Since Valentine’s Day is this week, I am sure that the preparation of confectionery delights has been occurring at a rapid pace. Each of these culinary masterpieces requires mixing the ingredients in just the right amount and in the proper order.
The same principle applies to relationships. All relationships require a recipe with the proper preparation instructions to thrive. There are also many ingredients that are necessary for success. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I have identified five of these ingredients. I contend that they are traits of good relationships. Take them to HEART!
- H – Humility. If I am honest, there are times when I am wrong. Most times I hate it when I come to such a realization! At that moment I have a choice to make. Am I going to continue representing a lie, or will I humble myself and admit my mistake? It takes courage and humility to admit my weaknesses to another person; however, doing so can result in healing and restoration.
- E – Ears to start the process of listening. This is not a passive activity. Listening requires more than merely hearing the words that someone else says. My loved one’s communication will often be filled with nuggets of information. Remembering some of those little details can go a long way in building the bonds that tie a relationship together.
- A – Appreciation. I must admit that this is the area where I most often fail. I struggle with being consistent in expressing gratitude to my wife for ways in which she has helped me. Vocalizing the recognition of what she has done to assist me strengthens our relationship. Who doesn’t like to be told what they are doing is appreciated? This seems like an area where the golden rule is applicable. Do to others what you would like them to do to you.
- R – Respect. Inevitably, when two people are in relationship, they will discover that they have different opinions, likes/dislikes, and ways of doing things. Winston Churchill is said to have remarked, “If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.” Without respect, these differences will drive a wedge between individuals. Valuing what makes each person distinctive will temper a relationship.
- T – Time. This may be obvious. It is difficult to know someone well without investing time. What time together looks like can vary widely between participants in a relationship. This could be talking, working, or doing an activity together. Establishing connections that are long-lasting is the result of quality time together.
My prayer is that the ingredients above will be beneficial in improving relationships. I firmly believe that mixing in these ingredients can be helpful in producing a winning relationship recipe!
Question: What other ingredients are important? What suggestions do you have to build winning relationships? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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