It goes without saying that I am a hopeless romantic and always have been. Hearing about wedding anniversaries of fifty, sixty and even seventy years can turn my heart to mush. Likewise, stories of couples meeting, falling in love and marrying in their eighties and nineties makes my heart even mushier. I’ve been told that in both types of these relationships it’s the little things that matter. Here is a song from 1953 that says it all, but besides the romanticism of the song, it speaks of the need for the human touch which many of us are lacking at this time. Happy Saturday.
No matter the grayness that seems to permeate our newscasts, our relationships, our leaderships, our lives… there is always beauty to be found. Does it matter where it comes from? Find and cherish the beauty in your day. Happy Saturday.
Long ago in my 1949 grade eight class, the lesson was about working together for the good of all. I can still hear the teacher’s voice intoning the above message and I’ve never forgotten it.
For all that’s going on in the world today, in some families, relationships, churches and businesses, and definitely in today’s governments, this message seems to be a timely one.
The popular motto “united we stand, divided we fall,” often shortened to “united we stand,” is commonly used to express unity and collaboration. The phrase is used to encourage and inspire, and sends the message that working together is easier, as there is strength in numbers, whereas doing things alone is harder and invites failure. This phrase has been used time and again throughout history to rally groups together and you will still hear it used today where the message remains the same.
This was gleaned from the Internet. And the following scripture says the same thing in different words. Happy Sunday.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2: 3-4 (ESV)
Life and relationships have their difficulties. We don’t always agree with one another. Sometimes, we let pride and stubbornness rob us of the time we have together. Then, when we least expect it, life ends for one and any opportunity to make things right is gone. We are left helpless with a burden of regret.
Don’t let time slip away. Don’t let the sun set on your anger. Don’t wait until it’s too late. The time to make things right is now, this moment…it is all you have. There’s no promise of tomorrow; there’s only today. Don’t let time slip away.
Each day is a new page in the book of life. Many words may appear on the page but only a few will be meaningful. There are so many instances in which we have to pick and choose our words in order to keep peace in a relationship, make the most of a bad situation, and use words of encouragement when needed. It is up to us how we are going to fill each new page so that any particular day in the book of our life will make a good read for us and those with whom we share our lives.
It is also good to not only write our daily page but to read the pages of others who have gone before us, such as Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Perls (1893-1970) who wrote this as perhaps one way of dealing with relationships strained to the limit:
I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
If not, it can’t be helped.
And then there was this by American Theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971):
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
This one recently caught my eye in Harry Belafonte’s memoir, My Song:
“Not everyone can be who you want him or her to be.”
Whether we are writing our own page, or reading that of another, each new page in the book of life is a challenging experience. It should not only be written well, but lived well, and make good reading for all whose lives touch ours.
Some say, “That’s the way I am and I can’t change.” Don’t you think that’s a very limited way of thinking? We can all change if we really want to…but we have to want to…that is the key. We have to recognize that maybe the way we are is detrimental to our own peace of mind and that the way we are can also be detrimental to our relationships.
After recognizing things about myself that I didn’t like, I set about to change them. Do I think more change is needed? It is always a work in progress.
Scripture is a good place to look regarding changing. Romans 12:2 says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” that was my beginning many years ago. I took that scripture and ran with it.
Jeremiah 7:5 says, “If you really change your ways and your actions, and deal with each other justly,”…extremely good for mending relationships.
Matthew 18:3 says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change…” and Ephesians 4:23 “to be made new in the attitude of your minds;”
Of course, there are those who think scripture is not to be believed but I believe it. I know the difference it makes in my life and in that regard, it doesn’t really matter what some say.
“When Love Hurts” is the title of a book relating to abuse in a relationship. authored by Jill Corey and Karen McAndless-Davis. The third edition is published by Penguin Randomhouse and is available on Amazon.com. The authors were recently interviewed on CTV and are currently traveling to promote their book.
Karen is the daughter of two of our congregation’s long time and much respected members who had no idea what their daughter was going through during the early years of her marriage. Her story is related on Amazon and is a source of inspiration to those of us who have suffered abuse either directly or witnessed it.
Love hurts in other ways as well. It is called when “I do turns to I don’t”. This happens when one or the other partner in a relationship withdraws their love and affection little by little over the lifetime of the union. What is left is a shell. The shell maintains the normal activities of day to day living…all the things that keep a household going…the “his and her” agendas, the family get-together’s, the social functions to be attended.
But something is missing…and that something is the little things; the hand-holding, the hugging, the gentle touch, the communication, the togetherness that was there in the beginning and has somehow faded into the dailiness of living life.
Many couples include in their marriage ceremony 1 Corinthians 13, what love is. “Love is patient, kind, it protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres…” and that is all good and wonderful. However, it should also be included in the lives of those who choose not to go the marriage route; it still applies; after all a relationship is a relationship; and love is love.
But what happens when things do not pan out after the love bug’s bite fades to a scar, the itch of passion has been soothed and the romance blinders come off? It has been said that love is blind; and maybe it is, because now our perfect person is slightly less so, as is the pleasing personality that first attracted us. We are no longer the center of attention, the object of affection, the beauty of the beholder. We are, alas, merely human, and our partner will continue to love us despite our human failings…or not.
Here is what love is not: love does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil and never fails. Never fails? you say. That’s right…never fails, because love accepts our failings and idiosyncrasies, and makes allowances for what was not apparent in the infatuation stage. Love does that..if it doesn’t…it isn’t love.
Love is patient, love is kind, love trusts, love hopes, love perseveres.
In relationships, many of us struggle to deal with the idiosyncrasies of our significant other. We sometimes overreact to little things that are part of our partner’s nature and fail to see our own faults that could be just as irritating to our spouse. This sometimes leads to a diminishing of feelings on the part of one or the other parties…or maybe both. When this happens a little more love is called for…not less. It isn’t conducive to a good relationship to live with hurting hearts; it is necessary to accept each other’s individuality and recognize the need to apologize when necessary.