Our Closest Relationships ~ how we damage them

Friends 3RELATIONSHIP, perhaps one of the most important and powerful words ever.

I’m a firm believer that my relationship with God is the most important relationship I have. It’s the one that upholds everything else in my life.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” ~ Genesis 2:18 [New American Standard Bible]

We were created to have relationships. In our society today we seem to be so isolated, lonely, even desperate. Depression seems to be epidemic. I know that in my life, building relationships with other people has been the key to happier days.

Yet, relationships are so easily damaged. Here is a list of five things (done to me, done to others, or I’ve done) that I’ve learned, from painful experience are huge NO-Nos. We could each make up our own list, and in fact, that’s a great idea. Make your personal list. Here’s mine.

1. Don’t take loved ones for granted and stop putting in effort. Don’t think they’ll always be there. For one reason or another, one day they won’t. Don’t stop treating them like they’re special. Don’t forget birthdays, anniversaries, school events and other occasions, family celebrations.

2. Don’t demean your loved one/friend in public. Don’t show greater respect to someone of higher status, of greater wealth, or who is just plain flashy…when that person will mean nothing to you in the long term and will have little impact on your life. Don’t constantly correct your loved one in public (or in private, for that matter).

3. Don’t constantly show you can do things better than your loved one. When your spouse, child, sibling, parent, friend washes the dishes, don’t pick up the water glasses, inspecting for spots and then begin to wash them over. This is an example. Anything in this vein is an insult.

horse laughing

4. Don’t engage in negative joking and banter, as a practice, with the ones you love. Have you noticed on reality TV these days the couples and/or family members are constantly belittling each other in the form of a joke? This is not good. This is hurtful. Because we are bombarded by this type of behavior on TV, doesn’t make is a healthy thing to do in our relationships. Habitual put-down jokes are very destructive.

5. Don’t lie…don’t sneak…and don’t cheat. Self-explanatory. Self-evident.

Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. ~ Luke 6:31 [New American Standard Bible]

 

 

They Claimed Their Independence

Flag, American

I like the notion of the thirteen colonies claiming independence. Taking their independence as a free people.

On July 4, 1776 , the people of the American thirteen colonies exercised their God given authority to be a free people. They declared it and they took it as theirs. Then they began to walk that out…and as a nation we’ve been walking that out ever since. Yes, the road has been bumpy. It’s had pitfalls and tears, but we created a society that had never existed before in all of human history as a free people. We created a society where the individual can strive and aspire to fulfill her or his God given passions, his or her unique talents and abilities. And this is a good thing!

And so with pride for my country in my heart, I wish all American people and especially my loved ones a blessed Independence Day. Let us remember the true meaning of this day: liberty, freedom (especially of speech and religion), and the personal responsibility free people bear.

May you have a happy, healthy day with loved ones. And when the celebrating is done today, may you remember there is great work to be done to preserve the traditional values of this great nation: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Perhaps I should clarify. The pursuit of happiness as defined by our founding fathers and mothers didn’t mean the pursuit of some momentary pleasure, but rather it meant that each American had the right to make her or his own legacy. And this is what I wish for all Americans today. Get up, live large, make a name for yourself, help others.

Below is a link where you can read the Declaration of Independence:

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html