How Not to Kill a Relationship
If the Teleios community is anything like the general American population, 8 in 10 of us would say our driving skills are better than average. Never mind the fact that over 90% of crashes involve human error. Clearly not all of those accidents were caused by the 2 in 10 "honest" responders. Men are naturally overconfident about a lot of things, and driving is just one of many examples. But what about rating your relationships?
How confident are you that your relationships are healthier than average? I might venture to guess that if you're affiliated with Teleios, your relationships are probably healthier than average. Why?
Relationships take work (time commitment; investment in others), and men often need structure to create bonds of friendship. Although this strategy has worked well for Teleios, it might feel daunting to the isolated Christian or to the younger generation of men. Further, there is the modern temptation to be so over-extended with your time and interests that investing in relationships can take a back seat. The concept of intimacy is attractive, but not the reality of closeness. Besides, relationships are often hard and messy. They can be like a mirror that shows you're not as pretty and perfect as your ego would suggest.
But relationships are not about getting what you want--satisfying your needs only. If that's all you're looking for, you won't find success here. True relationships are the enemy of selfish pursuits. It's give and take. Relationships are more about the journey than the destination--and this journey should change you. It should make you confront things about yourself that need refining. It's the same with your relationship with God--the analogous concept here is called sanctification.
There is a temptation to live a self-absorbed and self-governed life. The challenger is that, deep down, you know that relationships are critical to happiness. You also know that focusing on yourself and your freedom destroys relationships.
Everyone has an innate need to be loved, heard, known, and accepted. Only real relationships offer this. But the cost is high. You get exposed in a relationship. It's a risk. But it's worth it. You're worth it. Lean in.
Brian Causey, Teleios Board Member