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We asked what you wanted to read more about on the LO Blog, and by far the most common theme requested was relationships. I totally get it! Relationships are hard! We are imperfect people loving imperfect people.  How do we navigate that? There were a lot of questions that went something like this…How can I be a better/more Godly/happier wife/mom/sister/daughter/friend?

I love this question and I’m going to give you a simple answer because I believe that most things in life don’t take a rocket scientist to figure out (except for actual rocket science, for that you will need a rocket scientist). Here ya go: The best way to be a better you in your relationships is to treat the ones you love the most the very best. It’s that simple and, also, as difficult as you would imagine.

Why is this so difficult?  Well, one reason is, the ones we love the most don’t always treat us the best. The first thing to remember in any relationship is that you can only work on you. All you can do is work to be a better, healthier, happier, kinder “you” which was exactly the question asked at the beginning of this blog—remember the question was, “How can I be a better….?”

A wise woman once told me, “You aren’t your husband’s Holy Spirit.” Neither are you your mom’s, your friend’s, or your sister’s Holy Spirit. Let the Spirit work on those around you and you work to be the best “you,” you can be. Even though you are only one part of the equation, when you change you, those around you will notice and over time they will start to change themselves.  If they don’t, maybe you need to re-think that relationship, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Why do we give our best to people we don’t even know but treat the people we spend our lives with, the ones we promised to love forever and always, the very ones that hold our hair when we are throwing up, the ones that saw us through the hard times, so terribly?  I think part of it is we feel safe with our loved ones.  They are stuck with us.  They literally can’t leave. We live in the same house; there is nowhere for them to go.  We feel free to be “ourselves.” Unfortunately sometimes we are only giving them the bad parts of ourselves.  It’s good to have people we can be real with, be vulnerable with, show the not so pretty parts to, free feel with, but it doesn’t mean we get to treat them badly.

“Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Hmmm, if you say you love your husband, boyfriend, sister, mom, dad, friend, you should probably check to see if the way you are treating them stacks up to this biblical definition.  If it doesn’t, you’ve got some things to work on.

I’ll never forget a lesson a bible teacher I had in high school taught me. He had us write our name in the place of the word “love” in this verse as a reminder of how we are called to act toward others.  So it would go like this, “Korie is patient, Korie is kind…” you get the idea.  Do it for yourself.  I promise you will re-think some of your interactions with the people you love the most.

Now for some practical ways to treat those you love the very best. I really believe that if you just add these three things into your daily life with your nearest and dearest, it will begin to change your relationships for the better.

1. Act excited when you see them. Think about what you do when you see a child that you love but haven’t seen in a while.  A big smile comes across your face, you stretch out your arms, scoop them up into a big hug, maybe even swirl them around. Now contrast that with how you acted last night when you saw your husband for the first time after work.  Ouch! I know! Did you even look up from your phone? Did you stop what you were doing to ask how his day was or did you launch into all the things that went wrong that day or all the things he forgot to do? What would happen if you ran over and gave him a big hug and then twirled him around when you first saw him after a long day?  Would he think you had lost your mind?  Maybe, but I bet he would love it! Think about your reaction you have when you see your kids, your friend, your mom, your roommate.  Do you act excited when they walk through the door?  Do you show them that you are happy that they are there? That first interaction can set the tone for the rest of your time together.  Stop what you are doing, smile, walk over and give them a hug, ask them a question about their day. Think about how you would feel if someone did that for you.  It would make your day better, right?  Do that for the ones you love and see what happens.

2. Lead with the positive. I was reading Revelation the other day (I know you probably didn’t think I was going to bring up the book of Revelation in this blog about relationships did you!). Something struck me in the way God gave John the messages he wrote to the churches. He always started with something positive.  These churches had some real problems, but every single time, before he said something they needed to work on, he praised them for something they were doing well. Here’s an example so you get the idea, Revelation 2:1-4: To the church in Ephesus, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance…you have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.  Yet hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love….” He then he goes on to tell them what they need to change.

I thought about it and realized God doesn’t have to do that. He doesn’t have to lead with praise or a compliment. He’s God! But He does, so maybe I should learn a little something from God’s example. I challenge you to incorporate the principle of leading with the positive into your relationships. It will change the way you are received by those you love.

Also, in doing this, it will force you to actually think of something positive about someone you might be having some struggles with.  It might be difficult when you are angry, right?  The person you thought was the love of your life just days before, suddenly you can’t recall anything they are doing right.  But, if you make yourself think of something positive about that person, and say that first, you and the other person will be in a better state of mind to tackle the problem.  Sometimes the hard things need to be said, but lead with the positive and the other person will be more ready to listen.

3. Always kiss them goodbye. A mother who lost a son to a motorcycle wreck years ago broke my heart when she reminded me, “You never know when it will be the last time you get to kiss them goodbye.” I know this is a difficult thing to think about, but it has stuck with me because it is so true.  We aren’t promised tomorrow.  We should live each day like it might be our last. If we do that, how would it change the way we treat the ones we love?  Take the time to give them a kiss goodbye and tell them you love them every time they walk out of the door.  It only takes a few seconds, but it may make all the difference.

I hope this is helpful!  Every time I write to you I am in prayer that the things I write are meaningful to your lives. I know life can be difficult, and relationships are not easy.  By giving you these simple things, I can’t promise you that it will solve all of your relationship problems, but I can tell you that these are things that have made a difference in my relationships. I do know that when you work on yourself, even if the other person doesn’t change, (because people can be stuck in bad habits that are hard to change, so be patient, this isn’t an overnight fix) you will be happier and more at peace because you are doing all that you can do and that always matters!

Try these 3 things for a week and let us know if it’s had an impact on your relationships. We’d love to hear!

Korie Robertson is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who is passionate about motherhood. Korie (K-Swaggy) is a mom to Sadie — and five other amazing kids. In her free time, you’ll find her playing tennis, drinking coffee and spending time with her kids and new grandson, Zane.

Catch Korie and Willie on the Getaway Night Tour this fall in a city near you!

Follow Korie on Instagram @bosshogswife

Korie Robertson

Author Korie Robertson

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Join the discussion 19 Comments

  • I love this so much! My husband works out of town during the week and comes home late Friday nights and I work full time during the week. When he comes home on Friday nights, I’ve caught myself not really greeting him like I normally do, due to being tired and just wanting to be left alone. Those actions really do set the tone for the rest of the night. I love how you used the analogy of when you see a child you love that you haven’t seen in a long time. You smile super big and give them a big huge hug. That’s exactly how you should greet your husband. I’m sure they might’ve had a long day or week and are looking forward to seeing you. I really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Avatar Miriam says:

    I’m so glad to have read this and it was honestly posted at a perfect time! I’m currently struggling with influencing those around me without being “pushy” or “annoying” (not to say God is annoying, but I was looking for a more approachable way to share His love). This post gave me all the answers I’ve been needing so I’m very thankful for your shared words!! And thank God for leading me to this!

  • Avatar Rebecca Moreland says:

    I love this. Even though things between my relationships with people are pretty good, I still will apply these to my life and make it all the better. Thank you, Korie! ♡ Love you and your family!! God bless

  • Avatar Sharon Millender says:

    Love it!

  • Avatar Meg Graham says:

    This is SOOOOO Sooooo good!!! Thank you, Korie. I love your passion for Jesus & reading this makes me realise that I have a lot to change about myself!! But that’s always a good thing, right? If we stayed the same, then we’d be boring and stuck in some bad habits! Thank you so much for this 🙌🏽💛💛💛💛

  • Avatar Maggie says:

    Thanks you so much for this article Korie. It really struck me and I will definitely work on these three things! So thankful I read this tonight!

  • Avatar Lisa Phillips says:

    Thank you. Such an important message Korie ♡

  • Avatar Alexandra Baker says:

    Hey LO ladies! I’ve been regularly reading your blog for a couple weeks and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate what y’all are doing over there!

    Even before I got to the end of this article where Korie said “I am in prayer that the things that I write are meaningful to your lives”, I could tell that piece had been prayed over and I’m so grateful for that.

    Thank you for these tips and the reminder of how to love well.
    -Alex

  • Avatar Paige Wear says:

    I an often amazed when I read something that it is exactly what I needed to hear at the exact moment in my life but you know that’s what God does! He knows what we need before we even asked and I am soo grateful we have an awesome Savior that loves and cares about us so much. Even the small things in our lives that might be insignificant to others is important to Him. Thank you for your wise words and the work your family does for the Lord. You all are blessings!

  • Avatar Julie says:

    Thank you Korie… What awesome reminders – in fact seeing those three tips in black and white changed my life, especially for one relationship that is difficult. God really spoke through you. Thank you for seeking Him about what to write — it shows. Much love to you and your family from Seattle, Julie

  • Avatar Mary says:

    I really needed to read this, this morning. Been married 26 yrs and I need to work on these steps. Thank you

  • Avatar Wanda says:

    Great advice.

  • Avatar Jessica says:

    This has really inspired me and has given me hope for my husband and I. Life has been a little crazy this past year after having our first child. I really needed this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • It’s going to ƅe finih oof mіne day, except before ending
    I aam reading this impressive paragraph to improve my knowledge.

  • Avatar Bronwyn Withington says:

    Your message is so encouraging. It needs to be less of ‘me’ and more of ‘God’. My husband and I have been married for almost 35 years, but every day we need to love and respect each other more than the day before. Only the Lord can help us do that. God bless you.

  • Avatar Julia says:

    I like the “always kiss them good bye”… I do this, even though my kids are grown and my husband doesn’t really care

  • Avatar Shanda Jones says:

    Korie, Thanks for sharing your heart. I love that you gave 3 actions to implement. Many times I will read a blog and think that is a great idea. Now what can I physically do to put it into action? Enjoy your day!

  • Avatar Lily says:

    Wow!!! Thank you so much for this, Korie! It honestly really hit me… I can completely and totally relate to this, thank you for the encouragement and advice about loving others. Thank you !:))

  • Avatar Jessie says:

    This was a great post. I am going to apply these 3 tips with my 18 year old daughter. We are struggling as of late. She wants freedom and acceptance of her choices. But I’m struggling with the acceptance part due to her choices not being God loving choices. I just want her to respect and love herself more and she wants me to keep my comments to myself.

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