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.

Scenario 1

A stay-at-home mom with three children ages two, three, and eight has been home with the kids all day. ┬áIt 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:

Scenario 2

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.

Relationships – Don’t Take Them for Granted

Relationships Take Work

Relationships are hard.Relationships are the most important and yet the most difficult thing we face in life. Why are they so difficult?

I think the bottom line is our thinking. We spend way too much time thinking about ourselves. How do others actions affect us? A friend of mine posted an article from another blog on Facebook recently and I hope that you will take the time to read it. I have added it to the bottom of this post.

I think we get so frustrated over the little things because of pride. In the article the Debbie Wilkins Baisden talks about the frustration she felt over finding her husbands clothes on the floor.  Who hasn’t gotten frustrated over some minute habit that their spouse has.

We get frustrated because WE don’t like how that habit or action makes US feel. We think “that habit or action is inconvenient for ME”.  Debbie takes this attitude of our hearts in this article and  really puts this into perspective.

Imagine you are the one that is annoyed by finding your spouses clothes on the floor. First of all, is it really that big of a deal? It annoys you. It would be nice if your spouse had stopped at the very moment the clothes were plummeting to the floor and thought about how it was going to make you feel. But let’s be honest. Do you really believe that his or her thought process was “Ah ha!!! Another opportunity to drive my spouse nuts!!”

Too often we spend so much time focusing on the things that drive us crazy and not enough time appreciating the things that make us happy.

Let’s Not Take Them for Granted

Life is too short. Relationships are hard and they take work. We will never be happy in any relationship for long if we don’t learn to fix the things in ourselves that are contributing to the issues.

I challenge you (and myself): At that very next moment when we are tempted to blow a gasket over some little thing our spouse does, lets take a second to think about how easy we are to live with. And in addition to that, think about how important that little issue would be tomorrow if we woke up and didn’t have to worry about it anymore because our loved one was no longer with us.

Please read Debbie’s article: Stop Being a Butthole Wife [Spouse].