Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good Relationship Are A Blessing That Comes With MUCH Effort.

I've come to believe that each relationship we have should be an example of God's love. So when people see you're relationships they are seeing a visual understanding of how the Lord loves us.
Every relationship we have regardless if it's Mother-Daughter, Father-Son, Sister-Brother, Aunt-Nephew, Grandparent-Grandchild, is practice for that Eternal or Marriage relationship. We're to have

Parental love: Isaiah 49: 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Brotherly love: Roman 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Child-like love: Matthew 18: 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Spousal love: (actually all of Ephesians chapter 5) Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

In the last few months in studying relationships I've spent some time in the book of Romans. It addresses marriage, divorce, homosexuality and a range of other relationship dealings.Romans is a pretty good reference guide for relationships:

Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Actually I think I'm going to have a placque made of Romans 12. It really is good house rules.

And going back to Ephesians which even instructs us how to communicate and speak to one another
Ephesians 4: 29-32: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

The most prominent examples of relationships we have are the ones we're in. So we take our examples from those around us, it's only natural, and usually all you have to go on. When we seek the relationship of spouse, it's only natural to draw back on relationships such as Grandma's and Grandpa's, Mom and Dad's, Older brothers and sisters, Aunt's and Uncles and such and even friends.
I've observed the relationships around me, the failed ones, the one's that appear to be successful, the one's that have failed and learned from their failings and are now in a more successful relationship.

I'm not above asking what went wrong in failed relationships and I've learned no one is a great as they paint themselves out to be. It's never all one person's fault and if you arent willing to face up to your own mistakes and shortcomings you'll keep making them in all your relationships. How you speak of (and to) your former spouse, your parents, and your children are all indications of how you'll speak to your current spouse.

I've seen siblings treat each other better than their spouses. I've seen Spouses speak and carefor a pet better than each other.
I've seen families give strangers and friends more courtesy and love than they give each other.

These things ought not to be.

Knowing what's really important is a blessing.
I think what I've learned most in the last few months is what's really important and what isn't.
Part of being in a loving relationship is learning how your partner communicates best and making compromises to accomodate each other. If you can't accomplish that, there's almost no point in going any further.
I also recognize those adjustments begin when your commitment begins, not sometime down the road after the marriage begins.
The one thing I see that remains constant...if adjustments aren't being made before the union, they aren't being made after. Many people are caught in the disbelief but time and time again I hear.. "they were that way before...I thought it would change after.."
I dont believe that.
What's really important in the grand scheme of things. Intentions, being true to your word, progression, fairness, knowing and acknowledging I have faults and being willing to work on them constantly.

Being able to over look and let go of small annoyances is a blessing. My Father and Grandfather were control freaks. Do it their way, no questions asked. It had to be their way. Why? I'm still not sure. there's 100 different ways to do 1 thing. As long as it get's done in a timely manner, legally and without harming anyone or anything does it matter?
It was once said to me "didn't your mama teach you not to leave the sponge in the sink?" This was after cleaning a kitchen and washing dishes. No mention of the clean kitchen or dishes, just about the sponge in the sink. And even if there was mention of it, what would you think the focus was on? yeah, the sponge. Should it have mattered and why? So anyway when every little thing like that is brought to notice you begin to focus on their negativity not their kindness.

Being able to keep focus on the positive is a blessing as well. It's difficult when surrounded by negativity.

I've realized the blessings of kind words AND deeds. Ever notice how one unkind or critical word can ruin everything? More than anything it births negative retaliation in word and deed (usually of the vengeful sort).
I've realized the blessing of knowing how to adjust to things that really don't matter. Letting the little dumb stuff fall away and not being nit picky about things that really don't have any place or weight in the relationship.

I've realized the blessing of good communication. Seeing a look or expression, hearing inflections and tone in a voice. Getting a visual or hearing understanding and intent in a voice is far better than incorrect assumptions via text or email or I/M. I've seen it and experienced it too many times, people reading words and putting their own attitudes and intent behind them instead of knowing how things were really intended. I'm no longer willing to have anymore important conversations unless they are face to face or at the very least Voice to voice on the phone.

Finding ways to connect on a regular basis and enjoy each other is a blessing.
I take the example of my brother. I asked him the difference in his first and second marriages and the changes he made. My brother is a Gamer. (yeah, E, I'm calling you out, but only because you give me hope) When I lived with him and his first wife he spent hours playing computer games. He loved them. His wife came to resent it. This was also the story of my step-sister and her first husband. This may not have been the main cause but it helped in their breaking up.
My brother said the best thing he did was DECIDE to enjoy his wife more. (because it was a choice, an option) He put being with her first and made sure she was taken care of, emotionally, mentally, physically first and she does the same. In doing so, the need for him to be online wasn't as urgent or fullfilling at it had been. He's learned moderation. He would find great joy in creating a new avetar and getting to the next level but expressed less joy in doing things with his spouse. Now he will only indulge in his gaming when his wife is not home or when all other things are satisfied. For him he's able to go weeks at a time without even turning his computer on except to pay a couple bills or read a few emails. Defineately not for hours at a time. He said he fought it tooth and nail and gave every lame excuse in the book. But realized that the people in his life are more important than the things and adjusted accordingly.

Working together to find the best solutions instead of feeling the need to be right is a blessing.
For the most part I could give a flip about being right. There is very little glory in being right about most situation. There's no joy in giving the benefit of the doubt against your better judgement and finding out you were shafted or flaked out on again. Or someone doing something to hurt you... and you knew it would happen. Where is the joy in being right? Where is the joy in being so rigid and close minded that you miss out on greater learning or understanding because you already know it all? What kind of life do you really have if you don't have the mind to trust or believe in anyone but yourself? Makes for a lonely bored life. I'm not down for that.

Studying and discussing the Word of God together is a blessing.
How in the world can you have a Christ Centered Union and family if you aren't even studying the word of God together or as a family? I have friends that when you walk into their house you FEEL a noticable difference of peace, love and harmony. They say they've worked very hard to have that atmosphere. Their day begins with Family scripture reading and prayer for each other in the morning. And they look for ways to uplift and build each other each day. There's a noticeable difference when they omit these things.
I remember an article in our church magazines years ago that basically said: How dare we use the same lips for profanity, anger, belittlement and critisism to dare call upon the Lord Our God in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and ask for blessings. We need to take more of an active part in our own speech to bring to pass the blessings we seek.

Ambition is a blessing: I have witnessed some lazy marriages and they stim from lazy attitudes. Love is a feeling but it's also an action. It involves words and deeds and both should be motivating. Not to say that you and your loved one's should always be on the go and doing. But you should be motivated and ambitious to make goals, progress toward them and reach them. If you don't have a plan and work a plan, then things happen to you instead of you making things happen. People put more effort in their jobs than their relationships.

I'm excited about the things I've learned these passed few months in recognizing what really is important. I learned alot about myself. What Im willing to let go of and what I'm not willing to let go of. I've got alot of work to do on myself as well. For me, some of the greatest experiences are the hardest ones and some of my greatest acheivements are recognizing my shortcomings and having the desire and working towards over coming them. I'm please with that, as I see too many people who are so busy pointing out the flaws of others, they dont have a handle on their own mess and don't even recognize their own mess.

Being able to recognize and work on your own flaws.... IS A BLESSING!


LIsa S said...

Your perspective on gospel principles is astounding. Write a book. OK?

Lisa S said...

Ok, I just now remembered what I wanted to say about relationships. I have for a long time believed that people come into our lives for a reason. If we can figure it out early on then the parting isn't so hard when the time comes. I have tried to help my daughter understand this so as she meets boys she deems right for her to date that she watch for the reasons for the relationship, embrace them and learn. I'm very proud of her.

ShaBANG said...

Well relationships if done properly will teach us about ourselves more than anything. And if we're worth our weight, it will teach us where we can improve and will focus us more on our own need to be better than someone else's need to be better.

I have alot of work to do on myself.

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