Practicing the Principles of Vibrant Relationships
Last weekend I began a three-week series about marriage. I said that if a person wasn’t married, they might think this series has nothing to do with them. My response to that is simple: one day you might be married and you need to reflect on what makes marriages thrive; you may know someone who is married and you might be called to walk alongside a friend who is struggling in his/her marriage; and the third reason why this series is important is that the characteristics that are needed to make a marriage thrive are the same ones that help any relationship flourish.
With that as a background, I talked about six basic habits/characteristics that are needed to have a relationship last for an entire lifetime. These basic principles are: Effective Communication, being considerate of the other person, learning to compromise, remembering that physical affection is important and living into your commitment (even when it’s difficult). None of these should surprise anyone but it is worth noting that just because someone knows what he/she should do, doesn’t mean that it will be practiced.
We need to remember that marriage was never designed to make us happy, it was designed, by God, to make us holy. We will have challenges and struggles in any relationship but a vibrant marriage is gift to not only the two people who are married, but to the world that is tearing apart. Our biggest struggle is waiting to act on these basic principles when we “feel” like practicing them. If we wait for that, we will never incorporate these practices into our relationships. Waiting for feelings to come will guarantee that you will stay stuck. But if you can remember that actions precede feelings, you will know the truth in the saying “love is an action verb.”