Since this is the month of “love,” I want to write a few posts about being in healthy relationships. After all, I’ve got this all figured out. Totally kidding. Actually, the last few weeks have sifted some relational challenges to the surface and that always makes me a little more aware of my unhealthy parts, darn it.
Here are three things I know, but don’t always put into practice. I think these three relational goals are the key for helping us navigate through sticky and messy situations with the most amount of grace and the least amount of damage.
BE CURIOUS NOT FURIOUS
It is absolutely in my nature to defend my position, stand my ground, and get every word in possible (my husband is nodding). As a result I struggle to be patient and seek understanding. But just because “it is in my nature” doesn’t mean that justifies my reactions. Look what the bible has to say about this:
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. ~Romans 7:18
So I have to choose to fight against my nature, not my children, spouse, ….fill in the blank.
What if instead, I took a totally different posture in the face of disagreement-what if I was curious?
When I take the posture of curiosity, I am more in control of my emotions, because I have a singular goal of seeking the perspective of another, vs. defending my position. This is accomplished through asking questions and listening. When I seek to understand I am choosing a different outcome for the conversation. I am turning the spotlight on the other person, and taking it off of me.
FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM
You know the “Frozen” song, “Let It Go?”
LEARN FROM THE BEST
We may have some wonderful role models in our lives, those who just seem to consistently do relationships right. This is great and something to be cherished. But the one role-model that I truly find wisdom and guidance from is God. The bible, His Word, is chalked full of wisdom for how we can BEST navigate all the mess and pain and difficulty of the human relationship. All we have to do is look a little closer at his Son, Jesus, and how he responded to heated emotions, dissension, betrayal, lies, jealousy, and anything else you want to throw in the pot.
He handled EVERY situation with control, poise, and purpose.
How do we learn how to do this? We get to know Jesus. We spend time reading the bible. We hang out with others who know him and talk about how God has shown up in their lives. We seek Him more.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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