Don’t Let The Dam Break
The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
Dams have been used for thousands of years and have benefitted cultures all over the world. They provide flood control, water storage, irrigation, navigation and recreation. We have learned to depend on them and their benefits. Although rare, dam failures can be catastrophic when they occur; spreading devastation for miles around.
When our close relationships fail, they can be just as devastating, not only affecting ourselves, but family members, friends and even associates at work or school. Failed relationships can affect us in every area of life. And like dam failures, the effects can last for years.
There are five major reasons dams fail that parallel failures in our relationships:
Overtopping – When someone is consistently kind, generous or beneficial to us in some way, we get used to the “good”. We tend to expect and even demand the “good” from the other person. Selfishness eventually leads to exceeding that person’s capacity to give.
Foundation Defect – Our flawed, sinful nature not only separates us from God, but is the root cause of our relational problems. No matter how much we try to cover up the flaws, eventually they surface.
Cracking Caused by Movement – The external challenges of life are widespread and varied. How we respond to the trials of life have a direct effect on our relationships. There are many things we cannot control and for some, lack of control imposes additional stress and insecurity on relationships.
Inadequate Maintenance and Upkeep – When we take relationships for granted, we tend to devalue them. And that leads to us not putting in the time and effort needed to maintain it. Its like not watering a plant; it will soon shrivel and die.
Piping (When Seepage Through A Dam Is Not Properly Filtered) – Following unwise and ungodly advice can destroy relationships. We have to especially guard against external influences that are contrary to the precepts, commands and wisdom of God.
The steps in preventing dam failure are design, inspection and maintenance. To prevent your relationships from failure, 1) recognize your “design flaws” due to your sinful nature, 2) perform honest assessment of past failures and the health of current relationships, and 3) perform the necessary maintenance to no only save a relationship, but have it flourish.