Do You Have a Relationship Emergency Fund?
It’s important to have an emergency fund. Most financial gurus advise to have around three to six months of cash stowed away that you can easily get your hands on in case of an emergency. I live by this rule and have an emergency fund available when life throws me a curve-ball and I need to dip into some cash.
Last year, I discovered that one of my cars needed some significant maintenance work done and would take a few thousand bucks to make it right. I did not budget for this, but was at peace with the situation because I had an emergency fund to support this unexpected life event.
I believe this concept applies in many areas of life, not just finances. Most importantly in our relationships. Life emergencies occur, things happen that deeply impact our lives, like a job loss, a death of a family member or friend. Life knocks us down with a divorce or getting fired from our jobs. No matter the reason, life happens.
What do we do in times of strife, when the odds seem stacked against us? We turn to our relationships, to our circle of family and friends for support. I’ve heard the phrase, “You find out who your friends are in times of crisis.” I don’t like that phrase, because it sounds like we don’t have control of it, when we do. Sure, sometimes a person may let you down and turn out to not be a true friend, but that’s not my point here.
Relationships, like finances, must be nurtured. Relationships are built with the currency of time and like money, time must be budgeted and consumed intentionally. So, if we need and emergency fund in our financial affairs to ensure we can absorb financial emergencies, wouldn’t it make sense that we need close relationships that will support us during times of crisis as well?
Time is an elusive resource that cannot be created, manipulated or stored. The clock ticks without our consent, a constant reminder that the moment we have right now can never be recaptured, it can only be spent. Time spent building and nurturing solid relationships is not only good, but I believe critical to our survival and well-being, for I don’t think we can survive on our own in an often cruel and cold world without the warmth and comfort of close companions.
I survived four years at West Point, because I was comforted that I was not experiencing it alone. I got through the death of my sister on the shoulders of friends and family that stood by me. I shed myself of sin and guilt with the guidance of a godly couple. I’m constantly reminded of my own humanity when life hits me square in the jaw and knocks me on my butt and I usually get back up when a friend extends a hand to pull me out of my funk.
I’ve learned that I must spend time, like money, and invest it in things that matter and will have the greatest return for me, my family, and those that our close to me. Spending time building strong and long lasting relationships and friendships are crucial if we want to live a prosperous and healthy life. Spend your time wisely and always ensure that you have healthy and solid relationships that will get you through times of strife, and just as important, make sure you are that person for someone else and always prepared to drop everything to support another in time of need.
Take stock of your relationships. Who would you call on in an emergency? Most important, how will you spend your time today?