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Relationships take work. And to be in relationship with anyone means we can’t just look out for our own interest. We must come together to figure out how to care for the relationship itself. At the same time, good and sound relationships are made up of good and sound individuals. And we cannot expect our relationships to thrive when we are not.

To be sure, each relationship has a life of its own that must be cared for in its own right.

For example, in marriage, the two become one and give birth to a new entity of the marriage itself. And while each spouse retains their own individual needs and interest, the marriage must also be given the attention it is due.

And this is true in friendship, parenting, and any other committed relationship as well.

But while the relationship needs attention and work to thrive, this is never to the neglect of our individual responsibilities.

In fact, our relationships can only become all God has for them as we ourselves continue to grow into all God has for us individually.

And many times, the best thing we can do for our relationships is spend more time growing up ourselves.

For instance, our relationships will suffer when our own anger, insecurities, or fears consistently get the best of us.

And while these things impact the relationship, they’re not primarily relationship issues; they’re individual issues we need to work through and find healing for ourselves.

We miss much of the individual growth we still need when we make everything a relational issue, which only harms the relationship in the long run.

Certainly, growing up ourselves doesn’t resolve every relational issue. Some things are still best addressed within the relational context. Still, our relationships can only thrive as we become the best version of ourselves individually.

A better me makes a better us. 

Fight for your relationships. And remember the best way to do this is often through your own growth and transformation.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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