There is so much meaning behind the word dependability and our definition, “Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.” I see this in four major areas of everyday life:
Being Dependable as an Individual
As an individual we are obligated to self-improve. If we don’t, those around us (family, work, neighbors, etc.) feel the repercussions. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses but very few acknowledge those weaknesses - and even fewer do something about it. Years ago, my dear wife pointed out my lack of attentiveness when listening to others. In my mind, I was multitasking, but, after I thought about it, I realized she was right. I had to stop wearing a watch (punctuality was a strength, sometimes too much so) and I became intentional about looking at people the entire time they were speaking. I am grateful for her honesty and I have never forgotten this key principle.
Being Dependable as a Spouse
Our spouse relies on us to do our part in the relationship. A marriage is a partnership and requires equal support from both people. My wife depends on me to communicate with her on a frequent basis. I am not one for long chats but I try my best. A huge part of any relationship is learning what the other person wants in life and how they communicate their needs. Dependability means being faithful to one another. Being dependable in simple things like talking, paying bills on time, and maintaining your home, can vastly improve a relationship. My heart goes out to those who are raising children on their own. I know how tough it is with two people, and being a single parent is even more difficult.
Being Dependable as a Parent
As parents we are responsible for setting a good example for our children. I love the saying, “your actions speak louder than words.” This is very true, and children are very smart and perceptive. The good news is dependability is not the same as perfection. When we make a mistake it is crucial that our kids see us fix it. Do you acknowledge you were wrong? Do you ask those affected for forgiveness? What do you place in your life to help reduce the tendency to do this again? Remember, our children are like sponges and absorb everything we do and say - including our attitude.
Being a Dependable Member of Your Community
Communities are strengthened when individuals and families are dependable. When you see something wrong, like a malfunctioning traffic light, let someone know. If your neighbor’s newspapers are collecting on the sidewalk, knock on the door and see how they are doing. Take care of your home and lawn - it is safer, healthier, and helps property values if we keep everything in good repair.
Being dependable isn't about being perfect, it is about doing what you can to make sure you hold up your end of the bargain – whether that bargain is with your community, your children, your spouse, or yourself. Everyone benefits when we are dependable.