“You’re my friend, BECAUSE…”

“Sociologists argue that in contemporary Western society the marketplace has become so dominant that the consumer model increasingly characterizes most relationships that historically were covenantal, including marriage. Today we stay connected to people only as long as they are meeting our particular needs at an acceptable cost to us. When we cease to make a profit - that is, when the relationship appears to require more love and affirmation from us than we are getting back - then we "cut our losses" and drop the relationship. This has also been called "commodification," a process by which social relationships are reduced to economic exchange relationships, and so the very idea of "covenant" is disappearing in our culture.”

The quote above is taken from Tim Keller’s book ‘the Meaning of Marriage’.  It challenged me so much recently to think about my own relationships – those with my family, my friends, and my spouse. 

Am I ‘commodifying’ my relationships?  Do I spend time wondering, “What am I getting out of this friendship? What can you do for me?” Essentially… “You’re my friend BECAUSE…”

Now, I think it is healthy to evaluate our relationships, to step back and ensure that the people we choose to spend time with and do life alongside are contributing to a wholesome lifestyle. Who is pushing you higher and further, or do we simply ‘give to get’ when it comes to those we love?

It’s a challenging thought - I’m not sure I have the answer.  What I do know is that I want the kind of relationships that are life-giving. To be known as someone who is consistent, faithful, loyal and available – even when its inconvenient, when there is nothing ‘in it’ for me.  

Mother Theresa once said that loneliness is our society’s greatest poverty - and I’m inclined to believe her.   Its not that we are craving more people, in fact, its hard to find a moment physically alone in the manic world we call home. We long for deeper and more meaningful connections and for authentic relationships.

I’ve been challenged lately to ‘go the extra mile’ in building relationships; to step out of what is easy and comfortable and go out of my way to show the people in my world that they matter, to me.  Imagine if we all just did things for others not because they could do anything for us in return, but simply ‘BECAUSE’…    

Who is Karalee