Recently, I talked with a couple who were often at odds. It seems that each time one person of the couple would have a need (or a complaint, but more often, a need,) the other would immediately make it about him/her. Similarly, a couple could parent-child, spouses, friend to friend, service provider to customer, you name it. Any two people.
I tell people with whom I do pastoral care that, if it’s not about God, it’s going to be a long day. I think God would say this.
- Seek me first or all is lost. The universe does not turn around either of you but it does, in fact, turn around me. After all, I made it (and you.) Let me be your North Star to guide you. Holy Scripture is alive with how to conduct loving, healing, healthy relationships.
- Listen……………………….No, I mean it. Turn off your brain and listen. You probably cannot fix things anyway. Being heard is one of the biggest gifts we can give one another.
- Maintain healthy boundaries. Your problem often is not mine (and visa-versa.)
- Do not fix others. They may need fixing. Direct them to that. We are not fixers. Point them to possibilities.
- Ask, “What ‘s going on in me.”
- Share the airwaves. It cannot be a one way street.
- Pray (God’s listening and cares, ya know.)
- Take a break. Sometimes, you need it.
- There are a few quick fixes but not many. Allow time. You might need as much as it took to get where you are.
- Honor each other.
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)
Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye. Matthew 7:5 (NLT)