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A Good Rule of Thumb

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Good ole rules of thumb.  We have all heard of them, but what are they really and what rule do I have for you on Relational Tuesday???  A quick search on Google for “What is a rule of thumb” will get you:

“A broadly accurate guide or principle, based on experience or practice rather than theory.”

In other words, it’s a guiding rule to help you make the right choices, because generally speaking it is true.  So, living by Rules of Thumb, will usually lead you in the right direction.  When it comes to relationships, many rules of thumb come to mind, but I generally try to live by one:  Everything matters.

Everything Matters

Everything matters is a great rule of thumb for every aspect of your life, but today we will talk about how it affects your relationships.  Think about these questions and tell me if your answer matters:

– Does it matter when you say, “I hate the holidays”?

– Does it matter that you would rather watch football or your show than watch a movie with the family?

– Does it matter that you would rather relax than color with your son or daughter?

– Does it matter that you yell and put people down rather than be approachable and lift people up?

– Does it matter if you help clean up around the house?

I could go on for hours with “Does it matter” type questions, but at the end of the day, the answer is always “Yes.”  Everything matters.  Maybe you have had a lot of pain around the holidays, so you utter the words, “I hate the holidays.”  I ask, what message are you sending to your family?  What thoughts are you putting in their heads about spending time with them and how will it impact your kids as they grow up with families of their own?  Sure, watching football on Sunday is your thing, and that is understandable, but you have to make time for the movie too.  You can have times where you can be selfish, but it can’t be the default mode.

Why Does Everything Matter?

The reason everything matters is that what you do, what you say, and how you act affects the people around you.  You may be thinking, “I’m not that bad.”  And perhaps you’re not, but how many negative things does it take to be seen as “bad?”  I think the question we need to ask is, “How do I usually act and how does that make people feel?”  If your child wants you to spend time with them, but you continuously tell them no, because you “don’t like to color”…how are you making them feel?  Pretty soon, they will stop asking.  If you are constantly responding with no or a negative response, you will be seen as a “no” or negative kind of person.

Conclusion

Everything you do in a relationship matters.  Generally speaking, you are given some forgiveness or lead way to be able to say no or be a little moody.  But if that is your general mode, it matters.  We have to take time for our friends and loved ones.  We have to do the little things that we think don’t matter, but it all adds up.  We need to make sure our default mode is positive and take time for the little things in life.  Those little things build up your relationships and make them stronger.  Remember the rule of thumb that “Everything matters,” and use it as a guiding principle to how you respond to the people in your life.

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