Devotion #121

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV

One of the greatest causes of strife in a relationship is the need to be right. At the root of every argument between a husband and wife is this need to be right. We are such a prideful people. We see things from our point of view alone, and we fail to acknowledge there is more than one “right” way to approach an issue. We insist on our own perspective, we insist on our own way, and conflict happens our spouse fails to acknowledge we are right.

We all have a specific idea for how we should be treated, how we spend our money or our time, how we make decisions, how we raise our children; and we all have experiences from our past that drive those ideas. Our experiences dictate our responses and our perceptions so deeply that we struggle to see things from any other perspective. We insist our way is the right way because it’s the only way we can see. So long as our spouse is behaving or expressing opinions within our defined parameters, everything is fine; but the minute they operate under diverging parameters, conflict ensues. The most interesting part of the way our experiences impact our perspective is that we may not even be aware of our own parameters until they step outside of them. When that happens, we can get extremely offended or we can feel devalued.

It takes a flexible mindset to be able to see things from another person’s perspective, to consider another person’s experiences, or to lay down what you think is best. It’s not innate or natural in any way, but that’s what we’re called to do in love. Love does not insist on its own way. Love believes there are other perspectives different than our own, love considers others experiences may produce a different set of priorities, love accepts there may be more than one right response to a situation, reaction to a problem, or point of view to be considered. I’ve found this isn’t something I can do in my own power, but only when I tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. When I ask Him to open my eyes to another’s perspective, He always does. Because our hearts are so inherently selfish, we need to be intentional about seeking His help with this life-giving directive for our marriages. Consider that you are not right, and stop insisting on your way.

For the past several years I’ve worked hard to change “I love you” to “I love you before me”. I still have so far to go, but even uttering those words more often has opened my eyes to where I put my needs above others and insist my perspective is always right. I want to love my spouse as God calls me to love him, and that means I do not insist on my own way.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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