Man in The Mirror - Relate, don't Retaliate
A summer disregard
A broken bottle top, and a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind, ya know
Cause they got nowhere to go
Today we want you to know
See what we did there?
We've got another one of those "heated fellowship" based topics this week, how do you respond when your spouse brings something to your attention that they want to discuss?
Your response to your spouse is critical to the success and flow of your intimacy
We often find ourselves retaliating - throwing the cold shoulder, playing the victim, etc - when something we do is brought to our attention that we don't like.
So how can we receive these challenges by relating to our spouse instead of being offended and beginning to retaliate?
When you are in love with someone as passionately as we all are with our spouses and then you find out that something you have done has wounded, let down, or upset your spouse it is very easy to jump on your little red wagon of pity and ride down the hill to your own personal pity party.
When we talk about relating, we are talking about how you connect on a deep, heart-level within the relationship and work through the issue at hand without retaliating against your spouse.
"Counsel in the heart of a man is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out."
- Proverbs 20:5
It takes understanding in our relationships to relate well. If we cannot understand each other well, we will probably find ourselves choosing to retaliate.
Often times the first thing we do when someone brings something to our attention is get offended and take it personally which leads to retaliation. Instead, we want you to PAUSE and not take anything personally and ask for clarification and understanding to begin to "draw out" what is happening at the heart-level.
The more you try to understand your spouse, the more those deep waters will come up and you will begin to draw out what the root of the situation is.
To be a person of Understanding we believe you need to
1. Be a person of Empathy
You must put yourself in your spouses shoes, choose not to take things personally, and be made up of mercy . Scripture tells us that Mercy triumphs over judgement. If I am going to empathize, I must have a heart of mercy. The statements "I can see how you..." or "help me understand" are great at helping bring empathy into a situation. We also have to learn to listen to their hearts and less to their words instead of interrupting to fight our case before our spouse has time to finish their sentence.
2. Be a person who removes your own beam before worrying about a speck
Scripture is very clear about this principle. We must begin to evaluate ourselves first. That "pause" moment is so important to our success in this area. Instead of immediately going on the offense and retaliating against our spouse we must learn top take a second and look inward to find answers to questions like "why did that make me so mad?" "what did I do to contribute to this situation" or "what was, or is, going on inside of me to make me act this way?"
3. Be a person of patience
We are all in process, all growing, all learning. Nothing is going to be perfect overnight. Patience is a Fruit of The Spirit and we must rely on His leading, pruning, and guiding in our lives if we expect to show patience to our spouse. So often we are more patient with our own personal growth but not with our spouses. If we don't expect ourselves to be perfected in any one area, why do we expect our spouse to be perfected in any one area? We need to learn the value of being patient with each other as we go through this process called marriage.
We believe that each of us have everything we need to do this well, and we hope that these few pointers and encouragements help you as you continue to grow into all that God has for you to be.