This is an illustration someone else used with which I agree and have adapted and adjusted to my lingo and would like to now share with my blog friends.
Imagine three large pillows all in a straight line on the floor. Imagine you standing on the one on the far right and ________[any person with whom you desire to have a real relationship] standing on the one on the far left. This leaves A THIRD PILLOW empty in the middle.
The pillow you stand on is yours, the one the other person is on is his/hers. The third pillow in the middle is the one that will hold your relationship. This pictures your life [or pillow] and their life [or pillow.] The middle one pictures your relationship together. [Or our Pillow.]
You have total responsible for the pillow your standing on and they are totally responsible for the pillow they're standing on. But you are both responsible, together, for standing, together, on the middle pillow.
Remember, at no point are you to be stepping on their pillow or are they to be stepping on your pillow. But you can step together onto the one in the middle.
Now____Big-time Lesson___You're not to be stepping on their pillow in an effort to CHANGE them nor are they to step on your pillow to change you. Neither one of you are to try to force or guilt or shame the other into changing as that is "STEPPING ON THE WRONG PILLOW."
In a healthy relationship all one can legitimately do is stay on one's own pillow and ask the other the question, "Do we like the relationship we are building together on that middle pillow?" If the answer is "no" then the two of you together can suggest to one another what you [both] would like in the relationship and see if you can agree on wanting the same things.
But this takes mutually agreeing to hear what the other really desires and both weighing what is needed by each to adapt in order to make that third pillow a great one. After all, it's a MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP PILLOW we're talking about here.
In marriage, of course, it’s a lot harder because there isn't any easy walking away. In business, friendships and even dating relationships, you CAN just walk away when appropriate.
However, in marriage there is a covenant agreement. But that covenant DOES NOT RULE OUT this kind of respectful, difference sharing, and mutual personal adjustment and growing to make THAT THIRD PILLOW the very best it can be.
Be responsible for your pillow and "go for it." You might even call this "PILLOW TALK."
It's those THIRD PILLOWS that I believe Jesus was calling treasure when He spoke of LAYING UP TREASURE OF HEAVEN.
[Always remember that NO ONE can have a third pillow with EVERYONE. Even Jesus wasn't able to have one with Jerusalem for example. THEY would not. Even His Covenant relationship with Israel ended in divorce. If you say He didn't divorce Israel as His people, but did as a nation, I say the hair-splitting is unsatisfactory. A divorce happened.]