This morning, I was excited to go to a baby shower for a former co-worker. She glowed in her purple dress as she opened several wrapped adorable baby gifts. The room was packed and we all watched happily as she opened each item. She glowed and you couldn’t help but feel her and her husband’s joy as they anticipate the birth of their first child. As I surveyed the room, I thought of how important relationships are when it comes to these milestones in life. The mother to be is an extremely friendly and loving person. You can’t be in her presence and leave in a bad mood. She has a way of naturally putting people at ease and reaching out to those in need of an ear or shoulder. Her husband is also a friendly man who knows no stranger. In short, they are the kind of couple to whom people gravitate.
So, if this is a blog for dating and pre-engaged couples, why are we talking about baby showers? All too often, couples become lost in each other and, in doing so, alienate those around them. How many of you have had a close friend drift away after he or she began dating someone? The beginning of a relationship often feels so good that you can’t think of anything but spending every possible minute with that person. This is a natural inclination, but a dangerous one; we need others in our lives. When we take friends and family and cast them aside, even if unintentionally, we are damaging extremely important relationships. Women need their female friends. Men need their male friends. Men and women both need family relationships. We all need church fellowship. We were created to have relationships… as in, more than one.
When a man and woman marry, it is the most sacred relationship outside of our relationship with Christ. What happens all too often though, during the dating phase, is that the guy and girl become so wrapped up in each other that they neglect their other relationships. Then, after marriage, the newness of the relationship quickly wears off and he returns in looking for his buddies and, likewise, she looks around for her friends. This doesn’t mean that their marriage is going sour by any means; it’s just that we cannot depend solely on our spouse for all of our interaction and fulfillment in life. We need God and we need others, period. When the formerly quarantined couple re-enters the real world, sometimes their friends, and even some family members, have moved on. Their friends might be cordial, but they may have little or no interest in reviving a weak connection.
In short, be sure not to get so wrapped up in each other that you exclude important people from your life. If the person you are dating is marriage material, and you are heading to the altar, remember that you will have a lot of time with this individual that you won’t have with others. You will sleep and wake with this person. You will spend countless hours enjoying the company of this person you are planning to marry for a lifetime. The time you have to spend with friends and family will lessen after marriage and even more so after the birth of your children. Don’t be in such a rush to get married that you neglect to strengthen the precious friends and family God has given to you.
If you do end up neglecting your family and friends, because you’ve been so wrapped up into each other, and you or your wife is eight months pregnant with your first child, how many people will want to come and care for you and your children? Be a friendly couple. Invite trustworthy, loving friends and family into your budding relationship. It will be an investment in your marriage and even in the life of your future children.
Are you neglecting any important relationships?