Let’s March Into What Matters in Our Marriages
And the winner is…
How could ANYONE pick THAT movie/that parking spot/that meal/those shoes?? Especially MY husband? Or YOUR wife? Right? Haven’t we all thought those words? Something about the way they drive, or how long they take to get ready…maybe in this season of politically charged conversations you can’t agree on any of the “awesome” candidates? There is just something about the way your spouse is not doing things the way you do them that drives us ALL crazy! They can be so frustrating, and we will do anything to get them to change… but my question is this…how’s that working? Are you winning?
Often our hope is that with enough detailed, step-by-step instructions we can get our spouse to “conform” into the perfectly well behaved spouse we desire! Maybe if we explain it AGAIN for the 300th time a little louder AND clearer with a few more examples of why our way is better… our spouse will be reprogrammed to get it this time and do things OUR way!
We innately have a distinct way of looking at things around us. These come from so many different things that have shaped who we are. Especially in marriage, and if our spouse has a different perspective than ours, we often jump to criticism and judgement. Does a different perspective mean yours is wrong? Maybe. But it can also mean that you both really did hear the same conversation, yet interpreted it differently.
There are studies that show that as much as 75% of all conflict in relationships is unresolvable because we are unwilling to change our perspectives! EEK!
So every time Mike folds the towels differently than the way I have campaigned for or I don’t put the trash cans back exactly as instructed on his schematic…every time there are small inconsequential issues that we assumed as unimportant…are we going to bombard our spouses with criticism or sarcasm? Resulting in exhausted, defensive emotional ear-plugs?
Mike and I are two very different people who fell madly in love…maybe this is the paradox…he would take a bullet for me or fight off sharks to protect me, but if he loads the dishwasher the wrong way one more time? YIKES!
“It is not about resolving conflict, but managing our differences!”
We all have a need to be heard. I want to know that he heard me say HOW I wanted the dishwasher loaded. But way more importantly than that…I need to make an attitude adjustment. A perspective change. If I want to make a better marriage happen in our home. I need to make a better me! If I keep thinking of all of the things that Mike needs to do to be better…and all of the things I need to “help him to change”…I’m going to miss out on the opportunities to make me better and all of the ways I need to change.
Do I really not see all of the great and wonderful things he does for me and our family every single day? How much he loves The Lord and how he leads our family to be Christ centered in all he does?
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable– if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise–
dwell on these things.
I NEED to focus on whatever is true and honorable and fair and pure and commendable…anything that is of excellence or is praiseworthy…these are the things that I NEED to keep thinking about! When I focus on these things and not his flaws…what would I even WANT to change?
God loves us enough to help us with “ideas” like this! This comes straight from His Word! He exemplified LOVE so perfectly by coming to serve us and so what better way than to try to fix my spouse than to serve him! Jesus accepted me just like this…He didn’t campaign for me to change and get it all right first before coming to Him by bombarding me with criticism. He just loved me. He served me and loved me. Maybe we could try a little of that with our spouses! Serving them. Loving them. Accepting them. Seeing things from their perspective. If I want to make a better marriage…I need to make a better me!
Zephaniah 3:17: The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing…
Join me, Joy and Julie Thursday afternoons at 2:30pm on 93.9 KPDQ and Sunday mornings at 11:30am on True Talk 800. Each week we explore God’s Word and discuss practical ways we can live for the joy of it in our homes, relationships and community.