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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