So this past week, I got into a little heated debate in a Facebook Group that I’m a part of. It wasn’t intentional. However, my response to the original poster wasn’t what she was looking for, so she proceeded to combat me.
And I get it. We’ve all been there. This woman was looking for validation, and that was it. Don’t get me wrong, as I said in my post, what she was going through was hard, and I too, had gone through it just like many other wives and moms had. But when I shared what had worked for me, that’s when things took a turn. At first, I was a little confused – like, “weren’t you asking for help in dealing with this?” I mean, that’s what I did, right? I offered this woman help by sharing what worked for me – I even included that it may not work for her.
But that was the problem. She wasn’t actually interested in hearing solutions. She was only interested in commiserating. She wanted to complain and bash. She wanted to vent and gossip. She didn’t want solutions. She wanted to continue hearing that she didn’t need to make any changes if she wanted change. She didn’t want to accept the responsibility for her own hand in the matter. She just wanted everyone else to agree with her.
Oh, how many times I’ve been this woman.
I’ve been her. I’ve been the woman who does not want to accept the fact that if I want to see changes (especially in my relationships), I’m going to have to realize 1) I can only control me – no one else and 2) that if what’s currently working in the relationship isn’t working, well, hey, I have just as much responsibility as the other person(s) in this relationship to try a different approach.
And so that’s my challenge to you this week. If one of your relationships currently is sour, then I challenge you to 1) pray about it and ask God to open your heart and the other person(s) heart and 2) be willing to try something different. You see, something I’ve realized in our closest relationships is that we kind of get in this groove or dance, if you will. You know that if you say/do this thing I’m going to respond with this or that way. And queue for the dance to begin! If you want the dance to change, then sometimes you’ve got to be the one willing to change or stop the dance altogether.
Did you know that most divorces and breakups (including friendship breakups) happen around and shortly after the holidays? That doesn’t surprise me. The holidays take us out of our normal routines and bring to light the weak spots in our relationships. And when those weak spots are too weak, they can sometimes cave in under the pressure of the “outside of our normal routine” holiday hustle and bustle.
Let’s change the story.
I’d like to encourage you to take a quick relationships inventory this weekend and then use that assessment to see where and maybe even how you can improve the relationships most dear to you.
I want you to write out five to ten people’s names that you have some type of relationship with. If you have a spouse and children they get included here and your parents. But I want you also to include your friendships and community relationships.
I want you to rate them using a 1-10 scale with 1 being the lowest (needs major improvement) and 10 is that things couldn’t be better! Then I want you to write out why you gave this relationship this score. What are you happy about with this relationship? What are you unhappy about with this relationship? Why is this relationship important to you? Don’t cop out here – go deep. Don’t just say “well, he’s my husband so that’s why he’s important.” Duh. We need the juicy details here. Don’t worry no one but you is seeing this. Why is that relationship with hubby important? Notice I didn’t ask why your husband was important but why the relationship with him is important. If you can’t answer honestly about a relationship or it makes you uncomfortable to do so you really need to examine the health of that relationship. Put a big ol’star by any relationships that you’re struggling to define their importance.
Let this assessment guide you in your prayers and search for deeper intimacy with those you love the most. And let’s work to improve these relationships before the hustle and bustle catch up to us.
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