Holding Hands

“The glory of friendship is not in the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionships; it is in the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a husband and father I strive to have solid relationships with the people who mean the most to me. These people, who occupy the majority of my time, have the ability to build me or break me. Many people often fail to realize how much impact your relationships, family or other, have on your life. A healthy relationship grows you and makes you better. They are not always about telling you what you want to hear and bailing you out in your time of need. Instead they tell you what you need to hear and challenge you to take on your own responsibilities.

A healthy relationship saved my life and helped me get back on track when I was off course. My wife challenged me. My kids matured and changed me. My co-workers inspire me. My church family encourages and grows me. I want us all to have relationships that are healthy and beneficial.

See Also: I’m Better Because of You

Below are five characteristics of a healthy relationship that will help you choose the right people to have in your life. These are the basis of how you should build your relationships.

1. Trust

“To be trusted is a better compliment than being loved.” – George Macdonald

Without trust there is no relationship. Do you believe the other party in this relationship has the best intentions for you? Do you trust that their actions are not meant to hurt but to help? A relationship without trust is not a relationship. If you always suspect something is going wrong it’s time to have a crucial conversation to determine the reason why.

2. Respect

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for other guides our manners.” -Laurence Sterne

Respect is earned before it is given. In order to earn someone’s respect you have to be willing to overcome times of adversity that may arise in the relationship. When you show you are willing to fight for what’s important it shows that you are invested deeply and care about what is at stake. Respect is not a feeling; it is an action that can be displayed when difficult circumstances are present.

Be present, honest, helpful, sensitive, and loyal. That is how you earn someone’s respect.

3. Give & Take

“Relationships that continue to be one sided will not remain solid.” John C. Maxwell

Relationships require give and take. They require balance in order to continue to be beneficial. You don’t want to be in a relationship where people only come to you when they are in need but fail to be found in the midst of your struggle. Each relationship may be different in their balance but balance is necessary. Long lasting beneficial relationships are win-win scenarios. My children require a lot of my time and energy but they give me joy, satisfaction, and teach me life lessons I may have never learned if they weren’t in my life.

4. Quantity Time/Quality Time

One of my favorite characteristics of a healthy relationship is based on the simple premise of time. People in healthy relationships spend a lot of time together. This may be as simple as running errands together to watching a movie every Friday. If you want to have a strong relationship, you have to spend time with the other person. You can’t have quality time if you don’t have a quantity of time together.

5. Adds Value

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.” Mark Twain

People often achieve the level of success that the most influential person in their life believe they can reach. In healthy relationships, the other person should have a high vision of who you are and what you are capable of. This is because we accept the thoughts of the people we are closest to because we assume they know us the best. People who want what’s best for you will bring the best out of you. They will speak positively into your life, inspire you, and lift you up when you fall. Make sure in your relationship that you are adding value to others and they do the same for you.

See Also: What Should I Be When I Grow Up?

Now I challenge you to make some tough decisions. Evaluate the relationships you have and see if they have these five characteristics. If they do, continue to grow and enhance them as they will pay major dividends in your life. If your relationships are lacking in any area its time to grow or go. Why is this so important?

Relationships have the potential to impact your life in positive or negative way. The impact is so drastic that the wrong relationships could leave you on the streets while the right relationships can lead you to the palace. Relationships can define you in a positive or negative way. It’s time to make a decision.

Be Here Now

Are you really LIVING in the moment?

A few months back one of my coworkers shared a quote that chipped away at the entire way I live life. He simple said three words,


I know that doesn’t sound like much but when one attempts to practically apply it to every area of your life it becomes readily apparent that this is not a mantra that many hold. Think about it, how often are you with your family and thinking about work? How often are you at work and thinking about your family? I know personally I can be physically at one place and mentally some where totally different. Actually, I pride myself on having a vivid imagination and get great joy out of drifting into la-la land.

But what am I missing by Drifting?

Of course, we’ll all have the tendency to think of other things and other places. That will never totally leave. However, I believe if one commits to putting forth an effort to live every moment of every day totally invested in that moment then the chances of them being successful and productive go through the roof! Continue reading “Be Here Now” »

spilled juice“What does it cost?”

This is the response I get from my four year old daughter when I try to explain to her why I’m sad that she’s spilled Hawaiian Punch on the carpet. Her mom is walking back and forth shaking her head declaring that the child will never drink Hawaiian Punch again. I’m trying not to laugh as I explain that carpet, and the cleaning of carpet, is not free. Confused, my daughter gives me this puzzled look and proceeds to leave the room carrying a doll by its hair in one hand and a leopard printed blanket in the other.

In the distance I can hear her say, “I have five dollars.”

“Five dollars.” I’m down on all fours trying to scrub this bright red spot out of light grey carpet. My wife continues to explain to me that the last time we got the carpet cleaned we had to pay a whole lot extra to get out the red spots. For good measure, she throws in that she never wanted light grey carpet. “Five dollars, ha!”

My smile is now gone. The spot is not. I get up and plop back into the bed hoping that the child starts to love lemonade and water because who knows how long it will be before anything red makes it out of the kitchen.

In that moment, my mind goes all the way back to the search for my home. How I wrestled with lenders, went to multiple locations, and viewed numerous floor plans. I can’t count how many drives I made to the same location to look at the same place over and over and over again. I think of the money I had to put down on the place and how this amount ballooned right before I was supposed to close. Thankfully I had the difference. Continue reading “The Price to Inspire!” »

What Are You Clinging To?

Cameron H THE HUMAN JUNGLE GYM My son might just be the clingiest person on the planet. Whenever we are together I am transformed into a jungle gym and he begins the process of climbing all over me. He never stops moving. He sits on my lap, swings on my arms, stands on my feet, […]

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When I Grow Up!

As a child I always wanted to be “important.” I wanted to make my parents proud by doing some great feat that the rest of the world would marvel at. I wanted to make myself rich beyond my wildest dreams. I wanted to be the center of attention. I wanted to stand out in a […]

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