A Relationship As An Offering Plate

 

A relationship is like an Offering Plate. You voluntarily put things into the plate and allow the person receiving to take out whatever they want or need. 

As you exchange you learn about each other.  With each move of the plate in one direction, you can learn what the other person has to offer, what they  returned of what you put in, and what they received of what you put in.  If the other person returns something to you, that is not an end to the relationship, it only means they do not need or want what you offered.  As you put things in the plate you are looking for the purposes you hold in common.  You can only build on what you can share.

If there are conditions under which the offering are made, the conditions must be laid in the plate with the offering.  Any conditions added after the offering has be accepted will look like and likely be a string attached to snare the person.  The offering can be a lure tied to a line that is intending to get you do give beyond your will or choice.  Obviously, this is not an offering at all.

Relationships are like offering platesIf a condition was unknown to the offering person when the offer was made, then you get to put the new condition in the offering plate for further use.  An explanation of the change must usually be made.  All of the interactions are to be free choices for both people.

Yes, it is okay to ask if there are any conditions to an offer that seems should have conditions.  If the other person is offended by such a request, there is already some kind of problem working in the relationship on the one-who-offers' part.  Is is far safer to risk a relationship than to risk bondage to someone.

If the other person puts nothing in the plate and takes nothing out before it is passed back to you,  they may not be interested in what you are offering.  If this happens several times, then they are not interested in the relationship and it is time to go elsewhere.

If the other person takes out what you offer and offers nothing for you on several passes of the plate, they are likely using you and it is time to move on.   What was offered is now theirs, even though they offered nothing.

(You can find a dramatic, biblical example of this principle in Joshua 2:12-16)

Remember:

There can be no strings attached.

To best meet the needs of the other person, you have to study him or her.

You have to take back what was not received and then put in something new.

What you put in the plate belongs to the other person if they take it out of the plate.