Thursday, November 26, 2015

Relationships that Thrive

Relationships that are enjoyed don't just happen and yet most people want healthy, lasting relationships with those they love.  I suppose we need to ask ourselves, "What contributions are we personally making towards those relationships?"  At times, not all individuals are contributing towards the relationship, which leads to frustration and a lack of satisfaction.  Different relationships take different investments of time and energy.  We need to spend a different quality of time with our spouse if we expect our relationship to make the journey and thrive.  Our children, whether we know it or not, need time to spend with us (with no agendas).  Quality time often takes place during the quantity of time that you give.  It is difficult to say that quality time will just happen.  As well, our friendships with others will blossom and deepen as a direct result of the time and work that we contribute towards them.

It is important to understand our role in the relationship in order for us to strive to be the person that we need to be for those that we are interacting with, such as our wife, child, or friend.  Understanding the role helps us to be the best for that other person.  Perhaps a starting point for improving our relationship with the one we love is to ask them if they are satisfied with the current relationship and how could we possibly make it better.  There may be things that you are not contributing towards that are causing the relationship to limp along.  It might be painful to hear; however, a "wise" person (according to Solomon) welcomes the criticism of a friend in order that they might grow to be a better person (Proverbs 19:20; 27:6).

Consider some of these verses as a challenge:

     1.  Proverbs 22:6  " Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  (Parents, this type of training takes time in order for us to reap the reward.  Time and wise counsel for your children will mark your relationship.)

     2.  Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." (Time and skill is required for friendships to grow, deepen, and to be what you would like them to become.  They certainly do not happen over night and without work.  Some of us may actually dull our friends and fail to sharpen them.)
  3.  1 Peter 3:7  "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."  (Marriage takes skill, time, and work in order for them to continue to blossom.  If all we have to show is a thistle bush then perhaps we should consider how we are tending to our gardens.  Husbands are being taught here to invest into their wives with wisdom so that they both may grow spiritually.)
Make the most of all of your relationships and be careful not take them for granted; one day we may wish we had invested differently but it may be too late.

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