I was watching my husband Philip today and thinking about how we have a rhythm that we move to in our relationship. By rhythm I mean how we navigate and do life together.
A good example is in the mornings when I have my time to relax and start my day with God. Philip brings me breakfast in bed and then vacates the room, only popping his head in to smile at me or making his way to the shower. The days when I go out early he has his time to do the same, or we stay out of each other’s way to give each other some space and alone time. We follow this now unspoken schedule of who does what and when one of us gets busy the other one picks up the slack.
We’ve learnt to flow back and forth between each other much like when you pass a basketball between players or when dancers perform a routine. We’ve figured out what works, learnt to adjust our movements when necessary and choose to pull together when facing a crisis. We know how to give one another regular time alone, as well as making an effort to spend time together.
It’s taken time, practice and a certain amount of bumping into each other to get to this point, but that’s okay. Relationships take work and the willingness to share and adjust. When we only think about what suits us we often have no patience or room for others, which hinders our ability to impact people’s lives for good. It’s far more challenging to, “Go out into all the world”, when we can’t even manage to love those close to us. ” (Mark 16:15)
As Mother Teresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”
Jesus put a priority on having close relationships. One of the first things He did in his ministry was to gather 12 men (and several women) to journey with him. He didn’t do life alone and demonstrated how to love, have alone time, how to share, laugh, cry, and break bread together. He revealed to us how to live in community. He had three especially close friends, Peter, James and John, who Jesus chose to spend the most time with. Even when Peter messed up Jesus still wasn’t left alone when He died on the Cross, for standing nearby were Mary his mother, Mary Magdalene, His mother’s sister, and his disciple John who remained with him until the end.
“And standing by the Cross of Jesus his mother, and the sister of his mother, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary, the Magdalene. Jesus, therefore, seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing by, said to his mother: “Woman, behold thy son.” Then, he said to the disciple “Behold thy mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:25-27)
We don’t have to go it alone. God promises He will, “set the lonely in families” and that two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Psalm 68:6) So take time to work through your hurts, defences and trust issues so that you can build healthy relationships. Ask God to lead you to those who you can build a family and community with. Then make the effort, even when it’s hard, to allow them to walk the journey with you and you with them.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”. (Proverbs 27:17)
Prayer: Lord please help me to learn how to do life well with others. Would you please bring those people into my world who you want me to journey with and show me how to walk with them as you would. In Jesus name Amen.