Resolve to Love

Resolve to Love by Kerry and Chris Shook

Right now, there are three relationships in your life that trouble  you. Perhaps a good friend said something to you yesterday. It felt  critical, but you’re not sure what she meant. The two of you used to be  so close, but lately you’ve been drifting apart. Something’s not right.  Oh, and your mother called. There’s that. You know you should return her  call, but you haven’t. Why? You know there are things you should have  said before, you avoided them, and now you feel it’s too late. It’s  always so hard with her. Always messy. And then…your son has been  missing. Not missing physically, but he’s been distant, quiet, silent.  Missing emotionally. What’s that about? What’s going on in his life? You  want to reach out, but he pushes you away. It worries you.

Maybe the relationships in your life aren’t exactly like these, but  I’m guessing these remind you of someone close to you, a problem  relationship in your life right now. Maybe it’s not your mother but your  father, perhaps not your son but a daughter-in-law. It could be your  best friend. Whoever it is, he or she is someone who matters to you—or  else the relationship wouldn’t trouble you, gnaw at you on the inside,  make you question and grumble, or even bring you to tears.

So take a moment and think, who are these three key people in your  life? Which meaningful relationships are troubling you? Relationships  you wish were closer. Relationships you’d like to be deeper and richer.  Relationships that trouble you, bother you, even make you a little crazy  right now.

Seriously, think about it. Who are they? And now take a moment to name these three key relationships out loud.

Trust me, this is important for you. In fact, this may be the most significant thing you do in your life right now. Why?

Because life is way too short. At the end of the day—at the end of  The Day—in this all-too-short life we share, all that really matters is  relationships. Our relationships with the God who created us and with  the people we love. Compared to these relationships, the job or career  goals we set now aren’t really so important, the ladders we try to climb  don’t matter so much, and the objects we long to own and possess seem  utterly trivial.

What really counts in the end is that special knowing look you share  with your spouse, the arms of your child reaching up to you, or the  quiet comfort of a friend who stands by your side in a difficult time.

Think about the possible loss of the relationship with one of those  three people you named. You can’t do anything about death and the  physical departure of one of them from this earth. That’s in God’s  hands.

But you can do something about your relationship with them in life.

Much of what you’ve been told about relationships is upside down and wrong. Researchers tell us that a baby sees everything upside down for the  first few days of life until the brain can adjust the visual picture to  right side up. Most relationships today are stuck in this same infant  stage; we tend to see relationships upside down, and our culture only  reinforces this view. The concept of love at first sight permeates our  music, movies, television, and books. What we learn as children and  continue to believe as adults is that a fairy-tale relationship somehow  just happens. Now, I’m not bashing romance, but meaningful relationships  depend on seeing other people as they are and looking at them right  side up.

Real love—whether romantic love, a close friendship, or a  family relationship—happens long after first sight. It shows up as  people get to know each other more deeply and often after they work  through tough things together. Real love in relationships isn’t a  magic act; it’s a journey. When people say, “It was love at first sight,” what they really mean  is “I was attracted to that person the first time I saw them.” There is  nothing wrong with being infatuated with someone at the start of a  relationship. The real question, however, is, do you have a love that is  growing stronger and deeper every day?

I don’t believe in love at first sight; I believe in love at last  sight. Each of my relationships has the potential to be better the next  time we’re together than it was the previous time so that the last time  we see each other on this earth we’re closer than ever before.

I’d like you to join me in the Lasting Love Relationship Challenge. The book One Month to Love is the challenge, and you can do it on your own. Just read a chapter  each day. There are thirty chapters, they’re short, and you can probably  read one a day pretty easily. At the end of each chapter you’ll find  the Lasting Love Relationship Challenge, which is designed to help you  take the insights from that day and apply them to your key  relationships. Also you can log on to onemonthtolove.com each day to  access our personal coaching and get extra encouragement and advice or  share your story. Our goal is to come alongside you to help you create  the very best relationships possible. Let’s resolve to love this year!

Adapted from One Month to Love by Kerry and Chris Shook with permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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