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Making Relationships Work

Great relationships require hard work. Therein lies the root of why so many fail. Most people want it to be easy. And when only one of the two values the relationship enough to put in the time, that person will sometimes burnout trying to do the work of two.

Over the next few weeks I want to share some of my insights into relationships. I learned each in one of three ways: living through it myself, observing others, or scouring scripture. And often more than one of those means pounded the message home.

If you’re a frequent flyer on my site, you’ll know; however, if this happens to be your first time here, you’ll soon discover my ideas and observations always stem from my relationship with Jesus. So be forewarned, to make this work, you’ll want to include Him in your plans.

Before we begin to discuss improving relationships, we have to know what a relationship is. The term “in a relationship” generally means we have a significant other with whom we’ve established a bond that may one day lead to engagement, marriage, or at least cohabitation. But relationships are so much more.

You have a relationship with every person you encounter every day. It may be a casual relationship or a professional one. It may only last ten seconds or it might last the rest of your life. Relationships begin with our family and friends, but whether you like it or not, you have a relationship with the tech support person you spoke to yesterday and the guy who cut you off on the freeway last week.

We define relationships as good and bad, and some are temporary. Regardless each person controls whether or not the relationship has a chance to be pleasant and healthy. If we don’t do our part to make the experience good, it won’t matter how much effort the other person puts into making the relationship work.

As we begin this adventure, take an inventory of your relationships. Begin with family, then friends. Add coworkers and other folks in small groups. Then expand your list to include groups of people, your congregation, any large group you belong to. You’ll discover you have more relationships than you once thought.

Stop back next week to see more about relationships or subscribe to this blog to be notified every time I add something (once a week tops!)

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