November 15, 2019
The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. Proverbs 21:5 NKJV
Friend to Friend
I was zipping through my house like normal, on my way to the kitchen to sort through the day’s mail. I noticed my teen daughter lying on the couch reading a book. On a whim, I decided to make a pit stop.
I pulled up her outstretched legs and sat underneath them. She smiled and after a few moments, we were talking about what she was reading which led to other subjects. I told her how her daddy and I used spent hours just like that, talking and laughing together on the couch when we were dating. We had no concept of time; we just enjoyed being together.
Thirty minutes passed before my daughter and I left that couch. During that relaxed time of conversation, I learned what was concerning her in middle school.
If I had hastily passed her on the couch that day, I would have missed that opportunity to connect.
We live in a hasty world when we barely have two minutes to swap information before the next activity cues up. We communicate in short texts rather than long conversations. We swipe with great speed, hardly having the patience to wait for someone to share their heart if there’s a lull in the conversation.
Yet if we will slow down, and be diligent in our relationship building, we will have abundance. If we are too hasty – wanting quick fixes and microwave fast friendships – we will come up short every time.
Today’s truth says “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” That’s true in business (get rich quick schemes don’t usually work) and it’s also true in our relationships.
Another version of today’s truth says “Careful planning leads to profit. Acting too quickly leads to poverty” (ERV). Having close relationships takes planning. Healthy relationships with spouses, children, siblings, parents and friends don’t just happen hastily by chance. They are designed with diligence. They are not strengthened by distractions.
The dictionary defines diligence as “careful and persistent work or effort; a steady, earnest, and energetic effort.” Doing something with diligence means doing it thoroughly, consistently, to the best of your ability. It’s the opposite of doing something lazily and shoddily.
We can be diligent in our relationships. But how? You can start with scheduling refueling stops like date night with hubby, coffee dates with your friends, or simply sitting on the couch with your kids when you’re not in a hurry (and you don’t have a device in your hand).
I like what Pastor Rick Warren said: Divert daily, withdraw weekly, abandon annually. We can apply this to nourishing our relationships and slowing down:
Divert daily. Do one thing each day to get closer to someone you love. It might be a kiss, short phone call to say you care, or writing a thank you note.
Withdraw weekly. Once a week, get away with your special someone. It could be as simple as having breakfast together at a neighborhood café or having a date night with your spouse.
Abandon annually. Leave your work behind for a period of rest and renewal with your loved one. This might be a second honeymoon, family vacation, or get together with your college besties.
Rich relationships don’t happen by chance or by hurrying through life. They don’t happen when technology is front and center all day long. Rich relationships happen when you take a moment and slow down.
Dear Jesus, thank You for the people you have put into my life. Forgive me for rushing through my day sometimes and neglecting those relationships. Help me to put in the work necessary to remain close. Give me a spirit of patience and understanding towards others.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
When was the last time you just sat on a couch, talking and listening to someone, completely unhurried?
How can you divert daily, withdraw weekly, and abandon annually with the most important people in your life?
More from the Girlfriends
Need some help managing technology’s pull in your daughter’s life? If you are struggling with video games, YouTube, and social media, you will want to watch Arlene’s new video course, Technology and Your Girl (plus you’ll find three free videos to learn why screens are so addictive in the first place, both for girls and women).