The Most important thing in a relationship isn't love. At least not in the sense that we are used to seeing love in this day and age. That's not to say that love isn't important. It's very important. Of course, it matters what you mean by love. Real love is not something you feel, it is something you demonstrate. The way you demonstrate real love is with committment. If you are not committed to someone and to your relationship with them, then the first time you don't "feel" a certain way anymore, the relationship becomes expendable.
The most important thing isn't physical intimacy. In fact, unless there is committment, getting too close physically can mostly hamper one's judgment. Now that isn't to say that physical intimacy isn't important in a relationship nor is it a bad thing. It most certainly is not only necessary at some point, but important. However, you can have a good and close relationship with someone without it. If intimacy is lacking, you can work on it. But first, you have to be still in the relationship. You have to have committed to it to want to do the work. There's that word again, committment.
In current times it seems that committment is the word that strikes fear into the heart of every man. (Well, maybe not every man, but a large number of men, anyway.)It seems that women are quite often similarly afflicted. Committment means that you stand firm through everything. It is what God requires of us in our relationship to him. It is the only thing that will work in other relationships as well.
As for current times, when the question comes up, "What is the most important thing in a relationship" the response frequently heard is communication. But is it really? Please do not misunderstand, communication is extremely important in a relationship. However, you can always WORK on communication and sometimes it is a real effort, but if you are not committed to the relationship and if you are not committed to communication within that relationship, it will fall by the wayside.
Trust is exceedingly important. It's really difficult to maintain a good relationship with someone you do not trust. On the other hand, unless there is some sort of committment, it's difficult to trust. The most important thing in a relationship (except for having Christ at it's center) is committment. The rest can be worked on. It is the one thing that can allow someone to be patient and wait when communication fails, when we aren't happy or "in love" and when the physical side of things goes by the wayside. Committment gets you through times of separation, through times of depression, through times where you don't like each other at the moment to the other side when things are looking up, you are talking and sharing and while emotions wax and wane.
Life goes in cycles. We have ups and downs. Stand firm in your committment to each other and to God and you inevitably come out stronger, and with a renewed understanding of what it really means to Love.
"Don't give up on love
Don't give it all away"
NOTE: I'm not referring here to standing firm when the other party is sleeping with everyone in town or beating the living daylights out of you. Just for the record, Someone sleeping around has violated that committment. Someone who is beating you needs to be stopped.
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