Glenn has a new hobby. He’s quite good at it, too. I guess that comes from all his diligent practice.
Every free evening he sits in his recliner with his laptop computer and proceeds to do wonderous things—programming, surfing webs, conquering whole universes. But that’s not the hobby I’m talking about.
Muffy knows the schedule. She waits for him to assume the position. Then she jumps up, meows at him and makes herself comfortable on the arm of his chair. He has petting duties to perform. That’s where his hobby comes in.
Every night,at least once, he takes his mouse apart and blows into it. Then he blows on that little ball and puts the whole thing back together. Kitty love has a cost.
It occurred to me that all relationships have costs. Some cost more than others. A hairy mouse is a small price to pay. Parenting costs a lot—in a lot of ways. And marriage has costs, too. Any relationship requires up-keep costs, at least. Even Jesus talked about the cost of being a disciple (Luke 14:25-33).
Our society runs on the idea that there should be no cost. “It’s not a good relationship if it’s hard and takes work. Keep going in and out of relationships, there’s going to be one that has a life of its own—that doesn’t cost anything.”
No relationship just works—not when sinners are involved. There will always be costs. The need for forgiveness, patience, understanding. The work to remain close when interests and personalities are different. And some require confronting sin and helping to overcome it.
Come to think of it, if they didn’t cost anything, would we value our relationships so highly? Or glorify God when they work?
©Micki Parkinson, an editorial from the SPEP church newsletter