John, our teenager, was looking forward to a weekend event with his buddies at church. But he never got to go. Why?
Because each of us thought the other had submitted the payment, but neither of us had. And it was too late. All the spots were filled. John wasn’t happy and our marriage was feeling the pain.
“You always take care of that stuff,” Les exclaimed.
“But this was something you and John talked about.”
“I know but I still thought you had the paperwork to fill out,” Les protested.
“I did but you could have done it.”
We blamed each other for a few moments and then one of us said, “Okay, I can see why you thought I was taking care of it.”
That was that.
Chalk it up to a simple misunderstanding. Every marriage is full of them. Right? They’re endemic. And if any couple says they don’t have many misunderstandings, they’re misunderstanding the question. They’re part of every married couple’s life. And if we don’t learn how to manage them, we’ll soon be embroiled in perpetual conflict.
Misunderstandings are exasperating for the simple fact that both sides see it from their angle only.
It’s simple. It only takes one person to put their perspective on hold and see the issue from their partner’s point of view. That’s all.
If one person does this, the misunderstanding is resolved, the tension eases, and life moves forward.
It only takes one person to turn around a misunderstanding by honoring the other’s perspective. That’s what the Apostle Paul is getting at in this week’s verse.
When we honor our partner we have an internal attitude of respect and courtesy. But it’s more than lip service (see Isaiah 29:13). It’s changing our perspective because we see the issue through our partner’s eyes.
Reflect and Respond
How do you typically handle misunderstandings in your marriage?
Go ahead, tell us in the comments.
- Autographed Hardcover of Making Happy
- ebook for Making Happy
- ebook for The Good Fight
Making Happy explores the science and practice of happiness in marriage. It offers insights into how your brain and relationship affect each other as you make happiness in your marriage a conscious, delightful habit. Includes a 21-Day Happiness Plan to help you take action.