Turning a good relationship into a great relationship takes more than just respect

By Lisa Merlo-Booth

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Yes, I must say, I was actually in church when I “got it”. What I have had difficulty putting words to is—reverence. Dictionary.com stated that reverence was defined as “a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe”. It further stated that to revere means, “to regard with the deepest respect, deference, and esteem”. A synonym for esteem is high regard.

To have a soul-nourishing relationship you have to actually enjoy your partner.

Imagine if you and your partner had the deepest respect, admiration, and high regard for one another. Next, imagine that you both actually acted as if you did.

To have a soul-nourishing relationship you have to actually enjoy your partner. You have to feel blessed to have him/her in your life. You have to feel honored and a bit in awe that this person is sharing his/her life with you. When you feel that, you move from respect to “the deepest respect”, from like to admiration, and from neutral to deep honor.

This obviously won’t be felt every minute of everyday. Rather it will be an underlying feeling that is as comforting to your soul as a warm blanket is in winter time.

You see, being respectful is simply the bare minimum necessary for a healthy relationship. It’s the foundation upon which everything else is added. It’s not, however, the juice that truly fuels intimate, inspiring, soul-nourishing, relationships.

To have a soul-nourishing relationship requires some degree of reverence. This can look like a steady flow of tenderness, compassion, warmth and love. These relationships have a sense of teamwork. Both partners know they are in it together. They rejoice in each other’s successes and they are sad for each other’s difficulties. Partners in soul-nourishing relationships are very aware that they are blessed to be on the same team.

CHALLENGE: What one move could you make to bring a bit of reverence into your relationship? What can you do to move from treating your partner with respect, to treating your partner with “the deepest respect”?

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