I love it when I hear something in one context and can stretch it to have meaning in other parts of my life, don't you? Let me share a little story I heard on Sunday, and then put a twist on it so that you can consider what it means for relationships in your life! The story goes that little David came to his Aunt Susan and asked for her help on a science project for school. He was supposed to build a house and said "what do I need to build this?" Her response was WISE, "it depends on how long you want it to last."
The lesson went on to teach about how houses have two types of walls - load bearing and non-load bearing walls. The corners and the walls that support beams have to be extra sturdy as they bear a heavy load. We could throw a structure together with less sturdy walls and lesser quality materials - it would certainly be faster and cheaper - BUT, it wouldn't last. Let's think about relationships (marriages, families, friendships, partnerships, teams) and whether we have put load bearing walls in place. Strong relationships endure through good times, rough times, sad times, changing times, and ... just time passing... getting old. What does it take to hold up those kind of relationships? The type of structure that can hold up under everyday wear and tear, as well as the very stormy times that are guaranteed to come into all relationships.
Let me throw out just a few load bearing walls that I want holding up the relationships that matter in my life ...
Honesty - no matter how hard it is to be honest
Acceptance - meeting someone where they are at without judgment
Dialogue - two way conversation where individuals seek understanding and to be understood
Time - worthwhile relationships take time to build and time to maintain
Accountability - taking ownership for your own actions and leaving blame OUTSIDE the structure
Maybe it's time for a building inspection ...How long do you want it to last? Start with that question, and then decide what it will take to build a structure to last that long!