I have heard the statement that familiarity breeds contempt and it got me to thinking about some of my own relationships. I have been married for over 15 years and I love my wife more today than I did when we were married. I also have close friends in town that we will vacation with from time to time and often spend Friday nights drinking beer and eating pizza while our kids run around and play.
I do not appreciate the statement, familiarity breeds contempt. It should be stated that if you believe that familiarity breeds contempt, you’ll never be close to anyone, and the devil would have won, isolating you from loving deeply those you know.
We do bicker from time to time but we’re committed, all of us. My wife and I are committed to each other. My good friends are committed to us as we are to them. We know we’re not perfect and we’re ok with that imperfection.
We forgive and we are forgiven.
I prefer this expression: I love my wife and my friends, warts and all! I even told my friends, what I cherish the most is that we’re friends, through thick and thin.
On a deeper level, Christ calls us to love each other to the point where it hurts and He goes on to say, it will be worth it! There is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for another. While you don’t have to jump in front of a train for another you can do things for another for selfless reasons. If dying for another is the highest form of love (love is good) then helping others is great.
With your friends, spouse and those around you, tell yourself, I’m all in with this person. No matter what, I’m going to care for this person. Unless something drastic happens, commit! Be there for those you care for, don’t let contempt creep in.
Jesus states we should love God with all our heart and related to that first law is to love your neighbor. To love God is to love your neighbor.
I care for my wife. Does she need a ride somewhere – I’m in. Will I clean up around the house – I will, even knowing if I don’t, she will. If she’s hungry, I’ll cook for her. When she needs me, I’m there, even if it’s not easy. If she’s sick, I will still love her and care for her. If she needs me, I’ll be there.
With my friends, I’m here for them. Need a couch moved – I’ll be over. Need someone to walk your dog while you’re away – I’m in. Need to complain over a beer – I’m there. If we fight over something stupid like politics, that’s ok, I still care for them. Forgiveness is just a step away.
Familiarity breeds contempt for those that aren’t willing to go deep for their friends and their companions. Commit yourself for others and you’ll find that familiarity will breed a lasting and joyful life! God Bless!