Monday, August 28, 2017

Check List or Forgiveness?

Laura and I were talking with some other couples about how we argue and what our fleshly tendencies are when we do, so I thought I would share an insight that I’ve discovered about myself that might help someone else.

When something goes wrong, or I upset her, I tend to want to fix it immediately. I think that there are certain personality types that just want to fix problems quickly. Let’s be efficient people!! At least that’s my natural tendency. When it comes to matters of the heart, though, the fastest way is not always the most efficient way. Think of it like this. If something is really important, like your spouse’s feelings, you should take the time to make it right. All good things take time, especially marriage.

Early on in our marriage, I asked Laura. “What words or phrases would be most effective to help us solve our differences?” This might sound like a great question to ask, and it is. She obliged with some things that really minister to her in times of distress, which was wonderful. Excellent communication, right? It surely was. We were on the right track…but, application makes all the difference.

I jumped on those phrases like a bicyclist at the Tour de France. That is to say, way too fast. I applied the words and phrases that she gave the first chance I had, and they fell completely flat. All that great communication down the drain?! Well, almost. What I didn’t realize is that these great words are moot without hearing Laura out first. She needed a chance to tell me how she felt, and then we needed time to let those words soak in.

She just needed a little time to process, and I just needed to back off a bit. Recently, the Lord brought all this back to me when I was watching our dogs. 

Rizzoli, our Weimaraner, is much bigger than our Wheaton mix, Charlie, and thus has much bigger feet, which stomp around like Godzilla in Tokyo most of the time. This means that she steps on his tail a lot. When she does, he gets upset and barks and whines. She obviously feels terrible and stays about two centimeters from his face until he feels better, whether he likes it or not—and, in fact, he hates that too. She is really just making a bad situation worse by doing that, just like I was.

What really changed all this for the good, though, was finding the root cause. Through some prayer and self-reflection, He revealed to me that I needed to have our problems solved and find reconciliation so quickly because I was putting my security in whether Laura was okay with me instead of putting my security in Him. Simply put, I was putting more pressure on our marriage than God intended. When my security is in Him, our marriage functions much better. I’m free to ask Laura how she feels or what issues are happening and not feel an urgency to pressure her to forgive. She is then free to feel my sincerity, rather than my insecurity. In turn, we resolve issues much faster and are healthier in general together. What an amazing God we serve!!


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