photo from: nutrition.healthgrove.com
All that barbecuing from the Fourth of July had me thinking about tenderizing meat. How do you make meat soft, juicy, and flavorful? You pound it out. Then you marinate it. You immerse it in a sort of sauce and let it sit. You cook the meat over low heat for a long time to let it absorb the tenderizing agents.
Bear with me.
Relationships are like meat.
When you love someone, are committed to them, and you live life together, there can be tough pieces of time. Days and nights pass by when love is more a thing you know about than something you feel towards your spouse, friend, or family.
Arguments and troubling circumstances might be making your relationships hard to digest at times. That’s not always the case. Sometimes just being busy, being distracted, or getting caught up in “life” stuff causes your relationships to run a little dry.
You can tenderize your dried up, gnawing heart towards those you love.
- An honest assessment
- Good memories
- Thinking on his/her character
- Noticing the little things
- Forgiveness and grace
- Attention to other’s needs
- Take an honest look at your heart, expectations, and attitude in the relationship. Clear out the gunk in your heart that’s keeping your love dry and tough.
- Immerse yourself in those good memories and thoughts about your loved one’s character.
- Notice the little things that your loved ones do that are so special and unique.
- Be grateful for who they are and that they are in your life.
- As other thoughts cloud the view, particularly comparisons or old hurts or disappointments, put on compassion.
- Go further, and dredge your feelings towards your loved one with grace and forgiveness.
- Finally, give a little attention to his or her needs.
This is the part where you poke your relationship to let those tenderizing agents in and put them to work.
Get out of your own head and heart to be more considerate of theirs’. Pay them a compliment based on those character traits of hers’ that melt your heart. Say thank you for that little thing he does that really is so sweet. Apologize for brushing her off when you were busy or for not asking him about that prayer request he shared.
Though spoken specifically about outsiders, the principle applies more broadly. Be the salt of the earth, Jesus said in regards to your relationships in general. Don’t lose that saltiness.
Season your relationships with Godliness –which never goes stale, loses it flavor, or fails to tenderize the heart.
**The picture is not only of marinate, but of a beef version. Which is funny because my husband calls me “the beef” and variations of the word. Long story. But his beef jokes keep my heart tender : ) ***