Valuing Relationships

Last week, on my Facebook page, I posted about valuing people over differing opinions, theirs and mine. I said, I value relationship, and I do.

In the not too distant past, I have loved people and valued relationships in very unhealthy ways and to my own detriment. I am not doing this any longer.

If I am dealing with a person who is unwilling to take responsibility for their actions, I am able to eventually forgive, but a necessary shift occurs.

I am at a point now where in such a case, I can and will go on loving the person. I am wise enough to understand that I cannot make anyone change and/or see what I perceive as reason. We have all been gifted with free will from God. Who am I to think I can override another’s will? Why would I want that responsibility? It’s too much, not to mention, unreasonable.

In this instance, the relationship I am choosing to value changes though. I will still honor and value the relationship. The one I am now choosing to honor and value, is the one I have with myself.

The Illusion of Control

I am seeing things differently now and learning how to more poignantly pray for specific types of people.

The more combative and controlling the person, the more insecure and downright afraid they seem to be underneath it all.

Trying to control others is exhausting, fruitless and simply not our job. I am praying for freedom for people who have yet to realize they’re not God and they can’t fix others by trying to oversee another’s journey. That’s no way to live.

The fact is, we don’t and can’t control much. The only person we ought to try to control is ourselves. Many don’t even do that well, so trying to control others becomes even more of an impossible feat.

Self control is a fruit of the spirit that we should all aspire to.

This is something being highlighted to me these days as I have instances where people try to tell me what to do throughout my journey. Which is almost a sure fire way to see me do exactly the opposite.

I want to live my life in such a way that I am honoring the integrity of another’s path or journey. I am wanting to do this even with my youngest children.

A part of my husband’s journey has included a recent near death experience. Because I walk alongside him in life (although on my own path), I experience some of his journey to a degree.  The same is true for our children.

My sons, my oldest (5 years old) in particular, is crazy about his dad.  At the time of my typing this, my husband has been hospitalized for 5 days and my son asks about him often.

Culturally, the norm would be to shield the child from this experience and push them aside, while the adults “take care of things.”  The idea is that children cannot handle such things. I disagree, and I am not doing this. Simply because this, by default, is a part of my son’s journey, I am going to walk through it with him.

When I have brought my girls to see my husband, my boys, being only 5 and 2 are not allowed in and this of course upsets my 5 year old.  He wants to see his dad too.

I explained to him that his father is sick and is healing, but the rules of the ICU are such that he can’t come in.  Instead, when his father was conscious and alert, I helped him to Face time his dad.  This of course made him happy.  I ask him about his feelings and answer whatever questions comes to mind.  I refuse to leave him in the dark.  I want to honor that this is a part of his journey as well and teach him to process the tough things he’s feeling and going through.  This way, when he is an adult, he will have had practice with such things and won’t be inept and behave in strange or inappropriate ways when life happens.

My dad Gary said these situations bring out the best and worst of people.  It’s so true.  I am solely focusing on what I need to do for my husband, children and myself.  If it upsets another, that isn’t my issue at all.  I am doing what I need to do and that’s enough. I am no longer trying to control others, by trying to make sure everyone’s happy with me and how I am handling things.  I am happy to be free of the illusion of control.

Culture of Honor

Where love languages are concerned, I always tie between two- acts of service and quality time.  I cannot choose one over the other.  Coming alongside me to help and chat with me as I wash dishes screams love.

In Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, it is noted that most often, people love others based on their own love language(s).  I know this is true for me because I am very often seeking to do something for someone and spend time with loved ones. It fills me to overflowing.

I am naturally a romantic, mushy, sappy type.  I love that too and at times crave that kind of experience to be directed my way, but I don’t always get it.  Rather than complain and constantly feel sorry for myself over it, I seek ways to teach my husband and children how to love me the way that most directly and clearly speaks to my heart.  We are in such a moment in time these days.

Around Valentine’s Day, in 2017, I decided to get sappy and romantic with my family.  From February 1st thru the 14th, I wrote each of them something that I love about them.  I enjoyed doing it and had no problem at all coming up with something for 14 days. This is just one example of the types of things I do to love my family and show them I am thinking of them and care. As much fun as I had doing it, I realized a few days ago, lol, that not one of them thought to reciprocate.

I realized that while it comes easily to me to honor those dear to me, it isn’t so for everyone, and because I want to raise thoughtful children, I brought this to their attention.  In as loving a way as possible, I discussed the importance of honoring others and admitted that there are and have been times when I have felt that I was “for them” and they were for themselves as well, leaving me out of the equation.  I told them that I would like to change that and teach them to be more aware of others, especially those closest to them.  I mean really, don’t cry, slob and snot if something happens to me and tell me how much you love and care for me then, tell me and show me now!

In trying to think of ways to help my family, Abba gave me a wonderful idea that I call, Culture of Honor.  There are seven in my household and seven days in a week, so for now, once a month (for one week), we are honoring each person in various ways.

I am enjoying seeing how they are choosing to show honor to one another. One child took over washing dishes another was doing.  One made another’s bed, bought another their favorite thing from the store, etc., many acts of kindness have taken place this week.  My prayer is that this will teach them to remember others and the important roles they play in our lives, and, honor them for it.

All too often, we get comfortable with those closest to us, so much so, that we completely take them for granted.  I don’t want to do this or be treated like this and I don’t want my children to do it either. So, we are seeking to change this and make some wonderful memories while we’re at it. People are very happy with how others are choosing to honor them and there’s a sense of excitement when thinking of what to do for others as well. We also plan to choose others outside our household to honor.  It will be fun to surprise people and honor them.  I am very grateful that instead of stewing in anger, resentment, and self pity, my Abba gave me a solution- Culture of Honor.  Who could you choose to catch off guard and honor today? Go for it, and tell me about it!