Healthy, strong relationships require time

Do you slow down to connect? How do you spend quality time? How do you have a meaningful relationship? To have a healthy, strong relationship requires time. Spending time together is important whether it is with your spouse, your children, your friends, or with the Lord.

Have you ever felt disappointed when time you were hoping to spend with someone was postponed or interrupted? It struck me recently that this may be just how the Lord feels when we rush through our day forgetting to spend time with Him. Or worse, it could be the rushed through version of time spent together. You could say, “Hey, I spent ten minutes with you. We talked. That counts. Don’t you remember? I told you how sorry I was that I was running so late? Gotta cut it short today. But hey, I’ll make it up to you tomorrow, okay?”

Yeah, tomorrow. The tomorrow that never actually comes. That tomorrow.

It’s like when you come home to find your spouse rushing out the door, late for some appointment when you were anticipating telling him something. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. But can we talk about this later? I have to go. Important business, you know. I love you.” Click. The door shuts. Your shoulders droop. You try not to cry or get angry.

To get to know someone, you ask questions, you listen, you participate in activities together, you talk, talk, talk because that is how you share life.

I have some friends with whom when we get together no matter how many months or years have passed, we pick up as if we’d never been apart and visit and laugh the hours away. During these times, the hours don’t seem like hours. We are always shocked to see how much time has passed as we suddenly realize we have to say goodbye. Those friendships leave my heart so happy. I can’t wait to see those friends again. That’s the kind of relationship Jesus wants with us as well.

A marriage can’t have romance or loving feelings if the couple never slows down to communicate and do things together. If you become like two ships passing on the sea on a starless, moonless, dark night, then expect storms. When communication breaks down, feelings get hurt, people feel neglected. Anger and loneliness replace joy and love. Rushing through prayers, devotions or Scripture study, skipping church or activities meant to increase your faith are ways to neglect your relationship with God. You might not notice at first, but the love is dying, being replaced with something else, something that is far less important. It is times like this that we’re on dangerous ground in our relationship with God and with people.

I often anticipate time with family only to see it slip away. Tears come then. My heart breaks over what was lost, what was missed. Time is one of our most precious commodities. Once it is gone, we never get it back. The opportunity is just lost.

I have to learn how to manage my time better. I have so many things I want to accomplish and so many people I want to know better. Investing in relationships can be hard. Sometimes it even hurts, yet I know that I cannot neglect any of them because each is precious to me.

Each of us is precious to God. If we make our relationship with Him a priority, somehow all the rest works out. Since the relationship with Him has eternal consequences, we most definitely need to nurture it. Be quiet and still and listen.

May the Lord bless you with abounding joy and relationships bursting with love and laughter and all things good. See you next week.

4 thoughts on “Healthy, strong relationships require time

  1. After reading your blog this morning, I am seeing this aspect of my life like a teeter-totter. Some days are filled with time together with my spouse and/or friends. Other days, no one seems to be around for long talks. I need to cherish those days that lift my spirits with long talks much more than I do. Thanks for the reminder, Michelle.

    1. I think we all can relate, Donna. Sometimes we don’t realize something either until we look at it from hindsight. We all just do our best. I hope to be a bit more intentional since it is on my mind. I also need to seek a lot of prayer for direction to stay balanced. I am afraid I get too task oriented when I should concentrate on relationships, then feel bad when I have missed an opportunity. Everybody is so busy, busy. I look back and think that I could have done that better, slowed down, and laughed more, lived in the moment. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I completely agree with you about the best relationships are those that you can pick right back up; I am blessed to have more than one of those kind of relationships in my life. And like you mentioned, everyone is so incredibly busy these days, and it’s hard to stop and take time for what is really important. And when you do, you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner 🙂 Today I went to a luncheon with some ladies from church, and I often times pass because of being *too busy* but each time I make the effort, I come away blessed. You gave us some good reminders Michelle.

    1. Thanks, Deb. I agree. I wonder sometimes if before all our modern conveniences, they didn’t have more blessed relationships because when someone came over, they stopped everything to visit because it really was a blessing to have a visit. The more we have, the more we take for granted, I fear. I personally struggle with tasks versus relationships. As soon as I’m done with this, we can. . . why not just forget the task and spend that time. . . Sometimes the things I’m busy with really shouldn’t be so important. Our time really is so valuable. . . every day I need guidance to spend it well. I’m still learning.

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