Today’s post is by my good friend, Kayla. God is working in this girl’s heart and marriage and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! You can find her at www.lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com. Thanks for sharing, Kayla! This brings me so much JOY!
OK, So typically – I would never get on and brag about the fact that Josh and I were making two arguments last night that just happened to contradict each other – and it was a GOOD thing!
Mostly because in the past, I would have called this a fight. And it would have played out as a fight.
It would have started by one of us saying something the other disagreed with, and instead of keeping it about the situation… one of us would have IMMEDIATELY taken it and made it personal.
This very rapid knee-jerk reaction would instantaneously change the direction of not just the conversation, but also whatever was left of that day and the next.
Through the course of the conversation, I would grow more careless in my words, and he would eventually stonewall and stop talking. At which point, I would then talk MORE to make up for his silence and before long – I would be emotionally crushed by what felt like a total lack of any kind of love to leave someone so upset to hurt so badly while refusing to talk to them, and he would have been also feeling completely unloved that I could make a simple disagreement so personal and be so hurtful and disrespectful with my tongue lashing.
Last night, while I will not claim that it was fault-less because I can see a couple of areas where a little improvement is still needed – it was an experience we’ve never had.
We remained calm and did not take it as a personal attack just because we needed to talk about a specific situation in our lives.
I was much more respectful, patient and willing to give what he had to say more weight than I would normally be tempted to do when we’re working something out.
And what felt like the BIGGEST change of all to me is that, He didn’t shut down. He kept talking. And more than that, he was willing to say some scary stuff to me about where I was off the mark, that I really needed to hear.
I hate to admit it, but even in the middle of being put in my place, he came across as so darn sexy. I think I was so shell-shocked that he was still talking to me that I gave what he was saying a chance to really penetrate my heart.
I’m glad he said some of the things he said because he made some REALLY good points that I needed to hear to help me change my perspective of the situation.
I’m not saying I didn’t still have some valid things to discuss. I did. But I wasn’t as right as I’ve always thought I was in the past. I went into the conversation viewing him as a very smart, capable and loving man who I wanted to share my concerns with. Not a stupid man I needed to correct with my wisdom so we could make the decisions I wanted to make.
Let me finish with the best part of the story! And I didn’t see this coming at all. Even though the conversation didn’t end with total resolution to the entire situation, when we got into bed, he rolled toward me and wanted to hold me.
I have never felt so loved after being told something I needed to reconsider by him before.
Neither of us let the situation become MORE important than the love and unity of our marriage.
We slept soundly and we’re having a great day today. We still have some things to decide and work through, but we maintained respect and love. And I’m amazed this is even my story I just typed. Because Chistians or not, arguments happen and they typically go down the same way for all of us. Women get mean. Men shut down.
You can’t make your spouse do anything, but setting an example is more powerful that you might realize.
When my spouse and I disagree – make a choice NOT to make it personal. Even if it’s about something I need to work on, it’s about a specific topic, not about EVERYTHING I’ve ever done or EVERY area of my life.
When I need to say something, refrain from using the words ALWAYS or NEVER. I wrote a post on this before that is really worth reading here.
When I have a point to make, use respectful words, tone of voice, and do not bring up anything else but the specific topic at hand.
And always remember, the love and unity of the marriage is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT that whatever we’re fighting about!