A few nights ago, we wrapped up our Holiday Mash Up Party here at KIVU. It started as Valentine’s day in the morning, turned to 4th of July at lunch, Thanksgiving for dinner, and then a huge New Year’s Eve celebration in the evening. The team here at KIVU is super creative, and I love watching their plans play out into the best two weeks of the summer for our students.
The next day after the party, I was due to teach the importance of Relationships. Many of the camps I’m used to focus so much on theology and the “getting saved” mantra, that they forget working inside of this world is the main point behind walking in faith. After all, when asked the question Do you know if you died tonight where you would spend eternity? I’m often compelled to ask a formidable statement in return. No, but I am concerned with what I’m going to do if I wake up tomorrow!!
So when you wake up in the morning and you have to engage in the world of relationships, how do we create bonds of trust that can help us?
You were not made to walk alone
Ask any sociologist. If you take away the natural needs to connect on some level of intimacy, human kind swirls in a black hole of loneliness. This loneliness leads to depression, unsatisfaction, and apathy which may result in serious psychological consequences. No one was put on this planet to live life by themselves. It’s jut not natural.
So when I all with my students through this concept, they have to adopt a sense of togetherness. It’s a tough lesson, as our culture has pounded this “You are who you are because you pulled yourself up by your boot straps” concept. But if we’re living in the real world, it doesn’t take much to see how many people helped us become who we are along the way. It was a mentor, a coach, a teacher, a parent, a friend, someone who looked out for our needs and found it compelling to live life in the same space as we do.
First lesson on Relationships: you’ve gotta get over yourself.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity – Brene Brown
In her famous TED talk on Vulnerability, Brene Brown talks about the counter intuitive nature of vulnerability. It seems on the front end that vulnerability leads to weakness and destruction. But actually, the need to be vulnerable with one another spawns the life of creativity and growth. We can’t honestly be who we are in front of others without a healthy dose of vulnerability.
We also talk about how we can’t simply hide our feelings. You can’t simply turn on and off emotions to fit your needs. For example, you can’t hide the sense of fear without damaging the sense of joy. You can’t selectively induce good emotions while covering up the one’s that aren’t as desirable. In other words, to be a whole human, you have to see relationships in their entirety. So instead of living inside the nice neat world of online communication, we need the messy interactions with other people.
Second lesson on Relationships: You’ve got to be honest with yourself and with others
It’s not that hard to be a First Giver
So many of the descriptions of friendships are centered around “ME.”
I’m friends with so and so because they make ME feel good.
I want to be friends with them because they make ME look good.
They help ME be a better ME
And so it goes as students try and identify why their closest friends are their friends.
But what happens when you challenge people to GIVE FIRST?
When we recognize the relationship values others need, and we have the capability to give those things to them; bonds of trust form and we develop deep meaningful friendships.
You can give Time.
You can give Attention.
You can give Gifts.
You can give Admiration.
You can give Trust.
You can give Confidence.
The list goes on forever.
If we’re really intentional about developing a whole Worldview for students to live in the real world, we have to take into consideration the LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS principle Jesus called us to. In LOVING OTHERS it’s important to analyze the way God created human kind in His image (Gen. 1:26) and How we are to Love One Another as Jesus Loved His Disciples (John 13:35).
It’s another day here at KIVU learning how to relate well to one another.