Friday, November 14, 2008

Relationships are Living Legacies! Is Yours?

Living Lessons

Recently, I asked two gentlemen if they could identify a couple whose relationship represented what they believed to be a quality relationship. Both seemed to be at a loss. Later that same day I asked another acquaintance the same question, and she immediately responded with a couple’s name. These responses, a very limited sample, support the view that fewer than 5% of our population are in what would be called a quality relationship.

Additional questions revealed that the identified couple was an inspiration to others, providing a living model of a quality relationship. The power of a living lesson is so valuable! It was very interesting to experience the smile and increased animation as this woman described the couple.

A Here and Now Creation

Creating a quality relationship brings not only fulfillment to one’s life; it brings hope and encouragement to those who come in contact with such a beautiful creation. A quality relationship isn’t static, but a ‘here and now’ creation between two individuals that are intentionally experiencing the essence of one another moment by moment.

The quality relationship you create brings great hope not only to you and your partner, but teaches others how they can have such a generative relationship. Living the lesson is so powerful. Our words are so often presented as advice, but rarely help individuals move towards a more fulfilled life. Thousands of advice givers share their thoughts and ideas about relationships which pales in the light of a living lesson of a ‘here and now’ relationship.

The Legacy of a Quality Relationship

Living a quality relationship is one of the greatest legacies that you leave for those you love. This is a true gift that gives a model of how to live such a relationship to those that are in your sphere of influence. This gift will empower others to teach and share your life lessons. The gifts of action and deeds outlive our words and material gifts

Call to Action:

Share a story or description of a quality relationship that has made a positive impact in your life.


  1. I have a couple in mind whose relationship is very cool! I experience it as one that has been through good times and bad. I had the opportunity to be close to them at times and listen to how they handled issues that I later had to face. I had the opportunity to see them in action how they communicated to each other, to others in their circle of friends, and with their children. They have since emailed me with encouragement and through their dedication to each other - gives me hope and determination to follow in their footsteps. They are leaving a legacy for sure!! I hope I can encourage others in how I interact with my husband and how I make decisions regarding my family issues.

  2. My grandparents had daily devotions every morning over a cup of coffee after the morning chores had been done on the farm. They read scripture and shared a small devotional book and prayed for the day and for the family. Anyone who spent the night or dropped in for morning coffee was invited to share in their spiritual time.
    My Grandma will be 100 years old this January. She and Grandpa were caught "making out" when they were in their 80's. Neither of them had their glasses on so all that was said was, "Oh Alfred, someone has caught us kissing!" as they reached to shut the door.
    Because there was both a strong committment to God and a strong bond physically to each other these two people left an example to follow that has had a lasting effect on everyone around them.
    Of the 5 children, 13 grandchildren and over 30 great-grandchildren there are a total of over 20 marriages. All 2 of the children had their 45th wedding anniversary and 3 have had their 50th. At least 10 of the grandchildren have had their 20th anniversary. There has not been even one divorce in the last 80 years of this family tree. There are no regular smokers or alcohol drinkers in the family and all profess their faith in Jesus Christ.
    The scripture that says the prayers of a righteous man avail much certainly pertains to my grandparents and for their example I am forever greatful.

  3. started with our grandparents, then our parents and now us. My husband and I have had great role models for marriage and as a result of that, we are living our lives in a way that our kids will WANT to have a marriage like ours. Our kids, our friends and our co-workers see our actions towards each other in a way that they can say that we truly love and respect each other. We hold hands anywhere we go, we kiss good morning and good night everyday, we joke around with each other, we talk about things while cooking dinner and we are there for each other when ever it's needed. I recently had a series of major surgeries to my stomach. My husband has a deep fear and repulsion to blood. I had home health care nurses come to the house a couple of days a week but the dressing changes were to be done 3X a day. My husband was able to not only change the dressings for me but he did it with confidence, support and expertise! He was so caring as I lay there crying and so positive about it's healing. He put aside all those fears and sickness he has always had to care for me during those long 8 months! My kids seen these actions and have gained a new love and respect for him. We show each other love and support during the difficult times and the happy, exciting times. Our legacy is worked on every single day from the time we get up to the time we go to bed. We made that committment to remain married to each other no matter what (something we learned from being from family that were married for years and years). Trust me, we have been through some very difficult times in our marriage that many couples would have easily divorced over but not us. We have stuck it out and have never considered divorce an option. Love is so powerful when you let it be the core of your relationship. When you make that promise to your spouse, I believe you should abide by that promise and treat that spouse as you would want to be treated. I am so blessed to have someone I can share my life with and someone that is giving my children an example to carry on in their lives.


Reader Comments

"...My spouse and I have been married for 32 years and I've experienced our relationship from giggly in bed, to passionate in bed, to mad in bed to "sleeping" in bed...As we grow older the intimacy definition changes for me. Intimacy also for me is just sitting quietly, or driving for miles quietly or walking just hearing our footsteps crunch the leaves, holding hands. My usual struggle in intimacy is in my head - I have to intentionally stop my daily to do list, my past and future stuff and live in the present moment..." Pam

it's ... smaller things to celebrate that create the real passion

“We have found that passion ebbs and flows but we set a goal for our relationship a number of years ago that is working for us. At least every six months we do something that will create a lifetime memory. For us, we love to travel, so it's been pretty easy to find something big to do that will create that lifetime memory, but sometimes it's the finding of smaller things to celebrate that create the real passion.” Steve Rae

What'll arouse passion more than the feeling of being forgiven?

“The "typical beliefs that people have when the “fire” seems to have gone out of a relationship" I believe are a) that you feel your partner should have changed or should not have changed and b) that you feel you should change or that you should not have changed.

Acceptance of yourself and your partner leads to forgiveness. What'll arouse passion more than the feeling of being forgiven?” Brian Massey

A word from Russ Hardesty

The realm of relationship is mysterious; filled with magic, surprise, excitement, passion, intimacy, loss, disappointment and creativity. I am fortunate to have a life partner who is at once a mirror, teacher, lover, nurturer, student and companion. In this place of mystery, I continue to grow into a mature, loving and free man. I welcome feedback, suggestions, and comments – which is a gift to me! Thanks for joining the expedition! Russ