Welcome again to my guest Chris Vonada. Chris begins the meat of his series on the building blocks of relationships. Go to his blog www.chrisvonada.com and become a regular reader.
The 10 building blocks are delivered in alphabetical order (with the exception of "+1", it is last for a reason, more on that later...)... however, there is no coincidence that Acceptance is up first.
Acceptance, to me, is the most fundamental building block of any relationship.
There are different levels of acceptance, or favorable reception, for sure, depending on the relationship that we're talking about. Certainly we would maybe feel the need to unconditionally accept one of our children more than a co-worker. And, depending on their behavior, we may find certain actions of other people more or less acceptable, depending on how close we are to a specific individual. But is that really right? Certainly I can and should choose who to let into my life, in close proximity. That would be a very wise thing to do. But I do believe one of the two greatest commandments is to "love your neighbor as yourself", right? And yes, that would be unconditional love... and acceptance, for sure. That's acceptance on a pure level, not judging or saying what's right or wrong, but just that it is. Accepting the God-given beauty in another individual is a blessing that you can give them. That's seeing everyone exactly as Jesus would.
In a closer, more intimate relationship, for two people to accept one another something else has to happen even before acceptance...
We have to be real... we have to be ourselves. We have to be comfortable in our own skin.
If I don't really get to see who you are how can I accept you? That works both ways :-)
Here's the kicker... the buy-in, if you will...
If we're going to open up to someone we have to have trust... but how do I know if I can trust you?
"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." - Hemingway
Basically this is it: You have a choice to make... and then you have to take a chance.
For the sake of this post, I would like to use the example of building a close, intimate relationship with someone... remember, baby steps are fine when it comes to building a relationship.
And if we're going to be real we may have to review or think about the concept of self-acceptance as well, another pretty deep thought... the jist of this one... I have to be real with me in order to be real with you.
Acceptance, in a close relationship... here's the bottom line: I HAVE TO BE ABLE TO ACCEPT YOU EXACTLY AS YOU ARE. There is no point in me trying to change you for my sake. That's just silly. If you want to make positive changes yourself, that's excellent! You can count on me for encouragement and support
(like how I threw these 2 other building blocks in here... hee hee!).
Once we get real... and we see the real person on the other side of the candlelit table... or the conference room table, if we're talking about a co-worker here... we have to be willing and able to accept the other person.
We can look to God's word to find wisdom here...
In Hebrews Chapter 6, verses 13 through 20, God is showing himself to Abraham... that His very nature is the truth and the promise of unconditional acceptance, or approval, of us... exactly as we are. If He is OK with me just being me... the one who knows everything about me... how many hairs I have on my head... down to my every thought and what is really in the depths of my heart and soul... yep, if God is OK with accepting me just as I am, knowing everything about me... why wouldn't I want to be real... open, honest and sincere... and just be myself so you can really see who I am... and then make your own decision about accepting me?
"Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6: 17-19.
God's promise gives us truth and acceptance. We don't have to worry that they may one day be a change in plans. It's not going to happen. Acceptance really gets down to the core... the truth... building a significant bond... in the most significant way... when we're real.
So if I'm on board with this relationship... and you're being yourself... you don't have to worry... you are accepted. It's a done deal... just that simple!
How do you express acceptance to someone close to you in your daily life?
(Read more of Chris' posts at ChrisVonada.com )
(Read more of Chris' posts at ChrisVonada.com )