Taking Defensiveness Out of the Conversation

February 19, 2014

in the generous life

My husband and I have been doing a fair amount of talking about “sharing beliefs” and “how to do that without becoming defensive” when you run into differences. It’s a great skill to have for overall life and certainly needed for husband/wife discussions.

One thing has been huge for us. When your worth and value has nothing to do with what you believe, it makes discussion easier.

If you see yourself as a person of worth (Jesus says you are) and you are on a journey of learning truth and growing in your understanding, it’s OK to have different opinions.

You can share what you believe and listen well to what others believe.
You can question (even change) your own beliefs and it’s OK.
You can share your beliefs and it’s OK if the other person doesn’t agree.

You’re still that same person of worth (and so are they). You’re just being considerate of each other’s journey into more truth. God may choose to use us in our sharing, but we can hold conversations lightly because it’s His job to lead us all into Truth.

It also makes it easier to love on folks. You don’t have to fix them. You don’t have to correct their “wrong” beliefs. You get to share life and enjoy the journey.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth …   John 16:13a  ESV

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Becoming His Eve: Over-Stressed and Under-Blessed Goodness gracious, gals, take care of yourselves!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr Richard Norris February 19, 2014 at 1:17 am

One perspective I take is that as God brought my wife and me together He has a plan – to take two imperfect people and use them to help perfect each other for one another and others.

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Allison Atteberry February 19, 2014 at 8:05 am

A great way to speak during those ” defensive” conversations is to ask questions. Make sure you understand what the other person is saying before continuing. “The Columbo Tactics” by Greg Koukl at str.org has help our marriage and in dealing with sharing faith with others.

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Brittany February 19, 2014 at 10:01 am

This was such a big lesson for me to learn while my now-husband and I were dating, and something I still have to remind myself of at times. But what a difference it makes! It has not only helped me to give my husband (and others) grace, but also helped to humble me enough to grow and learn from others and how they experience their faith as well.

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Hannah February 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Adam and I both have a tendency to get defensive, especially when we’re stressed out or tired. I think the important thing we both need to remember is it’s okay to disagree and we’re still valued by Jesus no matter what. Thanks for sharing my link.

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Beth February 21, 2014 at 8:43 am

So true, Lori. It’s even hard for those of us who “know” this truth in the heat of the moment. Just proves we need to strengthen our faith in God who loves us.

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