Relationships are messy. They’re messy because they involve people, which makes life quite complicated because we were made to live in relationship with each other. That’s what the Lord said in Genesis 2. He said that it was not good for the man to be alone. That’s when he made Eve. He made people for relationships.
We discovered Empowered to Connect and Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) some years ago. In so many ways it has been like catching lightning in a bottle. Because it focuses on that which is important to the Lord and should be important to us. People and relationships.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I love that quote because it captures the essence of relationships. He’s saying that we should never major on the minors. Things that are not important should not take the place of things that are important. I just wish that my living that quote was aligned with my love of it.
In order for that to be true I have to ignore the small things that bug me and focus on the big things. I must not focus on something small like an untidy room but rather focus on victories like telling the truth or solving a problem with their words instead of their hands. This deserves my attention because these are the things that matter.
Relationships require effort
A key component of relationship building is remembering that if something is important to someone else it should be important to you. Husbands and wives know this to be true. I love auto racing. To the point I love Indycar and Formula 1. My wife could care less about car racing but she knows some of the drivers names and will on occasion ask about race results. She even sat and watched some of the Indy 500 with us this year. Why? Because car racing is important to me so has made it important to her. She’s not a fan but at least she can speak our language and our relationship is strengthened because a connection was made.
I don’t like shopping. I do like buying but I don’t like shopping. Kayla on the other hand is much more of a fan than I am. We would go shopping early on in our marriage and I would spend most of the time complaining. I don’t get just looking, but it’s important to my wife. Although we don’t do this as much as Kayla would like I have walked around with her while she shopped. I have held her purse while she tried on some clothes. I recently took all six kids to a store so that she could shop in peace. Why? Because shopping is something she enjoys and our relationship is strengthened when I make it important to me too.
This has application with each one of my kids. There are things that I can do with each of them because it is important to them. That’s how you build relationships and trust. You put someone else’s needs ahead of your own. Trust is established when someone realizes that you mean them no harm. And what better way to do that than to put their needs and likes ahead of your own? I can’t think of many because if something is important to you it should be important to me.