Building a Relationship is Work


My blogger friend Alia Joy has an INSANELY AMAZING way with the written word.  I *LOVE* her writing.

I’m not a writer, even though I blog, but I’ve always wanted to be able to paint pictures with words like Lewis or Tolkien. And she’s got that gift.  And you can tell that she’s real and not someone cranking out platitudes without ever actually saying anything personal.

Even though she wrote this Five Minute Friday post about the writing process, this statement stuck out to me and made me think about the process of building a relationship:

So often, we want to skip the steps altogether. We want the creation without the time for it to be created and cultivated. We rush the process and end up with work that is premature and carries with it halting complications. Work that cannot weather the harsh realities of the external world and struggles with immaturity and futility.

That so perfectly describes the circumstances surrounding my relationship with my (almost) ex-husband. We rushed in without cultivating anything real, and – even though it lasted 16 on-again-off-again years – it couldn’t withstand those “harsh realities of the external world and struggles with (his) immaturity and (my) futility.”

Real relationships require work on the part of both participants.  One person simply can’t make it work, no matter how badly they want to.  You can’t cultivate a field when you can’t get to it because it is surrounded by a locked gate.  You can’t build something when no one wants to help you lay a foundation.  It just will never work.  Not the way God intended it to, anyway.  Sure, you may not end up legally divorced, but you will never have a true marriage partnership with a mate who gets you completely.

I’ve realized that I was legally married.  And that’s it.

And now that it’s almost over, I’ve realized something else.  God’s shown me something else.

I’m worth more than THAT.

I’m not going to forget the lessons I’ve learned, harsh though they were.  Relationships must be built on mutual trust, admiration, and friendship cultivated over a long period of time before ever getting to the “romance” stage.  Just like with plants, the slower the growth period, the deeper the roots.  And the deeper the roots, the sturdier the plant, and the better able it is to weather the storms when they come.

I don’t want another dandelion-like relationship, springing up quickly just to be blown every which way by the wind until nothing is left.

I want a deeply-rooted, stable, sturdy, strong oak.  


3 thoughts on “Building a Relationship is Work

  1. Very, very powerful post! Thank you for being so honest and so willing to share your testimony as a witness to the glory of your Father.

  2. Ok, you are so a writer! Whatever with the, I just blog… You just told a story and I get it because I have seen so many relationships crumble without the deep roots and I also know after almost 15 years of marriage and some really really rough times, that it takes a lot of work and seasons and pressure to get to a healthy, full grown, cultivated love. Thanks so much for the shout out and for sharing your heart here. You’re right. Relationships must be built. We predicate so much on “falling” in love, but anyone can fall. Building and nurturing are where the test of true commitment, sacrifice, and love come into play. And you are worth all of that!

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