Greetings Beloved!
What do you treasure? Treasures are known as valuables. So the things that you treasure are the things that you value. Having said that, what is the treasure inside of you that you value the most or is most valuable? One of the worst things you can do in a relationship is to go searching externally without first mining out the internal treasures of who you are. Oftentimes an external look is based more on current circumstances, a checklist of desires or simply stated do I like what I see or the way it sounds? Something can appease you on the surface and violate you internally. Therefore, it is always best to do a deep search of internal values before you do a long look of external likes. Our values are at the center of who we are because valuables are internal treasures that are linked to our who-ness. The more you know about your who-ness the better you can align who you are with a cross-sectional of what you need. So the question remains….What Do You V.A.L.U.E.? Let’s take these into consideration:

V – Vision
Vision is the most critical ingredient in a relationship. Two people cannot walk together unless they agree. There is no such thing as separate paths in a highly functional relationship. Separate paths in a relationship is division not vision. And two people that have two separate visions is like a house divided against itself. It cannot stand. The proverbial writer says, without a vision the people perish. It does not say without visions. Therefore do not align yourself with someone’s vision that you cannot see or support because you will end up frustrated, throwing rocks, setting bobby traps and nails along a path that is not in alignment with your values.

A – Alive
What makes you come alive? Have you ever really considered? What makes you come alive at the center of who you are? Whatever that is, is a part of who you are. So if you engage with someone who does not see or support that “alive” thing which is uniquely you, you may end up in a situation where instead of the person stimulating you they suppress you and you become depressed. They pull out the lily pad on which you jump on and you become submerged because the oxygen in you has been cut off.

L – Like-minded
Two-dimensionally do you like their mind and are you like-minded? This is critical because if you don’t like the way someone thinks, you probably don’t like their mind. If you are not rooted and grounded in the same mind, then you are probably not like minded. Let me be clearer: We are not talking about same-mindedness. Same mindedness in a relationship means someone is irrelevant. We are not saying be the same but be similar at the core of who you are. A double-minded relationship is unstable and vulnerability sets in which can make someone easy prey. Like-mindedness comes out of an interpretive meaning in its adjective form of being similar in qualities or characteristics. One of the biggest sayings in relationships is “Opposites attract”. That may be true on the surface level of interest but they do not stick. Therefore, if commonality of the mind does not exist you will start to pay each other no mind and begin to mine for people, places and things that have you in mind.

U – Uniqueness
What’s uniquely you? Does that other person see it? Know it? Are they seeing you or are they just looking at you? D0 they have a soul stare or a fleshly glance? They say every fingerprint is uniquely that individual’s even on identical twins. So the uniqueness is the single fingerprint that separates you from every person ever created. Here’s some help: Everybody is not designed to see you. Your uniqueness can only truly be seen by people who have been designed, ordained and are in a purposeful path of seeing something about you or in you as they paint on the canvas of your heart. So if I cannot appreciate your uniqueness, I don’t know you; I can’t see you therefore I am not for you. So stop dancing, yelling, shaking, texting, smiling, flirting for days and days, weeks and weeks,
months and months, years and years in front of someone that can’t see you. Why can’t they see you because they are not supposed to. Your unique fingerprint will not just touch someone, it will impress, influence, and impact that person who is designed to see you. And those that cannot see you, are not supposed to see you. Therefore they cannot value you.

E – Economy
Ok, freeze I know what you are thinking but this is much deeper than money! The original etymology of the word economy has its origins in the Greek language. Eco is a derivation of the Greek oikos, meaning an extended family unit that consists of the house, members of the family, farmland, and all property. Theoikos was usually run by the oldest male of the family (father), whose role it was to tend to agriculture and to ensure that all components of the family unit were running smoothly. The suffix –nomy is derived from the Greeknomos, meaning management, law, or principle. Thus the original form of economics, means the management of
the family life and home. Let’s be honest, if you fundamentally cannot agree on the way, the flow, or the system of how the family will flow you are building on a splintered foundation that is destined to crumble.

Finally, V.A.L.U.E. alignment is everything. It is the essence and spirit of the relational foundation which everything sits. Consider these and remember the earlier you have the difficult conversations, the earlier you can make future decisions. Do not leave, cleave or weave if you have not talked, listened and agreed. Why? Relationships are easy to get in and hard to unravel so unravel before you get in and if there is no alignment there should be no agreement! Amos 3:3

Ricky Barr

Richard Barr is the Director of Community Development and Programming of the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families.