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  • Bretta Durham

We can even love...

Sometimes when we are willing to look past the “clouds of today”, we can more clearly see and remember the beauty and significance of a relationship that has been valuable to us long term.

Love for others (friends, families, and in marriage) can reach a commitment level in our life of, “til death do us part”, when we truly value the person and the relationship.

This level of commitment is difficult, if not impossible, to reach when a relationship is based on circumstance and/or convenience. A relationship that is built with a self-serving type of belief, “I am in this relationship until; conditions aren’t met, feelings change, or something perceived as better comes along”, rarely last.

I recently read an article that talked about why people currently disengage from both family and friend relationships. The author claimed in order for someone to keep or stay in a relationship the relationship had to be seen as a part of positive support of personal growth and happiness. (This is summarized)

I’ve thought a lot about what the article said and both of those reasons, although individually helpful, can be, in and of themselves, relationship hurtful.

Relationships shouldn’t just end or be dismissed because of personal fears, insecurities, and someone’s (momentary) inability to help us feel happy or support us as we personally grow. Relationships we want to last should be built on foundations of love (words and actions) that can sustain.

Perfect love casts out fear.

For better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer and in good times and bad...we pledge these things to those whom we say we love.

These pledges help further ground us in the understanding that there will be good and bad times in all relationships. In a committed relationship we can choose to work through differences and disappointments.

Instead of looking for self-sustainment and happiness we can also develop and maintain a mindset (recently used a lot lately) that “better together” is part of mutual support in friendships and family relationships.

Abiding in fellowship with one another (keeping a relationship relevant in our lives) entails staying committed to the relationship out of love. We can keep looking for evidence of good within all of our relationships.

Holding onto grudges further harms us individually and relationally. Living at peace, as much as is within our control, allows us to have better relationships over time. We can even love when others fail us and our relationship with them by reconciling because we care about the person and relationship.

To learn more about the topic of authentic love visit the website http://www.RealLifeRelationships.orgon the site you will find more information about the book Love Forever and the self-guided course books Loving Others, Loving Yourself, and Reconciling Through Love.

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