The DNA of Relationships: You Were Created to Love

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Once you realize that you are made to be in relationship with others, you can discover the joy in all of your relationships.

The other day, I received a letter from a young man who had gotten back together with his girlfriend after a difficult conflict and a terrible fight. Eric had been working through some things at our counseling centers, and it apparently had helped him and his girlfriend, and they got back together. Eric’s closing sentence was, “Sometimes I feel that I can’t live with her, and yet I know I can’t live without her.”

How often do we hear that said? Well, there’s a reason for that. It’s the DNA: You are made to need relationships. Even when they are hard, difficult, or just plain frustrating, you need relationships. It’s the way you are wired. You have a longing to belong to someone, to be wanted and cherished for the valued person you are.

Relationships are not an option. From the moment you’re born, you’re in relationship to parents. Soon you’re in relationship with other children. Later you have relationships in the workplace, and you develop relationships with close friends. And eventually most develop a relationship with someone in marriage.

When a relationship becomes difficult or painful, we tend to dismiss the relationship and maybe for a while try to abandon all relationships. But eventually we come back and seek connection once again.

While we can choose how we will participate in relationships, we have no choice about whether we will participate in them. This is a critical point. Your only real choice is whether you will work to make your relationships healthy, whether you will do things that hinder or enhance them.

Let’s look more closely at the components of the first strand of the DNA of relationships. Encoded in the Adam and Eve story is the same relationship truth given by Christ as the greatest commandment: Love God and others like yourself. Similarly, we have found that when you actively develop the same three relationships, you lay the foundation to a healthier you in every way. Our DNA is that you are hardwired for three kinds of relationships—with others, with yourself, and with God. This design feature is true for all of us—whether or not we recognize it and whether or not we act in line with it. It just is.

Most people understand how they’re in relationship to others. Many people don’t really understand how they’re in relationship to themselves (and this is a key problem in making sense of all relationships). And some people don’t want to admit they’re in relationship to God. But they are.

You are made for three kinds of relationships: with others, with yourself, and with God. Each of these relationships is not only important, but each is intricately interrelated. If one relationship is out of balance, the others will be affected.

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