Perfecting Relationships

Bacolod City, Philippines, July 8, 2017.
Teacher: Secondary Midwayer Sharmon.
Subject: “Perfecting Relationships.”

Received by Valdir Soares.

Sharmon: “Living together in a family group, sharing the same workplace or social activities entails the situation of contingent relationships. Relationships come from the assumption that ‘no man is an island’ and needs others to survive in this world. There are primary and secondary relationships. Primary relationships are the ones that cause other relationships, the secondary ones. The relationship between a wife and husband may cause a secondary relationship with the offspring from that marriage. Our question today is: How do we acceptably, healthily and pleasurably function in relationships?

“Firstly, understand the kind of relationship you are in, realizing the dependencies in it. In marriage, the relationship of dependency should be mutual, couples are partners in life. In a family relationship, some are on the dependency side (usually children) others on the provider's side (parents). In work, relationships are of authority, ones to exercise it (bosses) others to obey. In society, relationships are institutional ones: laws, rules and mores become institutions to which all should submit. If you behave according to your dependency position in a relationship, chances are this relationship will be an effective one.

“Secondly, as much as possible, fix problems; do not quit the relationship. Relationships to endure must be based on an expression of love according to the relationship type: marital, familial, friendship, kindness. And, as the apostle Paul stressed, ‘Love never quits.’ Sometimes, even if the relationship can’t survive, love always can. Expect problems and changes when you are in a relationship. Solving relationship problems requires mostly focusing on the problems and least on the people. Criticizing, arguing, and rebuking do not help, but dialogue (including listening), surely does.

“Thirdly, respect the trademark of any relationship. Loving a person never entitles anybody to lose respect for that person — to the contrary. Lack of respect involving a person may happen connected with his or her actions, but should never happen concerning the status of a person, which in the most basic expression is that one of a human being, a child (even if a rebel) of God, and in this world, inhabited by a representation (the Spirit Within) of the Father of All. There is absolutely no reason to give up on respecting anybody. Lacking respect for anyone is first of all a lack of respect for the self.

“Therefore, my friend, keeping relationships means to work on keeping them healthy and greater responsibility falls on those who value and want to keep relationships. As to everything in life, you must have a clear understanding of what the relationship means and which is your position (and that of others) in it. If you value a relationship, quitting is the last resort because love never quits. Finally, without respect, a relationship is doomed to be troubled. Respect is essential.

“I am Sharmon, I love to relate to people, spread charm, and receive love back from both — our realm and yours.”

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