Lesson 1: Valuing Relationships
Have you ever sat and listened to your kids fight? It's not much fun to listen to, is it? Often times their fights are well, pointless. They often times are fighting about something that in our minds' eye is shall we say, infantile.
My kids, for the most part, are very good friends. They enjoy each other's company and are kind to one another. But in the past couple of weeks, they have started to pick at one another on a more consistent basis. It is little, nitpicking back and forth and it not only gets under each others' skin it also gets under their mother's skin.
So the other day, I took them aside to have a little chat together. During that chat, I said, that they need to work on valuing their relationship with one another more than they value getting their own way. We talked about how Mommy and Daddy like different things, but because we like each other more than those things, we are willing to set aside our personal desires and take turns doing what the other person likes in order to make the other person happy. Again why? Because we value our relationships more than we value our personal desires.
Of course, as I was talking I felt more like I was listening to the Holy Spirit than talking out of my own wisdom. And I began applying what I was saying to my own adult life. I wondered to myself, how many times the Lord looks down at our adult fights and feels that the arguments are pointless. That often times we are more interested in getting our own way and being right instead of valuing our relationships and making the changes necessary to show that the relationship is more important than getting my way done for the moment.
You, my brothers, were called to be free.
But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature;
rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command:
"Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other,
watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I encourage you to take time to pause and consider what you are valuing right now in your relationships. Are you taking the way of love and service to one another or are you choosing your way. What is more valuable?
(Hint: The only things that are eternal are relationships.)