Nourishing Our Precious Relationships
What if we could shop for a nutritional supplement for our relationships like we can for our bodies?
I wondered about this recently as I was perusing a shelf of pricey supplements. This one improves strength. That one restores youthful energy. Another promises greater stamina and endurance. Several of them shield against free radical attack.
I need all of the above!
But it did set me wondering about the way we are so prone to focus on our bodies’ nutritional needs but seem to forget that our relationships also need care and feeding. Our closest relationships provide a place for our hearts to belong—a safe place shielded from roving destructive attacks in the chaotic “out there.” Our close relationships are life-giving. A joy-filled relationship truly does restore energy lost to the pressures and struggles which daily sap it. Strong, healthy relationships also increase our strength; we know that two together are stronger than one alone. We can endure so much more with another person at our side.
We try to be intentional and deliberate in caring for our bodies, and we must do so with our closest relationships as well. Having been married fifty years to my beloved husband, I feel I can speak to this issue. We cannot afford to become lax, neglectful, or inattentive in nurturing and caring for our relationships, just as we cannot relax in our care for our bodies. It takes constant vigilance in both, providing what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of these precious resources we have.
How do you nourish your precious relationships?
I’ve always said that marriages would have a greater chance at longevity with the daily tradition of afternoon tea. Many of our guests have discovered this and report the delightful benefits of this routine. Just a half hour is all that is needed—a short respite to keep company and catch up on the day, a half hour to stop the whirl of activity and be together. Then, dinner can be prepared or other needs attended to. Together in front of a screen is not the same and will not nourish in the same way. The focus needs to be on each other, not on a device.
Another means of nourishment is the dedicated, protected date night, defended with vigor. A special time, a special place, for “just the two of us.” It heartens us at The St. James Tearoom to realize that we are not only considered a fine-dining restaurant suitable for date night (rated four stars), but also considered one of the most romantic restaurants in New Mexico! I could tell you story after story of romantic things happening here, and I’m sure I only know the tip of the iceberg. It encourages us to think we can have a part in feeding and fostering these vital relationships.
However, we do not need to restrict our date nights only to fine-dining restaurants or romantic restaurants. But date night should be special, not mundane. Care should be taken to create a significant and memorable time alone together. It takes some effort and a strategy, but, like exercise and supplements, merits such care.
The best things are worth it!
Yours for the return of Grace, Civility, Beauty, Gentility, and Excellence,