Relationships are probably the most important thing in our lives. If you’re a Christian, you would say your relationship with God is first. If you’re not a Christian, you would likely say the people in your life are most important. If you think about it, without relationships life would be pretty boring. We would be walking around aimlessly…doing whatever we wanted in silence…alone… We wouldn’t find connection and wouldn’t know touch. Our purpose wouldn’t make sense?
A life without relationships sounds a bit depressing to me honestly. As hard as they are sometimes, I do want them in my life. I think many would say the same. Majority would say they would choose relationships over and over again rather than to live in complete solitude. Why? Because we were created to be IN community with one another (and ultimately, God). We were purposefully designed to be in healthy relationships (Prov 27:9).
Being an introvert, I LOVE the quiet. In fact, after I put my girls to sleep and if my husband is still at work, I “splurge” by turning the television OFF as I lay on my bed and just give myself moments to rest and think in complete silence. Only the sound of the crickets outside during summertime or the heat cutting-on in the house during winter. No distractions and no conversations. The silence FILLS me and I have found I need it, but to live this way all of the time? Alone? No way. I would certainly become anxious and sad. I NEED to love others and to be loved. I need conversation. I need encouragement and laughter. I need a hugs from my girls and my husband. I need to connect with my girlfriends for coffee and laughter. I need women pouring into me motherly wisdom and I still need advice from my parents. I especially need my Heavenly Father EVERY day…
When it comes to relationships there are some obvious truths I’ve thought about:
- relationships are fun (and sometimes a bit extroverted-like)
- relationships take work both ways
- relationships need boundaries
- relationships have a purpose
- relationships are never perfect
I was recently convicted yet again why relationships are so meaningful. A good friend had lost her mother whom she was very close with, unexpectedly and painfully. My heart stopped as she shared her story. I felt so sad for her to lose someone so dear to her and not be able to say goodbye. The only peace she could gather was that her mother was a Christian, so she was confident of her eternal home with Jesus. The tragedy humbled her and she was broken in a way to which she could say aloud that ALL of the things she wanted or complained about or felt lonely for couldn’t compare to the relationship she had with her mother. While she knew God had called her home, she wanted the relationship.
Relationships are incredibly valuable, but sometimes they are difficult or don’t make sense. They can take a lot of work because NO person is perfect. If you think about it, there really isn’t ever a “relationship” problem. It’s an “I” problem. When we don’t agree with someone we can still choose to be kind and respectful or walk away from the conversation. If someone disappoints you or rejects you, it may hurt, but you can still choose to create boundaries and say “no” to the wrongness. Are we affected by other’s cruelty sometimes? Absolutely. But that is not who YOU have to become or be. Sometimes loving that person by walking away is the best thing for both. In addition, recognize we ALL struggle with something called sin, so it’s likely you have caused pain to another….most likely…at some point. Right?
How do you value others? How do you value yourself? Are relationships fun? Tiring? Disappointing? Do you set high expectations? Who do you surround yourself with?
Maybe it would be a good time to evaluate the circle of people in your life. What do you think you need more of? Less of?
Take a few minutes when you’re by yourself and write down the answers to these questions. Do a little investigative work and see what you need more of and/or less of. What do you want to work on personally? It’s always good to PAUSE a bit in think about these things…relationships are hard, but they are so worth the investment!