Being able to disagree agreeably
In the comments this week, NeilEThere said:
“I disagree with things Paul says on a regular basis … I don’t feel called to try and convert him to my point of view …”
I must confess that this shows a maturity I did not grasp for most of my life. By nature (a nature I am trying to rule, rather than be ruled by), I am very passionate about what I believe, and I tend to think I am right about most things. (Okay, right about pretty much everything.) It is a good thing my bride agreed with me about most things early in our marriage, as I fear I would have made life difficult for her had she not.
If you are as I was, you may be beating your bride half to death over disagreements about various issues. Do you feel it’s your duty to set her straight? Even if you are right, and she is wrong (and you are not right as often as you think, trust me on this) does that mean God has appointed you to correct her? I’m serious about that question – do you think God has called you to correct her on EVERYTHING? Yes, He probably has called you to correct her on some things, but I doubt He has called you to correct her on everything. There are things He wants to deal with her about Himself, and there are times He wants others to help her see the truth. There are also times it should be you, but it should not be now. If you try to correct her when it’s not supposed to be you, then you just mess up what God intended, and that is not a good place to be. In addition, realise that being the voice of correction, with anyone, requires you to be able to do it in a loving way. If you can’t do that, you are forbidden from saying anything. Behaving wrongly while trying to correct is not just rude, it’s wrong.
The other thing is that sometimes differences of opinion should be discussed with no intention of changing anyone. The vast majority of us are not nearly as smart, logical and correct as we think we are (note that “us” includes me). Those who are sure they can’t be wrong when it comes to their opinions and interpretations are deceived and dangerous to relationships. Those who accept that they are flawed and thus can be wrong are far better marriage partners!
By the way, I love the free exchange of opinions in the comments. Please feel free to tell me where you think I am wrong. Just be nice, and know when to stop.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
New blog this week – A Grown Up Marriage. I found this blog because it linked to one of my recent posts. Fairly new, but it looks good. Also liking what they are doing on Twitter as @grownupmarriage .
A Grown Up Marriage
What Do You Really Want?: This is a very important question!
That’s Not My Preference: A great article based on Eggerich’s Who Goes First? article I used earlier this week. But I like this title better!
Couple Things Blog
Rock the Boat: A great call for deeper honesty with your spouse about who you are.
Uphill Marriage?: This is a brilliant, MUST READ post. Stop waiting time and energy one what does not matter to your bride, and do the one thing she needs.
Bill Cosby’s Marriage Advice: Shared memories are vital for a couple.
Census: Divorce rates fall; long-lasting marriages rise: Did you know that “Most Americans marry once and remain married.”?
5 Tell-Tale Signs Debt Is Ruining Your Marriage: A great guest post does it describe you or your bride?
One Flesh Marriage
Marriage on Fire: Brad tells it like it is – warts and all.
Romantic Act of the Day
The Romantic Vineyard
What’s wrong and how do I fix it?: This MUST READ article tells us how to make a marriage work even when some things can’t be “fixed”.