The Price of Love and Respect

May 17, 2014

in the generous life

As a spin off of yesterday’s post Is That OK?, I want to talk about respecting differences. 

One of my mantras is “People are more important than things.”

If I demand that my husband stack the dishes in the dish drain the way I do, I have not treated him with love and respect. A stack of dishes is not more important than my husband. My preferences are not more important than my husband.

I realize that may be a bit hard to hear. We like to have things our way. It’s more comfortable for us and it works for us. However, we are not the only ones in the relationship. Our husband likes his way too. It’s more comfortable for him and it works better for him.

Navigating those differences can be hard. I won’t lie to you.

There is an element of sacrifice when it comes to love and respect. You are making room for another person. You are sometimes giving way to what he wants and what works for him. It may not be convenient or comfortable for you.

The thing about it is, when you are able to embrace him and his differences, you are opening a door for intimacy and growth as a couple. It’s healing. It’s mature. It’s loving. Like calls to like and your behavior will call to those same things in your husband. (Years ago when I started experimenting with generosity, I was shocked by my husband’s response. He caught it and answered back in generosity.)

Yes, the day to day personal sacrifice of making room for your spouse and their differences has a price tag, but it is worth the cost in what it does for each of you and your marriage relationship.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Philippians 2:4  ESV

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosemary May 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

When I was younger, I certainly found it difficult not to have things my own way. This seems to be something nearly everyone feels to some extent. Sometimes it can be almost physically painful to see the dishes stacked the “wrong” way, a chair in the “wrong” spot, to be in the car when your spouse is choosing a parking spot the “wrong” way, etc. One thing that helped me change was to observe this problem in other people’s marriages. It was very clear to me that they were doing themselves no favor by arguing over petty things like how to fold the towels or which way to align books on the shelf. I didn’t want to find myself in one of those marriages where every ridiculous little thing is a debate and the partners are constantly seething with resentment over unresolved arguments triggered by things that are truly of no real importance. A week from now, I will not even remember how the plates were stacked or what parking place we got. So why should it matter now? Knowing that, it became much easier to relax and let my husband do whatever he does the way he does it. It is truly no longer a sacrifice at all.

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Elizabeth May 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I can really relate to your dish analogy. I’ve been working actively at not trying to control everything. This post explains why this is so important! Thank you! :)

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