blessings · relationships

Why Relationships Can’t Work Without Realizing How Blessed You Are

We can have anything we want here in America. The world is ours. We have one of the freest countries on the planet, one of the highest standards of living, great infrastructure, great communication, education available to all, jobs in abundance. You name it, you can have it. Not that there are not small sacrifices but let’s compare that to the rest of the world or history:

  • We complain that our flight is 2 hours late from here to LA. Did you know that in many countries you couldn’t even afford that flight. Or have it available to you? How about 100 years ago? To cross the US you would have had to take a several day train ride. 2 hours late doesn’t seem so bad. 
  • We complain that we are “starving” after being without a meal for 5 hours floating down the James river (true story yesterday). Even on the worst day at work I might go 12 hours without a meal. Its not that its not available I just don’t have the time to grab it. This seems like an eternity. But what about in countries where people don’t even know if they will have enough to eat at all? Or farmers in early US history who had to rely on their crops being good during the summer to keep from starving in the winter?
  • We complain that have so much financial distress and so many bills. The internet, the new car, the credit card, the 70 inch TV. Most people in the world couldn’t even afford those things in the first place: EVEN ONE OF THEM! 
  • We complain about unemployment in America. And yet there are so many jobs available. What are we really saying? That we can’t get a job? Or that we can’t get a job that will pay for all the overpriced gadgets and toys that we’ve accumulated. Or the ill-planned family that we can barely support?
  • We complain that raising kids or having a girl friend is so expensive. We forget that we are in one of the few countries which gives us all the tools we need to plan a family safely and effectively. We forget that great dates don’t have to cost money and that in many countries young people are forced to marry someone they never got to choose by arranged marriages. Interestingly these are often more successful relationships because the couple learns to work with what they have ratehr than always wanting something better.
  • We complain about our unfulfilled sex lives or lack thereof. And yet we forget that in some countries in Africa there are tribal disputes which result in the brutal raping of thousands of women, scaring them sexually for life. 
  • We complain that we can’t get a boyfriend or a girlfriend and that all our friends are married and we’re alone. And yet we forget that we are in one of the first times in history where both men and women can do equally well WITHOUT a relationship. Women don’t need husbands to support them, men don’t need wives to cook for them.
I understand we have real problems here too. Emotional hurts from lost relationships, death of a close loved one, losing a job and losing your financial stability, having a chronic or terminal illness, being hurt by a close friend, being abused by a parent or significant other one.
But without fully appreciating how blessed we are, we will be prone to take for granted our relationships and treat them casually. If you don’t understand just how blessed life in our country is, you will be more apt to nit pick everything your lover does wrong. You will critisize them for meaningless faults. You will be unable to forgive accidental hurts.
That’s not all. The other casualy of ignoring how blessed you are is that you will fail to appreciate the things that your loved one does for you. When she takes care of the lawn for you or when he cooks you a delicious dinner, you will fail to appreciate the thought and work and care that went into such an effort. We crave for appreciation in our culture. We need affirmation that our actions are right. Black and white are not so clear here where everything is available.
Learn to appreciate your life. Losing your job is not the end of the world. You won’t starve. You can be happy with less, its still more than most have. Being thankful for your blessings puts you relationships in perspective and helps you truly appreciate others.
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3 thoughts on “Why Relationships Can’t Work Without Realizing How Blessed You Are

  1. Good word Jesse. I just recently finished an encouraging book about this topic called,Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joyby Nancy Leigh Leigh DeMoss Now I am reading another.One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp I can never get enough reminders that I have a choice. I can choose gratitude or I can choose to be unthankful and to complain. As Randy Alcorn says,"Given what Christ has done for us, our lives should overflow with gratitude. Sadly, too often they don't."

  2. This is an awesome post… one of your best so far I think. All of those factors play a role in how we handle relationships. I keep coming up with a re-occuring theme when I think of relationships and how they are successful… contentedness… in all aspects of life. With yourself, with your life, job, etc.

  3. I am sure that we all take our blessings for granted more than we should. We also take our relationships for granted. I see women in sweat pants and no makeup and think, this is okay at home, but do you think it would hurt to just look above average from time to time? Same with men, they don’t try hard to look good for their wives, girlfriends, or partners. It is a sure way to put your romance on the “back burner!” We can show we are blessed by our actions, words and deeds. Praying as a couple is a good way to bond, too. Thanks for the good post that got me “started..”

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