Have you ever thought about the importance of white space when you are reading text on a page? White space is the area on the page where there isn't any print or image. It's the space between the words and the space that makes up the margin. White space helps guide the eye and gives the text some breathing room so that you can focus on the words. Without white space, thewordsonthepagewouldbeverydifficulttoread.
White space is just as important in relationships. We have to give the people in our lives a little breathing room from time to time so they can recharge and be their best. If we are constantly together, constantly talking, constantly in each other's faces, it opens the door for frustration and strife. In order to maximize the "on" time, we also have to have some "off" time because it helps us refocus on what is most important in life.
To make the most of our relationships, we have to be willing to give the people in our lives what they need, which may not necessarily be what we need. When I need to be refreshed, Joel doesn't tell me to go play kickball in the backyard with the kids. He doesn't say, "That's what I do, so you should do it, too." In the same way, when he needs to clear his mind, the last thing I would suggest is for him to go to the mall. Joel and I both know how important it is to be considerate of each other's needs, so we make every effort to study and adapt to one another.
When you see your spouse after a long day at work, instead of bombarding them with all of your requests, be patient and give them some time to unwind. The same is true for children. They may not want to answer twenty questions the first minute you see them after school. Instead, wait until they have a snack and settle down, and then ask them how their day went. If you will look for the best opportunity and wait for the right time, you will have much more success and much less tension in all of your relationships!
Today, I encourage you to consider what others need and give them the space to recharge. Even Jesus had to take time to be alone and recharge. If Jesus needed down time, we can be sure that all of us need it, too. So embrace the white space and enhance your relationships!