Growing up we use to say, there’s no romance without finance. At the time, that may have been true in our limited thinking. But have you ever wondered about the true cost of a relationship?
The Cost of A Relationship
Every relationship no matter the type, cost something, and requires work for all parties involved.
We recently discussed this with our leadership team at our church where we serve as Pastors. We wanted to give them a tangible way to understand how true fellowship among the body of Christ works. So we gave them an assignment.
We saw this leadership principle on Pinterest that seemingly looked like an LDS teaching. However, our mentors taught us that we can learn something from everyone, even if we don’t totally agree. Therefore, we opted to use this example from a Christian perspective to teach our team.
The Relationship Assignment
The instructions were to plant basil seeds in their kitchen in a pot, or Mason jar. We supplied the basil seeds but like in every relationship, they were going to need to invest in this project. As their investment for this project was to purchase a pot or mason jar and the soil.
In any relationship there is an investment of some sort, sometimes money but most importantly time. That’s because time is what’s required for nurturing the relationship.
The next instructions were to nurture the plant. This would require them to take care of it; giving it light, water, etc. A relationship takes nurturing. Many people don’t care about what you know until they know how much you care. Well to make someone feel comfortable to open up to you and allow you into their world, will take some nurturing on your part. You will have to spend some time getting to know them. Genuinely getting to know them, out of sincere care, and regard.
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” ~ Romans 12:9 (NLT)
The next part of their assignment was to send us a picture of their harvest which we knew would be at least 60-70 days. And we gave them clear instructions as to what defines a harvest.
Defining The Harvest
When you start to see sprouts, that’s the germination process happening and not their harvest. This is similar to what happens in a relationship.
You may see changes but that doesn’t mean there’s been a total transformation. True transformation takes time, but are you willing to go the distance?
We knew ahead of time that there may be some leaders that may sit this assignment out. Therefore, we decided to offer a reward to the top 3 leaders who submitted photos of their harvest.
We also issued a warning, that if anyone chose to sit this assignment out, then they would miss out on a potential reward. Just like you would in a relationship, if you choose not to enter a relationship with others.
In The End
The relationship we had with our mentors before they went home to be with the Lord, was desired by most. Unfortunately, not too many people had the type of relationship we had with them. That’s because they weren’t willing to be discipled, accept correction, or disciplined in love with a high level of accountability.
We are so grateful we went the distance and invested the time to allow ourselves to get to know them, laying down our guard with transparency. As a result, we have a better marriage, and we drew closer to God. Not too mention, we discovered our calling in the process, and now find great joy in sharing our testimony with others.
Too many times people give up in relationship in times of challenge. When challenges arise, it’s not the time to run, it’s the time to invest and sow even the more so that you can have a sure harvest!
So what do you do, if you have a toxic relationship? Great question, and one we answer in The Cost Of A Relationship Part 2!
~ André and Timberley Gray