Good Relationships - the Challenging Goal
Relationships are the most important part of life. They are the source of most of the meaning in our existence. However, good relationships are very hard to do.
In relationships that fail, the reason is because there weren't enough things that were valued in common. This can especially be seen in relationships such as marriage that once were close. The irreconcilable differences are differences of value systems.
All conflicts that occur in relationships are conflicts over value systems. We value things differently than the other person. Our desires flow out of our values, and when we don't get what we want, we have conflict.
How then can we have good relationships? The answer comes from the value system that you adopt and live.
The Value System that gives Good Relationships
The best value system is one of living sacrificially for the benefit of others. This one will not exploit others. In fact, those who live this one will find they naturally do the right thing by others without looking for loopholes.
The bad news is that this value system is not a natural human value system. Our native value system is selfish living for the benefit of me! We want to have our appetites satisfied, have people like us and have our own empire of control. As a result, our relationships suffer.
The good news is that sacrificial living for the benefit of others is God's value system, and he has made a way in which we can be changed to have his. In response, when we adopt his value system, our relationship with him is immediately restored. We come to share his value system with all others who have adopted it, and in doing so gain many new, rich relationships. Finally, all other existing relationships will also benefit because we have been changed in the values that motivate us.