This week I have spent a lot of time talking to people about relationships. They come in all shapes and forms, and whether you have been in that relationship for three months, three years or thirty years they require maintenance. Instead of blaming them, think about what you can do this week to make your relationship better and richer. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, here are six simple things we can all do that WILL make a difference.
- BE YOURSELF! We all want people to like us, especially those we live with, so we often try to cover up the real “me”. You cannot build a relationship on lies so the first step is to accept yourself and be yourself.
- BE FAITHFUL! In a rapidly changing society we all need security. If you cannot trust your partner then one of the basic foundations of your relationship is missing. God calls each of us to be faithful to our spouse and offers the ultimate bonus if we get our act together, secure kids who know who they are and where they are going.
- BE A LEARNER! Our lives should be a continual learning experience, not just in terms of our vocation but also in terms of couple and family relationships. Often as adults we forget how hard learning is, we prefer to just stay where we are comfortable. Get out of the rut and learn something new with your partner.
- BE REASONABLE! Family life is never just plain sailing; it is a continual test of wisdom and patience. Next time stress invades your family, take the time to be reasonable and ask yourself “Is this issue really worth arguing about?” Be reasonable, don’t let the urgent squeeze out the important, get the whole picture, accept compromises and seek new answers to old problems.
- BE READY TO LAUGH! Humour is one of the best lubricants to quieten friction within the family. Don’t take yourself so seriously learn to laugh and you will find that it is not just good medicine, it is essential to family harmony. It seems that we have forgotten how to relax and play together as families.
- BE THANKFUL! Don’t take your family for granted, be thankful for them and value them. When was the last time you expressed thanks to your partner for doing all those little things that you just expect? When was the last time you paused to thank God for all the other things you take for granted?
Chaplain Ian S Whitley