Written by:
Charli Chitambo

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What is a Relationship?

Moved to write about relationships, I decided to poll the wide pool of people that I am in relationships with myself. I type this with a smile because I know how my last statement might sound out of context. The people I surveyed are my friends (Facebook friends included), cousins, work colleagues, former classmates, and many more. To each I asked the question “What does a relationship or being in a relationship means to you?” I would like to share what some of them shared with me. I should also mention that each one of them gave me their permission to quote them. That oddly made me happy because, whether consciously or subconsciously, these people, each one of them, trusted me with not just their words, but also their views, opinions, and feelings.

Gabs says that “Relationships are what you build with people, nature, and creation. It is not a mere attachment with the other but it is a connection you nurture and renew every day because it needs to grow. Just as a rose needs her gardener and the gardener cares for her rose, all must mutually grow and find beauty in the other.”

"[A relationship is] a connection you nurture and renew every day because it needs to grow."

Rhea’s idea of a relationship : “Well, for me, a relationship is something you mutually share with a person or even a non-person for that matter--pets, things... more importantly it's a connection (but this is more for humans, hahaha).”

A fellow Global Mission Fellow by the name of George was kind enough to offer his view also. He says that: “A relationship for me, means an interdependence based on trust between two or more parties.”

"[A relationship] is an interdependence based on trust between two or more parties.”

Richmore simply states that a relationship is “a state of being connected.”

“A relationship means having company and being company too with the following traits: closeness and emotional intimacy, friendship, openness, trustfulness, commitment,” is how Angela puts it.

“[A relationship is] a state of being connected.”

These five individuals each come from different walks of life. In fact, three of them come from different countries. Yet feelings that they all portrayed concerning “a relationship” demonstrated a certain universality. This notion brings to light that even though what exactly a “relationship” is might not always be well defined, clear, or direct, we are all connected. Each and every person has some sort of relationship with the person next to them. It doesn’t matter if that next person is in another class, another school, another city, or even a different country or continent, we are all connected.

Discussion Questions: What does being in a relationship mean to you? What steps can you take to maintain healthy and balanced relationships? How is your relationship between you and God, you and your family/friends?