I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, but I’m not sorry for what I said. Sound familiar?
Most relationships that experience arguments, misunderstandings, or disagreements, typically start out small. Then somehow, they turn into huge arguments because often times we listen to respond, but not to understand.
We learned this early on in our marriage when our arguments were constantly surrounding the words or lack thereof in our conversations. We found ourselves arguing over what is or isn’t being said as opposed to the reason for the argument itself. As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, our mentors who provided Godly counsel for our marriage, helped us to understand this one simple principle; if it matters to you, it matters to me.
Meaning if I (Timberley) express a concern to Andre that brings me sorrow, pain, or hurt whether he agrees or not, it should matter to him because it matters to me. It doesn’t mean he goes along with everything but what it does mean is that if something upsets me, it should be important to him. He can still explain his perspective but at the same time show compassion and sincerity.
When we say we love each other that means we walk out 1 Corinthians 13 completely.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV) says; “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”
Listening to understand requires patience. It requires more concern for others than ourselves. It demands that we don’t insist on our own way or fly off the handle because we don’t like what‘s being said. We listen to understand and are slow to respond. Showing that type of regard for one another will lead to a deeper level of intimacy within the relationship.
This principle doesn’t just apply to discussions, but it applies to all aspects in the relationship. For instance, I (Andre) wake up earlier than Timberley. I would rather get up and go downstairs and get my morning started. It is my preference not to disturb her because she physically needs more sleep. However, Timberley has expressed that although she is sleep when I leave the bed, she would like me to kiss her. I personally would rather let her sleep without disturbing her, but because that matters to her, it matters to me, and I purpose to kiss her in the morning before leaving our bed.
When we embrace this principle to every relationship not just a marital one, it will make an impact in all relationships. Showing people that they matter, showing care, and regard for their feelings, in essence, is truly living out 1 Corinthians 13!
Photo Credit: Larry Phillips
~ André and Timberley