“The problem they have going for them is that they aren’t in alignment.”
That’s what I heard one woman saying as she was pointing out the reason another couple was fighting so much.
Afterward I thought, “Wow! That’s spot on… she’s right.” They’re both turning their ears, eyes, and attitudes so far away from each other, that they couldn’t really hear or see each other’s view on anything. And if they can’t hear or look at each other’s vantage point, they certainly can’t work together to find a mutual solution to the problems they’re facing.
Differing Vantage Points
I’m sure they each thought they were right in the viewpoints they were individually fighting for, but that’s the point.
They were forgetting that they are two people who vowed to partner together in their marriage, not two single people. When you’re two single people, who cares if the other is validated, or not? You can just walk away from each other and say, “to each their own.” That’s just fine.
But that’s not what we vow to do when we enter into marriage together. It’s a matter of marrying our lives together in such a way that even when we don’t agree, even when we don’t think alike, we are to find a way to think together. We’re to find a way to listen to each other, talk to each other, and find a way to work through conflicting matters so we each feel satisfied that we’re okay in how we’re approaching life as marriage partners.
Call In An Expert
What are we to do when the steering or wheel base is out of alignment in our car (causing severe wear and tear that shouldn’t be happening)? And what are we to do when a wall is out of alignment that is causing some cracking and fractures in our home? We either call on an “expert” to help us on this matter, or we figure out how to fix it ourselves. The same goes with relationship issues.
I know this sounds like a simplistic answer. It really isn’t supposed to be. If we would just tend to these types of fracturing matters at an earlier, rather than a later, then it probably wouldn’t get too serious.
Or, if it IS a serious problem, such as an addiction, an over-the top anger, or abusive issues, then it may take more time and expertise in finding a solution, which will be a good one for both of you.
Many Wait Too Long
The real stickler in all of this is that many spouses wait too long to get help. They allow themselves to get deeper into the matter than they should. Whether it’s because of embarrassment, stubbornness, a matter of pride, stupidity, naivety, immaturity, or whatever, we need to quit playing around with serious issues. We need to address them and each other in healthy ways. Otherwise a wedge starts to grow like a cancer in the relationship. Eventually, we stop listening, seeing, and acting like partners. Instead, we act like we’re opponents with each other. And then when contempt starts seeping in, things get REALLY serious.
Dr Tony Evans gives a little look into this problem (that I encourage you to watch):
One commenter said of this video:
“I remember Pastor Evans’ challenge to us on our wedding day —’If you are God’s kind of man and you are God’s kind of woman, you will have God’s kind of marriage.’”
And then someone else wrote this comment:
“The Holy Spirit asked ‘me’… Are ‘YOU’ willing to check the alignment in your heart for your husband??? POWERFUL… because I’m always quick to point the finger and blame at him ‘my husband.’”
Giving the Benefit of the Doubt?
I’ve sure been there. It’s amazing how much grace I want from my husband and how many excuses I can give for my poor behavior. And yet I’m not always willing to accept my husbands excuses. I don’t always give him the same benefit of the doubt and grace that I want from him. Hmmm… it’s a matter of my attitude alignment being out of whack when that happens.
It’s the same when husbands blame wives. We all need to realign our attitudes and actions sometimes (some of us more than others). But that never gives us the excuse to heap our doing wrong upon his or hers).
So, I’m going to make this simple.
Here’s a maintenance check for you:
— How are YOU doing in the alignment of your attitude and YOUR actions?
— Do they line up with the vows you made on your wedding day to put the effort in to living in partnership with your spouse?
— Do your words and actions line up with the way Jesus would have you treat your spouse —the way He would want you to treat His son or daughter?
Need to Do Better
You know, we won’t always be in “perfect alignment” with each other in word and deed. Sometimes we need to do better. Sometimes we need someone to say to us, “come on, you can do better than that. You know better than that.”
When you know you should, then do it. This is your wake up call. Your friend is telling you to do better, to do what it takes to be more of a partner to your spouse than you’ve been lately. Do what you know Jesus would have you. Don’t give up doing the good, you should.
“If you feel like walking in the opposite direction of unity, walk into the arms of Jesus; allow Him into the dark places of your marriage.” (Ngina Otienda)
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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Filed under: Marriage Blog