What I know about relationships, I have had to learn. It did not come to me naturally.
Having said that, there are two BIG relational sins that I have witnessed. The first one I like to call, THE BIG MISTAKE. The big mistake may be an affair. It might be an addiction that destroys a friendship, or even an unethical financial decision that destroyed a partnership. Big mistakes can cost us greatly and one of those costs can be the death of a relationship.
The second BIG relational sin is starving the relationship by not investing in it. This is the number one reason people come in for marriage counseling. They just don’t nurture the relationship, and then over time there is no relationship. The kids grow up. One party changes. Or, somebody decides they aren’t doing this for another 20 years.
I have seen couples that were so in love with one another. But, when things go south, they fight in such a matter that it destroys everything they built up in the good season. If they could minimize their blowups, they would have a world-class marriage. But, periodically they give back everything they have built in one big fight.
I am a firm believer that people do change, but, we grow best in an environment that is supportive for growth. We are energized by people who can recognize who we are, celebrate that uniqueness and cheer for us to be our best. When we do life with people who don’t celebrate us, who take us for granted, we sometimes stop competing. Who makes you want to be your best? Whose affirmation means more to you than any others? Who are you celebrating?
Tina and I have always told our sons, “Never date a girl that doesn’t celebrate you. If she doesn’t see your unique genius and celebrate it now, there is little hope she will when the hard times of marriage come”.
Tina has always believed that I was someone rare and noteworthy (even when we were teenagers). She believes that I am a better version of myself than I really am. But, her believing that makes me want to become that person. We all need someone in our lives like that. I pray that you find that, and it is multiplied to you in your friendships.