I was recently listening to a podcast by a 70 year old man that I have a great deal of respect for. He mentioned during the podcast that in all of his life, he would be happy if he just had two things: Jesus and relationships.
As one who has at times, struggled greatly with relationships, there are a couple of things that I have learned over the past few years. These are things that have come to shape how I try to approach relationships these days.
Relationships must be a value
For years I was a loner and was content. I have come to realize over the years however, that life is better with others. In order to share life with others though, I must value relationships and the ongoing pursuit of them.
Relationships take time
This one may seem obvious, but time is something that many usually aren't willing to part with. The truth is, it just takes time to get to know other people.
Relationships take commitment
It's going to get hard at some point so there must be a willingness to work through the tough patches.
Relationships take money
I understand that some may balk at this one, but sometimes I might need to actually invest -yes, even money - in relationships. Part of developing friendships is having a good time together and some times these things might cost a little bit.
Relationships must be a priority
If relationships are not a priority and are not intentionally pursued, they will not happen on their own.
Relationships take the ability to shut up and listen
Most people want to be heard, but have difficulty hearing. In order for relationships to work, it has to go both ways.
Relationships only work if both parties get to be right sometimes
Nobody likes to be in a relationship with someone who already knows everything. (I used to be that guy and still can be sometimes. It's not cool).
Many of us would say we value relationships. The problem is, our lifestyles don't necessarily their importance. Someone once told me, show me your calendar and your checkbook and I'll show you what is really important to you.
Being a loner is easy for me. Intentionality in relationships is a bit harder and more challenging. But in the end, I am hoping that a change in lifestyle early on will lead me to hopefully being 70+ years old one day and though I might not have a lot of things that others might have, I am hoping that I at least have others.
What other things might you add to the list? Or take off of the list?