A Personal Viewpoint

Relationships

May 16

Written by:
Sunday, May 16, 2004  RssIcon

There are so many aspects to relationships and so much has been written elsewhere that I just want to touch on what I consider to be the essence of relationships.

Relationships in General

The foundation for any lasting relationship will include both trust and respect. When either of these are lost (or not really there to start with) the other will eventually evaporate.

It is quite possible to build a relationship out of mutual need. There are many combinations of needs that work, and there is nothing wrong in having this as one aspect of a relationship, but without trust and respect, this can break down to produce a toxic environment in which either or both "friends" suffer.

With trust and respect, true affection can develop (I'm not talking about lust here), along with admiration and a sense of caring that is at least somewhat unconditional. You quite simply want the best for the other person, even if there's "nothing in it" for you. When this is mutually expressed on a consistent enough basis, the relationship blossoms and life can take on a wonderful quality, as it deepens in meaning through having a real connection with another person.

In the Bible, the first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 13, verses 4 to 7 sums it up by stating, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

In life, nothing is perfect, and so it also goes with relationships. For any relationship to survive the times when either or both people in the relationship notice some aspect that is short of their ideal, it is essential to have a realistic view and to accept that the other person is different, and that these differences are NOT something to be worked on in an effort to change them - or to complain about.

So acceptance is another essential element for any long term relationship to survive. Without it, sooner or later, the trust and respect is likely to break down, along with the relationship. It is through a lack of acceptance that people come to the opinion that they have "irreconcilable differences" with the other.

To this point, I have described relationships that do not have to include any sexual element. It may be between close friends, between a parent and a child (I am thinking more particularly of older children), or between brothers and sisters.

Marriage

Add the intimacy of the sexual element and the relationship takes on the nature of "marriage". When all the other elements are present, and sex is added, the natural affection felt between two people who truly trust, respect and accept each other gets amplified, resulting in an even deeper sense of caring that provides a strong foundation for sharing every aspect of life together.

"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
- Martin Luther

To me, there is nothing better in life than to live each day with my best buddy at my side, sharing everything without reservation.

(By the way, the image above left is a painting that I did of a sculpture that Laurie gave me. It is special to me!)

All Scriptural references quoted are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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