When my husband and I got married the minister who married us asked us to think about what we brought to the relationship. He said it is easy to think about what your husband/wife brings to the table, but asked if we ever think about our own contribution. Do you?
I probably don’t do it often enough, but I try to remind myself of my need to serve the people who are important to me, rather than tear them down with what they haven’t done for me. I know I don’t do it often enough with my husband (or my mother or sister for that matter). In our relationship, I am definitely the taker and he is, without question, the giver. When we have an argument, in the end, in order for the argument to cease, he always has to give in and let me feel like I won; until he does that, I am just blinded with stubbornness. But once he does that, I am able to clear my head and realize when I’m wrong and apologize. The passionate Italian in me definitely comes out sometimes 🙂 and it is something that is a weekness for me. Thankfully, it’s something Andy knows about me and can put up with (AND is just one of the MANY ways he serves me).
In any case, I think the “what do I bring to the table” question goes beyond marriage; it should be asked in regards to every relationship. I have both giver and taker friends; friends who I give to more and other friends who I take from more. I try to make it even, but it’s hard! Some people are just wonderful givers and some are just takers.
There isn’t anything wrong with that, it is human nature to take from the friends who offer more and to give to the ones who need more from you. BUT I think it is also human nature to have a limit; a point in a friendship where the “account balance” (to reference a analogy used in our young married’s Sunday School class in regards to a husband and wife’s relationship) is negative because both friends just take from it and neither side gives or cares anymore.
So I have a question: if you had a friend who continually hurt your feelings without really seeming to notice or care, would you confront him/her? Would you tell him/her what you think or would you just let the friendship die because you feel like he/she wouldn’t really hear you anyway?