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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

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Love and Respect: A relationship with The Mechanic

I’m sure by now most people have heard the phrase, “Men need respect and woman need love” – it’s becoming almost cliché. It’s the most repeated theme in the relationship books, blog posts, and scribbles from our parents The Gentleman and I have been reading. We take relationship maintenance as seriously as a car enthusiast takes his vehicle’s upkeep. We polish the good parts and sand down and fix the blemishes. We clean the interior and constantly inspect the undercarriage for worn places. But we’ve realized that if we take care of everything else but forget the “engine” of our relationship, we’re doomed to stall on the side of the road. The engine of our relationship is maintained by our relationship with Christ; the greatest relationship mechanic there’s ever been. When we stop keeping up with Him - when we stop praying and reading our Bibles – our “engine” starts missing. But by maintaining that relationship as well – if not more – than we maintain the one we have with each other, we are better able to keep the rest of our lives in balance. And you know what’s funny? Christ’s exact words to couples are, “However, each one of you [men] also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:35 NIV. Read 5:22-35 for the full lesson.)

Me and one of The Gentleman's vehicles

But here’s the catch: we’re not married. So how does that command work for couples in that awkward in-between stage? For us, and I realize that I’m no expert, it manifests itself by my treating The Gentleman as though he were my best friend whom I cherish with all my heart (and he is!) and I try to never say anything that would wound him or pierce the fragile armor around his heart, even when I don't feel like being respectful or loving (when I get angry or frustrated), and he does the same for me. Sure, there are bumps along the way. I can joke in a way that comes across cynically or mean, and he can be so focused on other things that I feel left out, but those two things are becoming less and less of a problem as we focus on the simple command Christ has given us. 

To love and respect is not an option - it's a command. 

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