Monday, October 11, 2010

Never Say Never

Good motivational speeches challenge us to "Never give up" or "Never stop trying." Yet when it comes to marriage we should be careful how we use that word.

How many times have you said or heard in your marriage discussions a sentence beginning with, "You never..."

Those absolute statements seem to trigger an immediate reaction of frustration. It can feel like you are an absolute failure. To be told you never listen, care, or try to understand seems to go to the heart of our pride. The discussion quickly erodes into a point-counter point argument. We no longer are listening but now are more concerned about defending ourselves.

The problem is that there often is some nugget of truth in those absolute statements. We are not as kind and thoughtful as we think. We can take each other for granted and excuse our laziness or sin. It can expose the fact that we don't really want to grow or change as much as we think. It hurts to change sometimes and some of that pain comes when we are told there is a level of hypocrisy in our lives.

Christian marriages should ideally be a place where healthy and mature sanctification occurs. Where you receive criticism and concern in the right spirit. And where you also give that loving rebuke in the Spirit of Christ. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." Proverbs 27:6 We are called to speak the truth in love and to receive it in love as well.

Never stop loving.

Never stop listening.

Never stop growing.

Never stop wondering whether I should start that sentence with "You never..."

1 comment:

Jo-Ann said...

Hi, Jerry, I didn't know you had a blog. Great entries! I signed up to be a "follower" :o) Walter and I will really enjoy reading these as a way of staying in touch.
Thank you, Erin, for putting it on Facebook.