“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
The relationships that mean the most to us are often the ones we are hardest on. While we maintain a polite and pleasant demeanor away from home, the frustrations often come out where we feel safe to let off the day’s steam.
Life’s pressures can drive a wedge into the relationships we treasure most. It’s important to be intentional about building into the people we love. In order to keep the relationships you treasure at their BEST, remember these four steps.
Bless those you care about by speaking “life” words. Pay attention and point out the good character qualities you see. Focus on using “building” words and you will find the warmth factor grow in these relationships. When you need to address something, ask God to guide you in speaking words that will not destroy, and that He will show you the right time to do so.
Encourage those you care about in their daily life. Listen well to the things they say. Communication dries up when we don’t pay attention and we get lost in our own cares. Listen for the feelings behind the words and seek to be encouraging. Let your support be known even when the solutions are not.
Share thoughts, ideas, time, and experiences. When we become too busy to share ourselves with those we love, erosion and indifference slips in. Be intentional about sharing life together. Take time to talk and share ideas or concerns. Time to pray together and dream together won’t be there unless you make it. Let those you care about know this is important to you and prioritize it. History together is built one shared experience at a time.
Touch those you love in appropriate and loving ways. Touch is one of our most basic needs. Take a hand, give a hug, put your hand on the arm or back of the one you care about. It can do much to convey care and warmth. Often a simple touch can melt away a barrier and reconnect two people.
Strong relationships don’t just happen… they are intentionally built.
Heavenly Father, You know the people that I deeply care about. You also know the way I can take them for granted or let my frustrations out in their “safe” presence. Please help me to come to You with the stresses in my life. Help me to get my strength and help from You and then offer a caring, helping hand to those I love. It’s so easy to look out for my own interests first. Please help me to do as Your Word says and to look out for the interests of those around me, especially of those I love dearly. Help me to build strong history together through intentional sharing with the help of Your Holy Spirit. I ask this in the name of Jesus, amen.
Did something from the above list jump out at you? Start doing it today!