“Thanking Me for trials will feel awkward and contrived at first. But if you persist, your thankful words, prayed in faith, will eventually make a difference in your heart. Thankfulness awakens you to My Presence, which overshadows all your problems.”
Last night was our second premarital counseling session. Topic: handling conflict.
I’ll go ahead and say I’ve genuinely enjoyed this part of getting married. Sharing hearts, processing tendencies, learning how to love… I think it’s rich.
Sometimes an approach to hard conversations can be a fearful one. Whether small or large, all human beings carry a level of fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of disappointing others, fear of not being perfect, fear of judgement.
But, a challenge…
“Have enough courage to love.” Maya Angelou
Love is what unites people. J’s love for me, and mine for him, strengthened and guided by our love for God…. that will always be common ground for us to stand on. When conflicts arise, within our marriage or externally, however far the pendulum seems to swing, our love will be common ground. A desire to honor God with our marriage will always be common ground.
When we choose and remember love, we stay connected and maintain clarity of vision. When we choose love we deepen our growth and the growth of those around us because we’re not holding ourselves, or others, at arm’s length. Love over fear.
Observations from last night’s meeting:
It’s helpful to know yourself. Notice how you naturally respond when things upset or discourage or hurt you. Every human being is unique, and when two desire to be joined, it’s helpful to be aware of your default response to conflict.
Know the other person. Believe in them with your whole heart, believe the best about them. See them. Listen to them. Knowing J’s natural response is helpful in loving him well through conflict.
Find courage through trust. The more that J and I allow ourselves to be vulnerable with each other when we’re hurting or disappointed, in a space continually giving love, the deeper our mutual trust will grow.
Take steps. Small actions create movements. I’m sure many things will hit us daily, but I never want us to feel burdened under the weight of needing to do it perfectly every single time. We will always be growing together, learning more, discovering new things, messing up, asking forgiveness. So we take steps.
I find joy in learning how to love him best, and I’m thankful for the person he is.
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