or dominate) people. He can control but doesn’t – we can’t control but tirelessly try.
God only models responsible freedom because He is PERFECT! If anyone had His power, most likely, they would be irresponsible with their freedom. Unfortunately, the view of irresponsible and responsible freedom is somewhat tricky because freedom is not often seen in those two categories. But when using those categories, freedom is only divine when used responsibly. Yes, we are created in the image of God, but irresponsible freedom is not the model God shows us.
God Does Not Make Us Obey
God does not force you to do what is right. He does not make you glorify Him, even though He deserves all glory. And He does not act as a tyrant giving ultimatums. Instead, He invites, offers a better way, gives you energy through His Holy Spirit to live that better way, then allows you to ignore what is right and mess up if you choose!
BUT He never leaves or ignores you. He draws you gently through His love and truth, urging you to make wise and good choices. He desires eager obedience because that glorifies Him and brings you life!
What a great model for you to imitate in your relationships. Most likely, your relationships will blossom if you relate to others the way God relates to you! Responsible freedom is DIVINE!
When control (manipulation or domination) is in a relationship, at some point, that relationship will become intolerable.
That's because everyone has freedom built-in. Consider yourself. When you sense that you are being controlled, you want away from the person controlling you. If you try to control others, you may think it is for the other person's best – and it may be. Here is the big problem, it most often creates rebellion rather than good behavior. So how about choosing God's model, not ours - freedom is divine when used as God uses it!
Freedom Is Divine - Am I Acting Like God or ME?
Since God, who is PERFECT, allows freedom, what reasons do you have for denying it in your relationships? Instead of manipulating and dominating others, you can accept their freedom. If you want to allow more freedom in your relationships, ask a simple question to start.
Where is my life not reflecting the fruit of the Spirit?
That is a powerful freedom question, but why?
Because it focuses on you doing what is right and leaving others to God.
It is so easy to be an expert at seeing where other people do not reflect the fruit of the Spirit! But when you live in freedom, you choose to focus on your behavior.
God gave you freedom - use it responsibly (Galatians 5:13). Stop controlling others and start hoping, praying, encouraging, and sometimes exhorting and rebuking. It's time to pursue the best for others patiently, kindly, sacrificially, and unconditionally.
Time to trust that God can do much better work in their life than you ever could.
GR8 Relationships—Pursuing the BEST in work, in life, in love.
Right Thinking—Right Relationships—Right NOW!!