What makes relationships work? Whatever it is, it has to be one of the most important things to know because the meaningful and important things in our lives have to do with relationships. For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his relationships – especially those key relationships like family and friends. Fortunately, the answer is quite simple: honesty and commitment.
Relationships are built on trust and trust demands honesty. Honesty seems to be the essential virtue in the parable of the sower and the seeds (Luke 8:15). When we are the same person on the outside as we are on the inside we invite people to trust us. This kind of honest integrity makes people feel safe and allows them to truly know us, to truly have communion with us. If on the other hand you play your cards close to the vest, showing me only a poker face, how in the world can I entrust myself to you, and why would I? I don’t want to be manipulated. I want to be loved.
Relationships, and life in general, are full of ups and downs. We are going to disappoint each other and life is going to be hard. I need to know you’ll be there for me even if I fail. And you need to know that I’ve “thrown away the key” and will stick with you through the thick and thin. Commitment is what allows us to build our relationship on a solid, immovable foundation. It enables us to relax and be ourselves and weather the changes because there’s something unchangeable that holds us together. If I know you’ll be there tomorrow, I can be myself today. If I know your friendship won’t change tomorrow, I can endure the changes of today.
Good relationships are what everybody wants. Close relationships are what everybody needs. We can have them if we want, but we must choose honesty and commitment. We must say true and stay true. Relationships, like everything else in this universe, follow a set of rules. If we practice honesty and commitment our relationships will blossom like the seed yielding a hundredfold. And that’s worth the world if you ask me.