Wedesday's Word: RIGHT marriage, relationships, arguments, fighting, reconciliation, correction,
“If you turn left here, we will get there more quickly.”
“No, I drive this all the time, this way is quicker.”
“I just drove this yesterday, and it is quicker if you turn left.”
Voice inflections change. Eyes roll. The mood of the trip just changed.
“You never reached out to me.”
“I reached out first, last time. I was waiting for you this time.”
“What a joke! You never reach out to me first. I always have to be the one to initiate.”
Words get harsher. The sound of pain makes its way through the conversation.
“About ten years ago we went and visited Uncle Joe.”
“That was not ten years ago. It was only eight.”
“It was ten years! I remember cuz it was close to his 70th birthday.”
Argument ensues. Tension grows.
What is it about us and our great need to be “RIGHT”? Even to the point we are willing to argue about topics that add no value to our daily lives. To the point that often times, we don’t even remember the topic of the initial argument. Years ago, my husband and I went to a marriage retreat, and speaker, Tom Harmon, gave this wise advice: “Give up the RIGHT to be RIGHT.”
What? You mean when I am RIGHT, I can just let “it” go and allow the other person to be RIGHT? Yes, it is possible. And it is a valuable tool to use in a marriage, as well as in any other relationship. When we relinquish this RIGHT, we are sacrificing self by putting the other person’s needs first. Because to be honest, many (I realize there are exceptions) of the arguments we have, are not worth battling over. They are not worth damaging the relationship. They are not worth hurting the other person. They are not worth the journey down the long ugly road. They are not worth damaging any children within earshot.
Perhaps turning left was quicker, but did the argument add value to the relationship? Maybe the other person didn’t reach out last time; are we prepared to lose the relationship over who is RIGHT. And maybe it was only eight years ago since we visited Uncle Joe, but wasn’t the goal of the conversation to set up a time to go visit him again?
I’m certainly not going to say it’s easy to relinquish the RIGHT to be RIGHT. My husband will testify to the fact that I don’t find it easy; in fact, he is much better at it than I. But I will continue to remind myself that it’s not about who is RIGHT. It’s about loving and honoring the other person, and investing in the building of relationships.
Let no corrupt talk come from your mouths, but only that which is used to build others up. Eph 4:29
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, Matthew 7:12
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
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