We see throughout history the causes of broken relationships: pride, vanity, arrogance, racism, narcissism, self-importance, power, lying, cheating, stealing, jealousy, ineffective communication, control, and the list could continue for several pages. Just take a mental inventory of the broken relationships in your own life. What was the root cause, whether you were the source or someone else? Chances are the relationship could have been saved or could be mended with some humility on both ends.
We have struggled for years on relationships. There are so many differences that divide us, whether culturally, racially, socio-economically, politically, philosophically, etc. So what is the purpose of relationship? This is a big question that could potentially take an entire book to unpack. However, we can state the foundational purpose of relationship in a couple short paragraphs, if you will indulge me.
The Purpose of Relationship
The purpose of relationship is companionship at its very core. That companionship can be on different levels, such as family (husband, wife, children), friends (hobbies, shared interests, fun), work, team (a shared goal). In the process of these differing levels, something happens. The need to connect on a deeper level rises to the top. We will inevitably try to find a way to build on what connects us. Sometimes this is successful, and sometimes it is not. Why do teams fail? It probably has something to do with a lack of relationship. Why do families fall apart? It probably has something to do with a discrepancy in relationship.
A companion is someone you share experiences with. Therefore, the reason you enter into relationships is quite possibly to share experiences with others, to bring meaning to your life, and to come to a place of trust and understanding. This is why it is so devastating when someone breaches a relational bond – and it can become more difficult for someone to connect with others in that way.
Take a look at just one area – your WORK team. At work, you cannot escape it, you will be around people. If you are around people, you will be forced to interact. When forced to interact, you need to make the decision to be a valued part of the team. When you make the decision to be a valued part of the team, others will be drawn to you. When others are drawn to you, that means you are already part of a relationship – a team relationship. What kind of team member will you be? If you connect with others in a meaningful way – with the purpose of bringing value to the team and to others – a companionship will develop.
If we dig deep down in our thoughts and feelings, we desire companionship, to be accepted, to have friends, to feel valued, to make a difference. All of these desires can only be realized in the context of relationship with others. There is something deep-rooted in us that desires companionship through relationships with others.
I have met and talked to many people who had as their goal to “make it to the top”. One common thread among the ones who didn’t value the relationships in their life was the realization that they didn’t have any meaningful friendships. What good is it to rise to the top of any field if you cannot share it in some way with those you have gathered around you to share life? What good is it if you do not have companionship with others?
Understanding this concept of relationship – or at least making yourself a student of it striving to improve your relational capacity to enhance your existing and future relationships – will certainly improve your life, your work, your leadership, and well… your relationships. Go ahead and strive to be the best at what you do. Just remember, being the best at what you do includes as a vital part of the equation… valuing others, developing companionship and shared goals, and an expanding relational capacity.
What are your thoughts on the purpose of relationship? This post is an attempt at stating the fundamental purpose. Let’s expand on this thought…
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