What Is Important - In Relationships

I was inspired one morning with a one-word answer to a conflict in my mind regarding a belief and an experience. The belief is that any two people can live a life together in love as long as they are willing to give their all to the relationship. The experience involves a break-up with a lover, even though we remain friends. Part of the reason is the habits that we have formed already in our lives that irritate the other person. These habits, though not unchangeable, are often done unconsciously. But our responses or reactions to them are very likely conscious.

The word "important" was the inspiration. The things that are irritants are given their importance from our past instructions, experiences, and judgements. But like many things in our lives, their importance or our reactions should be re-examined from time to time and the best time being when the irritating event occurred and our reaction was contrary to the situation or our normal behavior.

Returning to the experience of the break-up, the irritants should not have been any part of the cause of it. The irritants and reactions needed to be weighed against the value of the relationship. What was really more important? The offense taken to the irritant or the growth and health of the relationship?

Two people working together, can sustain a healthy, loving relationship for a lifetime.

I am reminded of a couple of aphorisms.
"The irritation of a grain of sand in an oyster produces a beautiful pearl" and
"Hate the act, love the person".

The people and events that can irritate us can be anyone and any event. Road rage at other drivers. Poor service at a store. An unreturned phone call. An unexpected meeting with your boss or project team. A change in plans due to almost anything. The people can be friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, other acquaintances, or anonymous. While we can act on getting even or revenge for an irritation, annoyance, or transgression, escalation is likely only harmful to our self.

We have to remember that the transgressor could be us, or we could have done it before. We are not perfect. We are humans and we do make mistakes too. We may not know the people that irritate us, but God wants us to love them just as he loves us.

More importantly, I am reminded that Jesus said in John 13:34
"I give you a new commandment: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another." [1]

So, ask yourself "Whatever I am doing to or for this other person, is it done out of love?

[1]New American Bible Revised Edition, John 13:34

Last modified: Fri Jun 28 11:16:33 Eastern Daylight Time 2019