The Big Leap
In High School and College, through intramural sports, Jena dabbled in Track and Field. She sets the inspiration for her involvement in these sports on her ability to pick on her old sister and then run away quickly before being caught. One event she did not partake in was the Long Jump.
In the Long Jump, one has to jump, swing their legs in front of their body, and then allow where they land to be measured as their success or failure. Since leap is a much more joyous word than jump and big is a better adjective for our topic than long, we are going to use The Big Leap to describe a problem-pattern that most, if not all, couples are currently dealing with or have dealt with multiple times over their relational years.
The Big Leap - what happens when a spouse makes a comment and the other decides that they meant that and the motive of their heart was this.
Most of the time the leap that we make is nowhere near the actual motive of our spouse's heart, nowhere near the actual meaning of their words, and nowhere near the positive place we should remain in.
"A household divided against itself cannot stand"
- Mark 3:25
The Enemy loves nothing more than to take the inch that we give him and turn it into a mile of disunity. Guarding that tendency in our relationship to take The Big Leap, even if there are past wounds that make it feel like a "short hop", is paramount to our continued flow of relational bliss. There has to be a moment where we say I will not go there, because we are moving forward. .
Just like in the Long Jump, you have to get your footing just right for conversation to be healthy in your relationship. When we take The Big Leap we often times land in a puddle of negativity and splatter it everywhere, making the most sure-footed person slip.
We always say to not use absolutes. Always. Never. These are just cheap shots to try and win the conversation.
For those of you who have experienced past wounds, hurtful words, painful actions throughout your relationship - we understand that choosing to not take The Big Leap is a very vulnerable and scary thought. We would suggest that your first step be to search out whether or not true forgiveness has taken place when you look back at similar situations in your past. Then, sit down together and really seek whether or not you have had a deep, honest, loving conversation about the situation.
Statements like, "I feel like when we get in this situation, the response is often ______ and it makes me feel _______" will go a long way to removing the temptation towards The Big Leap. If these conversations haven't happened, you are holding your spouse hostage to something they don't know is weighing you down.
We, far too often, hear people say "He/She has always been that way" or "He/She will always be that way."
This statement is a prime example of The Big Leap
This statement is made much too often in marriages today.
This statement leaves no room for God.
When we make statements like this in-front of our spouse we 1-speak death over our spouse and 2-create a self-fulfilling prophecy that our spouse could walk in for years to come. We must change our perspectives when it comes to our marriages.
Parked by every negative is a positive.
You get to choose which car you are going to get into.
You are innocent until proven guilty.
You don't get to make a ruling over your spouse without discussion.
Go read Acts, Chapter 3. Here we find Peter seeing a man who has been crippled from birth. As a child, Jena learned a song that taught this story and used the words "Walking, Leaping and Praising God". His first Big Leap wasn't into negativity but was instead a Big Leap into praise.
In the same way, if you want to have a healthy marriage we must make The Big Leap into praise. We must offer praise, the positive, to our spouse. Instead of jumping to the conclusion "this is what you meant" let us become a people that jump to a place of "this is what I heard, if that is not what you meant can you explain to me what you did mean?"
Remember, Big Leaps are fun - but only when they are in the right direction