Today I want to inspire you to action. I want to provoke you to be intentional. I want to change the way you think about relationships and how they can be instrumental in enriching your life and also allow you to impact someone else.
In America there is 1 divorce every 13 seconds, the majority of births today are to unwed mothers, homicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the workplace, and suicide rates among middle-aged Americans is on the rise.
Relationships are clearly suffering. People feel disconnected, depressed, and lonely and feel that they have no one to talk to and that no one cares—even in the Church.
But I believe you can be a better mother or father, a better neighbor, a better friend, a better employee or even a better spouse BECAUSE you know how to launch, grow and maintain relationships. Before we think a little about how, I have a question to ask of you: are you willing to make changes so you can function better in relationships?
Change is the first of many spiritual and practical approaches to improving relationships. Acknowledging the need, and beyond that, our readiness for change is key. Only then are we equipped to see how our behaviors have created problems in our relationships and, likewise, how our changed behaviors can create solutions in your relationships. From time to time, I will return to this vital topic, relationships. Today, let me begin by sharing the most central tenet of building healthy relationships—loving one another.
The phrase “one another” appears 31 times in the New Testament. Most familiarly, John 13:34-35 commands us to “love one another as I have loved you…. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” This is basic but it is the very foundation of learning how to be in relationship.
When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, he said
Ye shall love the Lord your God with all your hear and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39
Take some time today to think about how you’re loving yourself—how you value the special creation God has made you, how you appreciate his unique handiwork, and how you celebrate his life in you—because the way you love yourself is exactly the way you will love others.