Top Navigation Bar

Quote About Dandelions

"You fight dandelions all weekend, and late Monday afternoon there they are, pert as all get out, in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be, thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity."

-- Hal Borland

Monday, June 16, 2014

Love and Respect {Part 2}: The Heart of a Relationship

I was nervous about showing The Gentleman my post from Tuesday. Mostly because I have always been ridiculously self-conscious of things I write, but also because The Gentleman lives and breathes cars. (The entire vehicle analogy came from my observations of how careful he is with his vehicles.) I held my breath while he read it and then asked his opinion. There was immense relief when he said he liked it and then started talking about it. He even said that I got most of the car terms correct – bonus points for this girlfriend!

After we discussed the role of respect in relationships and how respect must be a non-negotiable, freely given (never at jeopardy of being taken away on a whim) gift between the partners, he asked if I planned to continue the post.  While I had thought about it a little, I hadn’t planned on pursuing it right away. The Gentleman suggested that I focus more on my engine analogy and explained that, if you were to strip a car down to its basic components, the engine would actually be the heart of the car. He said, “You know, if you forget to care for the heart of your relationship, you really are doomed to break down.” And that sparked a thought.

A few days ago, I witnessed my mother try desperately to get her car fixed, but no shop could take it in until four days later. Thankfully The Gentleman and my father were able to get it fixed, but there was much duress until then. I am so thankful that when my “relationship car” starts breaking down, I can take it right away to The Mechanic (Christ). There’s never a wait-list, He’s always open, and He never does bad work. What’s even more powerful is when both partners take their “car” in together.

If maintaining a healthy relationship is like maintaining a car, how can you keep your “relationship car” running well? I’ve asked The Gentleman to help me in compiling a list of ways we think you can keep a relationship running smoothly and as The Mechanic intended:

  • Preventative Maintenance – talk about problems as they come up.
  • Pray every day, throughout the day, for your relationship. For God’s hand to cover your mouth to keep you from saying words or thoughts that would provoke your boyfriend – or anyone else, for that matter.
  • The most intimate moments I have with The Gentleman revolve around us sharing our spiritual life with each other. Talk about your personal walk with Christ. Go to church together. Pray with each other. Text a Bible verse you think might be applicable to each other’s day (this little act has completely turned my day around from bad to wonderful.) This kind of intimacy does not come easy for me – I have always struggled with talking about my personal faith. But how can I possibly claim the name of a Christian and not talk be about it? This is a growing period for me and I am so appreciative of The Gentleman’s heart in this matter.
  • Laugh together. Anyone who has been around us for any amount of time knows that we can’t go long without doing something that makes one or both of us laugh. It’s so freeing to be in a relationship where we can be ourselves and have someone who shares our sense of humor.
  • Truly do respect each other. Today’s society has a little mantra floating around that says, “Respect must be earned” and that’s a nice thought – until you begin to dissect it. When you do, you realize why we have a rape culture - why would a man respect a woman if he is taught to think she hasn’t done anything in particular to earn it? You realize why there are parents crying out for help because their children are going wild – if the children don’t believe the less-than-perfect parents have earned their respect, why would they listen? Yes, some respect should be earned; a man should have won the respect of people before running for presidency, an employee should earn the respect of their boss and co-workers before moving up in the company. But plain and simple respect for another person because they are a beautifully and wonderfully created-by-God being is not something anyone has to earn. It is a right from even before birth. My respect for my boyfriend is not conditional on how I feel moment-by-moment. His respect for me is not something I have to earn each and every new day. 

No comments:

Post a Comment