First of all, we can't make anyone do anything they're not willing to make an effort at to begin with. If we would all just take responsibility for ourselves, and own up to what we say, do, think; how we act, react; how we live and work, then we would have to admit that if we're not happy, then it's up to each of us to get up, and become happy.
Happiness takes work. Yes, there are some people that make it appear to be an effortless state of being. But when you see happy people, you're seeing the end result. It took time and effort for that person to reach that point.
For instance, imagine a family picnicking and playing in a park. With a perfectly clean red and white checked tablecloth on a picnic table, an adorable picnic basket opened to one side, with a carefully prepared meal layed out accross the table, eating, laughing and talking, sunlight creating that halo effect. Happy, happy family, right?
But do you know how long it took dad to find the picnic basket? And when he did, he found out they hadn't completely emptied it out last summer. And do you know that mom went out and bought most of that meal and put it onto those nice trays that she had to find, and wash first because the kids had pulled them out to go indoor sledding down the stairs, even though she had told them not to before. And did you know she had to call hubby like 5 times to remind him to please make it home in time to have dinner, because he had forgotten the last time, and the kids were whining all the way to the park because they were so hungry because dad was late again.
And yet, they made it to the park. They made the effort, and now they were thoroughly enjoying themselves.
You will reap what you sow. If you don't put any effort in, you will get very poor results, if you get anything at all. They say it all starts with you. If you change yourself first, your attitude, your words, your actions. If you choose your attitude each day, and decide that you will be optimistic, hopeful, and happy and if you resolve that you won't yell, or be quick to anger or say anything foolish today, each day, you will change the way you sow your relationships, and soon you will reap great harvests in your life.
No, not tomorrow. It takes time to cultivate relationships. But God promises that you will reap what you sow, so why not sow some goodness today? It WILL pay off, God promises :)
2 Corinthians 9:6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Galations 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Don't you want to reap better results:
- in your marraige
- from your kids
- with friends
- with extended family
- with c0-workers
- with church members
If you are currently unhappy in any of these areas, remember - you will get the corresponding result from the corresponding action. If you are generally unhappy, mean, negligent, rude, unattentive, then don't be surprised when your ____ (fill in the blank with any item from the list above) turns accordingly.
It's a plain and simple fact. God states it plainly in the Bible. He really didn't mean for us to have so much trouble with relationships. They really are suppose to be great, rewarding, and a joy.
I can't help but think about a few lines from "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulgum which apply to relationships:
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school. These are the things I learned:
- Share everything.
- Play fair.
- Don't hit people.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mess.
- Don't take things that aren't yours.
- Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
- Wash your hands before you eat.
- Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
- When you go out in the world..... hold hands and stick together.
- Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.