Earlier this week I read some verses that resonated with me as an educator and a parent and made me think of our dear Mrs. Shea. It is impossible for me to count the number of times I heard her counsel students, and adults for that matter, to always put the relationship first. The relationship between people is always more important than the task to be accomplished. Wise words that I often needed on mornings especially when I was running late and my children were toddlers and wanted to put on their shoes “all by myself” or “buckle myself” into the car seat. Those instances grew into much more complicated scenarios as they got older, but the principle still held true. Relationship first. It is so much easier for me to take over or demand things be done my way because I see the bigger picture but, in the end, it just created a bigger issue and damaged our relationship instead of strengthening it. My desire to be in control at all times could quickly turn into a demanding relationship leaving no room for my children to choose right or wrong. Giving my kids ownership in their decisions when they were young (when my desire to control the world could be squashed) allowed them to develop reasoning skills and a desire to make wise decisions instead of rebelling against my demands just to spite me AND helped create a trusting relationship.
In these verses, the Apostle Paul is focused on relationship first and his wise words still speak to me today.
That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. But because of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this a request from me. Philemon 1:8-9 NLT