Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Relationships as Primary

About 6 years ago, Steve and I lived in Clearwater, Florida. At that same time, my French friends, the Augirons, used to rent a bungalow on the inter coastal waterway in Clearwater. Our families spent many afternoon and evenings enjoying the beauty and solidifying our friendship.

There are some things you and I might be able to learn from the Augiron's approach to friendship (as well as the approach of many other non-American cultures).

Rather than a second tier goal or byproduct, friendship is primary. That was evident in our times together. It was always a no-agenda, evening-long event. We would shop together, visit together, cook together, visit together, eat together, and visit together some more. I loved those times!

Several years ago, the Augiron's moved back to France and the bungalow was replaced by a high-rise, but my memories of us sharing our stories and our perspectives on life (though complete opposite oftentimes) are some of the best memories of my life.

As Americans we are so programmed to: "be individuals" or "reach our goals" or "pursue the American dream" that I think we sometimes miss out on the very thing that gives value to life - relationships.

I'm reading a book right now entitled "The Relational Way," by M. Scott Boren. Boren Says:
"Churches don't need another growth program with small groups at the center. They need a way to help people connect with one another in meaningful ways so that they create a contrasting way of life to the environment in which society lives."

As I read Boren's words about reclaiming relationships as primary, my heart leaps. I want to be a part of something that adds beauty and depth and makes a difference in our communities, don't you?

How can we help individuals (who may not even recognize what they're missing) move toward rich, full lives where relationships are primary?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe that it is a concept that *mainstream* America doesn't understand. It does still exist in this country in the heartlands and other sub-cultures within.

But I agree; we all need to embrace this concept. How the church can do this, seems to be lost right now. I can't wait to see the answer to this one.