What Almost Ruined My Marriage
Every year Americans spend billions of dollars buying organic produce and foods. The promise of the manufactures is a product free from pesticides, hormones, and toxins. We pay a premium to eat “clean” foods.
By definition, organic means naturally occurring, derived from living matter. Organic food is treated differently than non-organic food. Not only is it free of toxins but it also does not contain anything man-made…it's natural.
We eat organically because who wants to eat pesticides and cancer-giving toxins? Not me.
Recently, I began to think about relationships. Most of our relationships are filled with toxins with many unnatural patterns occurring. I know in my life, unrealistic expectations have caused rifts in important relationships and sadly have ended some relationships.
This led me to ask, am I giving as much thought to my relationships as what I ingest?
What would it look like to have organic relationships? I believe in order to first answer this question, we need to identify the toxins in our relationships that prevent relationships from naturally occurring.
Nothing kills a relationship faster than unrealistic expectations. Early in our marriage, I realized that I was squashing Justin’s confidence by demanding and expecting certain things. For example, I expected Justin to make me happy. This is unrealistic because he cannot control my emotions. That’s up to me. I would be left frustrated and disappointed when he didn’t make me happy.
I love this quote by Lysa Terkeurst, “My attitude of love must not be sacrificed on the altar of activity.” Let's face the sad truth, the demands of our time keep increasing. With two young kids and a busy schedule, I have to guard my time with diligence and wisdom. When I am rushed, I feel like a crazy person. A literal crazy person. I lose my keys, bump into cars in parking lots (always leaving a note), become short-tempered, etc. This leaves my relationships severely malnourished.
Not allowing time for personal growth
With the demands of life, we easily let ourselves go. This letting go happens mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. We need time to take care of ourselves. I now block off time each week to spend alone. I use the time in a variety of ways. For me growing myself means spending time alone with God, exercising, reading, and reconnecting with friends. At first, I felt a great deal of guilt. But Justin knows that I need this time alone. And I am a much happier person, wife, and mom.
Fear is a major relationship toxin. In the book Soul Detox, Craig Groeschel talks about the fear of rejection is a toxin in our lives. Because of fears of abandonment and rejection, we keep people at arms reach. We love but not wholeheartedly, because we are too afraid of getting hurt. Fear prevents our relationships growing because it is the opposite of love. In fact, Scripture tells us that perfect love has no fear.
How are you treating your relationships? Are your relationships naturally occurring? What toxins, hormones or pesticides contaminate your relationships?
Relationships are God’s greatest gifts in our lives. Cultivating an organic relationship is an investment. Invest well.