Where Relationships Grow (#494)
"Science says that lasting relationships come down kindness and generosity." Imagine that! The conclusion may be obvious, but human relationships are fraught with pain and disappointment. Wayne refers to an article that appeared some months ago in The Atlantic that unpacked how married couples connect or do not connect in the course of their relationship and reveals the difference between a growing relationship and a dying one. The lessons uncovered here are not only true of marriage but also how when generosity and kindness become the rhythm of our relationships we put ourselves in the place where real community can take hold.
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I appreciated this article. This has triggered some great discussion between my husband and I and our children. While there were no scientific studies done at that time, Jesus taught this relational principle about 2000 years ago at the Sermon on the Mount- Matthew 7:12
This podcast got me thinking about past relationships where i violated the ‘kindness and generosity’ principle, and it logically followed that those relationships don’t exist in my life anymore.
This seems to apply to males more than females, but kindness is often equated with weakness…if you are kind, people will take advantage of you. I remember being a part of a circle of friends where we often gave eachother the ‘needle’ on many occasions. For me, it escalated to the point to where I began to doubt our friendships. Did we really like eachother, or was our only satisfaction was being able to one-up and/or out-do eachother in the way we put eachother down? Needless to say, I was pretty good at it. I couldn’t tell a funny story to save my life, but a one-liner or a quip, I was a master.
Being generous often becomes one-sided as well, you give, and the other person takes, and never reciprocates. I’ve been in a number of those relationships as well. They were not nurturing, rather, draining and resentment-creating.
Its very common that the people held in high regard in our society, those often with tremendous talent, are some of the most selfish and meanest people you will ever meet. But yet many people aspire to be just like them, for the byproducts of fame and wealth their talent creates. Until one reconciles the dichotomy between the temporal and the spiritual, they will fall for the lie that self-importance, and anger as a protective mechanism, is the key to happiness and success in life.
Great article! I see how you want to relate it all to marriage, being perhaps the most intimate of relationships, but I very much think it can be applied to all levels of relationship. Where we treat people we associate with in a kind and generous manner how that oils our communication and our relationship, whether it is the person assisting you across the counter, the taxi driver or bus driver, the postman, or your friends and relations (sometimes the last can be the most difficult to practise kindness and generosity on). And then so many today are not in marriage for one reason or another, so to resitrict kindness and generosity to marriage is for me a non-starter. Lol!
Relationships flourish in ekklesia — the lost word of the Bible! https://stevesimms.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/the-lost-word-of-the-bible-ekklesia/
Thank you for this podcast. I am a yacker. I know it. I have for years been trying to work on it, to adjust my view of doing this. I stumbled upon the focusing on what others are interested in, but I love they why that you said it in the podcast. I want this type of relationship with others, but I know it cannot be forced.