The entire human experience revolves around relationships. Outside of our own physical and emotional health, a meaningful connection to other people enables us to thrive. Having a small group who we trust to speak wisdom into our lives helps us grow and become a better version of ourselves.
"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
One of the challenges of parenthood is to instill this thinking into our kids at an early age. This helps ensure that when they've reached their teens and early adult years, they have cultivated a trusted network who will raise them up, not hold them down. In other words, not only training our kids how to discern trustworthiness, wisdom, honesty, and integrity from those in their peer circles but teaching them that it’s okay—even smart—to actively seek relationships with older people who possess these traits. A quick side note: it’s important that once these people are identified, that they’re also willing participants of the process, capable of pouring into others in a positive and healthy way.
Tapping into such a network is a valuable resource for personal and spiritual growth. And the benefits can go both ways. Just as your trusted network has much to offer you, your experiences translate to knowledge that they can benefit from, too. This is as true for us dads as it is for our kids.
There are obviously more than three reasons to have meaningful relationships. In fact, I probably could’ve listed 333 reasons, but then you’d be reading a book, not a blog post! So, here are the three primary benefits of having meaningful relationships in our lives:
Life is a teacher. Every experience; every situation that is thrown our way has something to offer if we pay attention. And if we share our experiences with those closest to us, they can often help validate or point out the lessons that should be learned from these experiences.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get perspective on where we’re truly at in life. Whether it’s because we’ve over-committed ourselves down a certain path that we get tunnel vision, or we’re simply too close to things to see the forest for the trees, a good friend can bring much-needed clarity to our lives. But this requires a true, trusted friend who isn’t afraid to tell us what we need to hear versus what we want to hear. I dive into this in more depth here.
When we’re in relationships, we’re running parallel with those near us. We’re connected in many of our thoughts and experiences. This helps others see your hidden potential, or you to see theirs. You inspire each other to strive farther than you could’ve imagined alone. As a result, we grow together, achieving more than we ever dreamed possible.
Questions to ponder:
Are you receiving validation, revelation, or inspiration from your relationships? Are you feeding into your relationships so that those around you feel these things from you? Read this related post to learn more about optimizing your inner circle.
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