Today's Devotional Thought
October 31, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
Do you ever find yourself wondering if relationships are worth it? I'm sure we've all had those days. The type of day where you want to go live in a bubble away from anyone who can hurt you, insult you, drain you, or disappoint you.
When we look at the things that affect our mood and emotions, relationships with others are at the top of the list. Research has shown that there is only one thing in this world that separates happy people from unhappy people. It is not money or fame or success or accomplishment. It is having good, secure relationships with others. While relationships with others contribute to our happiness on this earth, research has also shown that relationships with others are our biggest source of stress and sadness as well.
So, how do we maintain good, secure relationships with those whom we love? There are many things that contribute to good relationships, but one of the most important things is communication.
A dear friend of mine posted the following saying as her Facebook status recently. It read, "Friendship should never be buried under the weight of misunderstanding." What a great statement. When you think of the disagreements or hurts or disappointments that you have experienced in relationships, I am sure that misunderstanding was a big part of it. You may have interpreted the situation differently than the other person. They may have said or texted something that you took a certain way, when it was meant an entirely different way. Or, maybe you interpreted their behaviors in a way that they were not intended.
So often when we are interpreting someone's behaviors or listening to their words, we receive them in a different way than they were intended. Or, if the behaviors or responses are ambiguous (or even absent), we tend to try to come up with reasons why the other person may be behaving in the way that they are. And, anytime we try to "come up with reasons why" someone else may be doing something, we leave ourselves open to error.
So, how do we correct a misunderstanding? Communicate.
If there is anything that I have learned it is that when I stop communicating in my dearest relationships, then things start going badly. People on both sides of the relationship begin to draw conclusions and make up their own reasons for why the other person is acting the way that they are and the problem just gets worse.
If you have a relationship that is worth keeping, then communicate. If you are hurt or disappointed or angry or sad, then tell the other person what you are feeling. Be careful that you do not accuse the other person of doing something that hurt you, but rather tell them what their behaviors made you feel like. And, while you are expressing yourself, remember to listen to the other person too. Allow them to show you where your interpretation of the situation could be faulty and where you need to grow in the relationship.
God designed us for relationships with others. But, relationships are not easy. They require give and take. And, they require communication and a genuine desire to understand what the other person's perspective is. And more than anything, they require a genuine concern for the longevity of the relationship over any temporary issues that may arise.
If you have relationships worth keeping, then keep them strong by keeping the lines of communication open. Because, despite what you may think on your worst days, relationships are definitely worth it.