Friday, May 22, 2009

Balancing Out Relationships

Finding the space needed to balance out the demands of one's life may be very challenging and demanding. How do we make relationships work and have time for ourselves? When I was in elementary school, my teacher taught me to have a margin of space where no writing occurred. Our lives are like that paper and we all need to put some margin in our living. Otherwise we are over worked and drained. We can feel used up and in desperate need of a break.

So where does one start to find some contentment in living? The apostle Paul writing to Timothy told him contentment is a partner to godliness and the end result is a great gain. Paul, in the book of Philippians speaks more about being content. He stated that he had learned to be satisfied regardless of the conditions around him. Desire for things should never override relationships.

There are three important relationships to be considered if you are desiring to have a balanced life. God, self and others are relationships to get into balance. We have to invest to make them work. The first relationship I would like us to consider is our relationship of "self." It is key to know who you are and celebrate in your uniqueness. No one in the whole world can do what you can do; be you! You are of value and have purpose to God.

In the 119 chapter of Psalm we are reminded that God made us. Even when you were in your mother's womb, God had planned for you. His plans are not designed to your harm but to have a full life. John 3:16 clearly tells us of God's plan to establish a relationship with us. He took the first step and now we can accept His offer or reject it. The truth is until we have this relationship with God dealt with, all the other relationships will never be satisfying. All relationships involve being able to love. God first loved us and set the example for how to love.

Relationships with other is often the most challenging. There may be a need for reconciling relationships that are broken. We can love only as we have experienced love. If you know the love of God, then you know a more excellent way to love. True love is to love even as God loved us.

So to gain the needed margins and to experience peace and joy in relationships we need to observe the following formula. Power (our resources, finances, education, and abilities) less our load (internal factors) equals margin. So what are some ways to lighten our load?

1. Learn to say NO!

You don't have to say yes to every request. As a guideline, ask yourself, "In the grand

scheme of things, will this allow me more time with one of the key relationships in my life

(God or family).

2. Turn off the TV.

Plan some activities to enhance your life and relationships. Go for a walk. Play a game.

Have a picnic. Be creative and have some fun!

3. Prune activity branches.

Cutting back or cutting out those time grabbers. There may be some things that could be

delegated to another person. Other activity may just not be all that important. Some

responsibilities may be simplified. Sometimes we complicate life with our unrealistic


4. Separate time from technology.

We all need some down time from the technology that can dominate our lives. On another

note, technology can replace the personal face to face touch we all need.

5. Get less done and do the right things.

(Possible to be very busy and not very effective.)

6. Schedule some free time into your life.

Life is more than making money. Relationships are key and love is the currency of

relationships. We were created to be loved and to love others. If it's been a while since you

told someone that you love them, why not surprise them with a love note. Like the old song

says, "what the world needs now is love."