Monday, September 25, 2017

Can you see the gold?: Finding Goodwill in your spouse

Guess what? Your spouse has goodwill toward you. This is a concept that I just can’t get off my mind lately. I see so many people getting frustrated and eventually despondent toward their spouse because of misunderstandings and misguided ideas that spring forth from them. This probably seems really basic to the newlywed, but may be revolutionary to someone who has been married a long time. Your spouse really does genuinely want the best for you.

Many times, we view what our spouse does through the lens of how we might handle a situation. The truth is, you married someone very different than yourself. Whether that is just because they are of the opposite gender or because they have a different personality type, YOU ARE DIFFERENT. You see things differently, you address issues differently, and you view your own actions differently.

So many times we say, “If they could only see this the way I do…” Truthfully, they may never see things the way you do, and that’s a good thing. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Multiple perspectives strengthen a team. This is one reason a cord of three strands is stronger. 

It’s easy, over time and as tension mounts from offenses, to forget that the person with whom you share your life actually does care about you. We get frustrated and offenses don’t get resolved because we can’t see the other person’s point of view. This compounds on itself, and the cycle continues for years, until one day, one of you just can’t see the point anymore. In reality, the entire time, both people probably have the same long-term goals for their marriage….love, happiness, and peace.

If you’re giving up or on your way there, know that this is NOT God’s will for your marriage. He created marriage to last forever, and he created us to be married for life. That person you fell in love with is still there. They haven’t changed as much as you think, and you haven’t changed as much as they think. It’s time to have a real reset conversation. Lay it all out there. It might be painful, but it’s worth it. Be real, be honest, but most importantly…listen. Listen for their goals and their goodwill. Let them hear your’s. Great marriages take work, but it’s never too late to start.

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