Growing Together; Growing Apart Pt. 2

Relationship are either nurtured for growth or neglected and wither away.  What makes for a successful relationship and how does one avoid having many hanging stems for friendships with few blooms?untitled (5)

Though the phrases “growing together” and “growing apart” are most often associated with marriages or in dating relationships, it is also germane to our friendship.  Our friendships require a nurturing and a washing, much like our romantic relationships.  For this blog, we have chosen to use the formula:

{  T (time) /D (distance) }  x  E (effort) = G (growth)

The parenthesis of the equation is key to any healthy friendship.  Friendships require nurturing through an investment of personal time.  Personal is attached to Time because Corporate Time and Personal Time are both investments but yield a different product.  Time is important to relationships because it helps to build and solidify the relationship, giving opportunities for support and to build layers of trust.  The time is divided by distance to inform us of the affects distance can have on a relationship and the requirements of ones investment; thus we find, the greater the distance, the greater the investment of time.  This investment does not have to be done in person, rather can be the  efforts of one person to maintain contact via technology (ex. phones, letters, social media…).  These mediums keep friends informed about ones life, keeping them connected, thus lessening the effects that distance has on the relationship.

Lastly, effort.  Effort is times the parenthesis, because of its ability to accelerate growth.  We have heard the saying, “its the thought that counts” that is applied towards gift giving and receiving.  This remains true, not only because of the investment of ones financial resources, but includes the investment of ones time, heightened by the effort one put forth to obtain what was shared.  As believers, we speak of our Lord in these terms, when we say “we will not offer up to God that which cost us nothing”.  This goes far deeper than the shallow waters of financial resources, but measures the heart of the one making the sacrifice.  People appreciate the efforts of those around them.  The knowledge that one considered the other, placing their needs above their own, ear marking time in their schedule to reach out to maintain contact aids in closing the gap.

Having said all of this, it is amazing how many friendships are lost a midst the sea of selfish thoughts like, “I called last time” or “I planned the last get together”.  It is odd, but a reality that has caused many straight stems to begin the sagging and withering process.  Friendship should be the result of both individuals efforts, but in spaces and spells, one will has to maintain the friendship, knowing that the effort might be one-sided, but is still mutually beneficial.  Because the relationships are mutually beneficial, they are always worth the effort to maintain growth, because the pain of growing apart far out weighs the pain of being the one that makes the effort to contact the other.

If you have a relationship that is withering; growing apart, review your actions based upon the above equation and make the investment to revive the relationship.  You can choose today with your actions to grow together or to grow apart.

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Growing Together; Growing Apart Pt. 1

I have come to realize in this life, growing is a constant. Though I could focus on exanding waist lines and the boundary of gray hairs emerging, there is a growth in mind to address in this post.

As I have spoken with both friends and family, two statements are common in relationships 1. We have grown together 2. We have grown apart.

Growing apart…

When taking a closer look at those who have made the statement; “We have grown apart”, we find a truth of relationships; there is always movement.  The word “growing” reveals an undetermined timeline.  Because growing takes time, we are made aware that this process is not one that takes place over night.  “Apart” shows us that a tear has occurred in a relationship that was once together; producing separation.  Growing apart takes place when those in relationship remove focus from each other to self.  Becoming me focused is the first sign of a relationship on a decline.  On this journey, both the driver and the front seat passenger, must remain alert so destination and arriving safely happens.

Growing together…

Though “growing together” has many layers;  the seasoning of both partners & the maturing of the relationship are the upper crusts.   We have already How does one grow together, one might ask?

Most of us find ourselves holding on to the memories.  A cruel reality; clinging to the old, is not enough!  As we grow, the things we once clung too will eventually become to small or so distance, that they are no longer large enough to hold on too.  A good relationship must create new things to hold on too, because the newer things are easier to grip.

Furthermore, relationship incur constant pulling.  There will always be forces and situations that are pulling you in the opposite direction, thus as things pull you apart, you must pull together.  Often, during this pulling apart, we aide the effort by pushing each other away because of frustration, dissatisfaction or distractions.  A good couple will feel the tension of the pull and push, refocus, recommit, and pull things together.

To have a successful marriage, one has to appreciate what you have, and be satisfied with it.  Appreciation requires us to inspect something purpose, usefulness, value, and being aware of the effect of its absence.  We must be ever aware that much like the market place, there will always be something new, that promotes more uses, and claims more and better satisfaction.  When one becomes dissatisfied, it is merely acknowledging that an appreciation has been lost to what has been obtained.  Because we are all growing, the reality is that what we have obtained will grow in use, and to one that is resourceful and attentive, will find it more useful to oneself as they greet new days.

The direction relationships go in are the result of our choices.  We must choose each day to grow together or grow apart.

Are you growing together? growing apart?  Do you have a common goal? Do you value each other to make time to spend together? Do you share our thoughts? Joys? Sadness?  Are you pretend to have it together?  Will you keep the mask until you have grown apart?

Share with us.

Parenting: Watching the Girls Serve

Over the last few weeks, I have had the privilege of watching the older girls serve. By serve, I mean minister or work as a leader. I have to admit each time I see them I get a little overwhelmed. I keep thinking God has granted me such a privilege to have a little credit in their growth.

It reminds me children are a great gift. My goal is to give them back to God because they are his. I am just here to steward. Yet the question becomes and I being a good steward? Am I listening when they call me? Do I realize when they need me and when they need to be independent?

Parenting is such a difficult task, one where there is no real training. You parent from how you were parented and how you see others’ parent. Then you hope and pray that it turns out right. Well each time I see the girls serve my heart swells because I get a glimpse that I may be doing it right.

ano dancin 11 2013