My relationship investment counselor, Dakota JoeMeet Dakota Joe, my faithful companion for almost three months now. He is a very sweet fellow and I am totally smitten. So far today he has chastised the cat, splashed me with muddy pond water, and tried to eat the butterfly I was about to photograph…all before 8:oo in the morning.
Why do I put up with all the inconvenience? Dakota Joe and I have an agreement. I’ll love and provide for him even when it is a challenge and he’ll love me back no matter what. He will sit with me when I’m lonely, listen when I need to talk and protect me when I am frightened. It’s a simple arrangement and it’s an investment for both of us.
We think so much about investments in financial terms, wanting to secure our future and “put something aside” for rainy days. In the end, though, the most important investments we make are in our relationships. Deposits into the lives of others have eternal value and, as an added bonus, they are impervious to inflation, stock market crashes, and unemployment. In fact, challenging circumstances have the potential to make our relationships stronger as we learn to rely on each other more for encouragement and comfort.
We often do not realize how much our future depends on the strength of our relational investments. We are designed to love and be loved and our poverty in this area causes us to seek comfort in things that ultimately disappoint. Our possessions and our bank accounts cannot fill our need for companionship. (Neither can food, drugs, shopping, or anything else…) So today do something to secure your future; invest in the life of someone you love. Encourage, comfort, and support them. Make the decision to love them no matter what, even if they splash you with pond water or try to eat your butterfly.