How much easier would life be if we all took the time to look at every situation we find ourselves in from a different perspective. Our human nature causes us to have single dimensional vision when it comes to life’s struggles.
A stay-at-home mom with three children ages two, three, and eight has been home with the kids all day. It is a hot summer day, there is no air conditioning, and the humidity is high. One child is sick, another has decided it would be a really good day to test Mom’s patience, and the eight year old is sulking because Mom said she couldn’t have her friends over today.
Dad comes home, throws his keys on the shelf, plops on the couch and turns the TV on. Apparently he doesn’t notice the frazzled look on his wife’s face and the disheveled state that the house is in.
Chances are Mom is not going to be in a good mood. Dad asks what they are having for dinner, and she immediately blows a gasket. Dad looks up, defensive, wondering what her problem is. Sound Familiar?
I started writing this post on my way to a marriage retreat with my husband this weekend. Amazingly enough, as I now sit down to finish it, I have even more to share, because the content of the material we covered at the retreat was exactly this topic. An illustration similar to the on above was given:
The husband was a pastor. He was late for dinner because he had been counseling a family in major crisis and consequently prevented a death. The wife was upset when he called because the dinner she had spent hours making for him was cold, and she felt hurt because he hadn’t called sooner.
In relationships, so many times we look at many situations with preconceived notions and assumptions based on past experience. In this latter example, the explosion started before the facts were even known. But even when we have all of the facts, how hard is it for us to look beyond our own hurt and think about what hurt may be felt on the other side of the dispute.
This obviously is going to cause problems. If both parties in any situation are only looking at things from their own perspective and don’t even try to see things from the other side of the dispute, it leaves very little room for resolution.
Is it possible that if we ALL took the time to look at things from other peoples perspective or consider that we may not have all the facts yet, the number of times we felt truly angry with those we love would be reduced exponentially?
Challenge: For the next week, let’s try really hard to take the time to consider these things before we react to any conflicts. It will be interesting to see if our blood pressure drops at all. Who knows? It may be beneficial in more ways than we can count.