Have you ever felt like you were putting more into a relationship than you were getting out of it? If you’re human… you probably have felt this way! It can be tempting to hold back and wait to invest in someone else until they’re already done something for you. But if we all waited, we would get pretty frustrated and lonely in the meantime. In relationships, we have to give and take.
If you care about someone, you need to invest in their life and show them that you care. This will likely mean sacrificing something – spending money to take them out to dinner, giving up some free time to help them with a chore, or smiling and listening to them when all you really want to do is watch television. Even when you don’t feel like giving, remember the value of the relationship, and try to offer something that they want or need.
This is the fun part, right? Well, maybe. Actually, it can often be difficult to receive from another person in a healthy and helpful way. It will require your humility to let someone else help you. You’ll have to monitor your thought process to ensure selfishness is not entering into your heart. You may need to smile and express thanks for what the other person is giving, even if it isn’t exactly what you were hoping for, giving right when you are expecting to receive. Yes, taking (or receiving) can require work too!
We are created for relationship. Ecclesiastes 4 tells us that it is “meaningless and depressing” when a man is all alone, works hard to gain wealth, and then realizes that he is not working for anyone or anything without a relationship to enjoy and invest in. Life is more enjoyable when we have someone to enjoy things with, to share experiences with, and to help carry our burdens when we are in need.
Who can you invest in today? Do you have burdens that you need help to carry? Reach out to enjoy the “give and take” of relationships.
What if the other person is not “giving” enough for you to feel happy or satisfied in the relationship? Check our Part 2 of this blog series.