Relationships worth building
"Relationships are complicated!" that has been the common headline used to explain why we have become a society that encourages moving on, rather than staying to make things work. A tagline that is now the convenient excuse to explain why a relationship didn't work out. Especially in direct conflict with that significant other, we exhibit just how good we have become in using that excuse. Experts in the art of justifying our actions, especially when caught having looked for alternative options and exit strategies instead of fixing what is right in front of us.
Picture this scenario: You are all prepped and ready to start dinner. You grab your onion, neatly put it on your chopping board and start cutting it into small pieces. Ready to move on to the next phase of your cooking endeavor, you reach into the kitchen cabinet to take out the spices needed to get things rolling. Suddenly everything comes to a halt. Silence. You discover that you have run out of salt. For a moment you stand in front of the open kitchen cabinet in utter shock. Your emotions range from confusion to sadness, then to desperation. You regain your composure and run into the bedroom. You drag out your old suitcase and start throwing in your clothes. Your heart is racing and your thoughts are running wild. "If this house doesn't have salt anymore you can't stay here. You need to find another home that has salt!" When you finally have all your things together, you rush towards the door, run through and shut the it behind you. You will never look back!
This illustration sounded ridiculous, right? Of course, any other person would have simply gone to a store and bought a new pack of salt to replace the one that has run out.
Now, why does this illustration seem so absurd when this is how many people have been handling their relationships for years? When things get complicated or difficult many believe that it is better to leave than to stay and try to fix things. That could have several reasons: too hard, too stressful, no strength, lost faith, not wanting to waste precious time etc. But what gives you the assurance that you will find what seems to be missing somewhere else? The grass always seems greener on the other side, until you get there and see that the grass on the other side has different shades of green and even some brown spots as well.
Furthermore, what makes you think that you won't succeed if you stay and try to make it work? Nobody can predict how long that process would last or how strenuous it would be. It might only require just a bit of effort to make a significant change.
Relationships are meant to be built, similar to putting together a puzzle. As you add piece after piece you get closer to seeing the complete picture. If along the way you throw up your hands and say you give up, you will not be left with much - only a half-finished puzzle. At this point, you're not at the beginning anymore and not quite finished either. Then why not pull through and finish, so you can eventually see the complete picture and bask in your accomplishment? The passage in Ecclesiastes 7:8 NCV puts it beautifully: "It is better to finish something than to start it. It is better to be patient than to be proud."
Relationships all have the same core principle: Love. In essence, what comes down to is how you relate and interact with other people. As much as you meet and form new relationships with new people, the equation will always have one common denominator: You! Which means you won't be able to escape from also working on and improving yourself to have better relationships. And it is worth the effort! Every relationship comes with a purpose. Maybe you ought to learn something important or even life-altering through this encounter. Your reason for meeting might be to help the other person or for you to grow in a particular area of your life. Thus, not throwing in the towel when things get tough can be so rewarding and a significant blessing in your life.