Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Learning New Dance Moves - from the 3-Step to the 2-Step

Over the past two or three weeks my husband and I have experienced two moments of my what pastor calls "intense fellowship" - a.k.a. a fight. It's good to have a fight once in a while and these two were extra special to me, looking back on them of course. It has taken me a long time, but I have gotten much better at my fighting. I have some general rules that I attempt to go by as I use much self-control as possible: The "No's" - no yelling, no name calling, no negating the other's feelings, absolutely no threat of divorce; The "Needs" - praying, holding hands, saying I love you, reminding each other that we are on the same team, remind my mate that we WILL work it out and our marriage will be stronger for it, reminding my mate that I accept him with all imperfections and will be his helpmate through it all no matter what. I feel those rules have really helped me through our fights. Now if only I could stop rolling my eyes. Hee hee
In the first moments of each time of "intense fellowship," I started off with my usual dance steps: defend, justify, and blame. The walls go up and I attempt to stand in my perfection - how ridiculous! Why is it so hard to just admit that we are human, that we mess up, and that we need a Savior? Why is it so hard to be unselfish and get the focus off of our "rightness" and put it on the feelings of another? I haven't figured out the "why," but I am so happy I have recognized these few things.
Well, in looking back, I was able to change my "dance steps," and I hope to stick with the new ones I have learned: ask for forgiveness and change my ways.
The first fight I can't even remember... isn't that usually the case. However, what I do remember is the moment I recognized that my action was not the real problem. The real problem was how I was making my husband feel - hurt. When I reflected on it, I believed that it was actually rooted in disrespect - the biggest command I am given by God to do for my husband. With tears I sought Marks forgiveness and God's as I truly recognize the importance of respecting my husband.
The second time of intense fellowship involved our finances. (Insert fact: did you know that the top three issues in a marriage are finances, communication, and sex? If you have any "intense fellowship" in these areas, you are normal. lol) My husband gently pointed out that I have spent a bit too much on Daniel's clothing this month. After completing my first 3 dance steps (Defend: It really wasn't that much; Justify: He really did need a few more bibs and now we save money on laundry since I can last longer between loads; Blame: Daniel just looked so cute in them), I decided to switch my rhythm and went to my 2-Step, "Mark, you are right. I am so sorry. Do you forgive me? And can you help me as I do struggle with having a new baby to buy stuff for? Can you give me an envelope with a set amount so I do go overboard?"
Wow - such freedom! Yes, FREEDOM! Freedom: noun, the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint. Ahhhhhh! So I guess the other why I have is - why has it taken me so long to form a habit of the 2-Step. I wish I applied it to all of our intense fellowship in the past. It's so good to be forgiven!

Romans 4:7
"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered."

1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Colossians 3:13
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."


Robyn L said...

How true it is. How true it is. :) I love how we grow when the Lord challenges us to admit our wrongs. In the long run, it really does work so much better than fighting...

Christie said...

So, my husband read my blog and said "what fight?" lol He said last night doesn't count for a fight. So funny!

Pam said...

That is soooo awesome Christie!!! And it is so amazing to have freeing moments through a God as awesome as we have! It is a good reminder too to not defend our actions, something I am continually made aware of with my kids, I correct them on something and they defend what they were doing wrong. I stop them in their tracks and remind them that we have to take responsiblity for ourselves and our reactions/actions in the situation, not blame something or someone else for why we did it. God is still working on us and I love the FREEDOM that forgiveness brings with it!!! Marriage is the closest mirror to our relationship with Christ, and such a sacred relationship they both are!! Love you all.