Then, what's there to do about it? Can it be renewed, refreshed, inspired? Has it been outgrown?
Relationships are important, and we need them in good repair. Life is not about things - cars or boats or computers. Things, at best, are temporary.
Life, first, is our permanent relationship to God. And second, to His children - friends, neighbors, colleagues, families. When a relationship needs attention, the best place to turn right away is to God, the one all-knowing, infinitely good Mind. He is everyone's Parent. We are all related to one another through God.
The Bible puts it this way: "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?" (Mal. 2:10). Acknowledging the existence of one Father-Mother forms a solid basis for praying. God brings His/Her children together to bless, to help each other learn important lessons - like patience, cooperation, unselfishness, and encouragement. If a relationship ceases to bless, other progressive relationships will take its place.
In praying to God, we need to know how much He loves us and how great His care for us is - even when we're not aware of it. We need to know that God loves all His children with equal attentiveness and gives only good. God's whole plan for us is quality, and it's always much better than anything we could imagine.
Jesus Christ spoke often of God as "Father." Emphasizing God's generosity, he said, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matt. 7:11).
Our God delights in us. Answers every honest question. So if we need to know what to do about a relationship, we can take it to God and humbly ask, "What should I do about this?"
Then comes what is maybe the most important part of prayer: the listening. Followed by the acting on ideas that have come to us.
My daughter worked full time during the day and attended junior college at night. She met a guy who had recently gone through tough times. He was sincere and kind, and soon they began dating. He found a steady job.
After much hard work, my daughter earned her two-year degree and was ready to go on and complete her schooling. It was at this point she realized that their goals were not similar. And this concerned her.
My daughter found something written by the founder of the Monitor: "Kindred tastes, motives, and aspirations are necessary to the formation of a happy and permanent companionship" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 60). As she prayed for many days, asking God to know what to do, she came to feel it was best to end the relationship. It took courage and firmness, but she did. She also trusted that God, the infinite Love, would care for her ex-boyfriend.
Shortly afterward, she met the man who is now her husband. They do share similar tastes, motives, goals, and a unity of spirit.
While in this case a change was appropriate, someone else's prayers might lead him or her to work hard at restoring or renewing a relationship. God directs people in taking those steps, too. And when God directs, the resolution will bless both people equally, even if it's sometimes hard to see that at first.
What we really get tired of isn't people or jobs, places or things. What gets old and stale is bad attitudes - indifference, apathy, hostility, disrespect, lack of appreciation, unkindness. These don't come from God; they come from the belief that we're separate from God - off in some orbit of our own.
What heals a relationship is the fact that we can never be separated from joy, spontaneity, protection, since they are from God. We can't somehow lose His care and provision for us. What renews a relationship is our own deliberate expression of God's goodness. What revives a relationship is the gentle touch of recognizing in others the unselfish, considerate, respectful qualities of God.
Your relationship with God is primary. Turn to Him as your Father and Mother. This defines your priorities. It sharpens your thinking and improves your attitude. It liberates, deepens, and heals your relationships with people, too!
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society