Steadfast Love Week 3

Proverbs 24:3-4
By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.

Wisdom builds, no matter the challenges it has within it the capacity to build.  Pray together:

Lord set us up, with the skill of wisdom.  God lay the foundation.  God let our actions be full of discretion and prudence built upon your counsel.  Extract from our decisions the folly we all commit without even thinking.  Help us to think, to logically select wisdom, to listen to your word each day.  As a master architect, design and sustain our house and fill it with knowledge, with the rare and beautiful treasures, and with the steadfast love you set forth in your word.

Knowing when to confront an issue is often so tough.  Let your confrontations with one another be done in an effort to create forward vision.  Forward vision is one not trapped by mistakes but rather looks ahead and co-creates a better relationship.

“Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger.”
― Coco Chanel

Be rare.  Go against the grain of society.  You have to learn to confront in a way that creates.  No one does this naturally but it is so necessary.

Reflection Reading:

Matthew 18:15 ESV 

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

“This is one of the marks of a truly safe person: they are confrontable.”Henry Cloud

 

The challenge is how you confront one another.  What is your pattern? How do you have the hard discussions? Honesty is the only way.  In Proverbs it says, “Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.”  Lovers kiss it is what they do.  In steadfast love we are honest knowing it is the trademark of vulnerability.  This transparency creates a rare gift in our relationship.  You are the one who knows her best.  You are the one who holds his trust.

It can be tempting to pull one another down with accusation and frustrations.  In the hard conversation try simplicity.  Use honest words in communication.  Theirs is the mouth you kiss, so taste your words before you speak.  Observe your anger level, ask a few questions.  Is this helpful?  Is this with the intent to wound?  Intentionally work at what you are building in the difficult exchange.
Self is powerful, it often fights hard and regularly wants to win.  Winning doesn’t have a place here.  Take your cue from Galatians 6:1-2  “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
In the very area we need to confront you will find often in a short span of time the roles have reversed and you are the one needing humility.  Are you safe to confront?  Do you react negatively to the whole of his heart?  The whole of showing care for her?  This house your building together is the safest place on earth.  Is it a home where your burdens evaporate?  Gentleness is hard when you feel hurt and justified in your anger.  Here are a few guidelines.
1. Location matters.  Select a place of neutrality for the conversation.  When one of you is driving it is terribly distracting.  Outside seems to work best, or in the kitchen as in our home.
2. Address the problem head on and the repercussions it has been having in you.  Avoid drama here.
3.  Pray together before or after.  Never threaten the break of relationship.  J and I were in a fight when we were younger and I said something like, “well if it’s gonna be bad it will be bad for a long time because I’m not going anywhere. So we can talk about it now, or later but we need to talk about it.”  That statement brought trust and reaffirmed commitment.  It helped me to verbally say it.
4. Lighten up.  No matter who you live with there will be miscommunication, challenges, and trials.  Only address one thing, don’t let the list compile. We are human.  We are clay.  Mistakes will be made.  It is an approach to learning that we need. We are learning together the art of steadfast love.
5. It’s worth it.  When you conflict well, you hand down to your children and grandchildren a valuable tool in their relationship skillset.  Don’t fear conflict.  Build through it.
6. Priorities.  If it’s rough change your schedule and attempt to bring closure and a plan to move forward through the challenge. Be willing to adjust your schedule.
7. Follow up with positive contact.  Make sure you make some positive deposit into the relationship.  When you confront it is like writing a check for a large sum and you want to strengthen the balance remaining.  Try being extra helpful to one another post conversation.  Grab dinner for them, or run an errand.
“Issues or fears of confrontation tend to showcase unhealthy and unprofessional communication. If you are trusting someone to tell you all the good, bad and ugly, but they only give you the good out of their fears and confrontational issues… the bad and the ugly can grow worse and worse quickly.” 
Loren Weisman

Application

Listen: what part, concept, or segment stands out?

Understand: How well do you handle conflict? In the words of my good friend Lynda Murphy, “Remember it’s not a one and done.”  This is a lifeskill.

Do THIS: take action. Resolve to handle the small confrontations well.  Address your agitation like, “hey you left the dishes in the sink and this happens to get at me.”  Be willing to make adjustments for one another.  Name one area you feel compelled to make an adjustment after this devotional time together.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s